How to turn your house into a nice little earner
businesses that don’t require any special zoning or permits, but you need to be completely sure that yours complies with any regulations if you want to avoid future trouble with your municipality or disgruntled neighbours.
“Also check that your mortgage doesn’t have any restrictions that limit the use of your property while it is bonded.”
Ruth Munitz, manager of SeeffSHORTSTAY for the Atlantic seaboard and City Bowl, agrees that there are many new ways of capitalising on your home. This is particularly true if your property is in Cape Town, a sought-after holiday destination and filmshoot venue.
Films and photo shoots: Clarke says this is one of the most profitable ways of making your home work for you.
“The South African film industry is booming.
“That means there are a lot of people looking for inter- esting places to use as sets or backdrops for their shoots.”
It’s not only high-end luxury properties that are in demand. Everything from shabby-chic cottages to barbershops, crumbling factories and car parks could have film and photographic potential.
“The most important aspects that production companies look for tend to be light, space and a unique character as well as enough parking to accommodate their team, of course,” says Clarke.
“If your home fits the bill, it’s worthwhile getting in touch with a location agent. You could earn as much as R5 000 to R10 000 a day if they decide to represent you.”
Munitz agrees. “Currently Cape Town has a buoyant film and production industry with TV and film crews a regular sight both in the city and on the beaches.
“Many properties are used daily for various film/produc- tion purposes in addition to housing actors, celebrities and production crews.
“A fabulous or unusual home is ideal for use as a location for photo shoots, film and even TV series. Bookers are looking for beautiful and unusual homes, stunning gardens and settings.”
She warns that when it comes to housing actors or stars and film crew, the demands can be extensive.
“We’ve provided the accommodation for the cast and crew of a new BBC production of Troy. But such rentals come with many additional requests as the actors and crew require a full bouquet of services on top of a fabulous location.”
Homeowners can make the income equivalent of a month’s rent within a few days.
“But beware, this is a shortterm rental and the risk is that your property might only be rented out for a few days a month or even for a few months, or you might only get the odd booking.
“You need to do your homework and preferably work with a specialist rental agency who can give you the right advice.”
Letting part of your home: Clarke says websites like Airbnb make this particularly easy to do. Originally founded as a way to connect couch-surfers with amenable hosts, Airbnb allows homeowners around the globe to advertise their spare rooms – or entire properties – to potential guests.
“With Airbnb, you can you can rent a single room, a sleeper couch in your lounge, or your whole home, and set your own rates, picking and choosing guests through an online vetting process. It’s all backed by Airbnb’s Host Guarantee insurance as well, which means that even if things do go wrong, you’ll be covered.”
Munitz says Airbnb has been a big boom for the city’s property owners and there is no shortage of properties in Cape Town listed on this site.
“It has become the number one listing portal for short-term rentals, especially in high- demand areas such as the Atlantic seaboard and City Bowl. But it’s just one of the many portals and ways in which property owners are getting their properties booked.”
Clarke says in Cape Town Airbnb rates range from R200 a night for a bed in a shared room to over R70 000 a night for an entire luxury property.
“If you have the extra space, or plan to be away from home for a while, listing your property on Airbnb can bring in a considerable amount of cash.”
Munitz says that based on experience during last summer, clients are earning anything from R2 000 to R10 000 a day in the CBD and surrounding areas up to Sea Point.
“In the luxury suburbs of the Atlantic seaboard, owners will get from R4 000 to R30 000 a day, but rates do range above this for stand-out properties.”
There are also agencies – such as SeefSHORTSTAY – that will help you get your house ready for short-term lets and manage the property during the guests’ stay.
Supper clubs: If you’re a whiz in the kitchen, you could make money out of cooking, says Clarke.
“Pop-up dining concepts like supper clubs are gaining a lot of popularity. You would need a permit to run a food-service business from home but it is a great way to earn income while meeting new people and maximising the use of your property. You could also venture into catering or home-baking.”
Hosting supper clubs presents homeowners with an opportunity to earn some extra money.