03 Dec Cashing in on the short term rental market – Quirin Schwaighofer
Quirin Schwaighofer from Made Comfy joins us to discuss the short term rental revolution and in particular how you can prepare your property to cash in on the Airbnb revolution.
Kevin: There’s no doubt in my mind that the popularity of the short-term rental market is absolutely booming. You only have to look at the popularity of sites like Airbnb, more and more people learning how to harness some downtime in their property to make additional money. Sites are springing up to help this happen. One of them is a site called MadeComfy.
Recently, Sarah Megginson from Your Investment Property and I caught up with one of the co-founders of MadeComfy to talk about their tips on how you can prepare or better prepare your property for the short-term rental market, because you can do it right, you can do it wrong, and believe me, there are some big mistakes you can make, and that’s going to have a big impact on the income that you can make.
I ask Quirin, who is a co-founder of MadeComfy, to detail for me his top five tips on getting a property ready for the short-term rental market.
Quirin: The very first thing that is often forgotten is to look into the reason why you are doing that, what your goal is, and also what the potential of your property is. That’s a very important bit, because not every property is suitable for short-term renting. It depends a lot on the location where it is. Is it in a tourist or business hotspot?
What is the potential earning for your property? When we engage with a customer, we provide a 12-month revenue prediction, pretty much compare that with long-term to have a clear understanding what is the potential of the property, and does it make financial sense?
Kevin: Your second tip is that you need to understand your competition. How do you go about doing that?
Quirin: You have to understand you’re not the only one who’s out there. We list properties of our customers on platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and others, and there are other people also doing that as well. It’s really important to understand who are they, and what is there? Also what the property looks like and what is the price point?
It’s a marketplace, and you can only generate the return that people are willing to do. The competition is important on that.
Kevin: Quirin, do you find it’s necessary for people to do any major renovations before they put their property on to the market?
Quirin: It is an important part to present a property that is nice and comfortable – nice and comfy. If you have a new property that was built in the last ten years, then you maybe have to worry less about that. You might have a place that is a bit older, and it’s important to understand what is the condition of the kitchen or the bathroom?
They are areas that guests look at, and they create a perception of the whole property based on that. If the kitchen hasn’t been renovated for 25 years, it might require some touch-up work. The same with the bathroom, it’s important that it looks simply clean.
The other one is simple things like painting, the flooring, some accent walls. So, a few things you can do on the renovation side that will make sure you are on the top 10% or 20% of the short-term rentals in your neighborhood.
Kevin: How important is the furniture and styling and all of that in terms of the presentation overall?
Quirin: By touching up, properties and making sure they look quirky and comfy, the potential revenue went significantly up. Things like your living room, your bed, so it’s an important part to look at (a) the look and feel and then the quality of the furniture.
Kevin: All this is fine – you can have a great looking property – but if people aren’t treated well when they arrive and the place doesn’t look clean, then all of this really doesn’t matter.
Quirin: Yes, in the end, the main product you provide is the service to guests. That starts with the booking. You need to set out the price of the property; that’s a big thing. It’s currently mainly an amateur-ish dominated market, so there’s a lot of potential to price it a property smarter than others do.
It’s about the cleaning, and cleaning is not like the domestic cleaning; you need to provide cleaning that is at a hotel standard, and you need to wash and provide linen and towels and amenities on a regular basis. That can be every two or three nights when you have a new check-in.
The last one is, of course, to actually think about how to check in your guests. They might arrive at 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday or at 6:00 a.m. in the morning, so you need to be able to coordinate that.
Lastly is the maintenance. Things do go wrong, air conditioners stop working, locks break, all these things happen, and you don’t have weeks to fix that; you have hours, so a guest doesn’t cancel the booking and get a full refund, and you end up having no one staying in your place for a week or two.
Kevin: Yes, it’s a great service. And a lot more information, too, in that podcast you’ll find on the website. It’s in the Your Investment Property magazine channel. Go and check it out for yourself.
Quirin, congratulations on your work. MadeComfy.com.au is the website. And thanks again for your time.
Quirin: Thank you very much, Kevin. It was a pleasure.