In this article we are going to talk a little bit more about what you should think about before renting out your property. We are going to talk about how you make your house more rent-able as well as about how to avoid problems.
Who is the intended renter?
The first thing you should do is to sit down and decide which your target renter is. No property can be everything to everyone. It is better to try to target a certain type of renter and then optimize the experience you can offer that group of renters. The type of renter you target will affect what type of furniture you should use etc since different types of renters is expecting different standards of living. Different type of renters will also be willing to pay different prices.
It is easy to get tempted to try to get high end renters to rent your house. This is however not always the best option. It all depends on the location of the property as well its current standard. A property in a less then ideal location might not be able to attract high end renters even if you furnish it appropriately. It might be more profitable to make it a budget rental since this might allow you to attract a lot more renters and keep a higher occupancy rate.
Another reason that it might be better to target a budget audience is that you have the spend less money on renovations and furniture. If you want to earn top dollars then you need to make sure that the property is in excellent conditions with high end furniture. This is not the case for budget renters. Calculate how much you would have to spend to reach a high end standard and then decide if your earnings will increase enough to justify the investment or not.
Preparing the house
Once you have decided on the type of renter you are going to target with your rental you can start preparing the house for renters. Go through every room and see if anything needs to be fixed. Make sure that the paint job looks good and that all water and electrics work. Regardless of what type of renter you target. If you want to target a high end renter you might have to make renovations to make sure that every thing keeps an adequate standard. Pay special attention to the kitchen and the bathrooms. They need to look immaculate if you want to attract high end renters.
Make sure that your house is adequately furnished. There need to be places to sit, eat, sleep and work. NEVER use plastic furniture. It does not matter if it is cheap and easy to clean. It will lose you renters and wood furniture is worth their higher price since they will last a lot longer. Plastic furniture breaks and can injure your renters.
TV & Internet
Whether your house need to feature TV or not depends on where your house is located and what type of renter you are targetting. TV is seldom needed if you offer budget housing. In that case it is often an unnecessary cost. In a high end property most clients expect there to be cabel tv. This is especially true for properties in urban areas.
Internet should always be available in all rentals. There are many renters who need internet to be able to work and there will be a lot fewer potential renters out there if you do not offer internet. I never stay in a rental that do not offer Internet and I do not know anyone else that does either.
Yes, Hot water is a necessity in all properties. It is all to common that I see houses where the owner have tried to save money by not offering any hot water. This is not acceptable when you offer a house in Italy. It might be hot when you were here put it can get very cold in Italy (yes all of it) and no one wants to take a cold shower when it is cold.
Always install a centralized water heather. Do not use the heathers that you install directly in the shower. These can be very dangerous and cause numerous death each year through electrification. If you are unable to install a centralized header then you should install an electric heater under the sink in each bathroom. This allows you to offer hot water in a safe way without having to run new pipes throughout your house.
Hiring a manager
If you do not live near the rental then you will need to hire a rental manager that handles the day to day operations of the house. The rental manager will charge you a percentage but is well worth their price since they often have a lot of regular clients that they can rent the house to and can help you get a higher occupancy rate then you otherwise would get. This is especially true on popular tourist destinations. I recommend always using a rental manager when renting your house in Italy.
The rental manager can also help you decide the right rental price for your house
It is possible to rent the house yourself if you got a friend in the area that can receive the renters for you. You should know that the rental manager does a lot of work. Work that your friend will have to do if he receives the guests. He will not only have to make sure to give out and collect keys but he will also have to make sure that the house is clean when guests come and that it has all essentials. There are at least a couple of hours work associated with each and every guest that arrives. Your friend might be happy to do this for you at times. But most people get tired of it in the long run and I therefore believe it is better to hire an agent.