Here are some of the key topics discussed in the podcast. We’ve also created a basic guide to what you need to consider before entering the short-term rental market.
The traditional methods
Experienced real estate agent Sally-Anne Lawlor talks about the tried-and-true methods of making money from your home. Having housemates is a great way to pay off your mortgage or to keep your rent expenses down. Sally-Anne recommends setting boundaries and ground rules to ensure a house share runs smoothly, including a cleaning roster or a kitty to employ a cleaner. Student accommodation is also very common. You can contact the universities or agencies that do homestays. Commonly you provide two meals a day, depending on the arrangement.
There are options beyond living with other people. You can rent your garage for storage or even business purposes if local regulations allow. For instance, Sally-Anne gives the example of a personal trainer who paid to use a garage as his workspace. There are plenty of other businesses you can from your garage or even your home. Again, make sure it is legal in your area and that you consult an account about any tax matters. And leasing out a carspace in congested areas for commuters is another easy way to make money from your home.
Funding your holidays?
A second home is a dream for many and can be made a reality by using the short-term rental market. Many second home owners let their places as a holiday rental, never using it themselves during the high season when it fetches the most money.
It’s also become increasingly common for people to let their homes via Airbnb or other agencies while they’re away on holidays. In fact, many people fund their travels in this way. Luxury homes can command a high price and corporate lets are often quite lucrative but this depends on having a premium property in a sought-after or city location. But did you know average homes in almost any location can succeed as a short-term rental?
There are many reasons people will look for a short-term rental beyond being a tourist. A business traveller may want to stay near where they are working, family visiting from overseas will want to be near their loved ones and renovators will want to be close by to their property. So when it comes to short-term rentals the area your home in doesn’t matter, but the way you market and manage the property does.
Top tips for short-term rentals
Specialist property manager Anna Mildon says the features of a property are more important than location. So what makes a property attractive to short-term renters? A car space is always valuable. A view and outdoor area are both desirable. And any special features, such as an outdoor shower, can be a real selling point.
She also gives her styling tips for furnishing a short-term rental. Light is key, so consider blockout blinds and extra lamps to combat a home that can be too bright or too dark. Comfort is the aim for your guests, so have heating and cooling systems. Wifi is a necessity while a Smart TV with streaming services is a nice bonus. A gift basket with toiletries, wine and chocolates is a luxurious touch and a special way to welcome your guests. You need to provide linen too, so factor that cost into your planning.
When it comes to pricing your property, you can use a pricing tool. Check online for an app that suits your needs. But even more important is the customer service aspect of short-term rentals. You need to be able to respond to enquiries in a timely fashion, and have a system in place to deal with any issues that arise during a stay. Reviews are extremely important, so make sure you hit the five touch points Anna outlines in the episode. You also have to know the local government regulations about short-term rentals and the financial considerations. Check with the relevant authorities, including your strata if you’re in an apartment. And don’t forget the tax implications and insurances required.
And check out The BHG guide to homeownership.