Written By Our Guest Blogger- Emma Grace Brown
More and more homeowners are discovering that renting a house to temporary guests is an excellent way to pay off a mortgage or offset the cost of a second home. Not only that, but many people are buying investment properties with the sole purpose of renting them out to tourists. To really capitalize on your vacation home, you need to leave your guests in awe. Happy guests are more likely to book your place again in the future and recommend your home to others. As you prep your Orange County home, take note of some of these practical tips to “wow” your guests.
First Steps to Start Your Business
Once you’re ready to get things off the ground, you’ll need to formally establish your business with the Secretary of State. You have a few options, but for rental property business, we recommend forming a limited liability company (an LLC), which can be done by utilizing a formation service such as ZenBusiness (refer to their contact info for any questions you may have about the LLC formation process and related costs). As the name suggests, an LLC limits your personal financial and legal liability, and also allows you to set up a business banking account. Once your business bank is set up, you can move forward with your business operations.
As mentioned, renting out your Orange County home turns it into a business, so it’s important to approach the process professionally. Vacation rental owners need to set rates, market their property, and make improvements to maximize revenue. This is why it’s a good idea to use a vacation rental management company for your investment property. A good agency will help you comply with any licensing and regulations for your area, offer 24/7 local support to protect your investment, and provide professional cleanings between guests. When you treat your vacation home like a professional business, your guests will notice.
Make Low-Cost Upgrades
Since your guests will view pictures of your home before renting, it’s important that everything looks clean and inviting. A well-lived-in home may need a little care before it can appeal to your guests. Fortunately, some of the most impactful home upgrades are also the cheapest!
Start by giving all of your walls a fresh coat of paint. Shoot for neutral colors like warm gray or off-white so you can appeal to all of your guests. In the bedroom, you can get a little more colorful with lavender, soft green, or pale blue; these are some of the most soothing colors. If you have a little left in your budget, consider adding crown molding to your rooms.
Then, see what you can do about the kitchen and bathroom. Instead of remodeling these rooms completely, just repaint the cabinets and consider replacing the countertops. New cabinet hardware can also go a long way toward modernizing these rooms. To really give your bathroom that much-desired “wow” factor, replace the showerhead with a rain shower and hang a large mirror to make the space look big and bright.
Enhance Your Curb Appeal
The first impression that your guests form will set the stage for the rest of their stay, so make sure your home looks great from the sidewalk. InstallItDirect recommends dealing with any outdoor hazards that could hurt your guests and lead to a potential lawsuit. Repair any unsafe walkways, level your lawn, add outdoor lighting, and inspect wood decks for rot or loose railings.
Design an Outdoor Dining Area
While you’re thinking about the exterior of your home, consider setting up a welcoming outdoor dining area. Your guests will love this, especially if your home is in a warm climate. An outdoor lounge and some entertainment will extend the space of the vacation home and give guests a place to wind down after a day of exploring the city. Invest in modern patio furniture that’s comfortable, splurge on a louvered patio cover to add a level of sophistication, and be sure to add a few plants. Remember: a well-curated outdoor aesthetic can be a huge draw for guests.
Create a Welcome Package
Leaving a little welcome package for your guests will delight your visitors and encourage them to recommend your rental to others. For example, you could obtain a tourist map and leave it with a gift card to one of the top attractions or restaurants. For families, put together an entertainment gift basket with coloring books and crayons. You can even fill a little basket with keychains or magnets that represent Orange County. At the very least, leave some chocolates or a personalized welcome sign to show guests you went the extra mile.
Numerous homeowners have found success in renting out their homes on a short-term basis. Whatever your budget, make sure you set some resources aside to turn your home into a space that will attract as many guests as possible. When your home is in high demand, you’ll be able to charge more for bookings and enjoy an even higher return on your investment!
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