You've decided to rent out your home or flat while you're away, but now you may be wondering just how to ensure it is taken care of properly. Here are some of our tips gathered over the years from working with many different types of properties. If your property meets our requirements, we'll visit and be pleased to share our tips customized to your property.
Lessons learned that may benefit potential owners:
- Properties must be furnished to a high standard, not over-cluttered. If needed, we will ask you to trim down some personal memorabilia, mementos - not just for protection but because guests prefer a clean feel.
- Remember that what you or we personally love in terms of décor is not necessarily what appeals to guests. An example is an owner who put a rug with animal head in the living room. Very dramatic and stunning, but not for most guests.
- No wall to wall carpets in bathrooms.
- Proper showers with ventilation.
- No worn sofas and furnishings. Sorry, elegant leather is one thing, but really worn armchairs and sofas are another. We worked with an owner for six months to slowly improve each room of their homely but tired home. They were resistant - until they saw the results after upholstering sofa and putting in new cushions.
- One owner purchased gorgeous leather armchairs from the 1930s in France. We understood they didn't wish to recover them because of their value, but the leather was too worn for a rental. Guests complained because they couldn't appreciate the historical context of torn leather, but the owner didn't agree. We chose not to continue representing the property.
- An owner did an exquisite job remodeling their apartment in Chelsea, but in an avant-garde modern style. Example? An expensive painting of a woman whose undies were around her ankles and another done completely in black leather and red. They were unusual and expensive, but they may be too particular for some tastes. By all means, if you love modern for your own home stick with it, but if you want to optimize income you may want to stick with a more classically appealing décor.
- Cluttered cabinets - is a no go. We have an easy system to lock owners' closets, but you must leave room for guests to hang and fold their clothes. Some agencies recommend rolling clothes racks but that is not welcoming and can garner negative reviews.
- If your home is so much your castle that it would kill you to see a sign of use, maybe a small stain on a cushion from a spill of coffee or wine, then renting may not be right for you. We helped an owner "guest proof" their beautiful apartment and even though we suggested and oilcloth table cloth on their French antique oak table they didn't like the idea. Of course, when a guest spilled raspberry jam on the table the owners were extremely upset. We are proactive in avoiding situations like this - for our owners and our guests.
- We suggested to owners to have glass cut to protect their gorgeous coffee table, but they couldn't stand the idea of losing the natural varnish effect. We gently suggested renting their apartment was not for them as a result.
- We are very upfront with owners. 99.99% of guests are ideal. But sometimes a small accident can happen. We walk through every room and make suggestions such as covering antique dressers and coffee tables with glass, removing fragile objects, etc.