Real estate investors with income properties in their portfolios have enjoyed a world of success with short-term rentals this summer. Given that the pandemic isn't yet behind us, many travelers have opted to rent private homes rather than book hotel rooms, allowing investors to benefit big time.
But while you may have seen your fair share of bookings this past summer, you may typically experience a decline during the cold weather months. In fact, a lot of short-term rental properties are better suited for warm-weather guests, like beach and lake houses. But in reality, you never know when someone might want to get away for a random week in January, even if it means bundling up at the beach or enjoying lake views rather than an actual swim. If your goal is to secure more wintertime guests, here are some moves to consider.
1. Upgrade your property's heating system
Homes that don't see much wintertime activity aren't always equipped with state-of-the-art heating systems. But if you want to enjoy more wintertime bookings, then that's an investment you may need to make -- especially if your current heating system isn't much to write home about. Keep in mind that while you might spend some money to upgrade your income property's heating system, if you replace your current system with a more energy-efficient alternative, you could get some of that investment back via savings on utility bills.
2. Invest in insulation
You may not need a heating system overhaul if you do a better job of insulating your property instead. Adding insulation could end up being a less costly prospect, especially if you can do the work yourself. Some common places to insulate homes are the attic, garage, and basement -- especially if these areas are unfinished. Also, since heat rises, insulting your ceilings can be a smart move if you want to keep your home cozier during the winter and cooler in the summer.
3. Put in better windows
Energy-efficient windows don't just save you money on heating and cooling costs. They can also make a property's interior more comfortable. That's important if you're hoping to turn something like a beach or lake house into a year-round destination. Keep in mind that replacing your windows could also mean investing in energy-efficient shades or blinds, so factor that expense in, too.
4. Stock up on the right bedding
If you don't want to sink a ton of money into home updates, you may be able to compensate with the right array of bedding. Buy some warm comforters and outfit your home with plenty of throw blankets. You can also purchase flannel sheet sets for when the weather gets really cold. It's a lower-cost way to help ensure the comfort of your wintertime guests.
5. Update your water heater
When the weather gets cold, there's nothing like the comfort of a long, hot shower to make the winter months more bearable. If you upgrade your income property's water heater, you can use that to your advantage when you advertise, enticing potential guests with the benefit of being able to take a long, warm bath or shower. It may be a strong enough advertising point to get more reservations.
Just because your income property is more suited toward warm weather guests doesn't mean you have to go an entire winter without bookings. If you're willing to make some adjustments and improvements to your property, you may be pleasantly surprised at just how busy your property stays during the off season.
Remember, a lot of people are working remotely these days, and as such, they have the flexibility to do their jobs from anywhere. You never know who might want a change of scenery this winter. Setting up your home to accommodate guests when the weather gets cold is a smart move that could really pay off.