Renting out your home? How to get better reviews
Sites like Air BnB and OwnersDirect make it really easy to generate an income by renting out your home when you are away; but ratings count so it is worth the effort to make your home welcoming to get the best reviews you can.
Welcome Your Guests
If you can’t be there to greet them in person then the next best thing is to leave them a present. A welcome pack with tea, coffee, milk and biscuits is always going to make your guests feel like they’ve arrived at a home from home. Leaving other kitchen essentials such as salt and pepper is also a nice idea.
Remove Your Stuff
Nothing screams borrowed house more than opening a wardrobe to find it full of someone else’s clothes. One solution when you’re renting out your home is to move everything into the garage or a bedroom, lock it and exclude that from the hire but this can be a turn off for some guests. A more secure and professional option is to hire a cheap self-storage unit and move as much of your personal possessions as you can into storage.
It’s your house so how it works may simple obvious to you but your guests aren’t familiar with its quirks. In addition to leaving manufacturers manuals for all the appliances it can be helpful to leave a few hints and tips such as how to adjust the thermostat on the heating or how to keep the bedroom cool in summer. A sort of instruction manual for the house itself.
Space to Move Around
Don’t allow your rooms to be over-furnished. Swap items around or even send some of them away to a storage unit to create more space in the house. Remember, especially in bedrooms, your guests will need somewhere to store their luggage so will appreciate a suitcase space even if that means a slightly smaller wardrobe. Whilst you’re looking at the furniture remember that not everyone has the same taste so unusual or garish items might be best sent away too.
Think About Art
Not everyone wants a battle scene in the bedroom or a nude above the mantelpiece. If you’re not sure whether a piece of art work could be a problem it’s probably best if you take it down and replace it with a cheap landscape or still life from a charity shop. Similarly think about any sculptures and ornaments you have – that amusing troll from the office Secret Santa last year probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!
Keep in Contact
Finally, make sure your guests have a phone number (or email address if you include Wi-Fi access in the rental) they can contact you or your representative on. If you are abroad in another time zone make sure to let them know when you’ll answer promptly and when you’re likely to be asleep! Responding to queries quickly and politely gives your guests a really good impression of you and makes them far more likely to give you that 5-star review.