As the seasons change, time drifts into the winter season. It’s when everyone is on the road and traveling to see extended family and celebrate the love in their lives, but it’s also a great time of year for people to go on vacations. If you have a second vacation home and want to rent it out to travelers this year, winter is a perfect time to do that.

Renting out a vacation home is something that many people do, since it’s an easy way to earn a rental income with a property you’re not using. However, before you start letting guests check in, you need to prepare your location and make it ready for people to use. Make your winter home pay off this year by checking out some important preparations you can do before listing it as available online.

1. Get Cleaning

This almost goes without saying, but there’s a lot of cleaning that should be done before your home is opened up to renters. You might think you can get away with little cleaning if you don’t really use your extra home, but that’s not the case. There’s lots of little things to scrub up in order to have a home ready for guests.

Make a list and write down everything you can think of that needs to get done. There are some obvious things like dusting and washing sheets, but there are also other things that might slip your mind. Windows should be wiped down and fireplaces swept out. Carpets may need to get professionally cleaned and the refrigerator and freezer should be cleared out of any old food. The same goes for the pantry and kitchen cabinets.

If you can’t get to your extra house to get the cleaning done, work with a cleaning company to get an estimate on how much it’ll cost to have them help you out. You should also ask for what they clean specifically, so you can rest easy knowing that any future guests will be walking into a clean and happy home.

2. Stock Up On Winter Essentials

Part of the attraction about renting a home is that it can be used by big families who may prefer to cook their own meals and do their laundry while on vacation. That doesn’t mean that all the guests will come prepared for any occasion though, and as the renter, that’s where you’re supposed to step in. Get some basic supplies before anyone arrives and make sure to restock in-between renters.

Supplies that guests shouldn’t have to worry about are things like heavy blankets, extra towels, batteries and shovels in case it snows while they’re there. There’s also important things you have to have in case guests find themselves in need of a good winter survival kit. Things like road salt, wood for the fireplace, an ice scraper for the car and one of the best portable batteries to jumpstart cars and recharge cell phones. Not that they’ll need it, but just in case.

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3. Do A Maintenance Check

Just because you do a good job cleaning the house doesn’t mean that everything is going to work properly when guests get there. That’s why it’s so important to do maintenance checks on everything at the end of fall so when winter arrives, you and your guests don’t have anything to worry about. Call professionals out to inspect fireplaces and double check the heating system. You’ll want to replace all air and furnace filters, as well as have a plumber look at your pipes to avoid expensive plumbing repairs.

It’s better to get any maintenance checks out of the way before guests get there because it’ll be easier than scheduling them in-between visits. Depending on where your winter home is, you might find yourself busier than you first thought, so do them now before everyone starts signing up for weekend getaways.

Preparing your home for potential winter renters doesn’t have to be challenging or time consuming. Just take stock of what all your home has and what might need to be done to prepare those things. Amenities like fireplaces and hot tubs will need to be checked and approved for safe usage. Steep driveways will need road salt to keep away ice, and homes with less insulation will need more blankets.

Thinking ahead will be what makes your guests happy and ready to book another vacation. They’ll feel cared for and appreciated, and you won’t even have to visit your property to do so. Once you prepare your vacation home, your work will begin to pay itself off in no time.

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