Increasing the Earning Potential of Your Cottage

by Justin on April 22, 2017

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A lot of people own cabins or cottages as a means of retreating to a familiar place when the everyday gets overwhelming. Often surrounded by nature, sometimes on a water feature like a lake or a river, this oasis can serve as a family vacation spot as well as double as an income property.

Depending on where your property is located, chances are that you do not live there all the time and don’t have enough vacation time to spend every week and weekend there. In this situation, it’s best to book your own cottage time in advance and allow for others to rent and use the property when you are away and it would have been empty anyway.

As easy as this sounds, preparing your cottage for renting and getting maximum price for its rental can be more complicated than initially thought. However, if done properly, it can yield a tidy annual return, just what you need to cover the cost of property taxes, regular maintenance, insurance, and maybe even make a dent in the mortgage.

Here are some steps you should take when preparing your cottage for being available to rent:

  1. Organize

At the family cottage, it is normal for people to “feel at home”, meaning they overwhelm the place with their personal clothing, items, knick-knacks and more. While some character and charm is something that could even raise the value of your cottage, having too much personal stuff makes it difficult for potential renters to visualize themselves in. If you want to keep some of your items on site but don’t want the renters to see or use it, create a couple of locking closets or storage spaces that only you will have access to. While organizing, take a tally of some of the selling features you can use in your ad, like access to a canoe, life jackets in various sizes, or a hot tub.

  1. Create a Vision

Nowadays, many people rent vacation properties based on photos that they see on some online portal. Make the viewers fall in love with your property by showing off some of the highlights of your cottage. This might mean that you will first have to do some work on the interior and exterior, but this kind of investment will both increase your personal love for the property as well as raise the asking price you can expect to get from those looking to spend some downtime at your family cottage. If you have outdoor potential, hire a landscaping company with years of experience in design and installation of varied landscape creations. They will transform your space into something that people are willing to pay a premium to experience and use, even if for a short time. Create smaller vistas within your home to portray a clean, cozy, and well taken care of cottage.

  1. Post and Market

There are many platforms which you can use to connect with those looking to rent a cottage. Apart from the recently popular AirBnB, you will also hear of local boards and classifieds that could be great places to announce the availability of your vacation property. Word of mouth is also an effective way to communicate the news and this way find willing parties within your own network.

  1. Ask for Reviews

If you feel confident that your guests are pleased with the state of your cottage, ask if they might leave an online review. This can really solidify your property’s value and increase the validity of your asking price. It’s also a great way to receive feedback and improve your property as needed to address any issues that past guests might have had. Once you get to a point where you have many positive reviews and more inquiries than you can fill, consider raising your prices, initially for popular dates, and then for the entire season.

Your cottage can be a way for you to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but can also be a way for you to make some extra cash. While you should certainly enjoy the cottage as much as you can, don’t let it stay empty. Share the beauty of staying at a cabin while getting some financial help for maintaining it.

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