Free Wifi, a heated pool, pet services and clever sleeping solutions that can accommodate as many people as possible in the same space. These are just some of the features that property owners highlight when opening up their homes to long and short term rentals all over the world.
As illustrated in Real Estate News, the home rental industry has grown significantly in recent years. Even so, renting can be a lot more work than most people anticipate, which is why many homeowners choose to enlist the help and expertise of a property management company. Especially as guest expectations are forever becoming higher. So, if everyone’s offering more or less the same conditions for the same price, what is there to compel a renter to choose one property over another?
Making health and safety a priority
Well, a good place to start is to put yourself in the guest’s shoes. If there’s one thing that we all want from a rental, whether it’s a long-term rent or a vacation rental, it’s to feel safe.
Health and safety is an undervalued area, worthy of deeper exploration and one that can help property owners find a competitive edge. For example, mold growth is a common problem for many homeowners, bringing with it a number of health risks for anyone who’s exposed. If ignored and given the opportunity to grow in the crevices and empty spaces of porous materials, it will be near impossible to remove completely.
It’s not unusual for a homeowner to publish photos of a beautifully-made bed, a lush green lawn and a top of the range coffee maker to catch the attention of potential renters. It’s not as common to find homeowners promoting the clean, healthy, risk-free nature of their properties and the concerted effort they make to prioritize the well being of those they invite into their rental homes. Imagine just how important health and safety is to guests who have children. It’s time to approach the home rental industry from a whole new perspective and elevate health and safety to the number one spot.
The installation of antimicrobial countertops in the kitchen could be another winning feature when trying to market your rental property as a suitable choice for families. These clever countertops actively kill off bacteria and so help to keep your rental home as germ-free as possible. In fact, according to Countertop Investigator, unchecked bacteria on your countertop can double in numbers every 20 minutes, which is why you might want to consider investing in one of the three types of antimicrobial countertops available:
- Silestone quartz
- Wilsonart HD Laminate
Most recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are admitted to hospital and 3,000 actually die from foodborne illnesses every single year in the U.S. With figures like that to contend with, the benefits of doing everything you can to make your rental home as germ-free as possible become even more evident.
Childproof features and installations
Balconies without a protective mesh, windows that don’t have childproof locks on them or that open too wide, cupboards and doors that can’t be locked, or even sharp corners on the edges of furniture present dangerous environments and set the scene for hazardous situations to occur when children are involved. The positive impact that childproof features and installations can make on a family’s vacation experience or on their short-term rental is perhaps underestimated.
Finding somewhere suitable to stay away from home, or finding a long-term rental property that caters to the needs of families with young children, is not an easy task. Property owners who are interested in discovering and securing that competitive edge, and excelling in a niche sector of the home rental industry, should consider the benefits of meeting the specific health and safety requirements that parents are always on the lookout for.
Guests with disabilities
Although it’s probably fair to assume that parents tend to be more interested than most in the health and safety features of a rental property, there’s plenty of scope for exploring the importance of health and safety among other demographics. For example, renters with disabilities may be looking for properties designed to accommodate those in wheelchairs, those with sight impediments, or those who find it difficult getting up the stairs or in and out of the bath.
So many homeowners place emphasis on the visual look of their rental properties and on the comfortable luxuries that are available to guests who choose to stay in their homes. Few highlight the accessible nature of their properties or invest in specific features to suit the needs of differently-abled renters.
Help with emergency services or healthcare provisions
While a rental property is not a hotel, and not the same style of accommodation by any means, homeowners have a duty to do everything within their power to ensure that renters enjoy their stay. Positive rental experiences translate into favorable online reviews and a chance to gain the competitive edge over other property owners who rent accommodation in your region. If you rent your property to people who aren’t from the area, or to foreigners who have traveled from abroad, a welcome pack can make a huge impact; particularly if it includes numbers to call in the event of an emergency or accident. Consider including numbers for the fire department, ambulance, police and the nearest 24-hour pharmacy.
Instead of a mini-bar, or even in addition to, you could provide guests with a complimentary first-aid kit that could include some painkillers, band-aids, an ice-pack, a thermometer and other helpful additions that you consider appropriate. Just as you’d do an inventory check before the guests leave for kitchen equipment and household items, you could make a revision of the first-aid kit part of the checkout process.
Buildings or properties with 24-hour security should also be advertised as such. Most renters appreciate the benefits of having someone on hand to speak to at any time of the day or night. It may not be as glamorous as a heated swimming pool, a Jacuzzi bath, or a gym, but it’s the kind of feature that makes renters feel safe.
By way of bringing everything to a close, while it’s important to think about design, furnishings and those special home touches, there’s little doubt that homeowners looking to discover that competitive edge should make health and safety a priority feature in any property they choose to rent.
Finding a home insurance policy that’s adequate enough to keep homeowners and their properties completely covered is also important. So, if you’re new to short-term or long-term renting, don’t take risks. Take the time to investigate and get as much expert advice on the subject as possible.