As experts in the short and medium-term rental industry, we’ve identified telltale signs that suggest some property owners might not be ready to take the leap.
Navigating the world of short and medium-term rentals (30-90 days) can be an enticing prospect for many homeowners, especially considering the potential revenue. However, the decision to convert your permanent or vacation home into a rental property should not be taken lightly.
Over our decade-long operation at Open Air Homes, we’ve noted several recurring patterns that suggest a property owner might not be quite prepared for this venture. These are some key signs that you might not be ready for the transition:
Personal Attachment to Your Home
If your property is filled with personal belongings that you’re not willing to move for the renters, or if you’re overly attached to your home’s current state, it might not be the best idea to rent it out. Your guests need to feel comfortable and at home, rather than feeling like intruders in your personal space. Anything that has sentimental value ought to be stored and replaced with something that could be damaged (and then paid for by the guest to replace).
Unrealistic Expectations about the Rental Market
If you’re decking out your property with inexpensive furniture from Ikea or Wayfair, expecting it to command the highest rates in the rental market, you might be in for a rude awakening. The furnishings and overall appeal of your property should match the rates you plan to charge.
The market is more competitive than ever, and our homes which are truly an incredible experience are the ones that generate the highest nightly rates. Discerning guests can tell the difference, and low-end furniture beckons college groups to rent, which can be a nightmare of its own. Design for families, and those looking to relax and explore your community.
Limited Availability on Your Calendar
If you’re living in your property most of the time and only making it available to guests sporadically, you may find the cleaning costs eroding your profits. Every rental period would require two cleanings if you plan to move right back in the day the rental ends, one of which you will pay for.
Expectations of Universal Respect
While most renters will treat your home with exceptional care, others may not meet your standards. If you expect each guest to respect your home just as you do, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment.
At Open Air Homes, we turn off instant booking for this reason, as we want guests to send us a respectful message at the forefront with information about their group and an acknowledgment of our home and community (and often city) rules. While the review system is a great first step to protecting your home, guests will do as they wish, and while our system is working to prevent disrespectful guests, it is never 100%.
Inclination Towards Detailed Oversight
If you’re someone who likes to have control over every minute detail, letting go can be difficult. But in renting, you must trust a reputable property manager to handle operational and hospitality decisions on your behalf. If you want to control every aspect of the rental process, you may want to list yourself and find local cleaners and someone in case of a guest emergency.
Reluctance to Perform Regular Maintenance
If you’re hesitant about maintaining your property—especially major appliances and systems—this will likely lead to unsatisfied guests and poor reviews. Regular maintenance is a key aspect of running a successful short or medium-term rental. Maintaining a home is expensive, but is even more expensive if you have to continuously offer refunds when guests are upset that key amenities are broken.
Personal Preference for Amenities
At Open Air Homes, we’re committed to providing consistent, high-quality experiences across our properties, which includes standardized amenities like Public Goods in the bathroom (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion). We buy refillable packs to do our part for the environment, and our cleaners are trained to refill. If you’re unwilling to adapt to these standards to protect our brand, our company might not be the best fit for you.
Further, we provide a list of essentials we recommend for the home. We are thorough, as we have been in business for 10 years, and by offering a fully realized home and in the kitchen, your chances of positive reviews go up. The freezer may go out on occasion, for example, but guests who see that you have provided them with all of the necessary amenities for them to have a great stay will more often than not still leave a positive review. Things break, and guests typically are more understanding if you show them all of the little ways you care about their experience.
We make every effort to recommend products that are cost-effective but that hold up well for a variety of types of guests. We do suggest you splurge on certain items like linen duvets that scream luxury and hold up well (we love Parachute and Restoration Hardware linen duvets, but there are also cheaper options we love. However, we also love recommending lower-priced options that guests love like this set of low cost sheets from Clara Clark for example. Always in white, two sets per bed, for easy cleaning and bleaching of course.
Monterey Manor by Open Air Homes
Unwillingness to Invest in Property Design and Experience.
The short and medium-term rental market is fiercely competitive. The Airbnb algorithm, for example, takes every aspect imaginable into consideration when choosing where to place your home on their page. Without a willingness to invest in your property’s design and overall guest experience, your rental might struggle to stand out. If you do not stand out, you will have to compete in the middle to low range on price to be successful, and by going too low on price, you will open yourself up to younger guests who are more likely to have large groups over versus the group of Moms looking to relax with a glass of wine and reconnect.
At Open Air Homes, we’re dedicated to offering superior experiences to our discerning guests. We focus on design and overall experience, which allows us to outperform our competitors consistently. However, we recognize that this approach requires a willingness to invest. If you’re not ready to make this commitment, there are many other property management companies that could be a better fit—and we’d be happy to introduce you!