Prepare your property for short term letting this summer

So you own an Apartment or House and you have made the decision to rent it out on a short term basis over the summer when potential returns are maximised. Use this checklist to make sure you are prepared for the rush!

If you own an apartment there are a few more steps that you need to go through to prepare yourself and your property so we will outline them first.

 

Things can get a little crazy during Sydney's incredible summertime.

If you own an apartment there are a few more steps that you need to go through to prepare yourself and your property so we will outline them first.

  • Ensure that all stakeholders are fully aware of what you plan to do with your apartment. This means letting your neighbours know that you will be doing short term rentals. Why you may ask? There are many reasons including having respect for their space, ensuring that they have your contact details if it’s not working so that you can find a solution and if you are lucky and have great neighbours they will be nice to your guests and help them out when they can.

Additionally you should check Strata by laws and consult any relevant body corporate officers to ensure that you are not breaking the rules of your building.

  • Work out how you will handle key change overs. Every apartment block is different. So you will have to find a way to exchange keys with your potential guests. You may live close by and be able to do they key exchange in person, giving that personal touch to your guests stay. However this is not always possible, especially when guests are arriving late at night or very early in the morning.

You can look at lockboxes and various keyless entry systems but you will need to find a specific solution to your building.

If you own a freestanding house these two hurdles stated above are easily solved.

Ok so everyone is happy and you’re going ahead.

Next you need to create your listings.

To keep things simple at the start we suggest to use one short term booking platform. We’ve had the most success with www.airbnb.com

Sell your place on what you love the most about living there. Is it the location, the funky decor, proximity to transport or the Beach? Every place is unique so try to convey that in your listing.

Next you will need photos. It’s fine to just use photos from your phone to get started, having something is better than nothing. However you will want them replaced with professional photos as soon as possible. Airbnb offer a free professional photo service so don’t hesitate to utilise that. However it’s not always available. If that’s the case consider posting a job on websites such as www.airtasker.com or simply asking a friend with a good camera to take some snaps for you.


The next step can be quite involved if you don’t already have a furnished house. Here is a short list of the basics you will need to have a furnished house. We can assist with the purchasing and installation of all below items if you need that service, contact us for a quote. 

Bathroom

  • Hair dryer

  • Toilet brush

  • Small bin

Laundry (If applicable)

  • Washing machine

  • Delicates bag

  • Dryer (optional, however preferred)

  • Clothes horse

  • Ironing board and iron

  • Vacuum cleaner

  • Mop and bucket

Kitchen

  • Cutlery (minimum for the amount of people your place will host. Eg if you can host 10 a minimum of 10 cups is needed. Same goes for Crockery and Glassware)

  • Crockery

  • Glassware

  • Cooking utensils (min. spatula, wooden spoon, tongs, mixing bowl, strainer, serving spoons, can opener, bottle opener, chopping board, knife set)

  • Frypan and pots

  • Toaster, electric kettle, coffee plunger or stove top cafeteria

  • Fridge / freezer

  • Microwave

Lounge/Dining

  • Suitable seated meals area

  • Lounge large enough for maximum guest capacity

  • Coffee table

  • TV suitable for Netflix via apple TV (Optional)

  • TV cabinet (Optional)

  • Artwork and or Hardy pot plants (succulents and palms are great options)

  • Lamps

  • Internet modem and subscription

Bedrooms

  • Bed with frame or ensemble

  • Pillows

  • Pillow and mattress protectors

  • Bedside tables with lamps (and extension cords if needed)

  • Coat hangers (min. 8 per bedroom)

  • Chest of drawers (either built-in or external)

  • Artwork and or Hardy pot plants

  • Linen and towels. (You will need at least 3 sets of each)

 

Make a house manual

You should create a house manual that outlines how to do things in your house. It will save you a lot of time down the road when dealing with guests. Do not take for granted how something simple things like turning on a TV or using a Dishwasher can be a real challenge for some people.


Additionally you should provide recommendations for your local area, cafes and restaurants you like. Parks or Beaches that are good to go to and where things like supermarkets and laundromats are. You should also provide your contact information and Wifi details.

Ok great! So you have a fully furnished house and you're ready to start accepting bookings.

 

Now the fun begins!!

Get ready to be asked lots of questions by your guests. Especially when your listing is new. Even though most information is either in your listing or freely available you will have guests asking all kinds of things and they need to be re-assured to complete their booking or be happy with their stay. It's very important that you try to provide your guests with good and quick answers. 

Make sure that you have the time to respond to all enquiries within 1 day. If you don’t do this you will lose bookings due to poor response time.

Try to greet your guests when they arrive, at least for the first few times so that you can show them around and answer their questions. Additionally they might ask for something or point something out that you didn’t think of.

Being a Host can be a very rewarding Job. You will get to meet people from all over the world (The good and bad kind) We have made some very good friends out of short term letting but have also been burdened by extremely rude, needy and disgusting guests. It seems to balance out evenly. 

If all of this sounds like far to much for you and you would rather someone else do it while you sit back and enjoy the generated income, please contact us for more information and an obligation free consultation. 

Joel Cacciotti