Let My Flat: Pass the Keys Guide to Preparing for Short-Term Home Letting

When Airbnb first became popular, it opened up a plethora of new, exciting, and affordable opportunities to travel to new places. It also presented millions of people with the unique opportunity to transform their spare rooms or empty homes into...

by Pass the Keys

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Airbnb Management

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09 Aug 2021

When Airbnb first became popular, it opened up a plethora of new, exciting, and affordable opportunities to travel to new places. It also presented millions of people with the unique opportunity to transform their spare rooms or empty homes into money-making assets. That's exactly what thousands of people across the UK have done and continue to benefit from today!

Today, there are over 7 million listings worldwide—many representing ordinary people using the service to make some extra money. Of course, holiday let management has been a lucrative business for decades—Airbnb hosting just opened it up to the masses. If you've ever wondered "could I let my flat?" the answer today has never been a more resounding yes.

So, what's holding people back? There are, of course, some challenges and obstacles involved in Airbnb management. But luckily, many of these can be solved with some creative thinking—or the help of a professional Airbnb agency.

If you've been looking into letting out your home, there are some things you will need to do to prepare it. This guide can help. Read on for a comprehensive list of things to consider and boxes to check to get your home ready for its very first guest.

Clear Out Any Clutter

The first thing you should do to prepare your flat for the short term market is to make sure it's tidy with a minimal amount of clutter. Although your guests will only be staying a short while, you should ensure they're as comfortable as possible for the time they are there. There should ideally be ample space for them to hang clothes, place their luggage, and put away any other items they may have.

In order to achieve this, you may need to temporarily place some of your own items in storage, be it in a cupboard, closed-off room or held with a storage company. You should also make sure your flat is sparkling clean. You wouldn't want to walk into a hotel room that looks unkempt, and your guests will also expect a certain level of cleanliness—many hosts hire Airbnb cleaners to ensure this standard is always upheld.

man closes door on storage closet

Consider the Exterior

The outside of your home is the very first thing your guests will see as they approach their stay. For this reason, you will want to make sure it looks good enough to make a positive first impression. 

Of course, if you're living in a flat, it's hard to do too much to your building's exterior. However, the bits you do control—the front door, doormat, and windows—can still be made beautiful. If you are short letting a house, the garden and pathway should be well kept and the exterior should be free of cracks and obvious signs of age or decay.

exterior of granny flat

Make Sure All Facilities Are in Working Order

The most basic provisions a guest will expect in their booking will be things such as hot water for showers, electricity, and heating. Other items such as a dishwasher and washing machine are not mandatory, but are a welcome addition in any case. Whatever facilities you do have, you should make sure that they're all in good working order.

Make sure your electricity and gas (if applicable) bills are paid. The last thing you want is for the electricity to suddenly stop working in the middle of a guest's stay. On a similar note, you should be confident in your plumbing system, for obvious reasons, and have the contact details for a local plumber in case of any issues.

Decorate for Success

One of the things that will attract potential guests to your listing will be how it looks in photographs online. A nicely decorated space can help your listing stand out from the crowd in a saturated market and give you a competitive edge. By investing a little time and money in making your flat look the part, you can reap the benefits of high occupancy rates down the line.

It's a good idea to update any outdated fabrics or furniture. Even giving a lick of paint to the walls can do wonders to a room. As a general rule, you should try to keep the decor as neutral as possible, but if you've got your own design sensibility don't be afraid to let it shine.

interior of bedroom in a high-end flat

Nice Touches

The little extra touches are the things that make a guest's stay truly special and that will inspire them to leave positive reviews—both online and with their friends. Of course, you'll first need to include the basics. These are things like fresh sheets, toiletries, towels, and cooking utensils.

Added extras that will push your stay over the top include things like a bespoke welcome guide, a bottle of wine, robes, or more upscale soaps and shampoos. These are things your guests won't necessarily expect, but will definitely appreciate and their enjoyment will be reflected in their review!

Practical Considerations

Aside from the space itself, there are other things you will need to consider before letting out your home. For example, if you have a lease, do you have permission from your landlord? If you have a mortgage, you will need written permission from your mortgage lender.

As well as this, there are other things, such as your insurance policy, that you will want to take a look at. These practicalities are one of the less glamorous parts of being a short let host, but they're a necessity nonetheless.

How Can I Let My Flat Without Hassle?

The steps to short letting success can be strenuous but shouldn’t put you off making the most of your space! If you're wondering "is there an easy way to let my flat?" you're in luck. Pass the Keys is a professional Airbnb co-host service that handles all aspects of your let.

middle aged couple use laptop

We maximise your occupancy rate—and earnings—while taking the burden of hosting off your shoulders. We handle listings, cleaning, guest screening, and insurance, while our Host Portal allows you to monitor service levels and standards. To learn more about our services and what we can do for you, get in touch today.

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