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Converting Your Second Home to a Rental Property

Many owners of second homes in holiday destinations often decide to eventually rent them out when they’re not staying there.

Whether it’s to purely cover costs or to run a profitable holiday rental business, converting your second home to a rental property is a big commitment that requires time, investment and a re-evaluation of your own use of the property.

In this post, we offer some top tips for owners who are converting their second home to a rental property including:

  • balancing your family’s needs with paying guests’ needs
  • identifying the preferences of your target audience and meeting guests’ expectations
  • prioritising quality over quantity when it comes to capacity, furnishings, storage and deco items
  • understanding how much of an investment is required in order to see a successful return

1. Meeting guests’ expectations

Firstly, aim to identify what it is that you, your friends and your family love about visiting your property. Then, try to decipher whether or not other guests will appreciate the same things.

Make sure to be honest, objective and respectful when making these decisions and try to keep in mind that you’re trying to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

Next, think about your own expectations from a holiday rental property when you go on holiday. Determine whether or not your property meets those same standards and if not, how long it will take to meet them. When doing this, aim to look at your property through the eyes of a guest – does your property deliver what’s needed?

2. Decluttering and refurbishing

Naturally, your property will appear lived in and will house a fair few of your family’s personal belongings at this point. Although some items are sentimental and have pride of place in your second home, you need to consider a few things when it comes to decluttering and refurbishing including…

Easy of cleaning

The more clutter there is, the harder it will be for your cleaning team to complete necessary tasks on changeover day. Consider too that this will increase the time it takes to clean, which will add to your housekeeping costs.

Damage

If you choose to leave sentimental, personal items in your holiday rental property, you’ll run the risk of them getting damaged. If you’re precious about certain objects, it’s best to remove them from your home before you welcome paying guests.

Ownership

Although it will always be your home, remember that for the period of time your guests are staying at your rental property, they want to feel like it’s all theirs.

Home Improvements

Conduct an honest review of your property’s furniture and decor. At OVO Network, we tend to divide these home improvements into ‘quick fixes’ and ‘bigger projects’.

For example, a few scuff marks on the kitchen table or the odd stain on the sofa cover can be easily overlooked by your family and friends – but paying guests will be expecting a certain level of quality. Prepare to spend some of your budget on quick fixes like this.

Bigger projects take longer, and it’s not always realistic to expect owners to commit to numerous tasks straight away. However, we’ve seen first-hand how updating and modernising areas of facilities within your property can boost your bookings and help to maximise your income.

Consider the flow and layout of your property at this point too. Your family may not mind walking through one bedroom to get to the next, however different groups may find this dynamic offputting.

Don’t forget your outdoor spaces too. Do they work as well as your indoor areas?

Guests are often looking to find that ‘home away from home’ feel, but ultimately they’re still looking for a novelty experience when on holiday.

You need to decide whether or not you are in a position financially to upgrade and refurbish some areas of your property before you start converting your second home into a rental property.

Equipment and Facilties

Some things just can’t be compromised. Guests need basic items when staying in a self-catered holiday property in order to allow them to live in it comfortably throughout their stay.

The better the equipment and facilities are, the more likely you are to get repeat bookings and receive positive feedback.

Our owners agree to provide all of the items on our Minimum Equipment list, which we feel meets the basic needs of all of our guests on their holiday.

Safety

Remember that your home will become a commercial rental property and this requires you to meet certain safety requirements. You’ll need to adhere to the legal requirements of setting up a rental property as well as installing safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors and so on.

Are your current appliances and facilities in safe working condition? If in doubt, replace any old items that you feel could be a risk to guests in any way.

3. Capacity

Contemplate whether or not the maximum capacity of your property is realistic. Some common pain points for guests include:

  • not being able to fit all the guests around the table
  • having to move dining chairs into the living room due to a lack of comfortable seating
  • a poor bedroom to bathroom ratio
  • a lack of storage space for all of their luggage

Could some spaces be put to better use? Many first time owners often prioritise fitting the maximum of guests in the property (ie maximum number of beds as possible). However, we would never recommend risking overcrowding the property.

Guests are now swaying towards quality over quantity. Many may prefer a home office space, an extra bathroom or an additional facility they might not be able to enjoy at home, as opposed to an extra bed they may not even get the use out of.


Overall, the property must be attractive, comfortable, clean, and good value for money to work as well for guests as it does for your family.

If your property isn’t quite there yet, how much are you willing to invest to make it a success?

How can OVO Network help?

OVO Network combines innovative technology with industry knowledge and creative expertise, to make it easy and stress-free to maximise your property’s occupancy and your rental income.

About Author

Hi, I'm Karen, I'm part of the OVO Network sales team. I've lived in Manigod since 1999 with my family, and love sharing this amazing part of the world with friends and family!