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How to make money from your home while you’re on holiday

By Amy Cooper
As seen on SMH.com.au

In recent years, increasing numbers of Australians have been boosting their property’s income potential by entering the holiday rentals market. Here’s what you need to know to for maximum success.

Consider the location

When it comes to holiday rental properties, the old “location, location” adage is especially true.

“If your property is located somewhere people want to go to for their holidays, that’s a clear advantage,” says Carolyn Parrella, Head of Niche Distribution which includes Terri Scheer Insurance.

“The big drawcards are beachside, country, scenic spots or close to popular tourist attractions. The beach is where we see everyone migrate for their summer holidays so it’s highly likely you’ll make money at the height of the season. But then you’ll need to also bear in mind that the income from your property might be lower at less popular times of year.”

Do your homework

Research is key when comes to outshining the competition, and these days all the information is at your fingertips. A simple scroll through online short-term listings platforms can reveal what else is available in your area, the prices you can expect to charge, and what types of accommodation perform well.

“You can look at what other properties in similar locations to yours are making,” says Parrella. “Compare like for like, so you can get an idea of how to set your own price. Reviews on these platforms will also tell you what features guests most enjoy.”

Amplify the attractions

View your property’s surrounding area through the eyes of a travel agent, and you’ll find all kinds of incentives for guests. Big-ticket attractions such as theme parks, outdoor activities, entertainment and zoos are some of the more obvious, but lower-profile amenities can boost your property’s pulling power too, says Parrella.

“Think about your guests’ different demographics and what they might like to do,” she says. “Restaurants and cafes appeal to most people, but also families might be looking for child-friendly amenities such as parks and playgrounds, or a local pool.”

Transport and accessibility, shops and markets, sports and recreation all add to a property’s appeal and can be an important part of your marketing story.

Present it perfectly

There’s a difference between your own holiday home and one that’s suitable for paying guests, says Parrella. “People used to refer to their holiday homes as their ‘shack,’ and you’d have a conglomeration of mismatched or secondhand furniture – but that won’t work for a commercial holiday rental.”

“People have a lot of choice out there in the market, and they’re looking for something nicely presented and comfortable,” she adds.

“While it doesn’t have to be magazine-perfect, you want to present the property in its best light – you don’t want to offload your daggy old lounge suite there. Choose attractive furniture and fittings that are also practical to look after with the added wear and tear of people coming in and out all the time.”

It could be worth investing in photography, too, she adds. “A professional photographer can come in and do a really fantastic job to help market your property well.”

Add friendly touches

Thoughtful details will help your property stand out from the crowd, says Parrella. “Kit out your kitchen with good quality pots and pans and cooking utensils. I’ve seen people provide high chairs and cots to increase the appeal for young families; beach games, noodles and even boogie boards are great too, and then board games and books for the cooler days and nights.”

It’s also a good idea to have the user manual for major appliances in a folder for ease of use for guests. It helps your guests use your appliances correctly, potentially saving you the cost of repair or replacement if damage is caused through mis-use.

Your guests will appreciate local information too, she adds. “Let them know about the best restaurants, cafes and shops. You can pop menus in a folder and include a little local guide for people to flick through and work out what they want to do or see.”

Check your insurance

While there’s plenty to consider when preparing your property for holiday rental, take time to check your paperwork to be sure everything is rental-ready. “Insurance is a good example,” Parrella says. “Read through your policy so you know exactly what it covers. It’s worth noting that most insurance policies won’t cover pandemics, for example, so it’s really critical that you understand this so you’re aware of any risks around cancelled bookings.

“But other events will certainly be covered and can help a landlord recover any losses during the time you’re renting the property out.”


Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as Vero Insurance. In arranging your insurance, Terri Scheer Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 76 070 874 798 AFSL 218585 acts under authority given to it by Vero Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance and consider whether it is right for you. Contact Terri Scheer on 1800 804 016 or visit our website at www.terrischeer.com.au for a copy.

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. Terri Scheer does not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it. This article has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. The Target Market Determination is also available.

For further information, call 1800 804 016.

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