Where to start from

1. Your objectives

Even if you are not thinking of renting out your holiday house as an actual business, first of all it is worthwhile to think and clarify what you hope to achieve. After all you are starting an initiative that could be economically profitable.

The main aim of renting out a holiday home is undoubtedly to find travellers who choose to stay in your house and pay the requested fee. Therefore the first thing to do is to lay down some simple priorities:

  • the number of weeks per year that your house will be available to be rented out;
  • the amount of earnings that you would like to make.

2. How much time do you want to and are able to dedicate to the activity?

Take into consideration the work to be done in renting out your holiday home:

  • publicizing holiday homes;
  • responding promptly to availability requests;
  • confirming bookings;
  • collecting a deposit and balance for the rental period;
  • collecting and managing possible tourist taxes;
  • hiring and coordinating the service staff;
  • managing complaints and special requests;
  • scheduling and managing maintenance.

Renting out and managing your holiday home needs more or less continuous time, effort and commitment. How much time do you have to dedicate to your holiday home?

If you are a person that loves to manage your business independently, wants to have complete control over the choice of travellers who visit your holiday home and do not wish to pay other people to run the business, then you can decide to manage rentals yourself. What is important is carefully assessing all the choices and weighing up decisions: you will make an excellent manager of your holiday home!

However if you have little time to dedicate to your holiday home, you can consider employing an agent who can manage every aspect relating to your rental business in return for a commission.

3. Pay attention to laws and regulations

Naturally, taking part in the renting holiday home market you need make yourself aware of all types of relevant laws and regulations: national, regional and local.

Each country and sometimes even regions of the same country have different rules.

What to do?

  • Find out from local and national bodies whether or not you need to obtain permits or licences to rent out holiday homes;
  • keep up with related health and environmental regulations, since it is possible that the property might be subjected to an inspection to assess its suitability;
  • take into account that some countries or regions require a tourist tax for travellers, which owners must collect and then pass on to the respective body.

4. Surround yourself with reliable and trustworthy people

The strength of your holiday home rental business undoubtedly lies in using trustworthy and reliable staff, particularly if you live far from where your holiday home is located.

You need:

  • a person or a cleaning company that deals with the cleaning at the beginning and the end of the stay and on a weekly basis, in the case of stays over 7 days, it is important to maintain cleaning standards over the long term;
  • staff in charge of maintenance for major and minor repairs, available also if travellers encounter a fault during their stay;
  • Possibly a lawyer who can advise you on existing laws relating to renting holiday homes;
  • an accountant or tax advisor, if you are not very strong on fiscal and administrative matters.

5. The right equipment

The first thing to do, when you kit out your holiday house for rent, is prioritize the traveller’s needs. Even if your house is tastefully furnished and finely decorated, practicality is still very important.

And therefore it is expedient to put valuable objects to one side since they might be obstacles for your guests.

If you wish to rent out a fully furnished holiday home, this is how to organize the rooms:

  • Bedroom: be sure to provide high-quality beds and mattresses with mattress covers and pillows with pillow cases, at least 2 sets of sheets per bed, a few extra blankets in case of an unexpected cold spell and at least one bedside table per room, with a lamp and perhaps an alarm clock.
  • Bathroom: the cleanliness of the bathroom is undoubtedly what travellers notice the most, therefore ensure that the bathroom is clean and tidy and provide at least 2 bath towels, 2 face towels and guest towels per person and a hairdryer.
  • Kitchen: the ideal solution would be to equip the kitchen with at least double the amount of crockery necessary for the maximum capacity for the house, high-quality pots and pans, at least one coffee-maker and a dining table large enough to accommodate all the guests.
  • Sitting room or living area: provide enough seating so there is room for all the guests to sit down, a big enough TV with perhaps a DVD player, playing cards and board games.

That little bit extra…   Never forget that travellers have a large choice of holiday homes and you need to know how to give that added value that makes prospective guests choose yours over someone else’s. Camp bed, cot and children’s high chair, games and videogames, a few books, a high-speed internet connection, ski or beach equipment and a coffee machine are all things that can attract travellers and convince them to choose your holiday home.

Naturally you can consider offering guests the basics, such as cooking equipment and crockery, and charge for extras in case travellers decide to ask for sheets and bathroom linen and other items.

Paying attention to these details is the secret behind very successful rentals and holidays.

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