AirBnb http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/16489/all en-US Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore? http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_hammock_beach_000031567486.jpg" alt="Couple wondering if it makes sense to stay in a hotel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying in a hotel isn't necessarily the cheapest option, especially when you're staying in a big city, like New York City. However, before you book that apartment on Airbnb, you should consider the various advantages of staying in a hotel.</p> <h2>Discounts Are Available</h2> <p>Airbnb is <a href="https://www.busbud.com/blog/airbnb-vs-hotel-rates/">not always the cheapest option</a>. Depending on where you stay, it may actually be more affordable to book a hotel. It can be very affordable to stay at a hotel using discounts, promo codes, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">hotel loyalty programs</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">credit card reward programs</a>, and express deals on bidding sites. While you may be able to get a promo code for your very first day on Airbnb, there generally aren't any promo codes available for short-term rentals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <h2>You Can Complain</h2> <p>When you have a complaint at a hotel, all you have to do is call down to the lobby and let them know. If you want to take it one step further, you can ask to speak with a manager. This will usually result in discounts, upgrades, and just about whatever you ask for.</p> <p>When it comes to Airbnb, there is really nobody to complain to. If you are unhappy with your stay, you're stuck there anyways. At the end of your trip, if things don't go as planned, you may get a full or partial refund on your stay at a hotel. However, if you're booking a short-term rental, you likely won't get a discount.</p> <h2>You Only Have to Deal With Professionals</h2> <p>With Airbnb, you will likely have to deal with the hosts &mdash; before you book your trip and throughout your stay. Some hosts can be less than welcoming or accommodating. At a hotel, your interaction with hotel staff should be minimal, and they are expected to act in a professional, corporate manner.</p> <h2>You Can Enjoy Special Extras</h2> <p>You can expect a number of special extras when you stay at a hotel. These same extras aren't usually included in a short-term rental stay. Some of the most common extras you can often receive from a hotel include:</p> <ul> <li>Free soaps and shampoos (so you don't have to waste your own);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Endless clean towels and linen;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Special treatment on special occasions (let them know if it's your birthday, honeymoon, or anniversary so that they go the extra mile for your trip);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fitness room or spa;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Business center;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hotel bar or restaurant;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Continental breakfast or buffet.</li> </ul> <h2>Hotels May Be Cleaner</h2> <p>We've all heard the horror stories of black light findings and rumors of how filthy hotel rooms can be. However, have you considered how clean an Airbnb apartment may be? The owners aren't held to any standards, so you may be sleeping in a bed with dirty linen or using old towels.</p> <p>At a hotel, you can expect daily housekeeping, whereas with Airbnb, you're on your own to make the bed, empty the trash, and clean up after yourself. This can result in a tidy hotel versus an unkempt and unorganized Airbnb apartment.</p> <h2>Hotels May Be Safer</h2> <p>When it comes to a hotel, only the front desk and housekeeping should have a key to your room, so you can rest assured that no one should be coming in at night. On the other hand, with Airbnb, you have no idea how many people have the key to the apartment you're staying in, which may might you feel uneasy at night. Hotels also usually have security on the premises, security cameras, computerized door entry cards, and even room safes for enhanced security.</p> <h2>Hotels Are More Relaxing</h2> <p>Staying at a hotel feels more like a vacation from everyday life. It is a break from the normal daily grind. On the other hand, staying in someone's home on Airbnb may feel more like staying at home, with similar responsibilities.</p> <h2>Flexible Stays</h2> <p>You can book a hotel room for as little as one night, whereas with Airbnb, you usually have to book multiple nights. If you are expecting a late night arrival, a hotel is usually very flexible with the check-in time, whereas an Airbnb apartment usually has early check-in times that cannot be negotiated.</p> <h2>Local Assistance</h2> <p>Many avid travelers have made the case for Airbnb that staying in someone's home will allow you to find local favorites and get expert recommendations from your host. However, you can get the same experience from a hotel. Simply ask the concierge for recommendations, directions, and advice about the area. Staying in a downtown or metro area will also automatically put you in touch with some of the best things the area has to offer.</p> <h2>You Get What You Pay For</h2> <p>If you don't get what you see in the hotel's description, you can simply complain and they'll have to hold up to their end of the deal. On the other hand, Airbnb descriptions and photographs can be very misleading, so you don't always get what you're expecting.</p> <h2>Is Airbnb Still the Best Choice?</h2> <p>There are still a number of important reasons to consider short-term rentals. According to Priceonomics, compared to the average hotel room, you can <a href="http://priceonomics.com/hotels/">save up to 50%</a> by renting a private room on Airbnb, and up to 22% by renting an apartment on Airbnb. Those are substantial savings. You'll also have access to an entire apartment, including a kitchen and living area, as opposed to just a cramped hotel room. If you'll be staying in a popular area, like New York City, make sure to carefully weigh your options to determine if a hotel or Airbnb is right for you.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other reasons to stay in a hotel? Have you had experiences at a hotel or Airbnb you'd like to share? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdoes-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDoes%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.jpg&amp;description=Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore%3F" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accomodations AirBnb apartments hotels loyalty programs renting trips vacations Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1718095 at http://www.wisebread.com The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_moving_000048994080.jpg" alt="Couple deciding to use Airbnb to rent their space out" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Location, location, location.</p> <p>According to some experts, those are the only three things that matter for any property. If your first instinct is to list your rental property in the local newspaper, consider this: nine in 10 people in the market for a property today <a href="http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/Study-Digital-House-Hunt-2013-01_1.pdf">rely on the web</a> as one of their primary sources, and a full 52% of them turn to the Internet as their first step.</p> <p>So where on the web should be listing your rental? Here are 11 places to start.</p> <h2>1. Craigslist</h2> <p>With more than <a href="http://www.craigslist.org/about/factsheet">50 billion page views</a> per month, <a href="http://www.craigslist.org">Craigslist</a> is a great starting point for promoting your rental property. All apartment rental <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-vile-craigslist-scams-to-watch-out-for">postings on Craigslist</a> are free, except those for brokered apartment rentals in the New York City area (a $10 fee applies). To increase your chances of getting leads, you must include pictures. On Craigslist, you can upload up to 12 photos from your rental property and any user can leave out postings without pictures from their search queries.</p> <h2>2. Airbnb</h2> <p>Unlike Craigslist, on <a href="http://www.airbnb.com">Airbnb</a> you have a clearer picture of who you're dealing with. Most Airbnb users connect their accounts to their Facebook profiles so that they can filter searches by &quot;Social Connections&quot; and show listings that their friends have reviewed, or where they are mutual friends with a host.</p> <p>Of course, to leverage social connections on Airbnb, you first need to have reviews of your rental property. Most Airbnb Superhosts advise first-time users to research nearby properties and price your rental unit between 10% to 20% lower to increase your chances of landing those first bookings. Experienced Airbnb hosts suggest to not only list the good things about your rental, but also the bad things. Guests appreciate the honesty and, some of them may not mind those bad things at all!</p> <h2>3. HotPads</h2> <p>A free option to list your single-family home, townhouse, or individual apartment unit is <a href="http://www.hotpads.com">HotPads</a>. Based out of San Francisco, HotPads distributes your listing automatically to various partner sites to maximize your listing's exposure and get you more leads.</p> <p>If you have some money available to promote your listing, HotPads offers you the option to enhance it for as low as $1 per day. Your featured listing only appears to a user when it meets the category (e.g. buy vs. rent), geography, pricing range, and housing type specified in that user's query.</p> <h2>4. Trulia</h2> <p>Renting your apartment? There's an app for that. <a href="http://www.trulia.com">Trulia</a> lets you post your rental apartment using both iPhone and Android devices. Trulia is part of the same 20+ site syndication network as HotPads. However, two key things that set Trulia apart from HotPads are the first's active community and blog with useful articles.</p> <h2>5. Apartments.com</h2> <p>You probably have seen Apartments.com's hysterical TV ads featuring Jeff Goldblum in his <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zi8zwN57Ug">Brad Bellflower persona</a>. If you have several properties for rent, <a href="http://www.apartments.com">Apartments.com</a> provides detailed analytics for each of your listings. By seeing key performance indicators, such as number of impressions by day, number of appearances in search results, and number of clickthroughs in your listing, you can fine tune your listings and experiment to find out what works best.</p> <p>A nice feature of this site is that you can add a video to showcase your property and track the views by day of the video. By providing a video walk-through of your rental, you can entice more people to contact you.</p> <h2>6. ForRent.com</h2> <p>For those living in communities near universities or colleges, or in those attractive to retirees, <a href="http://www.forrent.com">ForRent.com</a> is a great option. This site has sections dedicated exclusively to off-campus housing and retirement living. ForRent.com charges $100&ndash;$150 per listing and additional fees for enhancements, such as additional photos and maps and directions.</p> <h2>7. Rent Jungle</h2> <p>Another pay-to-play option is <a href="http://www.rentjungle.com">Rent Jungle</a>, which boasts over 700,000 active listings of apartments and rental homes. Individuals posting 20 rental units or fewer pay $47 per month per listing and are able to include a three-photo gallery, unit information, floor plan, contact information, and list amenities and features.</p> <p>Like Apartments.com, Rent Jungle provides a dashboard to review traffic, manage leads, and tweak your listings.</p> <h2>8. PeopleWithPets.com</h2> <p>Talking about a jungle &mdash; it can be quite an adventure for pet owners to find good, pet-friendly apartments. If you think your apartment can offer outstanding accommodations to furry companions, then you could consider spending the $69 per month (with a minimum three-month commitment) to advertise your rental at <a href="http://www.peoplewithpets.com/advertise/">PeopleWithPets.com</a>.</p> <p>The fee may seem a bit high, but it may be due to two factors. First, we are talking about a niche market: <a href="http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp">65% of households own a pet</a> according to the 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners Survey. Second, the site currently ranks quite well at the first page of Google results for &quot;pet friendly apartments.&quot;</p> <h2>9. DogVacay</h2> <p>Now, if you're more of a &quot;dog person&quot; than a &quot;people person,&quot; you may prefer to play hosts for pets without their owners. In that case, with <a href="http://dogvacay.com">DogVacay</a> you could rent your space for pet daycare or dog boarding.</p> <p>If your application is approved for dog boarding, then DogVacay pays you 85% of customer payments via PayPal one business day after boarding is complete. There is a $5 check fee if you prefer to receive a check via snail mail. The 15% cut from DogVacay is to cover a series of costs, including a comprehensive pet insurance with a $1 million commercial general liability coverage, a $1 million professional liability coverage, and a $25,000 veterinary coverage for guest dog ($250 deductible covered by guest).</p> <h2>10. JustPark and ParkingSpotter.com</h2> <p>Last but not least, you could cash in on your empty driveway, garage, or parking space by making them available for rent. <a href="http://www.justpark.com">JustPark</a> and <a href="http://www.parkingspotter.com">ParkingSpotter.com</a> are two sites that let you offer your parking spot for rent on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.</p> <p>According to ParkingSpotter.com, the average monthly parking rate are <a href="http://www.parkingspotter.com/faq">$297.50 and $460</a> in Philadelphia and Boston, respectively. With such prices, it makes sense to try your luck making an extra buck with that empty driveway.</p> <p><em>Had a good or bad rental experience with any of these? Let us know below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing AirBnb apartments hotpads landlords pet friendl renting trulia Thu, 22 Oct 2015 11:15:22 +0000 Damian Davila 1593885 at http://www.wisebread.com Carving Pumpkins and 14 Other Cool Ways to Make Cash From Fall Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_halloween_000075821055.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter carving pumpkins and making cash " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If there's ever a time of year that we could use a little extra padding in our pockets, it's the holidays. So try adopting a different approach this year by taking on a side hustle. All you have to do is get up, get out, and make a commitment to staying in the black with just a little creative thinking. Take a look.</p> <h2>1. Offer Pet-Sitting Services</h2> <p>Dogs and cats can get pretty lonely when Mom and Dad are visiting family or on holiday vacation. To ensure their furry best friends are well cared for during this time of year, many pet parents opt for a sitter. Services like <a href="https://dogvacay.com/">DogVacay</a> and <a href="https://www.rover.com/">Rover</a> help regular people like you and me earn extra money by providing a safe, loving environment for pets to spend time while their parents are busy. I'm a dog sitter on DogVacay myself, and I can tell you firsthand that it's a decent way to put a few bucks in your bank account. It's also a lot of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-it-costs-to-own-a-dog">fun to have a dog</a> (I'm not a cat person) liven up your home.</p> <p>Once vetted by the service, you can set your sitting fee and have fun for the weekend, or even the week, with a loving pet. Both DogVacay and Rover also offer insurance, 24-hour support, and other services that make pet sitting easy and fun.</p> <h2>2. Open Up Your Home to Travelers</h2> <p>If you have extra space in your home &mdash; a guest bedroom, or even pull-out couch &mdash; you can &quot;micro-sublet&quot; (fancy word for a short-term rental) your digs on sites like <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a> and <a href="https://www.roomorama.com/">Roomorama</a>. I've been a micro-subletter for the better part of a decade now, and I can honestly say it has enriched my life. Not only by providing an additional source of income, but because of all the people I've hosted over the years with whom I've interacted and often befriended.</p> <p>Micro-subletting will only be successful if you're a people person &mdash; nobody wants to stay in the home of a Scrooge &mdash; but if you can make it work, you could potentially pay for all your holiday expenses and then some. No joke.</p> <h2>3. Host a Real or Virtual Garage Sale</h2> <p>I'm hosting a yard sale this month to get rid of too much accumulated junk in my basement and to pull in, ideally, a couple hundred bucks. Of course, there's not much time left to host an outdoor sale, but wouldn't you know that the Internet has solved that problem.</p> <p><a href="http://www.varagesale.com">VarageSale</a>, founded by a wife-and-husband team, is a social, local, and mobile online marketplace for families who want to sell their unwanted items to people in their neighborhoods. Once approved for a community, members can sell (and buy) everything from children's clothing to cars at a fraction of the retail price. As an added bonus, members can meet and develop closer ties with their neighbors &mdash; if that's your thing.</p> <h2>4. Clean Out Your Closets for Cash</h2> <p>Why not turn your closet clutter into some extra holiday cash? <a href="https://www.tradesy.com/">Tradesy</a> lets users safely, securely, and easily sell or rent their clothing, shoes, handbags, wedding dresses, and more. They handle the transaction from the time a photo of the product is uploaded to its delivery to the purchaser's door.</p> <p>Parents can also get in on the clothing resale action with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.totspot.me/">Totspot</a>, a parent-to-parent mobile marketplace that allows moms and dads to buy and sell gently used (or brand new) children's clothing and accessories. TotSpot boasts more than 150,000 active users today, and users often buy and sell just in time for the holidays.</p> <h2>5. Sales Referral Programs</h2> <p>If you have a robust social media following or a website that gets a lot of traffic, you may be able to take advantage of sales referral programs. If a customer buys an item as a result of your advertising, you get a cut. You can find these opportunities from large companies, like <a href="https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/">Amazon</a>, and even some mom-and-pop merchants.</p> <h2>6. Social Media Influencer Programs</h2> <p>The number of sites that will pay social media users for promotion of products is increasing, and you don't have to be a Twitter or Instagram superstar to participate.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.getswayd.com">Swayd</a>, which connects micro-influencers (defined as anyone with a couple hundred followers) with brands, is creating a marketplace for these people to connect.</p> <p>Instead of paying Kim Kardashian $100,000 for an Instagram or retweet, Swayd is paying 100,000 micro-influencers a dollar apiece to tweet. It's working with brands big and small, and if a campaign matches a profile, the influencer can see it and choose to accept the offer to post to their social media. Swayd will allow the market to define what a social media post is worth and allow influencers to show that even though their numbers are small, their engagement is strong.</p> <h2>7. Sell Unused Gift Cards and Merchandise Credit</h2> <p>If you've received gift cards for which you don't have much use (hey, it happens), or you've got merchandise credit to a store you don't particularly like, sell it to&nbsp;<a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=368971.3&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0">Raise</a> for cold, hard cash.</p> <p>Raise is an online marketplace that sells unwanted gift cards or store credits for real money. On the platform, consumers can choose their selling price and once the gift card sells, they have the option to be paid by check, PayPal, or direct deposit. Easy as that.</p> <h2>8. Become Part of Your Local Holiday Event Activities</h2> <p>Everybody thinks of being a mall Santa or one of his festive helpers, but there are lots of other opportunities to become part of your local holiday event activities, especially for Halloween. <em>Someone's </em>got to be the monsters in the haunted houses!</p> <h2>9. Entertain Kids With Scary Stories at Halloween Parties</h2> <p>Just like a magician or clown entertains at kids' parties, you too can read scary stories in costume to add a spook factor to local Halloween bashes.</p> <p>&quot;Dress up like a scary character and read books to kids,&quot; suggests<a href="http://www.sharronsenter.com/products/attract-customers-to-your-business"> marketing consultant</a> Sharron Senter. Your ideal target audience is parents hosting Halloween parties. You could easily get the word out by [putting flyers in] mailboxes and posting to online community portals. You could also pitch your entertaining services to small independent retailers who have a customer following.&quot;</p> <p>Taking this one step further, perhaps you could even become a regular reader at your local bookstore. Never hurts to ask.</p> <h2>10. Run Errands for Busy Holiday Shoppers</h2> <p>Some lucky ducks have assistants to do all the things they can't accomplish in a day, but what about the rest of the world? They often need help, too, and there's a possibility that folks in your area are seeking someone to run errands &mdash; like shop for meals, buy gifts, or other tasks. Post your errand-running service on Craigslist, <a href="https://www.taskrabbit.com/">Task Rabbit</a>, or mention it to your <a href="https://nextdoor.com/">NextDoor</a> community to get started.</p> <h2>11. Provide Gift-Wrapping Services</h2> <p>For many folks, gift-wrapping is the bane of their existence. You know who they are in your family because your presents look like they were kicked all the way from one house to the other. Likewise, there are plenty of people out there looking for someone with the handy, crafty skills of Martha Stewart to turn their gifts from drab to fab &mdash; and they're willing to pay for it, too.</p> <h2>12. Help Decorate Area Homes for the Holidays</h2> <p>I'm completely able-bodied, but after it took me 11 hours to decorate the exterior of my home last Christmas in the freezing cold, I'm not altogether opposed to finding someone on Craigslist who's willing to assist me for at least part of the day. If I'm looking, others are looking, too.</p> <h2>13. Start a Small Fall/Winter Yard Work Business</h2> <p>When I was a kid, I made a good amount of holiday (and post-holiday) spending cash by shoveling snow from my neighbors' walkways and driveways. The best part about this prospect is that you can totally start your own fall and winter yard work business (which can also include raking leaves and other tasks) the old-fashioned way &mdash; by walking door-to-door. The easiest way to capitalize on this tactic is to wait until a weather event, like a snowstorm, to make your move. Some of your neighbors would much rather pay someone to do that grunt work for them, and that's money in the bank for you.</p> <h2>14. Carve Pumpkins</h2> <p>Fancy yourself an artist? Offer to carve pumpkins in your area for those who like to get in the holiday spirit, but don't want to get their hands dirty.</p> <h2>15. Sell Baked Good and Cooking Services</h2> <p>If you know your way around the kitchen, and your baked goods taste like they could be in a professional bakery, there's a market for your skills. To build your business, start with the people you know &mdash; friends and family. Let them know that you're taking orders for holiday events, and that you'd love to supply the cakes, cookies, pies, and pastries. Also, if you're a decent cook, you can offer your services to cater a small party or prepare a holiday meal for a small group of people. There are a fair amount of overwhelmed hosts out there who'd be happy to pay your fee to free up their time and ultimately stress less.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ways to make cash from the holidays? Let me know some of your ideas in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effective-ebay-listing-0">Effective eBay Listing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-holiday-lighting-hacks">10 Easy Holiday Lighting Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-amazon-pay-you">7 Ways to Make Amazon Pay YOU!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Extra Income AirBnb Christmas decorating Halloween Holidays making money selling Wed, 21 Oct 2015 11:15:40 +0000 Mikey Rox 1597145 at http://www.wisebread.com Turn Your Home Into a Rental in 9 Easy Steps http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-renting-home-178110017-small.jpg" alt="man renting home" title="man renting home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As an early adopter of the micro-subletting culture &mdash; the founders of Airbnb invited me to join the service as it was just starting up back in 2008 &mdash; I fancy myself somewhat of an expert in successfully turning a home into a rental property. Six years in, I've not only made one home a major profit center by sharing my rooms with travelers, but now two &mdash; the latter of which is a direct result of the success of the first. My husband and I were able to purchase a second property with the income we've earned from renting our primary residence.</p> <p>Based on my own experience, here are nine essential line items you should check off if you plan to make a go of the incredible money-making and life-enhancing opportunity of turning your home into a rental property.</p> <h2>1. Research Your Market</h2> <p>My primary residence is in Manhattan, and the never-ending influx of tourists is what gave me the idea to market my guest bedroom as a hotel alternative many years ago. I didn't have to do much research to realize that there was a built-in business in my area for what I wanted to do, but as you can imagine that doesn't apply to all areas.</p> <p>Most areas, in fact, don't have the attractiveness to tourists that New York City does. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't become a homegrown entrepreneur in the comfort of your own living room. Because of the popularity of Airbnb, Roomorama, HomeAway, and other short-term rental sites, an increasing number of rooms are now available to budget travelers nearly everywhere. Thus, your first step in turning your home into a rental property is digging into these sites to see who in your area is listing their property, how full their calendars are with bookings, and to generally peruse their listings to see how they're managing their own burgeoning businesses. You'll get a good sense of what you can expect in terms of traffic to your listing and potential bookings.</p> <p>On another note, if there are currently no listings in your area, don't get discouraged. That could mean that you're getting in on the ground level of an untapped market &mdash; and you'll never know its potential if you don't test the waters.</p> <h2>2. Talk to Friends/Neighbors Who Are Renting Their Property</h2> <p>I didn't have any idea what I was doing when I first started renting my property &mdash; this was a brand new venture for me &mdash; so my first year or so was completely trial and error. You have an advantage, however, because micro-subletting has and continues to increase in popularity, so you're bound to know at least one person who's tried their hand at it. You don't have to stick to micro-subletters though; reach out to anyone who's in the rental-income game and ask to pick their brain about the ins and outs, highs and lows of their business. You'll gain valuable knowledge that can positively influence your own new endeavor, and you may even be able to avoid some roadblocks along the way by learning from their mistakes.</p> <h2>3. Transform Your Property Into a Visually Stunning Destination</h2> <p>One of the biggest factors in a potential guest's decision on whether to stay at your property will be how it looks. It's a decision-making process as old as time &mdash; we pick out food, cars, and romantic partners based on their physical attractiveness &mdash; so it only makes sense that that theory applies to where people want to lie their heads at night. Especially in a stranger's home. Considering this superficial factor then, it's important that your rental listing images stand out from the crowd. Photos should show a space that is inviting, comfortable, and clean &mdash; all critical components to ensuring that your room or home is near the top of the list when potential guests are choosing where to stay.</p> <p>If you use Airbnb, consider using its free photography to enhance your listing, which, I can tell you from experience, will truly take yours to the next level &mdash; considering that your home is already someplace that looks visitor-friendly, of course.</p> <h2>4. Eliminate the Clutter</h2> <p>If your home isn't immediately traveler-friendly, that's okay; you can change that. The first plan of attack in this instance is to do a deep clean (which, by the way, is beneficial in more ways than just preparing it to be a rental property &mdash; there's money to be made in selling your clutter!) to get rid of anything that's unnecessary, safely store away items of sentiment or extreme value, and otherwise organize your belongings in an aesthetically pleasing and unobtrusive fashion. Having a well-kept and well-organized home will be easier on you when it comes time to clean between tenants, and the results will show in photos and the reviews your guests will leave you.</p> <h2>5. Load Up on Value-Centric Amenities</h2> <p>Another critical part of making your listing a major contender among potential guests' choices is the amenities you offer. It's all wrapped into the per-night fee that I'm charging, of course, but to them it looks like they're getting something extra for free &mdash; and often that means that they're choosing my place over someone else's. While I don't recommend that you run your business like a hotel &mdash; a more personal touch is always required in this person-to-person rental situation &mdash; I do suggest that you take your cue on what you're offering guests as a value proposition from hotels. In my guest bedrooms, I include fresh linens and towels, high-def flat-screen HDTVs, mini-fridges, and coffee makers, and I provide the guests will free cereal, fruit, coffee, and tea. These are little things that go a long way in a guest's decision on where to stay, especially if they're budget minded.</p> <h2>6. Explore New Options to Market Your Property Online</h2> <p>I've already alluded to this aspect of successfully turning your home into a rental property, but in case you've missed it, listing your property online is the best way to drive a lot of traffic to your property. <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a>, <a href="https://www.roomorama.com/">Roomorama</a>, and <a href="http://www.homeaway.com/">HomeAway</a> are the major players in this game, but there are other sites on which you can list to really corner the market.</p> <p>If you want to go all out, look into similar sites like <a href="http://www.vrbo.com/">VRBO</a>, <a href="http://www.misterbnb.com/">Misterbnb</a>, <a href="http://www.furnishedquarters.com/">Furnished Quarters</a>, and <a href="http://www.sublet.com/">Sublet.com</a>.</p> <p>For the most part, your listings will market themselves on these sites, but you need to stay on top of your inquiries, keep your listings up to date, and promote them on social media and offline to maximize their efficacy.</p> <h2>7. Undercut the Competition</h2> <p>I didn't go to business school, but I've learned a thing or two about good business by being an accidental entrepreneur: If you want to make money, you have to offer the best product at the most reasonable price. That business model has never failed. That's how I've run my rental-property business since the beginning, and that's one of the main reasons why I'm booked nearly 365 days a year. My strategy is to research the comparable listings in my area on the sites on which I'm listed and set my price for my more attractive listing below their nightly fee. As a result, my calendar is consistently full while theirs has gaping holes.</p> <p>I wonder if that qualifies for an honorary business degree? I should call my alma mater.</p> <h2>8. Streamline Your Organization</h2> <p>When your bookings start to pile up, it's easy to get overwhelmed &mdash; which is why you need to set up organizational procedures to ensure that your business is streamlined and runs efficiently. Keeping your calendar up-to-date is number one on this checklist &mdash; you don't want to overbook guests who will have no place to go if you can't accommodate them because of your error. Organizing your cleaning protocol so you can breeze through the house and prepare for new guests quickly is a close second to an organized calendar. You should not be lax about either one of these organizational aspects for many reasons, the most important of which is that you owe it to your <em>paying</em> guests to be professional and prepared at all times.</p> <h2>9. Stay Up-to-Date With Rental Trends</h2> <p>In order for any business to succeed for the long term, it must evolve and keep up with industry and social trends &mdash; and your small rental-property business is no different. Because micro-subletting is a relatively new concept, local laws are changing rapidly to ensure that taxes are being paid and safety measures are put in place. Cities like San Francisco have made micro-subletting legal while New York City is still entrenched in litigation to determine how best to manage the growing trend. Newsletters and other correspondences from the services on which you list are great resources as is talking to your fellow rental-property entrepreneurs about their experiences. I also can personally recommend the <a href="http://www.internationalrealestatelistings.com/podcast/">Overseas Property Insider Podcast</a> from my buddy Taylor White, which offers insider information into the vacation rental industry on a regular basis.</p> <p><em>Do you have a rental income property? Do you have tips to share with us on how others can turn their homes into profit centers? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays">Carving Pumpkins and 14 Other Cool Ways to Make Cash From Fall Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Real Estate and Housing AirBnb microsubletting rental income sublet Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1260447 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find and Book the Best Vacation Rentals http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/relax-179281525.jpg" alt="hammock" title="hammock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation rentals are a big part of the sharing economy &mdash; the idea that sharing things could financially benefit all involved. For example, travelers have been taking advantage of free accommodation by swapping their homes with each other through <a href="https://www.homeexchange.com/en/">HomeExchange</a> for decades. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-exchanges-free-accommodations-with-perks?ref=seealso">Home Exchanges: Free Accommodations With Perks</a>)</p> <p>When you rent a vacation rental, you're dealing with a private property owner instead of hospitality professionals. On one hand, this could mean that the customer service standards won't be up to the level you usually enjoy at hotels. On the other hand, vacation rental owners can be warmer and more accommodating. And the prices are often lower than hotels, too.</p> <p>The quality of vacation rentals can vary wildly because there are no professional standards that apply to these properties. But if you're careful, you can improve your chances of having a safe and enjoyable stay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>When You Should Start Looking</h2> <p>You might be able to score a last-minute deal when you book a hotel room. But with a vacation rental, you should start looking as early as possible. If you only have one week before the trip, you might be better off booking a hotel room instead.</p> <p>Running the vacation rental is usually not the host's main job, so it could take a while for a host to reply to your message and confirm your booking. Allow at least two weeks to sort things out with your host.</p> <h2>Where to Find Vacation Rentals</h2> <p>By far, the most popular vacation rental site is Airbnb. As the pioneer in the peer-to-peer accommodation rental industry, Airbnb has a big pool of relatively active hosts and a high number of listings, so you're more likely to get a confirmed booking through this website.</p> <p>Over the years, other vacation rental websites have appeared. They may be worth a try if you can't find the right accommodation on Airbnb.</p> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10545784">HomeAway</a>, for example, markets itself as &quot;the UK's number 1 website for holiday cottages, villas and apartments.&quot; Other vacation rental websites include <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10790643">VRBO</a>, <a href="http://www.wimdu.com/">Wimdu</a>, and <a href="http://www.onefinestay.com/">One Fine Stay</a>.</p> <p>To save time, you can use a vacation rental search engine called <a href="http://www.tripping.com/">Tripping</a>. Tripping searches multiple vacation rental sites at once, although Airbnb is not included in its database.</p> <h2>How to Do a Property Search</h2> <p>When you perform a search on a vacation rental website, you usually have to enter the location, the dates of your stay, and the number of guests.</p> <p>Once the website presents you with the results, you can narrow down your choices by price, location, and whether you want a room or an entire property. Vacation rentals can be spare rooms, apartments, houses, or more unusual dwellings like treehouses and boathouses.</p> <p>For longer stays, the website may automatically show you lower weekly or monthly rates.</p> <h2>What to Look for in Listings</h2> <p>A listing usually has photos, a text description, and reviews from previous guests. If you carefully look at all the information on the listing, you can reasonably judge which properties are suitable for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tips-on-how-to-manage-a-short-term-rental-business-and-succeed?ref=seealso">How to Manage a Short-Term Rental Business</a>)</p> <p>Pay close attention to several parts of the listing.</p> <h3>Amenities</h3> <p>Come up with a list of all the amenities you need. With a hotel stay, you can safely assume that you'll get certain things, such as laundry facilities or a coffee maker. There is no such guarantee with a vacation rental.</p> <p>When you look at a listing, compare it to your list of amenities. Just because the listing doesn't mention something doesn't mean the host won't provide it. Note which amenities are missing from the listing description and remember to ask the host about these items when you send him a message.</p> <h3>Reviews</h3> <p>After a few stays at vacation rentals, I'm now willing to pay more for a vacation rental that has a high number of positive reviews. The guests who leave reviews vouch for the property's safety and quality, so you're less likely to come across unwanted surprises.</p> <p>Read the wording of the reviews closely. The reviews are often on the generous side because the guests may worry about getting bad feedback from the hosts in return. A remark that &quot;the place needs some dusting,&quot; for example, could actually mean that it's really dirty.</p> <h3>The Host's Profile</h3> <p>Depending on which vacation rental website you use, each host may have a profile you can check out. The profile displays the reviews the host has gotten from all of his listings. On Airbnb, you can also look at whether the property owner has submitted an ID and social media accounts for verification.</p> <h3>Fees</h3> <p>Pay attention to the fees displayed in each listing. Every listing has an Airbnb service fee, which is what Airbnb charges for using its reservation system.</p> <p>On top of that, the host may charge a security deposit, an additional guest fee, and a cleaning fee. The security deposit covers any damage that may occur during your stay and will be returned to you if everything goes smoothly. You may have to pay an additional guest fee if you have more than a certain number of people in your party. There may also be a cleaning fee to freshen up the space before and after your stay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-hidden-travel-fees-youve-probably-paid-but-shouldnt-have?ref=seealso">37 Hidden Travel Fees</a>)</p> <h2>How to Confirm a Booking</h2> <p>Before you have a confirmed booking, don't fall in love with any of the listings on vacation rental sites. Sometimes the availability on the website is wrong or the host just never responds to your message, so keep your options open.</p> <p>Send a message to a few hosts whose listings you like. In the message, tell the host a little bit about yourself and your travel companions. State the dates of your stay so the host can check her schedule and confirm whether the property is available. Don't forget to ask her about the amenities you want that are not mentioned in the listing.</p> <p>If you want to negotiate the pricing, do so in the message. Aside from the Airbnb fee, the host can change all prices and fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-with-confidence-and-strike-the-best-deal?ref=seealso">How to Negotiate and Get the Best Deal</a>)</p> <p>Once the host has confirmed that the place is available, you can make a booking. Don't wait for a reply from every single host to make a decision; some hosts may never respond to your message.</p> <p>When you make a booking, the vacation rental website charges your credit card and retains the money until 24 hours after you check in. This system allows you to claim a refund from the website if you see a problem at check-in time.</p> <p><em>What are your best tips in scoring the best vacation rentals?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel">When Should You Get a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel AirBnb micro-subletting vacation rentals Wed, 09 Apr 2014 08:48:22 +0000 Deia B 1134467 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-86518050.jpg" alt="travelers" title="travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Almost immediately after moving to New York City I had the brilliant idea to rent out our guest bedroom to tourists. My now-husband and I had a two-bedroom apartment, and we decided on getting the extra space so we could accommodate out-of-town friends and family that we were sure would visit all the time &mdash; except they didn't, and that empty room quickly turned into something that we were paying for but didn't necessarily need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/growin-home-how-much-house-do-you-really-need?ref=seealso">How Much House Do You Really Need?</a>)</p> <p>Until the light bulb went off, that is. I knew there had to be a market out there for people like me who enjoyed spending their travel dollars on fun things like eating out and exciting activities instead of wrapping all that cash up in expensive hotels. I was right. As soon as I listed our apartment on Craigslist, I started to receive inquiries that quickly turned into bookings. This was all pre-Airbnb and other micro-subletting (the fancy word for short-term rental) sites. (By the way, I don't recommend using Craigslist for micro-subletting nowadays.) Nonetheless, we started pulling in a good amount of money from the get-go, and it only increased when we started listing on the micro-subletting sites once they were introduced.</p> <p>I won't divulge exactly how much money we've made doing this, but I will tell you that as a direct result we now own a condo in Manhattan and a shore house in New Jersey. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash</a>)</p> <p>You can find success in micro-subletting, too. Granted, it's much easier to fill our space in New York City than other places, but you might be surprised at the number of inquiries you might receive where you live.</p> <p>If you haven't thought about micro-subletting before, start. If you've been hesitant to try it, take a chance. This is a very easy and honest way to supplement your income and perhaps even save more money than you thought possible &mdash; and it's using what you already have.</p> <p>We've been renting out our home for nearly six years now; I'm considered a &quot;Super Host&quot; on the <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a> website. We've hosted hundreds of people from all over the world, and we have more than 150 positive reviews about our accommodations and hosting style. Thus, I consider myself an expert in this field, and I'm happy to divulge my tips, tricks, and advice so you can be successful at micro-subletting, too. Take a look.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/rox-sublet-yellow-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>1. Make Your Listing Stand Out From the Crowd</h2> <p>The number one reason that people choose to stay with us over other hosts &mdash; in my opinion, at least &mdash; is the description we've provided of ourselves and the accommodations in<a href="https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5135"> our listing</a>. I know this because many times the potential guest reaching out for the first time specifically mentions something positive about the description. There's a reason for that. I took the time to write a description that was charismatic, conversational, humorous, and detailed. I wanted to capture the strangers' attention enough so they'd want to be our friends in just a few paragraphs. Whereas other listings are straightforward and to the point (and, frankly, boring), ours draws the potential guest in and makes them feel at home and comfortable instantly &mdash; and that's exactly what you want if you're choosing to stay in the home of someone you've never met before.</p> <h2>2. Increase Your Success With Lots of Amenities</h2> <p>Another reason we receive more bookings than a lot of listings in our area is because we offer great amenities. In the private guest bedroom, there's a mini fridge, flat screen TV with HD cable, DVD player, iron and ironing board, and lots of books and maps of the city. Our guests also have full use of our home while they're here, whether it's cooking their meals, hopping on the computer to print tickets or vouchers, playing our video game system or board games, washing and drying clothes, or borrowing a book or DVD. And it's all included in their stay. Also included is free coffee, tea, and cereal. Our guests get a lot of bang for their buck, and these amenities are our way of giving that extra value that other listings are not.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/rox-sublet-bathroom-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>3. Respond to Inquiries Quickly and Politely</h2> <p>I respond to my inquiries within minutes usually &mdash; thanks to the micro-subletting services' mobile apps &mdash; and I never let them go for more than a few hours. Not responding promptly to inquiries gives the potential guest time to browse other listings, and I don't want that. I want to be the first and the best so the choice is easy for them. My response time is largely what keeps us booked consistently throughout the year.</p> <p>The way you respond also plays a part in potential guest's decision on where to stay. Be polite and charming, and you've won them over. Be curt and short, and you'll lose them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today?ref=seealso">25 Ways to Communicate Better</a>)</p> <h2>4. Vet Your Potential Guests Thoroughly</h2> <p>The way a guest reaches out to me initially impacts whether or not I'll accept their reservation request. I consider myself a very good judge of character &mdash; even online &mdash; so if they don't offer up details about themselves, where they're coming from, and what the purpose of their visit is, I'll inquire. If they continue to be standoffish, it's probably a good sign that I don't want this guest in my home.</p> <p>However, going back to my listing, it's written in a way that invites the potential guests to provide information and details about themselves, so I rarely have to dig for more. Also, Airbnb in particular has verifications for members, including Facebook, Twitter, phone numbers, and more. If the potential guest isn't verified on social media, I generally won't accept the request.</p> <h2>5. Never Accept Locals Under Any Circumstance</h2> <p>I can't stress this point enough. The only guests you should accept are travelers from out of town. Why? Because locals who want to stay with you often come with baggage &mdash; and not just the kind they're carrying in their hands. They've broken up with their significant other; they were evicted; or they're planning something far more nefarious, like making copies of your keys during their stay, then robbing you blind while you're not home a few weeks later. Trust me, it happens.</p> <p>Locals also may be difficult to get out, problems that arise could annoy your neighbors, and you're putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation with someone nearby who now knows where you live. Feeling unsafe in your own home is not a feeling you want, especially when you could have avoided it. Do not accept locals under any circumstance.</p> <h2>6. Keep Your Calendar Up to Date Online and Offline</h2> <p>A big part of this business &mdash; and I do consider it a business &mdash; is maintaining the reservation calendar online and offline. The micro-subletting sites keep track of your reserved dates for you in an easy-to-access manner, but I also put all reservations on the calendar on my phone, so I can see what's happening at a glance and what I need to do to prepare in advance.</p> <p>Failing to keep you calendar organized <em>will</em> result in double bookings eventually, especially if you're using multiple micro-subletting sites. That would be a nightmare for you, and it's not pleasant for the guest either. Can you imagine being told you have nowhere to stay when you arrive at your vacation destination because the host couldn't keep track? You'd be very upset, and your potential guests will, too.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/rox-sublet-laundry-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>7. Provide Exactly What Is Offered in Your Listing</h2> <p>If you're listing certain amenities that appeal to potential guests, it's imperative that you provide them during their stay. These included items and services are likely part of the reason why they choose you over many other available listings, and it's your duty to be the best host you can be. The downside to not offering what you're advertising in your listing is that the guests may leave you a poor review, and that could turn future guests away when they browse the reviews on your profile.</p> <h2>8. Research Comparable Listings in Your Area</h2> <p>When setting the nightly fee for your listing, research other properties in your area. I live in Manhattan, so I did a search for properties within a 10-block radius in all directions, found the listings that closely resembled my own, and made an informed decision on what fee to set the listing &mdash; which is directly related to my next point.</p> <h2>9. Undercut the Competition to Increase Bookings</h2> <p>As I've detailed, the engaging description on my listing along with the amenities offered, the photos, and the reviews, play a large part in a potential guest's decision to stay in my home. Just as large a part, however, is the nightly fee they're paying for what they're getting.</p> <p>They want a great place to stay, and they want to save while they're at it.</p> <p>From day one, I've been very savvy about the nightly fee: I simply undercut the competition so I can appeal to more people. Oldest trick in the book, sure, but it amazes me how many people in my area are asking for nightly fees that exceed what they're offering, and their calendars are perpetually empty as a result. Because of our marketing savvy, we're booked most nights from the beginning of April to the end of the year. The winter is a bit slow for business, so as a further tactic during these months I generally lower the nightly fee about 10%, making my listing even more appealing. I'm also more open to longer-term stays in the first three months of the year than I would be the rest of the year. The big money comes in turning over guests every three to five days. More work, of course, but more money, too.</p> <h2>10. Provide an Experience Your Guests Will Remember &mdash; and Refer</h2> <p>If you've decided to be a host, it's your responsibility to provide your <em>paying</em> guests with topnotch hospitality. They won't expect you to make them meals (unless you're offering that in your listing; some hosts do), but they will expect the house and especially their bedroom to be clean, for you to provide local intel, and to just generally be nice and approachable. After all, nobody wants to stay in a strange place in which they feel uncomfortable. Commit yourself to consistently great hospitality, and you'll receive the positive reviews you need to procure more and more bookings &mdash; and you also may be referred by that guest to their own friends and family. Past guests have referred our listing many times, and we view that as a testament to the service and accommodations we've provided. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-houseguests-how-to-be-the-host-with-the-most?ref=seealso">How to Be the Host With the Most</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/rox-sublet-living-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>11. Ask Your Guests for Constructive Criticism on How You Can Be a Better Host</h2> <p>I'm always trying to improve what we're offering to guests so often I'll ask for feedback on certain things. Was the bed comfortable enough? Are more pillows needed? Did you enjoy the coffee? This not only shows that you genuinely care about the guests that you're hosting, but it will help you improve your hospitality skills. This also is a good way to let the guests tell you what was wrong in person &mdash; if anything &mdash; which may prevent them from leaving a poor review on your listing after the fact. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-and-give-honest-feedback?ref=seealso">How to Get and Give Honest Feedback</a>)</p> <h2>12. Prepare for Taxes, Because You Have to Pay Them</h2> <p>Now for the bad news. You have to pay taxes on every dollar you make from micro-subletting. All of the micro-subletting sites with which you're listed and making money will send you 1099s at the beginning of the year. This is an important detail to remember because it's very easy to spend that additional income without considering the tax repercussions. You definitely don't want to find yourself in a situation where you owe $8K and you don't have the money in the bank. My suggestion to handle this situation wisely is to put 50% of every booking in your savings account (or more if you'd like), and spend a small portion smartly. By saving and spending our micro-subletting income smartly, we were able to turn one home into two, which means that now we have the means to double the income we were making before. Not a bad deal at all &mdash; and you can do it, too.</p> <p><em>Have questions or advice to add about micro-subletting? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals">How to Find and Book the Best Vacation Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-things-to-do-with-your-spare-change">25 Great Things to Do With Your Spare Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-your-best-garage-sale-ever-by-following-these-9-retail-secrets">Have Your Best Garage Sale Ever by Following These 9 Retail Secrets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income General Tips AirBnb micro-subletting vacation rentals Fri, 04 Apr 2014 08:36:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 1134182 at http://www.wisebread.com When Should You Get a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel? http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/luggage-167232528.jpg" alt="woman with luggage" title="woman with luggage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation rentals &mdash; that is, rooms, apartments, and houses that can be rented in lieu of hotels&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 1.5;">&mdash;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">started out as a little secret that only hardcore travelers shared. But since Airbnb's inception in 2007, the use of vacation rentals has grown a lot and become quite mainstream. In 2013 alone, travelers booked </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/19/airbnb-10m/">6 million stays on Airbn</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">b. Other vacation rental companies have appeared in the past few years, although they're not nearly as popular as Airbnb. (See also: </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental?ref=seealso">Marketing Your Extra Space as a Vacation Rental</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">)</span></p> <p>No doubt some of Airbnb's success is due to its clever marketing campaigns. During the 2014 Winter Olympics, Airbnb used Twitter to reach out to high-profile <a href="http://mashable.com/2014/02/07/airbnb-sochi-problems/">journalists who complained about their hotels</a>. During the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, Airbnb again used Twitter <a href="http://digiday.com/brands/dstilleryes-airbnb-sxsw/">to reward festival-goers with gifts</a> like Whole Foods gift cards and Airbnb credit.</p> <p>For me, the notion of sharing a space with a local individual is appealing. It's definitely a different experience compared to the usual dealings with nameless, faceless hotel chains.</p> <p>But even I will admit that vacation rentals are not for everyone. While staying at a vacation rental has its advantages, it also involves a lot more work than a hotel stay.</p> <h2>Vacation Rental Pros</h2> <p>Before we look at the cons, however, let's look at several reasons why vacation rentals are so popular.</p> <h3>Variety</h3> <p>AirBnB has everything from spare rooms in downtown Montreal to sprawling villas with private swimming pools in Bali. There are even castles, boathouses, and treehouses. No matter what your budget is, there is a vacation rental for you.</p> <h3>Nightly Rates</h3> <p>Speaking of budget, the rates of vacation rentals are often dramatically lower than hotel rates. These rates vary depending on the location and the type of accommodation you rent, though, so do check hotel rates as well before you book.</p> <h3>Long-Term Stays</h3> <p>If your stay will be longer than just a couple of nights, you could enjoy even cheaper accommodation. Some hosts have competitive weekly and monthly rates that could help lower the cost of your long trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig?ref=seealso">How to Land the Perfect House-Sitting Gig</a>)</p> <h3>Use of a Kitchen</h3> <p>Unlike hotels, many vacation rentals have kitchens, which should save you some money if you don't mind cooking during your trip. I once rented a spare room in a house where the kitchen even had a free-for-all shelf full of unopened cans of tomato sauce, pancake mix, bananas, and other random foodstuff left behind by previous guests.</p> <h3>Local Experience</h3> <p>When you stay at a vacation rental, you live in a local home and have local neighbors. It's a different experience from staying at a hotel, where you're always aware that you're just a visitor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-like-a-local-how-to-tap-into-the-local-scene-while-traveling?ref=seealso">How to Live Like a Local While Traveling</a>)</p> <h3>The Host</h3> <p>The best vacation rental hosts are friendly, generous, and knowledgeable. They give you valuable local advice that often enriches the itinerary, ask you to come along on their weekend outings, and even offer to cook you dinner. When you're alone in a strange city, great hosts can make you feel like you belong there.</p> <h2>Vacation Rental Cons</h2> <p>Before you book a room in someone else's house, consider some of the downsides of the vacation rental experience.</p> <h3>The Host</h3> <p>You may not wind up staying with the nice people described above who are happy to cook a meal for you. You could end up with a grumpy host who just wants to make an easy buck. This would be quite annoying if you were to rent a bedroom and share the house with him, but shouldn't be a big problem if you rent a standalone property like an entire apartment unit or house.</p> <h3>Booking</h3> <p>In theory, it's easy to make a vacation rental booking. You're supposed to check for the property's availability on the website, contact the host, and book once you get a positive reply.</p> <p>In practice, it's not always that simple. Maybe the host doesn't update the online availability and his family happens to be visiting on the same weekend as your trip? Or maybe the host is not active enough on the website to reply promptly to your message, leaving you hanging for two whole weeks?</p> <p>To improve your chances, you can start looking well in advance, choose experienced hosts with lots of good reviews, and contact multiple hosts at once. But even if you do everything right, this whole process might take more time than you like.</p> <h3>Amenities</h3> <p>Some things are always available even at the humblest motel. A coffee maker, for example, or a hair dryer.</p> <p>With a vacation rental, you can't assume that such amenities will be available. You're renting someone else's home, after all, and that person may not be a coffee person.</p> <p>Before you book, read the online listing carefully to check if the host mentions the amenities you need. If not, ask the host through the website's messaging system, being as specific as possible with your question.</p> <h3>Safety</h3> <p>Staying at a vacation rental means that you'll be sharing the space with a stranger or at least living in a space to which a stranger has easy access. Vacation rental websites try to verify identities and make it as safe as possible for everyone involved, but there could be one bad host who slips through the cracks.</p> <p>Always check the host's reviews before you book. It won't guarantee a good stay, but a host with 10 positive reviews is a safer bet than a new host with no review. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety?ref=seealso">11 Tips for Hotel Safety</a>)</p> <h2>Bottom Line</h2> <p>Rent a vacation rental instead of a room in a hotel if the following apply to you and your vacation plans:</p> <ul> <li>You don't mind spending more time on the booking process.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You like the idea of living like a local.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You want to spend less on accommodations &mdash; compare the vacation rental prices with hotel prices before you book.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You need a bigger, private space &mdash; book an entire apartment or house.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You like to meet locals and get their insight into ways to explore their city.</li> </ul> <p><em>Have you stayed at a vacation rental? What was your experience like?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals">How to Find and Book the Best Vacation Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know">5 Hotel Room Booking Tools Every Frugal Traveler Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodation AirBnb hotel micro-subletting vacation rental Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:24:20 +0000 Deia B 1133958 at http://www.wisebread.com Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3545552472_f47cb1c5c9_z.jpg" alt="women eating breakfast" title="women eating breakfast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have a penchant for meeting new people and playing host, have you considered short-term rentals to travelers?</p> <p>You can rent out anything from a spare couch to a spare room to a full apartment or house, and you can be as hands-on with your guests (or not) as you wish. Your guests will get a local living experience, and they'll probably save some money over cookie-cutter-hotel alternatives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental">7 Steps to Market Your Extra Space as a Vacation Rental</a>)</p> <h2>Sites That Connect Travelers and Rentals</h2> <p>Below are a variety of services that will help you with the logistics of renting out your nook. Most of them are free to use; they'll market your listing, handle payment processing, and provide a secure platform for communication and privacy protection. Some will even send out a photographer and help you create a professional listing to maximize your rental potential.</p> <p><strong>Roomorama</strong></p> <p>With <a href="http://www.roomorama.com/">Roomorama</a>, you can list anything from a spare bedroom to your entire house or apartment. There are no fees at all for the host (guests are charged an additional booking fee that covers Roomorama's expenses).</p> <p><strong>Wimdu</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.wimdu.com/">Wimdu</a> boasts a wide range of accommodations from apartments and houses to couch space, tents, and boats. Hosts are charged 3% of the booking fee to cover processing and handling.</p> <p><strong>9flats</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.9flats.com/">9flats</a> allows you to rent out a variety of accommodations. It's free for hosts to use (they tack on an additional percentage to your price to cover their costs).</p> <p>9flats just acquired iStopover, which I wrote about a few years ago here &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/istopover-earn-extra-income-or-travel-on-the-cheap-and-a-special-promotion-for-wise-bread-readers">iStopover: Earn Extra Income or Travel on the Cheap</a>.</p> <p><strong>Airbnb</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a> is free to list, but you pay 3% of the guest charges on successful bookings to cover fees. The sky is the limit in terms of what you can rent out; you can list anything from a parking space to an igloo to shared rooms, full houses, lighthouses, caves, and even trains, tipis, and tree houses.</p> <p><strong>Go With Oh</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.gowithoh.com/">Go With Oh</a> is currently only in major European cities, and each city is separately managed with its own subsidiary website and management team. The whole process is free for hosts, but hosting possibilities are limited to full apartment rentals.</p> <h2>Tips and Etiquette</h2> <p>Although short-term rental services for travelers are becoming increasingly popular, there are still a few grey areas to navigate. Here are some general tips and etiquette to get the most out of your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-a-traveler-13-tips-to-keep-it-safe-easy-and-cheap">hosting</a>/rental experience.</p> <p><strong>Being the Host With the Most</strong></p> <p>Even if you are just renting out your space and are unable (or unwilling) to spend time with travelers, in most cases you (or a designated representative) are required as the point-person to greet your guests, give them keys, and orient them to the place.</p> <p>From there its up to you to work out with the guests how hands-on your relationship will be during their stay. If you are renting out a room and sharing common space with your guests, it's good to set the stage right away, so there are no problems or misplaced expectations.</p> <p>There is no obligation to play host to travelers, but many owners enjoy the cultural exchange and ability to provide an enriched travel experience.</p> <p><strong>Cleaning</strong></p> <p>You're responsible for providing a clean, presentable space, and cleaning up after guests leave. Some sites allow you to offer cleaning services (you can usually specify the terms) as an additional service for which you can charge.</p> <p><strong>Legal and Tax Implications</strong></p> <p>In most places, income received from short-term rentals is taxable, but you will be responsible for paying those taxes (the services above don't withhold tax). Consult your accountant to get the scoop, and find out what expenses you can use as deductions to reduce or eliminate the tax liability.</p> <p>I'd also recommend setting aside a percentage of rental income received as you receive it to cover any anticipated tax bite.</p> <p>Also, if you don't own the place you're renting out, be sure to check with your landlord to see if they approve of sublets.</p> <p><strong>Rental Damage</strong></p> <p>Some of the sites listed above allow owners to use a security deposit process (either in the form of cash or a credit card authorization). However, they're hands-off when it comes to collecting/holding and reimbursing the deposit &mdash; that's your domain.</p> <p>Some of the sites offer insurance (either for an additional fee or included in the agreement), but it's often specific to certain countries due to various regulations.</p> <p>Also check your home insurance policy to see if there is coverage for short-term (paying) guests.</p> <p><strong>Make Even More Money Serving as a Tour Guide</strong></p> <p>If you like the idea of making a little extra money and meeting people from all over the world, you might want to show off your backyard and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-in-your-hometown-become-a-tour-guide">make even more extra money as a tour guide</a>!</p> <p><em>Do any Wise Bread readers have experience using any of the above short-term rental services &mdash; either as a traveler or host/owner? Please let us know what it was like in the comments! </em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental">7 Steps to Market Your Extra Space as a Vacation Rental</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps">Turn Your Home Into a Rental in 9 Easy Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Real Estate and Housing Travel AirBnb frugal vacations renting Fri, 21 Sep 2012 10:24:41 +0000 Nora Dunn 954607 at http://www.wisebread.com