Did you know you can turn that spare bedroom in your house into some extra cash? With exciting concerts and The World Games 2022 coming up, demand will be higher than ever for places to stay in the Magic City. We chatted with property manager and AirBnb host, Patrick Hurd, for the best practices when setting up your listing.
1. Make sure it’s legal
So, you’ve decided to get started. We know, reading the fine print is pretty boring. But the most important step to renting out your space is making sure that you’re not breaking any laws.
Certain apartment buildings and jurisdictions in Birmingham have strict laws about short-term rentals:
- The City of Mountain Brook prohibits short-term rentals less than 30 days—read the full ordinance
- The City of Homewood prohibits short-term rentals less than 90 days in low density residential areas (single family homes, etc.)
“If you’re renting out an apartment the most important thing is being upfront with your landlord about what you’re planning on using the space for. Not doing so exposes yourself and the property to so many risks.”Patrick Hurd, Property Manager
It varies from complex to complex, but many apartments have terms in their lease restricting short-term rentals. Be sure to double-check your lease and talk to your landlord before listing your space. If the property is damaged by a visitor, you could be in really hot water and will probably pay for more than what you profit.
2. Market your space
Now that the legalities are behind us, let’s get into the fun stuff. When it comes to listing your space, do some research on rental websites—and you can totally list on more than one. Just make sure you block out unique dates for each listing so you don’t get double booked.
To book your first visitors, you’ll want to set up a picture-perfect listing—starting with, well, the pictures.
“Pictures are art. Try to create a theme with your decor and use the pictures to really capture the essence of that theme. Getting quality furnishings makes all the difference. You can afford to price your space higher if you have high quality stuff.”Patrick Hurd, Property Manager
First impressions are everything. Choose bright, clean and well-decorated snapshots that accuratley depict where the guest will be staying.
In the title, show off unique attributes of your space. Maybe you’re only a 2-minute walk from Trimtab, or you have a rooftop view of the Bham skyline. People love being able to walk to their favorite spots without paying for an Uber.
Once you’ve got the ~feng shui~ of your space in check along with the pics to prove it, you’re ready to list.
3. Be smart with pricing
With setting a price for your space, there are a lot of different factors to consider. AirBnb offers a very helpful guide to pricing your listing.
“You have to find a sweet spot. For some people, it’s about proximity to landmarks, for others it’s convenience. How close are you to the nearest coffee shop? Are you close to the airport? Any area in Birmingham can be a good place to stay for visitors.”Patrick Hurd, Property Manager
Luxurious amenities, convenience, popular events in town and more all play a part in how you should price your listing. Sounds kind of intimidating, right? Well, worry not. There are plenty of online tools available that will do all the caculation work for you. Here’s a list from Floorspace with some options.
Don’t sell yourself short, The World Games 2022 this summer will bring an unprecedented amount of out-of-towners to the city, and they’re gonna need a place to stay!
4. Take precautions
Picture this: Your guest gets back from the big game, their team lost, and they let it out on your brand new TV. As much as we wish every guest was mild-mannered, responsible and careful, that’s simply not realistic.
Luckily, AirBnb offers up to $1M in host protection liability insurance, but, it’s still a good idea to invest in some home-owners/renters insurance.
Plus, technology is a blessing nowadays. You can purchase extra security measures like video doorbells, automatic locks and even noise detectors to stop things before they get too rowdy.
5. Time to get listing
According to Patrick, there’s no time like the present to climb aboard the short-term rental train.
“If you’re thinking about listing your space, you definitely need to do it now. A lot of people are planning their trips and booking their spaces now, so it’s the best time to list.”Patrick Hurd, Property Manager
Well, you heard the man. Take a trip to Target, grab some jazzy home decor and set up the short-term rental of your dreams. You could make some serious cash for it.
Will you be listing your extra space? Tag us @bhamnow and let us know.