All eyes will soon be on Washington, DC for the upcoming presidential inauguration and a million people are expected to flood into the Nation’s Capital, both for the inauguration and various protest events, creating a high demand for lodging. For those considering last-minute to rent their homes to Inauguration Week visitors as a way to make some extra cash, the following advice should be considered. Our Alexandria and DC-area based real estate team has some experience renting properties to out-of-towners and of course, lots of experience with customer service and marketing properties!
Helpful Tips for Renting Out Your Home:
- If you still haven’t posted your listing, get it up ASAP! Make sure the photos posted online look great. Remove excess “stuff.”
- Promote your location as it relates to easy access to events. Is your home near bus lines or metro? If so, let people know the distance and show the ease. If it’s less convenient, give a credit for an uber trip.
- Act as a “concierge” of sorts: offer a well stocked refrigerator or a welcome basket with some basic snacks or neighborhood tips. Arrange for a car service to pick up and drop off from train or airport.
- If you don’t own your property, be sure to get landlord permission before sub-leasing to a short term rental. If your landlord finds out, they could take action.
- Definitely give a heads up to your neighbors. You want to be sure they are not alarmed by strangers going in and out of your place to preserve neighbor relations. Another potential benefit – they might even keep an eye on the place for you and report back while you’re away!
- Be sure you are prepared for the risk and liability if your home or personal items get damaged. Remove treasured personal items and valuables from your home.
- Be prepared for the interruption to your life – guest inquiries, checking in and out, neighbor complaints, items being broken or guests getting locked out. It happens!
The Bottom Line
Be prepared. If you’re getting out of town, make sure someone you know and trust is nearby with a key in case of emergency at your home. Make sure your guests have your contact information and that you will be easily reachable. Renting out your home in the short term can be a great way to capitalize and make some extra cash – but be sure to weigh all of the possible pitfalls too. It’s not for everyone!
If you have any questions about preparing your home or with any real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re always happy to help.
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