Tips to Prepare a Room for Rent via the Sharing Economy

photo courtesy Pixabay
photo courtesy Pixabay

Guest blogger Seth ‘PapaDIY’ Murphy is back with some great tips on preparing your home for the ‘sharing economy’. Check it out.

Are you considering putting a spare room to work in the sharing economy? If extra space, the opportunity to meet people, and a chance to make some money are tempting you, do some planning to ensure your endeavor is a success.

Here’s how to prep your home in anticipation of renting a room, Airbnb-style.

Create a Warm and Welcoming Atmosphere

Creating a space that makes guests feel at ease is crucial to success when you’re offering a room for rent. Start by giving the available room a refresher, beginning with the wall color. For broad appeal, consider an atmosphere that is gender-neutral and inviting. HGTV suggests crisp color combinations, like deep navy and white, rich brown and cream, spicy shades of gold and ivory, or a handful of well-meshed neutrals.

Go the extra mile when painting for the best presentation, and review how-to advice from HomeAdvisor before you begin.

Gather all your painting supplies in advance, since there is more to it than you might realize. You’ll need a ladder, drop cloths to protect flooring, tape for edges, a screwdriver for fixture removal, and of course, paint, brushes, rollers, and paint trays. If you’re doing the ceiling, an extending pole for your paint roller is a must. Make sure you completely clear the room, and prep surfaces carefully.

Updates for You and Your Guests

Changing your home to put your guests at ease is smart, and it’s even smarter if you make choices that bring in a great return on investment. For instance, Reader’s Digest points that out a bathroom addition especially boosts home value, and ensuring guests have a private bath means the space will be that much more desirable to renters. If you’re thinking about a significant renovation, consider adding a private entrance so guests can come and go without disturbing you and your family. If the area needs more elbow room, a bump-out can do the trick.

Another idea is to add a kitchenette or a room for lounging and entertainment. By creating a comfortable master suite-style area, you’re sure to appeal to renters, and if you sell the property down the road, it’s more likely to catch the attention of house hunters.

Add Some Creature Comforts
Even if your plan is to stick with a simple bedroom for rent, you still need to provide some furniture for your guests’ comfort. Consider a durable-yet-cozy chair, settee, or sofa so people have a spot to read, surf the web, or write notes. Choose durable fabrics for your upholstered pieces, such as indoor/outdoor selections. An affordable, comfortable mattress is a must, and even if there is a roomy closet, offer a dresser and nightstand for convenience. You don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount, since you can search online for used furniture options or opt for attractive flat-pack furniture.

As far as linens, invest in new, comfortable, and attractive selections, and have at least one spare set. Layer linens for a tailored, decorator appeal. The Spruce suggests starting with sheets in a clean, crisp, basic white, then layer linens with varied colors, patterns, and textures. A coordinating rug completes the room nicely.

Beyond a Basic Bath
Offering guests some pampering in the bathroom is a key to amping up appeal and comfort. Think in terms of a spa-like atmosphere, and consider investing in some luxurious towels. Also, offer some hygiene basics, but select indulgent, specialty options, such as shea butter lotion and goat milk soap.

If you have a local craftsman who creates skin care products, it’s the perfect opportunity to offer your renters something unique while raising the bar on their experience. Consider including a few hangers and a pair of gender-neutral terry robes. A bouquet of fresh flowers makes a great finishing touch.

If you have a room that’s going to waste, you can put it to work for you in the sharing economy. With a little preparation and some well-planned changes, you can turn the space into a welcome retreat for guests and boost your home’s value. It’s a great way to engage with travelers, make some income, and get more out of your property.