How to Rent Out Your Cottage

Cottage rentals are quickly becoming a popular choice for summer vacationers. With the purchase price of cottages climbing higher than ever, many people opt for the rental option to get their cottage experience.

If done properly, renting out your cottage can offer serious financial benefit. But it isn’t as easy as slapping an ad on Kijiji - repeat renters and glowing testimonials will form the backbone of your success.

So how do you make sure every renter wants to come back?

Give directions: This might seem obvious, but if your property is down a winding lane with confusing signage, your guests will be irritated when they arrive - if they arrive at all! Provide clear, easy to follow instructions so make sure getting there is a breeze.

Make the cottage shine: Although the cottage might be in a rustic setting, people still have hotel-quality expectations. Finding dog hair on the sofa, and footprints on the hardwood floor is a big turn-off. Be thorough with the cleaning after every renter.

Make the bed: Spots, tears, and discolouration on the bedding can quickly sour a renter’s opinion of a property. Bedding should be crisp and clean, and neatly arranged on all available beds. Heavier bedding for cooler nights should be easily accessible.

Provide the essentials: Although many people bring their own supplies, offer the essentials to help out those more forgetful renters. Hand soap in the bathroom and dish soap in the kitchen is a must. Small bottles of shampoo and body wash are great, but not necessary. Bath towels (not beach towels) and hand towels in the bathroom is a nice touch.

Stock the kitchen: When packing food for a vacation, seasoning is the last thing on people’s minds. Stock the kitchen with the basics: salt, pepper, sugar, water (if the water isn’t potable), coffee, and tea. Of course, flatware and dishes should be available, and clean. And, since most people like to relax with a glass or two of wine while they are on vacation, make sure there are wine glasses available!

Stage the living spaces: Adding a few nice decor touches - like custom wallpaper, or pretty throw pillows - will make your property much more appealing to higher-end clients.

Give usage instructions: Be very clear about what guests can use - boats, fish rods, life jackets, etc, and provide instructions on how to use and store those items.

Be a concierge: Your guests are likely not from the area, so leave a list of places to go for supplies, restaurants and interesting destinations nearby (like the best ice cream shop, or a neat tourist spot). Your guests will appreciate the extra effort!

Renting out your cottage can be a financially beneficial decision. But if all of this sounds a bit overwhelming, I’d be happy to help! Contact me for a rental consultation - I can help you make sure your cottage gets the 5-star rating it deserves.

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