Renting out your lake home is a great way to earn additional income while you’re not using it. However, because you’re only renting it out as a vacation home during certain parts of the year, you’ll still have to provide those amenities that renters have come to expect. Just as important, you’ll want your lake home to stand out from the crowd and encourage renters to choose your house. The following are some of the amenities that you should provide to renters when renting your lake home to make it a more attractive vacation destination:
- Furnishings – Furnishing your lake home as a rental is a little bit art and a little bit science. Pick out furniture and décor that fit your sensibilities but try not to use furniture pieces that are too personal or too bold – you don’t want to overwhelm prospective renters with your love of chartreuse or razzmatazz. Neutral colors tend to be a safer bet as they ensure that the majority of your renters should find the home’s interior agreeable (at worst). You may, however, want to shy away from white or lighter colored furniture and carpeting, especially if you plan on renting out your lake home to multiple occupants over the course of the year.
- Well-Equipped Kitchen – Aside from the standard kitchen appliances that will be expected by renters such as a stove/oven, refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave, make sure that there are plenty of plates, cups, glasses, silverware, pots and pans for renters to use. Kitchen staples such as aluminum foil, plastic bags, trash bags and saran wrap are optional but highly recommended. While these staples are something renters can certainly buy for themselves, they’ll remember these important little all-inclusive extras when referring family and friends to your rental.
- Generously-Stocked Bathroom – Stock your bathroom in the same way a hotel would stock theirs — plentifully. Provide more than an adequate supply of towels and hand towels (as many as possible), make sure there’s a plunger in each bathroom (ahem…) and a dutiful supply of toilet paper available as well. When it comes to stocking the bathroom, more is definitely considered better.
- Entertainment – Providing entertainment amenities really increases the perceived value of the home for renters, making it more attractive on a number of different levels. Being in such close proximity to water, water sports equipment, such as a kayak or paddle board, is a good place to start. If possible, adding some fishing equipment with a tackle box and a few rods and reels would be another great option to provide. For indoors, an updated TV set up (preferably one without a wooden console) is a must along with a DVD player. Provide a small library of family-friendly DVDs and a video game system, if possible. For family renters, a small selection of board games is a nice added touch that can make it feel more welcoming as well.
- Cable and Internet – Cable (or satellite) and Internet are an absolute must nowadays. In fact, while some people can manage without cable or satellite – Internet access is absolutely essential. Even better, having a WiFi connection that would allow your renters to access the Internet with their mobile devices (laptop, mobile phone, tablet) wirelessly is another important amenity that renters will value highly.
- Outdoor Living Area – For lake home properties, it’s critical to have an outdoor living area that really highlights one of the most valuable features of the home — the view. The furnishings don’t have to be extravagant, but a functional set up with a table, a set of comfortable chairs and a grill for barbecuing will more than suffice.
These are just a few of the most important amenities and features that you should include in your lake home to help you stand out from your competition. Providing the total rental package for your renters is a great way to establish a good rental property reputation and help attract more renters now and in the future.