We did it! We survived our first year in the home rental business!
We learned a lot of small lessons in our first year and by “small lessons” we mean that there were no major surprises. Apparently we were well prepared for the challenges that the business is known for and had our expectations properly set. The rental business as a whole seems to be holding steady through the summer, but it’s kind of hard for us to judge right now since this is only our second summer. We expect to know more after another winter since winter provides a more consistent flow of tenants.
One major change we have made to the house, or more specifically our policies regarding the house, is that we’ve reduced the maximum number of people that can occupy the house from 12 to 10. It was never the case that house couldn’t accommodate 12 people, but rather that groups of 12 people tended to take a larger toll on the house than we were comfortable with and ultimately we had less than a handful of 12-person parties so we didn’t feel as though we were alienating a large portion of our customer-base.
We continue to look for new, effective, and value-oriented advertising avenues. Craig’s List has so far born the most fruit and we’ve adopted a regular schedule of posting to Craig’s List. One market we’re still trying to attract is tenants from abroad, but we’ve not quite figured out how to effectively reach that market. Ultimately, however, the business has remained steady despite the economic conditions we’re all facing. We attribute that to our highly competitive pricing and obvious attention to detail. We’re definitely looking forward to another phenomenal winter!