The slow rental season can be tough, especially if you rely on that income to pay most of your bills, or even just to cover the costs of the rental itself. As an owner, however, there are many other ways you can use your knowledge and network to bring in more revenue during off-peak times of the year.
Use these ideas to spark some out-of-the-box solutions for boosting income during the shoulder seasons. All of them allow you to drive revenue while bringing attention to your main income stream – your rentals – making them that much more valuable.
Start a Repairs Business
If you’ve owned your rental for even just a few years, you’ve likely gotten handy with common household fixes that don’t require specialized expertise. By that, we mean tasks such as fixing a squeaky, old cupboard, versus rewiring electrical systems. This is a great income opportunity for you during the slow rental season; and, as a side business, it’s not something you need to focus on all year long.
In addition to the extra income, there are a number of benefits to starting your own odd jobs business, including:
- Low startup costs if you already have much of the equipment, which you likely do.
- Overhead expenses tend to be low, since the work is done in the homes of others.
- There are a lot of opportunities to specialize. For example, perhaps you market yourself solely to other rental owners or certify in one area.
Before taking your first job, there’s one critical detail to figure out: “One of your most important expenses as a handyperson won’t take up any room in your truck. That’s because it’s an insurance policy that will protect your business in case you damage any property or injure anyone while doing your job. If you want to get some peace of mind as a handyman, you need to be properly covered with the right insurance policy,” explain experts at USA Business Insurance.
What’s the right policy? A quick consultation with a commercial insurance agency in your region will help you determine that. The coverage you need will depend on the work you’re doing, where your business operates, and more.
Teach Others the Tricks of the Trade
Short-term rentals are becoming more and more popular, both on the business and consumer side. As a successful rental owner, you’ve acquired knowledge that a lot of other people want to know. You can use this as another income stream by:
- Starting a consulting business, where you work with new rental owners who are looking to get their business up and running. You can specialize here as well, with a focus on marketing the property versus managing the property, etc.
- Start a business blog for other rental owners. As you grow a following, you can use ads to drive passive income — all while promoting yourself and your own property.
- Write an eBook that can then be sold online. Anyone can sell books on Amazon, which provides you with a built-in community and platform for marketing and reaching your target audience.
- Run workshops for local rental owners. This works well in larger metropolitan areas, or cities where short-term rentals are more popular. The downside here are the overhead costs of renting a space and marketing the workshop. If you have a large network, however, this may be easier to facilitate. You may even be able to partner with a local business: they let you use the space in return for free promotion.
Monetize Your Social Platforms
Modern property owners have realized the value of being active on social media. Not only is this a fantastic way to promote your property, but posting regularly is a way to develop authority in your space and tap into another potential revenue stream: monetizing your social platform.
A 2017 study found that 40 percent of people have purchased an item after seeing it used by an influencer on Twitter, Instagram or YouTube, so companies are looking for people like you to drive both brand impressions and revenue. In this way, companies pay you — as the influencer — to promote their brand naturally on your social media accounts, with Instagram being one of the most popular.
If you already have a large following, this may be an effective income option for you to start with right away. If not, you’ll need to build your following and then get started. The first step is making sure your profile looks perfect, before reaching out to brands and companies. Shane Baker, digital marketing consultant recommends:
- Putting keywords in your bio, such as vacation rental, wanderlust, travel, or other regional terms.
- Telling a story, not just posting pictures. This may take some brainstorming, so start there.
- Finding your own unique style, creating a consistent look across your entire profile.
- Posting regularly.
- Choosing the right hashtags.
When your profile is ready, it’s time to reach out. “Once you’ve been able to grow your followers above a thousand and have decent engagement, start your outreach. The easiest way is to tag relevant brands in your photos to put yourself on their radar. Sometimes brands even feature such photos on their Instagram account giving you greater visibility,” explains Baker.
Email or direct message the brands you’re most interested in, and slowly you’ll build a larger following and more brand connections. When done correctly, you’ll be able to drive more revenue all year long, not just during the off-peak rental season.
Get Creative With Revenue
These unique ideas allow you to not only earn more income during slow times of the year, but also drive impressions and authority for you and your rental business as well. As you grow your social media following or sell more books, your name becomes known in the industry. Use these ideas to leap outside the box and make your business more profitable.
About the Author
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and spent the last five years in marketing. After stepping down from a senior marketing position, she’s focusing on growing her own startup and consulting for small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @JThiefels.