I was watching football this past weekend with friends when the conversation inevitably turned to the Super Bowl. We made bets on who would win, reminisced past seasons, and bragged about our recipes for the best eats.
Telepathically, my friend in Arizona knew we were channeling the big game and decided to call to ask for business advice. Given this year's Super Bowl will be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium, he has decided to rent out his personal home during the the big game to make a few extra bucks this year and wanted tips to go about it the right way.
For potential renters looking to take advantage of big events in their home towns, here are some tips to keep in mind!
1. Check Your Local Regulation
Always, always check your local regulations. Your city may prohibit nightly rentals or may require a nightly rental tax. My advice is to comply with what is asked; it creates a good rapport between the industry and regulators as well as hosts and guests. How awesome would it be to have a business inspector knock on the door when guests are there? Nothing awesome about that, not to mention the fines.
Don't be fooled, some cities hire staff to peruse listing sites for rentals, to which they subsequently look up the existent (or not-so-existent) business licenses. Avoid the possible mess, and take care of your business upfront.
2. Know your audience
There are always multiple segments for any market, so think through who your guests will be so you can market appropriately. For example, there will be plenty of corporate executives attending the Super Bowl (who will probably get complimentary hotels along with their complimentary tickets), but don't forget about the groups of man friends, tailgaters or vendors who flock to the location and also need housing.
Depending on the event and your specific segment, the trip may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. How can you make it more memorable for the guest most suited for your home?
3. Research other rental's Rates
Comp-shop the rates for homes similar in size and with similar amenities to yours while paying attention to your differentiating factors that will be enticing to potential guests. For example, are you only a few blocks away from the stadium or on a bus line to the stadium? Some rentals are going for thousands of dollars a night! Perhaps you can provide free door-to-door transportation as a huge booking perk? Do you know of any parties or events nearby your home?
Booking the right guest, at the optimal price, can earn you some serious loot. The median rental price for homes closest to the Super Bowl stadium in Glendale, AZ are roughly $357/night. That's a 42.8% increase in the usual median rate. Those within walking distance are definitely on the higher end of the spectrum with rentals on Tripping.com up to $5k a night.
4. Prep your home the right way
If your home isn't set up primarily as a rental, you will obviously have a lot of personal belongings inside. Remove and/or lock up your valuables or items of sentimental value. Don't count on your keen Google stalking skills as insurance. Also, clean (or hire a crew for a deep clean) as your standards of daily living may not match those of your guests.
Ongoing vacation rentals may not be for you (it's a lot of work!), but renting your home out here and there for big events may be. I've known people to use the funds for annual vacations, college tuition or just covering the bills when times are a bit tough. Most have come out (alive and happy) with pretty spectacular stories and new friends. Good luck to those renting out during this Super Bowl! Would love to hear your stories if you have or plan to make some cash for the big game!
This guest post was written by Kris Getzie, Founder & Principal Consultant at Volo. She is a vacation rental expert and author of the recently published Vacation Rentals For Newbies.