Is a home really an asset if you’re living in it all the time? Sure, you can sell it eventually and hopefully make a profit, but what if the house economy crashes? What if you need money now?
Luckily, in today’s world, there are a couple great ways to get that money now and, hopefully, later.
We are all familiar with platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, which connect travelers and renters with hosts around the world. In just about every city, you can find a beautiful escape at an affordable rate and a local feel. What if you turned a room, or your entire home, into a rental space?
Most people pondering this decision, at one point or another, face the same questions:
“Is it safe? What if they destroy my house?”
A short and sweet answer to that question is that everything is tracked through the platforms–and we are not talking about Craigslist. If someone destroys something, the platform handles the renter, often charging them to compensate for the damages if you can prove it.
Also, renters and hosts can leave reviews for one another, and you can confirm or deny a visitor if you don’t like their reviews. Maybe they were disrespectful, maybe they stole something or maybe they stood the host up. Great! This insight allows you to carefully select your guest as you ease into the idea.
“What about my favorite furniture?”
Two words: Store. It. If you’re in Utah, select a secure storage, somewhere that you feel comfortable and that they meet your financial and protection needs. Having a personal safe is going to save you a lot of stress for the little, sentimental things.
“Where will I live in the time being?”
That’s where the world really opens up for you, and all the opportunity floods in. Do you like to travel or have you been planning a weekend trip to see your family?
With platforms like Airbnb, you can pick and choose what weekends you want to rent out your space. Some people only open their homes for the holidays! Others might only rent out a room so they don’t have to leave. You’ll be surprised with how many people prefer this option, because it’s cheaper and few people travel in large groups.
“Is it weird to be home when we have strangers staying there?”
Life is what you make it! You can take one of two options if you’re at home with your guests: be a host or be a hermit. Neither is right or wrong, and one might be preferred over the other depending on the guest’s personality and preferences!
“Does this mean I have to clean the house more often?”
Typically, yes. You might find yourself cleaning the house between each visit, or hiring someone to do it for you.
This brings up another option, which is longer-term guests. You can set your preferences for guests that want to stay a month or more at a time. Or, you can simply rent out locally to friends of friends, or advertise on sites like Craigslist. Long-term renters are ideal for people with busy lifestyles, who don’t want to hire a cleaner, in places where travelers are less frequent, and who like to make meaningful connections with their guests.
“Can I still make meaningful connections with guests traveling through?”
Of course! This will depend on the guest and their preferences, but if the shoe fits you will know right away! Some short-term guests can even turn into long-term guests this way if the hospitality is inviting enough.
“What if the guest doesn’t like me or my home?”
It’s not uncommon to receive a bad review based on personal preference, and sometimes there is nothing we can do to change their mind! It’s a lesson in learning to emphasize on the things you can control, and let go of the things you can’t.
On most renting platforms, hosts can dispute or respond to reviews, letting future guests know that this doesn’t shape the experience for everyone.
On the topic of hospitality and making the experience unforgettable for your guests, analyzing your home and what you’re willing to offer, will earn you great reviews, returning guests and referred guests.
Like renters, hosts also get reviewed and scored on things like cleanliness, amenities, communication, and so on. If you can familiarize yourself with these and find ways to excel, you will ensure a positive experience.
Whichever route you decide to go, just know that there are options to creating an income off your assets now, rather than later. Life is really what you make it, so make it worth it!