The most popular home-sharing business has reached a valuation in the billions, vacation rentals are still booming, and the ecosystem surrounding home-sharing is constantly increasing; your friend Franz rakes in $10,000 a month renting his Berlin flat and ditched his engineering job to practice yoga in Bali.
If you’re toying with the idea of renting out your college-bound daughter’s room to travelers to make a bit of income on the side, you’ve come to the right place.
While the dream of kicking back and relaxing as the cash flows into your bank account can be a reality, it’s not as passive as it sounds. Hosting takes work and effort like anything else, and even requires a disposition that is compatible with the industry — ours is hospitality.
Do you think you’re cut out for hosting? Ask yourself these 7 questions before you take the leap.
1) Do you like meeting new people?
All of your guests are essentially strangers in the beginning. Part of your job is to welcome them into your home. Home-sharing is about sharing — your space, your possessions, and a bit of yourself. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of introducing yourself and your home, perhaps this isn’t for you.
2) Are you comfortable having guests in your home when you’re not there?
Inviting strangers into your house is one thing when you are home. But it is a given that your guests want, need, and most importantly, are paying for their accommodation. This should go without saying that guests will want to spend their own time at your home. Therefore if you see yourself becoming anxious or uncomfortable at the thought of people you don’t know being there while you’re at work, shopping, the gym, or on even on your own vacation, you may not be ready to take the leap.
3) Are you comfortable having to clean up after strangers?
As a host, you’ve entered the realm of the hospitality business. This means you’re responsible for cleaning and organizing before and after guests stay at your place. You can write in the listing description that you expect guests to clean up after themselves, which might save you some work. But you will still have to clean or hire a cleaner to ensure the place is spic and span before every check-in.
4) Are you able to invest in the potential set-up costs required for hosting?
You should purchase new and extra sheets, towels, and soaps for guests — at the bare minimum. Also consider investing in some home decor for staging or house paint to spruce up the look of your space. Costs such as hiring a cleaner or advanced technology for your home (smart locks, etc) should also be considered, although your hosting revenue should cover them eventually. Do you have the disposable funds to start off with fresh supplies?
5) Do you have the time to manage your rental?
Remember, a lot goes into hosting outside of making sure your guests sleep snugly at night. You’ll have to take the time to communicate with them before, during, and after their stay. You’ll spend time managing your booking schedule and juggling reservations. You will also need to ensure your home is spotless and well-stocked with each and every guest check-in.
Other operations such as the key exchange and check-in itself can turn out to be time consuming. You should have a flexible attitude as well as the time to account for anything that does not go according to plan.
6) Are you able to rent your space legally?
This is a no-brainer. Check and double check local laws (and your lease agreement if renting) around home-sharing. You do not want this to happen to you.
If you answered answered “No” to two or more questions, think carefully before you embark on a home-sharing endeavor. These questions offer a preview of some of the work you’ll be putting into you hosting, although they hardly touch on the joys and fulfillment that comes with welcoming travelers from around the world into your home.
If you answered YES and are ready to start hosting now, let us help you start off on the right foot: Managing your turnovers with peace of mind with Properly’s visual checklists!
Do you have any questions or would you like advice on hosting from bonafide hosts and Superhosts? Ask us in the comments, we’d love to share our tips and knowledge!
Visit Properly’s website to download the free app and become an even better host when you manage turnovers effortlessly! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more home-share and vacation rental updates.
*Photo credit: The Stocks.Im — Breather