While we normally recommend that you rent your property out to long term tenants who want a home for a year or longer, we understand that short term rentals also provide a unique opportunity for investment property owners. British Columbia is a beautiful place to visit, and you’ll likely have a steady flow of people interested in renting your home.
If you’re thinking about using your property for part of the year and renting it out to short term visitors and tourists for the rest of the year, you need to be prepared legally and logistically. We’re sharing a few tips based on what we’ve learned about Airbnb and other short term rental sites.
Make Sure You are Zoned Correctly
First, make sure your property is in an area that allows and supports Airbnb rentals and short term tenants. Only some buildings have the zoning to allow this, and you can get into a lot of trouble with illegal short term rentals. If you have a single-family home or a condo in an HOA community, there might also be restrictions on what you can do with short term rentals.
We are following these laws closely, and we can show you which ones are permitted to have Airbnb tenants. Contact us to find out if your property is eligible.
Know Where to Advertise Your Property
Short term rentals year-round can be effective when you use sites like Airbnb and Booking.com. If you can rent out your property for the short term, you’ll be able to charge more per night, per week, or per month than you would with a long term rental. So, even though you won’t have the stability of a long term tenant, and you’ll have periods of vacancy where no money is coming in, if you can rent your place out to tenants looking for short term rentals for eight months of the year, you probably won’t lose much money in the long run. Put your property on all of the popular short term sites so you can attract a wide pool of potential renters.
Marketing is More Important with Short Term Rentals
When you’re competing with luxury hotels and other Airbnb properties, you need to really pay attention to your marketing efforts. Make sure you’re properly staging your home. Have professional photographs taken and write an ad that’s accurate, detailed, and engaging. People renting short term homes are looking for comfortable and modern furniture, well-appointed kitchens, clean bathrooms, and little amenities like high quality linens and Wi-Fi. You have to be competitive.
Online Reputation and Reviews
You won’t be very successful renting out an Airbnb property if you don’t get positive reviews from the guests who have stayed in your property. Make sure you actively solicit reviews from guests and be sure to include them in all of your property marketing. Your property needs to have a good reputation and you need to provide 5-star service if you want to make any money renting out your property for the short term.
If we can help you use Airbnb and sites like it to attract short term tenants to your rental home, please contact us at Vantage West Property Management.