Short-term rentals are a challenge right now. Here are some other options for generating income from your vacation property.
If you own a vacation home that you rent out on a short-term basis, you may be noticing an unhappy trend: Guests are canceling their bookings like crazy, leaving property owners like you in the lurch. And while there's talk that short-term rentals may pick up again in the latter part of the year, right now, a large number of property owners may be struggling with vacancies -- not to mention the mortgage payments and property taxes they'll somehow need to cover in the absence of rental income.
If you're finding it difficult to book short-term renters for your vacation home, now may be a good time to think outside the box. Here are a few ways to monetize your property if guests aren't looking to book a getaway.
1. Rent out storage space
Storage space can be hard to come by, especially in areas where square footage comes at a premium. As such, it could pay to rent out not your actual home but the closets, basement, or attic for storage purposes. There are actually websites (StoreAtMyHouse is one of them) that help facilitate these arrangements, and while it will require some flexibility on your part -- you'll need to give your storage renters regular access to your home -- it could also be a good way to generate income at a time when renters aren't biting.
2. Rent out a parking space
In major cities or popular beach or resort areas, parking can be extremely limited, and daily or monthly lots can be prohibitively expensive. If you're having trouble finding renters for your vacation home, try renting out your driveway instead, whether on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. With so many people working from home right now, you may find a number of interested parties who would pay a premium to park on your property rather than deal with the hassle of moving their cars every other day to accommodate street-cleaning requirements.
3. Rent out your home as an office space
Many people are working remotely due to COVID-19 and struggling because of it. Parents who work may be desperate for some peace and quiet to focus on job tasks, while those who tend to get stir crazy may be itching for an opportunity to do their work in a new environment. That's why now's a good time to bill your vacation home not as a getaway but as an office -- one that can be rented by the day, week, or even month.
Though the above suggestions may not generate the same amount of income you'd normally get by renting out your vacation home the conventional way, they're viable solutions if you're sitting on a vacant home and a mortgage you're struggling to pay. If there's anything COVID-19 has taught us, it's that it's important to be adaptable when life changes in the blink of an eye, so rather than resign yourself to a summer without any rental income, think about the ways you can salvage an otherwise dire situation.