Airbnb, the ubiquitous home rental service that made waves in the travel industry in the past decade, found itself being disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. The travel company reported losing as much as $1.2 billion for the first three quarters of 2020. Before the pandemic, the company was valued at $31 billion but shrank to $18 billion after travel and tourism came to a screeching halt. This drop shows that property owners need to find ways to earn from their vacation home and not just wait around for vacationers to rent their place. Here are some other ways for vacation homeowners to earn money from their properties as they wait out the pandemic.
Refinancing or selling
Despite the grim numbers, there are also many updates to be hopeful about, such as the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines all over the world. Real estate industry experts predict that many investors will be on the lookout for second homes that they can purchase to diversify their investment portfolio. If you think it’s time to let go of your second property, here are some of your options for selling:
Refinance your home to help lower your rate, remove mortgage insurance, shorten your loan term, or get a cash-out. All you need to do is prove that your vacation home was never rented out or was never used as a rental property (but even then, if you used Airbnb at some point, it may still qualify). Consult with a trusted and reputable company that can help you go through the process with peace of mind.
You could also decide to sell your vacation property, especially since there are plenty of valid reasons to do so. If you no longer have the capability, time, or interest to manage the property, it may be a sign that it’s time to sell. Here are some things to remember when selling your vacation property in 2021:
- Choose the opportune time to list. There is no hard or fast rule as to the most favorable time to put a vacation home on the market, but there are favorable seasons, especially depending on where the property is located. If your vacation home needs some work or repairs before it can operate at peak capacity, place it on the market before the season begins to give the new owner enough time to make the necessary improvements.
- Consult and partner with an agent who knows the ins and outs of the market. There are plenty of advantages and benefits to hiring an experienced local real estate agent familiar with vacation rentals.
Renting it out
If you’re not 100 percent ready to part with your vacation property, consider renting it out for other purposes other than vacations. The following are some examples of ways you can profit from your vacation home without renting it out to travelers and tourists:
- Rent it out to apartment-dwellers. Since many are working from home in 2021, there might also be an influx of young professionals who want to move to an area that’s more of a vacation spot and have space for physical distancing. If your property provides an escape from the more densely-packed cities, look for apartment hunters looking to move away from the madness. Renting out your vacation property will keep it occupied for the greater part of the pandemic and will make it less likely to be broken into.
- Rent it out for special events. Since gathering restrictions are in place for many parts of the country, your vacation property may be big enough to hold events like micro-weddings, brunch parties, bridal showers, family reunions, and other celebrations that are smaller in scale. Many celebrators may not want to organize their events in hotels since they tend to be more enclosed and have little room for physical distancing. Find ways to market your property as a safer way to celebrate, especially since it can provide privacy and exclusivity. But since many of these events will most likely include alcohol, include clauses that state that they will have to pay for damages they cause, or you could also take a security deposit before the event takes place.
- Rent it out to film producers and directors. If the property is in an area with a thriving film and entertainment industry, consider renting out the property to filmmakers. It’s often cheaper for production companies to rent out a home instead of creating an entire home set, so there will definitely be a market for this kind of rental.
There are plenty of ways to earn money from your vacation home during a pandemic. Be on the lookout and see what needs your property can meet during this abnormal time.