The good news is that your home is likely pretty close to being rentable for income. Most homeowners only need to make a few small changes to be renter ready. The bad news is that many homeowners have no extra cash to start a vacation home rental budget. This article will cover how much money you should budget for when making your home into a vacation home rental, as well as how to earn the cash for those expenses. If you own a home, keep reading.
I want to let you in on a little secret… You only need one home to become a vacation rental host. Everyone seems to think you need more than one property to earn income from real estate. The crew over at the Homeowner Hustle E-Course have discovered how to convert your primary home into a revenue-generating asset. Intrigued? Most homeowners are just three steps away from welcoming their first paying guests. Hint: These steps should only take one month to complete.
Home-ownership is the American dream. Unfortunately, due to the economy, that dream is leaving many Americans in bad financial positions. Many homeowners at the present time are not saving for retirement, are upside down on their homes or are constantly behind on bills. Creating another income stream has the potential to change the struggle into success. In fact, the Homeowner Hustle system has worked so well that in one year homeowners have made over $40,000!
You don’t even need a vacation home rental budget to get started!
Step 1: Minimalism
Timeline: 2 weeks
Minimalism is not as scary as it sounds. The concept of minimalism doesn’t mean you have live in an all-white home with only a backpack’s worth of stuff. Advocates for minimalism say, “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment and freedom.” To put it another way, minimalism means living more purposefully.Before inviting renters into your home, you need to minimize your personal items. The average home has over 300,000 items inside. Items typically represent status, success or a sentimental memory. Your task will be to identify items you can purge for profits, donate to a good cause or (as a last resort) send to the landfill. Above all, remember that removing an item from your home does not mean you are removing the memory from your heart.
As you begin to touch every item in your house, you will be shocked how much garbage you let take up space. You will find things missing vital parts, expired food or coupons… not to mention broken items. It is likely you had the best of intentions keeping each item. However, keeping those items now is directly standing in your way of earning profit from your home.
You may find these four questions helpful when determining if you should keep an item:
1.) Have I used this item in the past year?
2.) Does this thing bring me joy?
3.) Is this objectsentimental?
4.) Will my next of kin see the value (monetary or sentimental) in this item when they are responsible for my home after I’m gone?
After you’ve touched every item in your home and determined its purpose, then you move on to step two.
Step 2: Garage Sale
Timeline: 1 week
In this step, you will be earning the cash to fund your vacation home rental budget. This will not be a typical garage sale. You will be having a four-figure garage sale. From the previous step, you determined all the items in your home that could be purged for profit. Having a profitable garage sale will require careful planning, organization and execution. By implementing these tricks, you will earn the money for your vacation home rental budget.
For maximum results you will concentrate equally on the three Ms of a successful garage sale:
Shoppers cannot buy what they cannot see. Bring every sellable item outside the day of your sale. Mark every item clearly with your ideal price. Don’t be unreasonable by pricing items too high. Your goal is to not bring a single item back inside the house after your garage sale is over. The labeled price is just a starting negotiation point so shoppers know if you are in the same ballpark before they begin asking about an item.
You absolutely must accept debit and credit cards as payment at your garage sale. Sign up for Square in order to accept payment directly on your smartphone. In this day and age, carrying cash is rare. Don’t miss out on potential sales just because a shopper didn’t stop at an ATM before heading out for their weekend drive. Accepting credit cards is especially important if you have larger-ticket items being offered for sale. An item such as furniture, exercise equipment, electronics or tools could sell for hundreds of dollars. Offering to put a large purchase on plastic diminishes the objections a shopper might have before purchasing a large-ticket item.
Signs leading drivers to your garage sale will be your number one traffic source. Do not get lazy making the signs! Splurge on the fat sharpie to make your signs easy to read. Buy only one color of posterboard and cut it in half to make all your signs uniform. Make sure every sign says, “Debit/Credit Accepted.” You don’t want a single car to drive by and think to themselves, “Dang, I would stop if I had cash.” Signs need to have overly large arrows pointing the direction of the sale. Don’t make the mistake of trying to put your address on the sign; nobody will be able to read it. The sign should say, “YARD SALE, SAT/SUN 10-2, ARROW, CREDIT/DEBIT ACCEPTED.”
Equally important to how your signs look is their placement. You should identify at least three semi-major roads to direct cars from. Look at a map and determine how many signs you will need to make. Typically you will end up needing 30-40 signs for best results. Some of the major roads you are directing traffic from could be a ways away; that’s okay. Make sure if the driver needs to travel more than 3/4 of a mile on a straight road, you have a sign with a straight arrow letting them know they are on the right track. I’ve directed traffic from over four miles from my home.
In addition to traditional yard sale signs, you will want to advertise online. Advertise on Craigslist, Facebook and the top ten sites that show up whenyou search for ‘Garage Sale your city.’ Online listings should highlight desirable product categories you will be selling. Make sure you list if you will be selling children items, furniture, tools, electronics or antiques. Each category of items you list has its own client base. You will likely get a lot of messages asking if you have very specific things within each of those categories. Don’t bog yourself down with answering a ton of messages the week of your sale. Concentrate your efforts on pricing your items, ensuring each item is clean and finding additional items around your home to purge for profits.
Step 3: Vacation Home Rental Budget
Timeline: 1 week
Congratulations on your successful garage sale! Now you can take the money you earned and spend it on the absolute essentials. For less than $500 you can use your vacation home rental budget and make your front door renter ready. Making your front door easy for renters to access is about more than first impressions. Most vacation rental platforms ask renters to rate your check-in process. Having a seamless check-in process for visitors will make your home a traveler’s ideal lodging choice.
Spend the first $500 of your vacation home rental budget on these four items:
1.) Schlage Smart Lock – I personally have this lock, as shown in the photo above. Assign each renter a unique password to access your home. The unique code can be four to eight digits long. Renters appreciate if you make it their seven-digit phone number.
2.) Apple TV – The Schlage Smart Lock will work via Bluetooth connection to your phone. You can increase the convenience of your lock by linking it to your Apple TV HomeKit. Once linked, you can add, delete or modify entry codes from anywhere you have access to the internet.
3.) Master Lock Steel Box – Despite its best efforts, sometimes technology fails. Having a physical key available for backup is essential. This lockbox can be mounted to the exterior of your home. You would only provide the password to access the box in the event of a battery failure while your renters are using the property.
4.) Welcome Mat – First impressions are everything. With a seamless self-check-in process, you will likely never meet your renters in person. Having a colorful welcome mat brings a smile to travelers’ faces.
If your garage sale was a massive success, there are eight other items you could purchase with your vacation home rental budget. See all the shipping boxes in the photo above? That’s the day my eight other vacation home items arrived. The additional items will take your home to the next level of professionalism as a short-term rental. You will find the rest of your vacation home shopping guide in the Eleven Essentials Guide.
Your Home Is Now Ready!
If you have followed the three steps in this article, your home is ready to earn you an income. How much income do you want to earn in your first year?