Tips for Renting Your Vacation Home

There's no good reason to let your vacation home sit empty when you aren't using it. Instead, let it make you money so you can get a return on your investment right away. The following tips can help you successfully rent your vacation home with as few issues as possible.

Avoid valuables

Everything in the rental should be for guest use. This means that no unlocked portion of the rental should contain any items that you will miss greatly or be unable to easily replace in the event they turn up missing or get broken. This includes everything from the dishes in the cupboard and the linens on the beds, to the art on the walls. Many vacation home owners have an onsite storage closet or garage that is locked against guests where they can keep a few luxury items for when they are staying at the property.

Always get a deposit

Never rent without a deposit, or you will likely end up with no-shows. This means you will not be bringing the income you were counting on, which can be a major issue if you depend upon the vacation rental amount to pay the mortgage or upkeep on the home. A deposit discourages guests from canceling for any but the most dire of emergencies.

Implement a key system

The days of mailing a key to a guest are long over. The simplest method is to have a lockbox on site that the guest is given the access code for so that they can retrieve the key. An even better method is to use a keyless entry system. This way you can remotely reset the entry code after each guest, thus making it impossible for them to copy a key or try to gain access to the home outside of their rental period.

Book with care

Booking can be the most difficult thing to do, especially if you don't live near the rental. You may want to work with a real estate broker or booking agency in the area of the vacation home to make this easier. They will inspect the property before and after each guest, interview guests, and make sure that they fill out all check-in paperwork. Many of these agencies even use their own contracts, which helps ensure that you are legally covered should anything go awry.

Talk to a real estate broker that deals with vacation rentals for more help.