With the rise of websites like Airbnb, it has never been easier to rent a room of your house out on a temporary basis. If you are lucky enough to have a property in a desirable, tourist area there is a significant amount of money to be made from letting out rooms for short periods of time. Unlike taking a lodger, or getting a housemate on a mid-long term basis, hosting guests who are on vacation allows for more flexibility and control of who is in your space. Perhaps your children have gone to college so you have the space, or maybe you would just like to get some money back from your property. Whatever the situation, read these tips and stay on the right side of rentals.
Before you invite guests into your home, consider what improvements could be made to maximise your profits. It might be as simple as buying new bedding for the guest room, or it might mean spending some of your savings on renovating your house to increase your hosting capabilities. In desirable areas throughout LA, and across the US generally, it can make long-term sense to extend your property. Before undertaking any serious work, thoroughly research what you might want and remember always use a structural engineer if you are having work done that interferes with any load bearing walls.
Advertise to the Right Clients
The whole world knows about Airbnb and the issues with using the site are well known. Protect yourself by vetting all potential guests individually and rejecting those who have less than spectacular reviews. If you have a family at home, perhaps consider using a site designed for people in your situation such as homestay. It is possible to advertise for people taking courses in your area and often they are only around during the week.
Create Social Boundaries
For families in particular, time spent alone together is crucial. Similarly, if you are an individual or a couple, having time when you are at home to relax is something that you should not compromise. It can be exhausting entertaining all the time so make sure that whoever you have in your space understands your boundaries. If you are a social person you can invite guests to eat with you, for example, but do make sure to create a zone or area in your house that remains out-of-bounds.
Respond to Enquiries Promptly and Professionally
As there is so much money to be made from renting out rooms, competition in desirable areas is strong. Because of this, one bad review can jeopardise you getting clients. Try to respond to requests as quickly as possible and do everything within your power to stick to arrangements that are confirmed. Of course, unforeseen events can throw the best laid plans out, but be wary of getting a reputation for letting clients down at the last minute. It would be a shame to get your house ready for visitors and not receive any. Finally, treat your guests as you would want them to treat you. That way you set the precedent for how to behave within your space.