It wasn’t a very long time ago when people mentioned hotels in the same sentence as vacation, and it enjoyed a comfortable place in the in the hospitality hierarchy. But all of these changed with the introduction of short term rentals like Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO etc. began cropping up and opened up the hospitality business to basically everybody who had a spare home or apartment. These revolutionized the hospitality industry the same way construction contract and bidding software changed the way bids are made in the construction industry. Although this kind of rental system has had its share of controversy over the years, it’s still standing strong, and it looks like that it’s here to stay.
If you are thinking of putting up your spare properties for short term rental, be prepared to renovate and redecorate your home or apartment. You can either do this yourself if you are confident at DIY or if not, you can shop around for a local construction company who can do that work for you. Whichever way you want to go, here are some suggestions that might be helpful in preparing your property for success in the short term rental business.
Know Your Target Customers
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
While you’re not going into a real battle, the quote holds true when it comes to preparing your home for short term rental. Getting people to rent your home is not as easy as just putting it up on a website and hoping that people will come and rent it. To succeed, you have to battle it out with hundreds of other short term rentals for the attention of those who are going on vacation. The victor will be the one who gets chosen.
The one thing that you need to understand is that whoever is your chosen target market from the beginning, and the rest will easily fall into place. Ask yourself who do you want to rent the home for – honeymooners? Couples? Families? Partygoers? Once you’ve established this, then you can start to piece together how you want the design your property
People Love Luxury
Another thing to remember is that people love luxurious places especially when they are going on vacation. This holds true even if you are renting your property for $100 or $1000 a night. And, people, when presented with rentals of the same price range will almost always choose the one that looks the best.
This is not to say that you should spend a small fortune to decorate your property. In fact, that’s not recommended at all because if you spend too much on your rental, you’ll never be able to recuperate to cost that quickly and start making money. Not to mention, you’ll always be nervous about the state of your rental if you put super expensive items.
One of the sure fire ways to keep your cost down is to source your materials from second-hand shops, or Craigslist, or maybe estate sales. And, of course, you’ll have to do some light interior designing on your rental property to get the effect that you’re aiming for. You can do this either by going professional and enlisting the help of an interior decorator, or you can go the DIY route by finding inspiration online or enlisting your friends your help.
Renovate if Necessary
Unless you’re marketing your property as a historical place where holes add value to the property, you want to make sure that your rental property looks clean and polished, and that’s where renovating comes in. One of the very first things that you need to look at if it needs renovating is the kitchen because people who rent your property even just for a few days will, for sure, gravitate towards the kitchen. And a good kitchen goes a long way to make sure that your guests feel comfortable.
The bathroom is another area that you need to look at because it will be one of the most used areas in your property. When you are remodeling your rental bathroom, ask yourself how you want a vacation bathroom to look like, and you can start from there.
Look around and see if there are other things that need to be repaired. Check around for holes or chipping paint, or anything that makes your property look dingy. Remember people love a place that looks luxurious. But again, make sure that this luxurious look that you want to achieve fits into your budget. Affordable luxury is what you want to aim for- luxurious for your guests, affordable for you.
Pick A Theme
There are a million and one ways to decorate your property, and with all these options available, it’s easy to get confused about how to decorate. The first thing that you need to do when decorating your rental property is to decide what kind of theme you are going for, and you can build the design from there. There is a lot to choose from, you can go shabby chic, retro, industrial to name a few. The most difficult thing to do is to choose, but once you’ve done that, it should be smooth sailing from there. Moving forward, you can choose to decorate it yourself, or if your budget allows, you can enlist the help of an interior decorator.
Be Generous with Storage Space
Storage space might not be the highlight of your decorating project, but storage is an important factor in any rental home. So make sure that whatever design that you are going can include ample storage so your guests can fully unpack and truly feel that they are on vacation. This goes a long way to make your guests feel comfortable especially if they are staying for more than a week. Find creative ways to provide generous storage space for your guests to store their clothes as well as their suitcases.
In renting out your house in whichever platform you choose, it helps to remember that above on how your place looks like, the one thing that your future guests come back, again and again, is the host experience or host hospitality. So make sure that you are generous with your time, polite, and available to answer any kind of questions or concerns that your guests might have. It might be a good design that gets your property noticed, but its good service that will keep them coming back.