Top tips from an Airbnb Superhost on renting out your space
Sarah Kerr is a Cape Town based marketing manager who makes the most of her property investment by using Airbnb to rent out the extra bedroom in her lovely apartment.
She’s had so much success using the platform that she now consults and assists other property owners looking to rent out their spaces. She shares her top tips for renting out your space:
‘This is critical! If your space is small, simple, cosy, and in a fantastic location make sure people interested in viewing your space are aware of this. In this case, you need to sell the great location instead of the size or luxury of your space.’
Take good photos
‘Use great photos that highlight the best parts of your space when advertising. Include photos of the views from your space, the most comfortable rooms in your space, and any quirky decor pieces that highlight your personality and that of the space and show these off.’
Highlight the benefits of your space
‘Sometimes we’re oblivious to some of the best parts about the space we live in. Ask family and friends why they think someone would love to share your space. Maybe it’s because it’s very quiet and you can hear the birds in the morning, or it’s walking distance to a supermarket or great takeaway place, or maybe because you have a Nespresso machine or Nutribullet that you’re happy to share with guests…’
Set a competitive price
‘Do your research on what the going rate is for the area you’re in and the size and type of space you have to offer. Understand how this varies if you have 24-hour security, safe parking, a pool, and any extras like wifi or cleaning services.’
Internet is more important than TV
‘Unlimited wifi and/or a good internet connection is way more important than having a TV because these days everyone has a smart phone, tablet, or laptop, making unlimited wifi much more desirable than a TV.’
Make viewings pleasant
‘Make your space extra welcoming when people come to see it. Have fresh flowers in the lounge, de-clutter, make coffee. There’s something about the smell of coffee that makes a space seem more welcoming and homely.’
‘Sharing your furnished home is a big deal and you want to choose someone who you’re compatible with. Depending on how the initial viewing went and if both parties are keen to move ahead, I recommend setting up a chemistry meet-up. At this stage, both sides are interested in sharing the space and meeting a second time gives them the chance to get to know each other better before making the move-in official.’
Request references and a deposit
‘This is common practise and just a sensible thing to do. Speaking to someone who’s lived with this tenant before, or even been their landlord will give you peace of mind.
A deposit of one to two months’ rent is advisable; this will protect you if there’s any damage or any reason why rent can’t be paid.’
Draw up a contract
‘It’s boring but necessary! Have a contract that states simple things such as when rent is due and basic rules regarding pets and smoking. This protects both parties.’
Communication is key
‘Your expectation of a clean house could be very different to someone else’s. Either set up a schedule of cleaning tasks and who’s responsible, or hire a cleaning service that comes once a week and split the costs of this. This way, all communal areas are cleaned thoroughly and regularly which will minimise arguments.
You should also agree upfront how you’ll manage bills, household cleaning products, and essentials so that both parties are on the same page about ‘the way we do things around here’.’
Feature: Candice Curtis