We had heard from a few friends that Airbnb was something we should try–Renting your home on a short term basis to make a little extra cash. I wasn’t so sure about having strangers stay in our home, but once I realized just how much money we could make–essentially it would pay for our trip–the entrepreneur in me couldn’t pass it up!
I spent two months completely clearing our home of anything we didn’t need. We put away personal pictures, refreshed the paint that had taken a beating from four kids, and did a few updates to the house that we had wanted to do anyway. We made the home feel like a rental by closing off two rooms that held our personal items. A few weeks before our trip, we secured the appropriate permit and we listed the home on Airbnb and HomeAway/VRBO. We almost instantly had bookings!
We have now been renting our home for almost a year and every experience has been great! During the school year, we just rent our home on the weekends. We try to keep the house tidy throughout the week (let’s be honest, we have 4 kids so we just do our best,) so it’s easy to turn over on the weekend. I wash the bedding and towels so they are ready for the renters and before we leave the home for the weekend we clean out the fridge, clean and put away all dishes and lock away personal items in the two bedrooms that we don’t rent.
I hire a cleaner to come in after we leave and mop, vacuum, wipe surfaces, and clean the bathrooms and bedrooms. I have tried to do that part myself before, but I find that it’s really time consuming and easier to just charge the renter the cleaning fee and pay a professional!