October 30, 2013

WHY renting out your house or vacation property? - 6 Reasons

Before asking  HOW to rent out a holiday home?, you may ask WHY renting out a holiday home? Why should I?

Maybe because you have calculated to pay the mortgage by letting your home for a certain time of the year? (Maybe a shady real estate agent even guaranteed you a certain rental income?) Actually, this is a very a good reason to let your home! Getting an extra income is probably the reason number 1 for most owners. Some successful business have even started that way (see "airbed and breakfast", airbnb!).

But maybe it is not the mortgage (or rent), maybe it is the annual maintenance fee, or repair and renovation cost that can be covered by renting out a holiday home.

Or maybe you simply do not want your holiday home to be empty for the rest of the year while you are away. Maybe you want the water running through the tubes and windows opened from time to time? Someone who rents your place during winter will probably heat it and humidity stays outside? Maybe you are lucky, and have good guests who are kind of looking after your property it in a certain way, and give you feed-back about things that stopped working?

Do you know that some house owners even pay people to live in their homes while they are away? These "guests" are employed as housekeeper or guards; they have to water the garden, empty the mail box, look after the property like an owner would do. They are hired to make the house look 'alive'.

Illumination at night, even in our residence!

And that is my main argument to rent out our guest residence. (Not the entire palazzo. Not yet. Just part of it. Our residence, that has a separate entrance.) The house looks dark and lifeless, when we are away. Yes, it feels sad to see it that way, dark and empty. Even neighbours told me so. It is such a gem in the old part of town. It is such a pity that we can't be there all year round. (Not yet.) Hence I am feeling even happy to rent the seminterrato, our residence to people who choose to stay in an old palazzo, in a newly renovated apartment, carved into a rock, high above the sea... Those who contact me, have seen the pictures, have maybe visited this blog, they know what they get. It is not a modern house in a compound with hundreds of alike looking houses. It is not on the beach. It does not sleep a group of friends. - It is something unique. Guests know before arrival, that there are some stairs to walk. They know that they will have a stone ceiling and some antique furniture. The days of Internet make it easy to picture what you get before actually arriving. It helps to match the residence with the right guests! Finally the guests will liven the house up!

So this is my main reason. The house will have some lights on in the evening, it will look 'alive', and happy - with happy vacationer.

And on top of that happiness, as an owner, I have truly fun to rent the apartment! It is like a mini job. I did a bit of 'staging' (with lemons next to the sink and wine glasses on the table), took some nice photos, uploaded them to flickr, created a new website, checked out all the possible vacation rental agents' websites. We enjoyed shopping to complete the household, and we love decorating the walls with some local art (more to come!). Occasionally I provide flowers, wine, special soap or anything that will surprise my guests. Finally I wrote a manual and a little guidebook for our guests, ... and I am blogging about the whole story. A lot of creativity is involved, which I enjoy very much.

However the best point is, we are meeting interesting people from around the world through the Internet during the booking process and later on site! Sometimes, it even seems we are making new friends while sharing the same love for the location, the Southern lifestyle and the uniquness of our home. And at the end, it is so exciting and rewarding to get lovely reviews (see our guestbook)!

Further more, if you think about all what is involved, you are supporting the local economy by attracting guest to your home. They will shop in local stores, eat in local restaurants, drink in local bars. They will also pay (directly or indirectly) for the cleaning lady, for the airport transfer and maybe for a tourist guide. You might even provide work to locals who have not been working as housekeeper or taxi driver before.

Doesn't that all sound great and convincing?!

Website cover photo - what you see is what you get

Of course with renting out any property, you sooner or later will always come across some unpleasant issues. Maybe you will encounter an unhappy customer, an overcharging cleaning woman, unpaid fees, or broken items. But I feel in the long run, positive experiences will always outweigh - otherwise the holiday letting market would not constantly grow.

So far, we are very happy how our holiday letting (with Holidaylettings) started! It goes so smooth, that we even have briefly considering renting the whole palazzo on a weekly basis - some day in the future. But we would have to find a way to store private belongings. And a big decluttering would be necessary (without loosing the personal touch!). Things would need to be in certain places, to be organised, maybe labelled, and a deep cleansing would take place after each stay ....  seems I just found another good reason!

Summarised for me the 5 main reasons to rent out our holiday home are:

1) Guests liven the holiday home up!
2) The letting is fun!
3) Meeting interesting people from around the world. 
4) In the long run it covers certain costs.
5) You support the local economy.
6) Keeps the home clean and organised. 

Have you made any good or bad experience by letting your holiday property? Do you have another good reason why renting out your home? Please share in a comment. I would love to hear from you!

If you are interested in letting your house or holiday home you might be interested in reading my post about HOW to rent out your home or vacation property.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous pictures, goodness don't know how I missed all your fall postings???
    The palazzo looks enchanting!