Marketplace platforms like Airbnb have endless practical advantages, but in our increasingly mobile, digital world, the one that stands out most is flexibility.
But we're not talking about the consumer experience (which of course amazingly flexible in its own right): Airbnb et. al property owners enjoy a wealth of perks that are often overlooked.
Musings go along the lines of 'why would I want the hassle of renting out a spare room or an extra property in the short-term?' or 'do the benefits really outweigh the nuisance and risk?' are both common and reasonable. The truth is, there are myriad reasons to get into the rental marketplace business and we won't be getting into all of them (check out this article on 10 Reasons Why Airbnb Should Be Your Next Side Hustle if you need some more convincing).
What we do want to talk about is:
1. The freedom renting out your space gives you and,
2. Why going away and travelling for weeks may be the best thing to do if you want some extra cash.
Let's think about the word 'freedom'. What does freedom feel like and look like to you?
For the majority of mere mortals, freedom is simply the ability to be independent, spontaneous and exempt from top-down, outside control. It can sure feel tough to feel free when you're tied down to a 9 to 5 job, have bills to pay and a not-so-free life to get on with. But if you're lucky enough to own your own property, you can ease these constraints by renting it out, taking a break, and seeing the world.
Rentalpreneurship isn't as scary as you might think. To begin with, you need a couple of things to get you started:
1. Get an idea of how much your property is worth. Eliot and Me offer a very useful AI-powered calculator for guesstimating how much you can list your property for.
2. Do some basic maths. If your property value in your area is low and you want to travel to an expensive city like New York, you're unlikely to earn enough to sustain your travels. If, however, you own a place in the city and want to venture off to Southeast Asia, you're in luck!
3. Find a trusted friend who can manage your property while you're away (there are professional companies that can do this for you, but beware of their charges). Still, it is helpful to automate as much of the process as you can: hide-a-keys and e-mail communications are far more efficient and time-saving than hand-holding your guests through the entire check-in and check-out process.
3. Take a couple of well-lit, flattering photos of your abode. You needn't be a professional to do this - just make sure your house is tidy (!!) and don't take photos in artificial lighting. Bouquets and plants always help make your place look well-kept and luxurious.
4. Find a platform best suited for your rental listing. Airbnb is the go-to for most, but it's not your only option! VRBO, Outdoorsy and Trivago are a couple of alternatives to name a few.
5. Customise your property to your guests' needs. It's intimidating to think of all the costs involved in kitting out your apartment with all the essentials your travellers might need: if they're a businessman, they're likely to want a high-end coffee machine and steamer to keep their suits nice and neat. If it's a family, they'll be after a comfortable cot and a compact stroller. The possibilities are endless. Not only is it pricey to invest in every single piece of household item your guests may (or may not) need, it's nigh on impossible to find appropriate storage space for all that stuff. That's why you shouldn't be buying things but renting them instead through Rentuu.com. With deliveries and collections arranged easily online, you're set to be everyone's favourite, well-prepared host!
These are just a couple of ideas to kickstart your journey into renting out your property for extra cash. And always remember that at the core of entrepreneurship is the freedom to do what you want, when you want, and how you want.