Renting out a property can be a profitable venture. Lots of people own second homes that remain empty for large chunks of the year. It makes sense to leverage these void periods and turn them into cash. So if you regularly let your vacation home out to make some extra money, here are a few tips to ensure your property is ready for the vacation season.
A Lick of Paint
Wooden sidings, window frames, decking and all other timber should be prepared and painted every season. Timber used to construct properties located in damp climates, for example city-centre Ottawa condos, is susceptible to rot, so it needs extra special attention. However, even if your property is in a dry state, you should still spruce up the timber with a lick of paint at least once a year.
A freshly painted property looks attractive and it more likely to achieve higher rental income. In popular tourist towns and cities, there is usually a glut of vacation rentals, so the best properties are snapped up first. By making sure your property appeals to a wide range of people, in particular more affluent holidaymakers, you will reduce the number of empty periods in the vacation calendar.
Painting the exterior of a property from the roof down is a big job and not one to tackle on your own unless you have the right equipment and plenty of time. For best results, hire a painting contractor with good references and suitable insurance in place.
Vacation rentals suffer a lot of wear and tear, particularly if you have a steady stream of families staying there during the summer months. Winter is a good time to conduct a thorough clean, which includes wiping down paintwork, fixing any problem areas, and cleaning carpets. The more thoroughly you clean the property before vacation season begins, the easier it will be to keep on top of things once visitors start to arrive.
Repair or Replace
Use the down season to assess whether items of furniture and soft furnishings need to be repaired or replaced. Carpets and flooring will probably only last a few years before they are worn out whereas furniture should last a bit longer, depending on how good the quality is.
Look around the place with an objective eye. Would you want to stay here? If the answer is “no” then now is a good time to redecorate and refresh the rooms with some new furniture, drapes, blinds and soft furnishings. The more effort you put in, the easier it is to attract tenants who are willing to pay top dollar for a chance to stay in your vacation let for a week or two.
Once you have cleaned, fixed and tidied up the place, now is the time to start marketing your property. If you currently have an on-going listing on a vacation rental website, check the listing and add new photos if necessary – the better the ad, the easier it will be to find guests.