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Thanks to the success of services like Airbnb and VRBO, hundreds of thousands of hosts worldwide have made home sharing––opening up their living quarters to short-term renters—a profitable addition to their day-to-day lives.

If you’ve fantasized for a while about turning your spare room, house or apartment into a successful, occupied, revenue-producing vacation destination, weigh the following factors to help decide if home sharing is right for you.

Ask Yourself: Would You Vacation at Your Home?

Your home may be exactly what you desire, but will a tourist feel the same way? Some things to consider: Is your home centrally located? Close to restaurants, shopping districts and public transportation? The more remote the location, the more the home itself will need to dazzle.

Be a Guest First

Before signing on to be a host, take a trip and check out what it’s like to be a guest. Jot down things you do and don’t like: Was the bed comfortable? The bathroom clean? How were the amenities? Consider all the little touches the host provides to leave a positive impression.

3 Tips on How to Be a Good Guest
  1. Treat it like a home, not a hotel. Be quiet and courteous, and pick up after yourself.
  2. Don’t bring in unauthorized guests. If you want to invite people over, ask first, and be cool if the answer is no.
  3. Respect the host’s time. Don’t be late for check-in or check-out.

Treat It Like a Small Business

Take the opportunity to invest in redecorating your home, paying particular attention to lighting. Go beyond providing the essentials (soap, toilet paper, clean sheets and towels). Stock your home with welcoming touches that will help your guests feel they’re getting their money’s worth: fresh flowers and plants, cozy blankets and pillows, books, tea and plenty of snacks.

Make It Easy on Yourself

Make home sharing manageable and less intrusive on your day-to-day life. Install keypad door locks to avoid scheduling meet-ups to exchange keys. Use a smart home system so guests can easily manage the temperature, lighting and music.

Write a guidebook with FAQs, including the Wi-Fi password and local restaurant recommendations. If dealing with nightly guests feels overwhelming, set minimum-night stays as part of the booking process. If scrubbing up between bookings bugs you, hire a cleaner or turnover service.

Worried About Damage or Theft?

It’s natural to feel some trepidation when letting a stranger into your home. That’s why home-sharing sites have safeguards like host/guest reviews, security deposits and urgent phone lines. Remember: You always have the right to ask a guest to leave early.

Be Upfront

Being honest about what your home offers will go a long way toward managing expectations and ensuring that both parties have a rewarding homestay experience.

Get Insured

If you decide to rent out your home, contact your Allstate agent to be sure you have the coverage you need.

Did You Know?

More than 3,000 castles are available to book via home-sharing sites.