Renting out your home has many benefits. For instance, it can be a great way to meet new people, cover homeowner expenses, earn additional income, and invest in your retirement. Plus, it gives you an excuse to fix up your home, and you can enjoy the upgrades since you still own the place. If you’ve decided to turn your home into a vacation rental, there are some simple ways to prepare it so that it satisfies your future renters.


Think About What You Would Like


First of all, it helps to put yourself in the renter’s shoes. What would make a vacation home appealing to you? The most important characteristic would likely be your comfort level. Therefore, make any necessary changes to maximize comfort and livability in the home — whether that means adding an ottoman (you can find one at Overstock for $53) in the living room or removing a large kitchen island to create more space. Also, make sure the home has enough seating, good lighting, and any other components that make a living space comfortable.


While you want the home to be comfortable, you also want it to appeal to a wide range of customers. This means you may have to remove some personal items here and there. For instance, if you were renting a home that had family photos everywhere, you may feel like you were intruding on someone else’s space. You want your renters to feel at home during their vacation. Furthermore, it doesn’t hurt to plan for the worst-case scenario (i.e., theft, accidental damage), so don’t have anything in the home that can’t be replaced.


Perform Regular Maintenance.


One of the most important aspects of renting out your home is regular maintenance. You want to make sure the property is functional and safe at all times — from the plumbing, electricity, and smoke/CO alarms to the roof, gutters, and windows. Also, it’s essential to change your air filters regularly, and air filter subscription companies can make your job easier by sending you filters whenever you need them (FilterEasy offers filters for $11.97 a piece, plus a $3 surcharge). The simplest way to ensure your home is kept up is to hire a property management service, which will arrange all maintenance, repairs, cleaning, and any other housekeeping services you need.


Make Room


When you’re renting your home out, it’s beneficial to make room for more people. For example, think about any extra rooms that you’re using just for storage and consider turning them into guest rooms. Think of it this way: The more guests that can sleep in the vacation rental, the more money you can rent it out for. If you have furniture or other items that need to be moved, you can always put them in storage. For the best value in Pensacola, consider renting a 10-by-10 self-storage unit for $59 at Emerald Coast Storage/Parking and U-Haul.


Provide the Basics.


Finally, you want to make sure your vacation rental has the basic amenities and upgrades that will attract the most visitors. This includes appliances such as a washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, oven, microwave, and so on. Be sure to provide plenty of dishes, cooking utensils, bedding, and towels. Stock up on electronic goods like a TV, DVD/Blu-ray player, and radio (and make sure they work). Also, upgrading the home to smart technology (e.g., smart locks, thermostats, lights, etc.) will bring the highest ROI.


If you’ve done your research and decided to rent out your home as a vacation rental, a little preparation will go a long way toward making it a good experience for you and your future guests. Start by considering things you would like in a vacation home, but remember to remove personal and/or irreplaceable items. Be sure to keep up with maintenance, and consider hiring a property management service to handle all matters for you. Finally, expand the guest space as much as you can, and stock the home with attractive amenities.