We consult with rental property owners all the time about whether short term vacation rentals are better than long term rentals. When it comes to earning stable investment income and regular cash flow, long term rentals are always better. Big Island vacation homes are easy to find, but well-maintained properties that come with a lease term that’s a year or longer are harder to find. You’ll have a great pool of interested tenants, and less hassle with turnovers between guests.
There are a few important things you have to do when you decide to convert your vacation rental into a long term rental property.
Remove All the Furniture
All vacation rental properties are furnished, and that certainly includes yours. Before you can put your home on the long term market, you’ll need to remove all furniture and personal possessions. It’s a good time to sell them, donate them to charity, use them in your own home, or put them in storage for another purpose later.
Long term tenants are going to have their own furniture, and they’ll want to move those things into the property that they’re living in for a year or longer. While you’re removing everything, make sure you check for any minor maintenance issues, fix anything that needs to be fixed, and provide a good, thorough cleaning to the property.
Establish a Rental Price
Next, you’ll need to settle on a rental value, and this may look a little different than it did when you were renting out a vacation home by the night or by the week. Long term rental properties take in less money on a per-night basis, but you don’t have to worry about the vacancy and turnover risk. Take a look at what homes similar to yours are renting for in the area. If you’re not sure where to find the right numbers, get in touch with a property manager. We have some great reliable data that can help you establish a profitable and competitive rental value.
Don’t risk overpricing your property. That’s only going to create a longer vacancy period, which will delay your income and hurt your ROI.
Learn Your Landlord and Tenant Laws
Renting out a long term property requires you to understand the fair housing laws and other state, local, and federal rules. You don’t have to allow pets, but you do have to allow service animals, for example. There are specific things you can and cannot do when you’re marketing your property and screening your tenants. The home will have to meet habitability standards, and there are timelines and other limits involved in security deposits.
Find a Long Term Tenant
Once your property is ready for the rental market, you’ll need to do some advertising and marketing. Similar to vacation rentals, you’ll get most of your traffic through online rental sites. Instead of vacation sites, however, you’ll want to focus on pages like Zillow, Trulia, Zumper, HotPads, and others. The way you advertise is also different. Renters will be less interested in vacation amenities and more interested in school districts.
Consider Professional Property Management
The best way to effectively and efficiently convert your rental property from a vacation rental to a long term rental is by working with a Big Island property management company. We can help you avoid expensive mistakes that many landlords make, and we can introduce you to the tools and resources that help you earn more and spend less on your Big Island investment home. Contact us today at Hawaiian Dream Properties.