Summer means warm weather, relaxation and vacation. For those with second homes, it also offers an opportunity to cash in on your property by renting it out. But before you throw your spot up on Airbnb or VRBO, consider the following:
Are you willing to be on call 24/7? As a property owner, you’ll need to make timely repairs and take care of renter issues as they happen or risk a thrashing on social media. If you can't be on call or you're not located nearby, you should hire a property manager who responds to renter's needs in a timely fashion.
Are you familiar with the laws governing rental properties? It is important to know federal, state and local housing laws, as well as relevant tax codes related to investment properties. It might be a good idea to talk to a real estate agent, attorney and financial advisor or accountant before jumping in, as well as your insurance agent. Most homeowner policies don’t cover damages or liability issues resulting from renting your home out for commercial purposes, but some rental websites do offer insurance.
Is renting a smart financial move? Do you know how it will affect your taxes? Do you know how much you can charge for your rental and how much you will spend on cleaning, maintenance, rental insurance, renter damage and other expenses? Do you know how much you can charge and if what you will make will cover your expenses?
Is my home rental ready? Does it need renovations? Is everything in proper working order? Do you have professional photography to use for listings?
Vacation homeowners can choose to worry about all of the above on top of all that they already have on their plate from their very busy lives. Alternatively, they can choose to leave the work of maintaining and marketing their home to the professionals in order to make more money and save themselves time in the process. A new Kelton survey found that 67 percent of vacation homeowners who have rented their home both on their own and through a professional rental management company indicate they get more bookings using the professionals.