Do you use your vacation home all summer long or only occasionally? If you’re like many, your second home sits idle a lot of the time, and you may be thinking it’s a good idea to let it help pay for itself by listing it on sites such as Airbnb or VRBO. If so, there are a few things that you may want to consider that’ll keep your rental home from becoming a money pit rather than a money maker.
First and foremost is to consider how your home is furnished. If you’re going to have strangers coming into your rental home on a regular basis, you most likely do not want to furnish it with pieces that you really love and care about, as no one is going to treat those possessions with the same love and care that you do. Accidents happen. Things get spilled. People throw parties even though the rental agreement tells them not to. They bring pets along when they are not supposed to. The list goes on and on. Your rental home is not the place to have family heirlooms.
So, your first thought may be to buy the cheapest things you can find at IKEA or Ashley Furniture to put into your rental home. However, this can become a very costly move. While great for a dorm room, these pieces aren’t designed to take the wear and tear of rugged use typical in a rental home. You may find yourself constantly having to replace pieces as they get broken or wear out in under a year. Our recommendation is to look instead of making an investment in hospitality-grade furnishings.
Hospitality-grade furnishings are designed to take the abuse that guests in hotels and restaurants put the furnishings through. The pieces designed and manufactured for this industry, even the value-priced pieces will withstand what renters throw at it much better than either IKEA or heirloom pieces will do. They’re designed to be cleaned regularly and do not get damaged easily by soda cans or hot plates.
Hospitality-grade furnishings also come in a wide variety of styles and price points and one can find pieces to furnish your home in whatever your personal tastes dictate. While designed for hotels and the like, they’re available in pieces that will definitely make your home feel like a home. They’ll provide comfort to both you when you’re visiting as well as your guests that are renting from you when you are not. They will provide comfort for both the 400-pound man as well as the tiny 40-pound grandchild. Lesser furnishings simply cannot do this.
So, before venturing down the road of becoming a VRBO owner, step back and think about how you’re going to protect your investment yet still provide a great experience for every guest that steps across the threshold.