Mike Jacobsen is a San Diego Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and the Founder of It’s Borrowed for Short Term Rentals. It’s Borrowed gives hosts a platform to rent bonus amenities like bikes, cribs and games from their own inventory to their guests, creating an amazing stay. App store. If there is a fee moment for Mike you can find him riding dirtbikes in the desert, playing golf or chasing his dog Dorian on the beach.
As a recent transplant to San Diego, it’s a few times a month that I get a call from friends back home (S.F.) planning a visit to my new habitat. There are a few categories of people who come to San Diego and they have some of the same requests when they visit. Some need baby friendly accomodations, others want adventure and others lots of beach time. As a Realtor handling the purchase and sale of vacation property and a tech founder in the same space, it’s important for me to understand my customer so I researched the most requested bonus amenities.
Starting at the top:
1. Crib / Pak n’ Play
Seaworld and Legoland are big draws to kids and families alike. When it comes time for a break you need to put the kids down to recharge. A quality crib tops our list with the most requests.
San Diego has become a testing ground for bike and scooter share but with it has brought some big issues for those of us that live here. A news report this morning was about the number of bikes thrown off the cliff in Ocean Beach…Not ok. Hosts can supply bicycles at a small cost through “It’s Borrowed”, or guests can rent from local shops which are commonly found on Hostfully. Don’t forget to supply helmets. The fine is up to $250 on a power scooter and the scooter shares don’t offer helmets.
3. Beach gear
Some just bring a towel, others bring the kitchen sink to the beach. You will find rental stores offering everything under the sun available at an hourly rate. Popular items are boogie boards, surfboards, umbrellas, blankets and games like cornhole. If daily or full stay rental is more your speed, go to It’s Borrowed.
If you snore like the author of this article, your housemates might appreciate a white noise machine or ear plugs. Stuck inside during one of our 10 rainy days? A karaoke machine might be the answer.
5. Refrigerator starter kit.
Doing your grocery run on a 7 day stay is a must to avoid eating out 3 times a day. One of the biggest expenses that often gets thrown out is condiments. To make it simple and affordable for guests, offer a refrigerator starter kit with mustard, ketchup, salt pepper, blender, limes, hot sauce, snacks and more. You can buy in bulk and refill like a restaurant.
Parents want to enjoy themselves too, that means keeping the little ones occupied. I choose to have different packages for different age demographics. Toddler, Kindergartner, grade schooler and tween are good packages to start with. Keep the items clean and replace when they get tattered. Charging a little as a “bonus amenity” allows you to have well kept items in inventory. Garage sales and Offerup are great places to find items.
7. Airport pickup
Not quite an amenity but definitely in demand. You can offer this service through It’s Borrowed and don’t forget to mention that you have a car seat available. Most Uber’s do not have car seats.
8. Picnic package
There are so many amazing places in San Diego to have a great picnic. Balboa park, Fiesta Island and the beach are just a few. Hiking to potato chip rock can work up and appetite too. Cool backpack picnic kits are available or offer the full package with bbq, chairs, blanket and more. Don’t forget the wine opener and cheese plate kit. Ice chests and portable fire pits for the beach are a frequent requests as well.
9. Pet kit
You may or may not accept pets in your unit. I do allow dogs and more than 75% of my guests take advantage. Most pet travelers will be driving to your property but that doesn’t mean they have room for a dog bed, crate and dog bowls. I require that the guest’s dog stay in a crate at night and that they pick-up after their dog outside.
Many items fall into this category. From baby bjorns, to hiking poles and Go Pro cameras. Items in this category can transform a guest from Clark W. Griswold into Indiana Jones. With that transformation comes a raving review much of the time.
All of the items above can be offered from host to guest on It’s Borrowed. The guests save time and money while the host brings in an extra $20-$100 a day per unit.