If you're looking to earn extra cash, why not rent out a room? Providing overnight accommodation is a highly popular budget-booster, with new hosts starting up every day. With the help of an online letting platform, you'll find it a safe and simple process, and there are plenty of good platforms to choose from. Letting a room will also create an opportunity to meet new people, show off your home and earn some great reviews. Here are some tips for getting started:
Decide which areas to share
Consider how much of your property you're willing to share with your guests. Are you happy to offer use of your kitchen, for instance, or would you prefer to provide tea- and coffee-making facilities in the room? Will they share your bathroom or have one of their own? Some hosts share their living-rooms and invite their guests in to watch TV or chat over a drink, but again, the choice is yours.
Plan and prepare the room
Within your designated space, decide what provisions you'll offer, and which will be left to visitors to supply themselves. Your agency will probably require some specific items, such as bedding, soap, shampoo and towel, but you may wish to add extras, such as a bedside lamp, clothes hangers and a hairdryer. You may wish to give the walls a fresh coat of paint, too, or invest in some new furniture. The more comfortable, convenient and attractive the room, the more custom it will draw.
Set your price
Look at other hosts' rates to help you pitch your own. What are those in your area asking for similar accommodation? Your hosting platform may allow an additional charge for cleaning, but if not, you'll need to factor that into the total, while keeping it affordable. If you're uncertain, why not test the waters with the highest feasible figure? You can lower it later if there aren't enough takers.
Browse the online room-letting platforms, and their reviews, and sign up as a host with your chosen one. Fill in their registration form, upload pictures of the designated space, together with one of yourself, and click the button to join their global listing. Then sit back and await your first request. When that comes in, check out the applicant's reviews and profile, and if you're happy, go ahead. Your first earnings are now scheduled.
As soon as you've confirmed the booking, send a welcoming message to your guest. Perhaps reach out further with some handy information, such as directions to your property or local restaurant recommendations. Your friendly, helpful approach will win you their confidence and respect, preparing the way for a mutually pleasing room let.
Add the finishing touches to your spare room, viewing it from your guest's perspective. What further items might they need, and what will they most appreciate? Would a few books or a potted plant enhance the ambience, and do all the facilities work as they should? Spruce up all shared areas, and keep any excitable pets out of the way at arrival time. It's customary to offer a hot drink as part of the welcome, so put the kettle on ready.
Be prepared for your guest to turn up a little before or after their estimated arrival time. Travel times and arrangements for the day can never be predicted with certainty. When you let them in, you'll want to exchange pleasantries and show them around, but they'll probably be glad to unwind in the privacy of their room after that, so you can take time off then.
By the time your first guest arrives, you'll probably have more bookings in the diary. Before you know it, your new, little business will be in full swing, and your bank balance well on the rise. You can start right now if you like.