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Whether you are using your personal home or your rental unit, there are certain steps to take to start offering a furnished rental unit. These six tips will get you started.

Who is your client?

In the short term market, clients travel for business or pleasure. These two groups have very different needs. Business travelers tend to stay longer, but pay a lower rate. Vacation travelers stay for a short period of time, but may be willing to pay top dollar for a prime location or peak season. Will you offer a rental with amenities to compete with a hotel, or will you pack your unit with lots of beds and pullout sofas to sleep as many guests as possible? Figure out which target client will be the most successful in your area, then furnish your house accordingly.

Determine a rental price

Per night, short term rentals give you the most bang for your buck. However, what happens when you can’t rent your unit at any point? This step will require research to determine when the most potential clients will be in town. Business travelers may be available for a longer season than vacationers. Along with missed income through vacancies, keep your other expenses in mind. Are your utility costs high, low, or variable? Other costs such as landscaping and pool service may be seasonal as well.

Be sure to consider additional costs for supplies that must be provided, such as paper products, toiletries, and utensils that you will provide, and occasionally replace, to fully outfit your unit.

At first, you may have to make a large investment in furniture, even if you will be renting your own home. You may need to purchase additional beds or flexible furniture that can be reconfigured for waking and sleeping hours. You may want to replace valuable, fragile, or sentimentally significant pieces with more durable ones. Remember the figure in the cost of outfitting all areas, especially kitchens, with the tools that will be needed to provide a comfortable stay to your renters.

Know what you will have to make in order to break even, but also research your competition. All factors considered, is your target price reasonable?

Put your best face forward

In our digital age, photos are crucially important to introduce your audience to your property. You want photos that clearly show your unit, including outdoor spaces. Panoramic shots can help give a better sense of the complete space. Consider bringing in a professional to take your photos. When you stage the photos, don’t feature amenities that you do not plan to provide. You don’t want to set up false expectations for your renters.