For the lucky new homeowners, or the second homeowners interested in riding the Airbnb wave. Check out a few of our tips on how to rental proof your home. If you plan on renting out your place more than 50% of the time, these tips are made for you.
You may not like the look of labels, but I promise you your guests will. Invest in a label maker already! If you have a large kitchen labeling the important cabinets, drawers, etc. (i.e. trash, wine glasses, spices) will help your guests out tremendously.
If you aren't into sticking labels on things, you can also consider small chalk boards. We kept a chalkboard near the front door that reminds our guests of the door code and to not forget their parking pass!
Other things to consider labeling: your supply closet, light and fireplace switches, and remote controls.
2. Check In Instructions + Welcome Doc
A few days prior to our guests travel, we always provide them with instructions for checking in. Do not copy and paste paragraphs of instructions to your guests via Airbnb. Instead, think about creating a one-page Google doc and a simple bit.ly or goo.gl link they may save or remember (i.e. bit.ly/yourmountainhome). We always include the following:
- Full address with unit number, and door or lockbox code
- Pictures if the building or parking is hard to find
- Check in and check out times
- Contact numbers
We also print a version of this document to place inside the unit and also include information on:
- Facilities and amenities
- Getting around
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner recommendations
- Coffee spots and happy hour suggestions
- House rules and instructions for checking out
Stock your unit with necessities, but do not go overboard. Your guests do not need three different sizes of cutlery, or three different kinds of coffee mugs. Think IKEA. Your guests will most likely cause a bigger mess with more things (ahem, like putting all your pots and pans back in the wrong cabinets). Match your dishes, glassware, towels, etc. Provide one pot and pan of each size. Organize your spices. It will leave a good impression and provide a better experience for your guests.
4. Sheets, blankets, and towels - oh my!
We are asked frequently about how many towels, sheets, and what kind of blankets to stock in rental units. We recommend a minimum of two sets of sheets per bed. For towels, we recommend doubling your max occupancy and adding 5 (i.e. 10 people can sleep in your unit, buy 25 towels). Only put out as many linens and towels as your group will need, and store the rest in the owners closet or with your cleaning crew. The more you leave out, the more your guests will use.
Also, buy these items to avoid any hiccups:
- Duvet covers for your comforters (keep a few extra in stock in case there's a spill or a stain).
- Mattress protectors for all of your beds. Believe us, an accident will happen.
- Oven liners for the guests that forget about the cheese dripping over the pan in your oven.
And finally, do not stock your bedroom with items that will not be washed every turn (fleece blankets, quilts). They collect hair and dust and are hard to wash. Stick with the duvet covers on your comforters. If you want a throw blanket, just make sure you stock a few incase your cleaning service notices it getting dirty.
5. Gadgets, gifts, and toiletries.
A welcome gift can go a long way. Up here in the Rocky Mountains we like to include a bottle of water, a small can of oxygen, and chocolate or a snack bar in our welcome gifts.
A few gadgets we like:
- Our guests really enjoy the Chromecast (just $35), giving them the ability to watch anything they can stream on their laptop. This also helps as a backup when the Cable goes out.
- Smart home devices such as Nest, the Google Router, and Keyless Door Locks, and Nexia make renting and monitoring your home much easier.
And a few extra items your guests will thank you for stocking:
- Hand and bath soaps (+ possibly lotion or sunscreen)
- Makeup removal clothes (you will want these to preserve your white towels!)
- Coffee supplies and equipment (coffee beans, cream, sugar)
- Q-tips, cotton pads
Best of luck renting! And if you're in Breckenridge and need help, let us know :)