You don’t have to own a mansion or live in a flashy pad located in a tourist hotspot to make money on your house. Yes, there are travelers who only prefer luxury accommodations but there is a market for every budget. You might even find travelers willing to sleep on a pull-out couch! Whether you are looking to make extra income or even planning to use your house to make ends meet; the following ideas can come in handy to make your house work for you.
1. Start with some important decisions
There are several factors to consider when you want to make some serious cash on your house or empty room. Some hosts, for example, might not mind living in the same house as their guest travelers. This can be a bit difficult in the beginning considering that not all guests are nice. Having said so, most experienced hosts report that 90% of the house guests are quite nice and accommodating. So start off with some important decisions:
- Do you prefer long term or short term letting?
- Will you be letting the entire empty house or just one room?
- Perhaps you prefer letting out your shed- a great way to make money on your backyard.
- How much money can you set aside for basic renovations?
Accordingly, you need to take the next steps.
2. Understand different types of listings
Before you go on to list your property on top listing sites, understand that there are different types of listings such as:
- Private apartment/studio-Your guests won’t be sharing with you or anyone else.
- Single bedroom/empty room– Your guests might share the kitchen or common bathroom/toilet with you or other guests
- Shared space– Your guests won’t get a spare or empty room. You only offer a blow-up mattress in your living room.
3. Picture the ideal type of guest you want
This is an important step when deciding ways to make money on your house. Visualize and do your research-think carefully whether you want your property to be let out to families, students or just tourists. You must also consider the property itself and the kind of guests it would attract. This is very important if you want to make money in your backyard.
4. Find out niches travelers seek
Before looking out for dominant listing websites, you need to do basic research and find out the niche platforms which travelers to your area seek. For example, are there more students there? Could you list your home as a corporate property for offices? Perhaps you could list it for disabled travelers, gay/lesbians, or foreign exchange students. In any case, you will get to meet many interesting people in the process.
5. Make some upfront investment
- Upgrade the bed. Add quality sheets and linen.
- Add a TV, preferably wall mounted
- Replace the linen with quality towels etc.
- If possible, add a mini refrigerator in the room. Give a kettle for travelers to make their own tea. In case they are not sharing your kitchen, you could provide a microwave, a cooking/induction stove top, some basic utensils and a sink etc.
- Add a wall paper or pain the house or spare room. This is an essential way to make money with an empty room.
Check out my article on easy ways to make your home look expensive.
6. List your property
Partner up with hosting platforms like VacationRentals.com, AirBnB, Housetrip and so on. Booking.com will give you the greatest visibility but there is a downside to it in that; you might not be able to filter out the kind of guests who apply to stay with you. So this option is suitable for hosts who want to make money with an empty home. Fees vary from site to site so most sites like Bookings.com are free for travelers and make their money from hosts. Stay alert to fee changes and also keep an eye out for new listing websites as they emerge.
7. Set a rate
To set a rate, you again need to research the market rates. Find out how much other accommodations charge. Get an idea about luxury hotel room rates. Make sure the rate matches the experience you are offering.
8. Try and get some reviews for the property
Once you have listed your property, you may have to wait for a while before getting your first booking. This can be difficult for houses that have no ratings and reviews. There are some sites that offer ‘instant booking feature’. This has the downside to it that you cannot check out the guests who book. But at least it will give you the initial reviews you are looking for. The good news is that 75% of house guests will leave a review on the listing sites and 90% are likely to be positive.
9. Tweak your listing from time to time
What are travelers searching for? Could you lower the rate a bit? (This is actually not recommended since we assume you have done your homework and set the rates accordingly). Perhaps you could add more photos? Be upfront that you are a new listing.
10. Prepare yourself for hurdles
Once you start getting guests, you are likely to face some hurdles. You might have to spend a lot of time and money on the upkeep of the property. Be prepared to deal with spills, stains, broken gadgets and complaints about lack of amenities and so on. Your confidence could take a hit due to this but you must remain polite. This way, guests will leave you a five star rating which will help you get more bookings. This is an essential part of making money from a spare room or an empty house. Be especially wary of guests with kids. Unsupervised kids can create havoc. Many families with children tend to make unruly demands such as using the laundry to do ton of washing or cooking meals in your kitchen even if your booking listing do not mention those amenities. So be careful what you draw up in the booking contract to avoid these issues. You are even likely to have guests who won’t mind using your entire home even though you have listed only a single room.
11. List another room
Once you have overcome all initial hurdles and hiccups, you could now set sight on listing another spare room, the shed or even the entire house, as possible. Try and offer it at a lower price especially if the extra room does not have a separate bathroom. This will help you make even more money on your house.
12. Board pets
Find human guests too much to handle? Love animals? Don’t mind walking dogs or cleaning up cat litter? Then offer your house to board pets instead of people. You will need to take care of things like having an emergency vet nearby and some assistants to clean, prepare food and walk the pets. It will help if you have prior experience with animals.
13. Let your home out for wedding couples or film companies
This is a great option to make money on your home if you live in a scenic location. Bride and grooms want scenic properties to shoot their albums. Likewise, film companies may want to shoot at the site. Here is a site to list your property for filming. This option will make you a lot of money and you can choose the days/months when you want to let the house.
14. Simply rent out parking space/backyard
This is a great option to make money on your backyard when you do not want to give away an empty room or the entire house. Perhaps you live near a stadium where there is no parking. Or you are lucky enough to live in a city hosting some important event. People will gladly pay good money to park their vehicles safely. If your yard is big enough, offer it as a camping ground for RVs and campers. Provide basic amenities like toilets, backyard grilling stations, etc and you can make even more money!
These are just some basic ideas to make money on your house. We are sure these will help you come up with your own ways to utilize your property in a lucrative way!