Tips for Members
*Note: This page is for people renting, hosting and swapping on JuléTravel.
Before you begin accepting people to rent, swap or host in your home, here are a few tips to follow:
- Check your home owner or renters insurance policies to see if you are covered in case of accidents, theft or loss.
- Decide how you will accept payments. Examples include obtaining a merchant's account to accept credit cards, setting up a PayPal account, or accepting money orders or checks.
- Decide what benefits you will offer to lodgers. Examples include use of your car, meals, kitchen privileges, etc. Put these in writing to share with potential lodgers.
- Develop your personal House Rules in writing. These can include anything from taking your shoes off at the front door to recycling instructions to use of alarm system. Share these with your lodgers prior to settling your deal and when they arrive.
- Decide what price you want to charge. Be sure to include the costs of cleaning in your calculations.
- List your home on several sites for the most success.
- Set up your record keeping process. If you are hosting or renting your home, you will need to treat this as a small business which means reporting income and keeping records.
Tips for Screening Lodgers
Remember, you are in charge of who you allow in your home. Thorough screening will help both you and the lodger feel more comfortable with your arrangements. We recommend that you use a formalized screening process that includes the following.
- Verify who they are through phone numbers/social media such as FaceBook and LinkedIn/their address.
- See if others have recommended them.
- If not, ask for personal references and check them.
- It may be too extreme for some, but you can ask for permission to do background or credit checks if they will agree. Go to our Background Checks page to find out more about this option.
- If they live near friends/family, ask your friends and family to meet them first.
- Have at least one phone call with them.
- Try to Skype with them if possible.
- If it doesn't feel right, do not do it.
Tips for Establishing Written Agreements With Lodgers
After you have agreed to rent, host, swap with the lodger, follow these tips.
- Use a written agreement outlining dates, costs, cancellation and refund policies, use of security deposits, checking out, etc.
- Click here for a SAMPLE agreement. This agreement is provided for sample purposes only. Members use at your own risk and discretion.
- Share your house rules with them.
- Obtain a refundable security deposit.
- Provide them with your contact information and emergency numbers.
Preparation Tips Before Your Guests Arrive
- Verify their arrival 24 hours ahead of time.
- Be sure your home is clean.
- Verify arrival procedures.
- Put away/store valuables and documents in secured/locked place.
- Leave instructions for operating appliances, alarms, etc.
Additional Miscellaneous Tips for Julé Travel Members
- Go the extra mile to make your lodgers feel comforable and special. Some ideas: buy their favorite coffee brand, provide some special welcome gifts, provide sparkling water, have fresh flowers in their room, provide some of your favorite CDs for their listening pleasure, leave details about your favorite local spots and restaurants.
- Have a guest book for comments.
- Meet them at your home in person if at all possible.
- To optimize SEO (Search Engine Optimization), be as specific as possible in the description of your property when completing your Julé Travel profile.
- Ask guests to write reviews.