Finding Tenants for Your Hack: Part 2 – Short-Term Rentals

House Hacking 101 graphic for finding short term tenants

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Depending on where you purchase your house hack, you might have the ability to rent it out for a short period of time. Short-term rentals can be lucrative if done correctly and provide investors the ability to turn their home into an asset. Websites like VRBO and airBNB, make it easy for a homeowner to connect with vacationers and provide insight into the features of your property. Listed below are a few things to consider before moving into the short-term rental business focused especially on vacationers. 

  1. Understand Short Term Rental Regulations in Your Specific Area 
    1. Every county has its own rules for short term rentals especially in high tourist areas 
  1. Prepare the Property to be Rented 
    1. Fix items that need to be addressed 
    2. Fully Furnish the property
    3. Provide basic amenities (ie: Toilet paper, paper towels, kitchen utensils, bedding, etc.)
  1. Select the Right Price 
    1. Use comparable properties to understand the right price for your nightly and weekly bookings.
    2. Set a minimum night requirement to avoid one-night stays and increased turnover costs for cleaning.
    3. Mashvisor and AirDNA are great tools that give you all the data you need
  1. Assemble Your Team 
    1. Insurance Broker – work with a broker to help secure insurance that will cover your property being used as a vacation rental
  2. Cleaning Crew – work with a cleaning service that will give you a good rate for house cleanings. In peak season with a 3-night minimum stay, you may have the home cleaned 4 times in the span of 2 weeks.
  1. Handyman – Someone to handle items that are broken from the turnover and just to check in on the home every once in and while. Having a handyman, you regularly use is great because it’s another set of eyes.
  1. Property Manager – You can always give it a try on your own for a few months before deciding to hire a property manager to oversee the property 
  1. List the Property 
    1. Professional pictures of the home property with a strong description of the features of the home. Create a creative/catchy name to bring attention to your property when vacationers are scrolling through the available homes. 
  1. There are Always Liabilities 
    1. Furniture and items in the home can be broken or stolen by vacationers. Your neighbors might complain because of the noise. If you are going to have bikes for visitors to ride, I recommend having a waiver signed by each visitor before providing bike lock combos. Also, providing visitors with a rules and regulations manual is key as well. 

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