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Forget leaving your home empty when you're away – renting it out to holidaymakers can not only cover your own travel costs but allows you to give fellow travellers the gift of a truly local experience in your 'hood.
However, anyone who's rented out a holiday home will know that not all rentals are created equal and the owners who go the extra mile can really add to holidaymakers' experiences (and quality of review).
Here's how to make renting out your home easy on you and a fabulous experience for your guests to the bookings keep coming.
1. Declutter before you start
The first few times you rent out your home can be a bit of work, packing things away and making sure everything is in shipshape. But if you can do some clearing out to create empty cupboards and shelves, you'll save yourself effort down the track.
"We became really seamless in the way we lived because if you have clutter, it's a lot more work to clear it out when people are coming," says Sydneysider Leda Ross, who has spent years regularly renting out her home for extra income.
That said, Ross put locks on some cupboards so she can easily store treasured or private possessions, while leaving others empty for guests to use.
"You want to leave your place looking like nobody lives there because that can be a really weird feeling for guests," she says.
2. Add little extras
Whether it's pantry staples, mini toiletries or books and magazines, you can improve your guests' experience with some attention to detail.
"I focus on the minute details to make sure everything is absolutely perfect," says Ross.
"The sheets are always fresh and I leave tea and fresh bread on the counter and milk in the fridge. I've also laminated welcome sheets with my favourite cafes and local haunts, which guests love because you're getting insider tips from locals, not just from Google."
3. Call in the professionals
As much as it might seem like a money-saver to clean your home yourself after your guests leave, Ross says hiring a cleaner makes for a more effective house-renting experience.
"When I first started renting out my place, I did all the cleaning but it became too much work," she explains.
"You can actually rent it out far more frequently if you delegate the cleaning because it's less stressful and more enjoyable. You know your guests are arriving to a perfectly clean place and you come home to one as well, where it feels like no one has been there."
4. Make your listing stand out
Whether it's your proximity to the beach, your impeccable home styling or the pool table on offer, consider what makes your home stand out and put it at the top of your advertisement to reel holiday researchers in.
At the same time, quality photography can enhance the look of your place, so consider hiring a professional photographer to create some enticing imagery.
5. Prioritise comfort
A good night's sleep can really make a holiday experience, and while budget properties might get away with lower quality beds and linen, if you invest in a decent pillow-top mattress and Egyptian cotton sheets, your guests will thank you.
When it comes to the living space, a leather couch can remove the risk of off-putting upholstery stains, while dark carpets and floorboards keep things looking fresh underfoot.
Always keep in mind how much holidaymakers rely on past guests' reviews – a few little touches just might make all the difference to your booking volume.
Stayz powered by HomeAway technology, is a world leader in the holiday rental industry and provides everything you need to rent out your property for the first time. You'll gain access to an exclusive set of tools that enable you to optimise your pricing, bookings and communication, as well as receive educational materials on how to market your rental to high-quality travellers. Stayz also provides homeowners $1M Liability Insurance cover for bookings they accept on the platform.
Interested to see how much your home could make? Receive an instant estimate of your property's rental potential based on nearby comparable rentals here.