by Andrew Printz
At the start of every season, it's important to ask yourself: is my home rental ready? The answer may not be as easy as you think. At Outer Beaches Realty, rental readiness goes beyond touchups and a new comforter here or there. Our Rental Ready program is an annual in-depth analysis of every piece of your home, from the number of steak knives in your kitchen to the condition of your lampshades, along with replacement and replenishment of needed items. This program helps make sure no stone is left unturned in giving your guests a great first impression and an excellent vacation experience. Considering a DIY analysis? Here's where to start.
Cleanliness & Cleaning Supply Inventory.
The first and sometimes biggest piece of the rental readiness puzzle is cleanliness. Before every season, your home should undergo a thorough deep cleaning of every surface, appliance, piece of furniture, fan and fixture, square inch of flooring, bedding, upholstery-the list is nearly endless. To give you an idea of how thorough this process should be, our housekeeping teams dedicate a full week to the process for a single home. So if you are doing your own deep clean and it takes you only a few hours, you're leaving your guests plenty of fodder for negative reviews.
In addition, your home should be stocked with cleaning tools for guests to use, including a mop and bucket, brooms and dustpans, and one vacuum on every floor. (Avoid leaving cleaning chemicals in your home.) Each bathroom should have a toilet brush and plunger.
Your kitchen inventory is another critical part of being ready for the rental season. Every home should have a minimum of basic cookware items, including but not limited to:
- Baking dishes
- Sauce pans
- Measuring utensils
- Cooking and serving utensils
- Cutting boards
- Pot holders
- Small appliances like blenders and coffee makers
For dishware, a good rule of thumb is to supply at least 1.5 x the maximum number of people your home accommodates (based on 2 people per bedroom).
It may be intimidating, but it's important to take an objective, critical look at your big appliances every year. Catching a potential problem early make cost a little more cash than you want to spend right now, but it could save you hundreds to thousands of dollars - and some very upset guests - down the road. Look closely at the following items:
- Refrigerator and ice maker(s)
- Stove and oven
- Washers and dryers
- Hot water heaters
- Pool, hot tub, and spa equipment
Additionally, consider getting professional inspections for:
- Luggage lifts
- HVAC units
- Septic systems
You may not need to replace the bedding in your primary residence very often, but in a vacation rental, the wear and tear on bedding occurs at an accelerated rate. Evaluate not just your comforters, quilts, and sheets (if you provide linens) but also your mattress pads, pillows, and pillow protectors. These items should be replaced annually.
Other Items to Inspect.
- Windows and window treatments
- Lamps and lighting
- Audio/visual equipment
- Sliding doors
- Wall scuffs and dings
- Curb appeal