I had always wondered what it would be like to rent out a self-catering property in Ireland and how much work would be involved in the whole thing.
Though a great source of extra income, you do need to bear the in mind the time needed to maintain any short-term rental. On average, you would need to invest between 5 – 12 hours per week between correspondence, cleaning, washing and so on. This of course all depends on the size of your property as well as the amount of continuous days or weeks you choose to rent it out.
You also need to think about where you want to advertise- There are various platforms like Booking.com, Expedia and of course, AirBnB, the current most popular one of all.
I opted for AirBnB simply because I had heard that it was very user friendly and that there were a lot of options with regards setting up availability, minimum and maximum stays, price, pictures and so on.
Where To Start…
Tidy up your property – I would recommend doing it yourself, at least the first time you rent it out in order to gage the time needed as well as the work required. It is also a good way to see what may be missing.
A second option is of course to hire a cleaner or do it. This will of course save you time but comes at a cost. Budget in at least €15 per hour as well as cleaning supplies required etc.
Nice images of your property are essential. It’s important to ensure the shots are realistic representations of the property but show its best side. Before taking any pictures, decorate your property a bit and most importantly make sure that the beds are properly made! You can then start taking a few good shots. Include images of yourself in situ if at all possible i.e. eating at the kitchen table, or having a cup of coffee in the sitting room– as I was under time pressure, I couldn’t include those shots but do plan to in the future as I feel it adds personalization and gives a sense of hominess to the property.
Registering On AirBnB
You can get great ideas by simply researching similar properties in your area by filtering your search by description and price.
Upload your pictures and get started. The whole process takes approximately 3 to 4 hours. Make sure that you read through everything in detail. We initially didn’t look into our setting properly and had accidentally included a setting called instant book, which meant anyone could book our property immediately and without prior correspondence.
Though you may not as many bookings, you do have the opportunity to decline a request if you are not happy with the potential guests. My property, for example, is in a quiet residential area and is only suitable for mature people and families as parties would disturb the neighbours a lot.
It’s important to check and answer your messages regularly, realistically at least once a day, as AirBnB also gives a host rating based on how quick your responses are.
I’m not always able to check in every guest myself so I decided to create an information booklet with all the important information about the house. I also included sightseeing tips around the area, restaurant and bar recommendations. We do recommend to all our guests to make dinner reservations as it is quite busy. Bricín for example in Killarney town centre is a lovely restaurant and is actually part of our Active Mini Break trips. A lot of people come to Kerry in order to climb Ireland´s highest mountain Carrantuohill – for more information on this hike go to either our our Active Mini Break or Luxury Active Mini Break Packages.
The Turn Around – Cleaning
If you are renting out a full house and not just a room, I would highly recommend leaving a day in between your bookings to have sufficient time for tidying and cleaning. This is especially important in current times as you do need a bit longer with cleaning and sanitizing. Depending on your guests and your property, you will need between 4 to 6 hours to get the place ready for your next guests.
I had noticed that our guests really appreciate little extras like fresh milk in the fridge, fruit or biscuits. Those things will help you to get a better rating and they don’t cost a lot. It’s all in the details…
Make Regular Contact
If you are not living near the property, do check in with your guests from time to time to see if everything is ok. Many times guests don’t really want to bother you but may have a question or two.
You can find our own 3 bedroom property in Killarney here