Written by Sam Bowen
If you own a cabin in the woods that you don’t use year-round, then you should consider turning it into a rental property when you are out of town. This is a great way to a little extra money and use the funds to make the space more enjoyable when you enjoy the space.
If you have considered putting your cabin up for rent, there a few things to consider and prepare before your first visitors.
Why and How to Rent Out Your Cabin
There are many great reasons to spruce up your cabin and rent it out. The coziness makes rental cabins popular with many, especially during the winter months when snow is on the ground. Guests can stay warm inside as they look at the nearby landscape.
Because of the allure, you can make good money — and earn even more when you make the right upgrades. The other great perk is that since you can set the rental terms, you and your family can still go up to the cabin and enjoy it whenever you want.
To advertise your cabin and differentiate it from the competitors, you will want to stage it and take attractive photographs that will entice potential renters. If you have a fireplace, you may want to turn that on for the photo. Highlight all the sitting areas and the openness of the home.
It is also a good idea to open all the blinds and drapes so you can lighten up any dark spaces. Natural light will make the space appear larger, and it will make the cabin look bright and cheery. More natural light will also cut down on your utility costs.
Once you have some professional-looking photos, you can post them online to popular rental websites. Many renters like to list their properties on sites like Airbnb, Vrbo, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com. Most websites will allow you to post your listing for free, and they have low commission rates, so you pocket a good portion of the rent.
Make Upgrades to Entice Renters
While you may be particular about how your cabin is set up, you never know what a potential renter may be looking for. It is a good idea to make updates and add amenities that will draw in potential customers.
For starters, you could add more electronics and smart devices throughout the cabin that can make life a bit easier for renters. A smart thermostat will allow folks to change the temperature with ease. You can also add a smart speaker so people can control the TV and music with their words instead of learning to use fussy remotes.
You should also put some focus on the exterior of your cabin. Make sure that all woodwork and shingles are in good repair to add to that all-important curb appeal. Don’t forget that people love to sit outside and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings, so consider adding a deck or patio where renters can sit outside. If you live near water, you can build or repair a dock so renters with boats or a passion for swimming can easily have fun in the water, as well.
Don’t forget that you can also update the space by improving the aesthetics and presentation of the cabin by using current home design trends. Start with a fresh coat of paint. Many people go with the color green to bring out the natural aspect of their more rustic homes. Other colors like blue and purple also present a sense of peace and comfort. You can also improve the space by updating the flooring to tile to make it easier to clean. New, modern lighting fixtures will add the final, perfect touch.
Clean the Cabin and Make It Sustainable
To really make your place the hottest rental on the market, you need to make it a habit to go to the cabin regularly or hire a team to clean it for you on a regular basis. At a minimum, you will want to go there once per month and thoroughly clean the bathrooms, kitchen, living areas and bedrooms.
It is also important to clean after a renter has left. In addition to scrubbing, sweeping and vacuuming, you should also check every room for any leftover clothes or personal belongings. Also, check the pantry for food they may have left behind. If one of your selling points is that you stock the pantry, then be sure to replenish it between guests.
In addition to cleaning the space, you should also provide clean energy to the space by making sustainable upgrades wherever possible. For instance, you can replace incandescent lights with LED bulbs because they use less energy and are more affordable to operate. Also, consider installing low-flow showerheads to reduce costs and water waste. If possible, install solar panels on the roof to provide clean energy for your cabin at a fraction of the price. Many people see sustainability as a major plus, so mention it in your rental listing.