How to turn your house into a nice lit­tle earner

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

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.

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