Designing your home to become a successful vacation rental takes time, effort and money. You are competing in a space that has millions of vacation homes for travelers to rent, so you need to position yourself at an advantage if you want your property to stand out and maximize its occupancy and rental revenue. Thankfully we’ve compiled this step-by-step guide to help you do just that. Here’s how you can design your home for vacation rentals, and ensure it is set-up to the expectations of a 5-star short-term rental property:
1. Declutter and Depersonalize the Space
Go through your vacation rental room-by-room and remove any items that do not either serve a purpose for your guests or provide decorative value to your home. You’ll also want to store away anything too personal, such as family photos, so guests are able to imagine your home as their own. Think about the room when you stay at a hotel or resort- obviously your vacation rental is going to be a more unique experience, but you still want your home to have a professional, clean feel.
2. Stage Your Vacation Rental to Maximize Occupancy
Increasing the number of people your vacation rental can host makes it more affordable for travelers by reducing their nightly cost per guest. This maximizes your vacation rental’s occupancy throughout the month, which in turn maximizes your rental revenue.
First, you’ll want to determine how many guests can comfortably sleep in your vacation rental. Be creative when determining this; you can turn spare rooms into bedrooms or add a pull-out couch to provide extra accommodations. Once you know how many guests your vacation rental can host, stage your common areas to also reflect this number. For example, if your vacation rental can sleep 6 people, your dining and living areas should both seat at least 6 people. Don’t forget to bring this same mentality into your backyard, deck, or any other part of your home used for entertaining.
3. Choose Complementing Furniture Pieces
The furniture pieces in each room should complement one another in color scheme, material, and theme. Don’t worry too much about the extra money you spend on furnishing your vacation rental – it is an investment that will pay itself off with increased bookings later. Statement pieces, such as a unique coffee table or chair, can also be great additions and add character to your vacation rental. What doesn’t add character to your vacation rental? Two mismatched couches in the living room.
4. Pick Easy-to-Maintain Materials and Colors
Since you’ll be hosting many guest stays, you’ll want your home’s fixtures to have easy-to-maintain materials and colors. Slipcovers on couches and seats allow for easy washing, while white fabrics can be effortlessly bleached to remove stains. If you have leather pieces, use Scotchgard to protect them against spills. Always opt for white sheets and duvet covers in the bedroom because bedding requires the most washing and bleaching. Use furniture protectors in between guest stays for any outdoor fixtures.
5. Decorate Your Vacation Rental to Draw Travelers In
The most appealing vacation rentals are tastefully decorated and showcase great attention to detail. Your décor is where you can make your vacation home stand out by adding special pieces that draw travelers in. We suggest choosing a theme based on your home’s location or architectural style and using this theme throughout your rental. If there are mainly neutral colors in your vacation rental, you can add a pop of color in pillows, throw-blankets, or artwork. If your home is small or dark, you can opt for lighter décor to open and brighten the room. Don't forget to decorate outdoor spaces as well. Stringing lights or adding cushions to outdoor patio sets can make the area appear more lively. Look for inspiration online if you need help.
6. Purchase High-Quality Mattresses, Linens, and Towels
This is an easy way to impress your guests and receive great reviews after their stays. Having luxurious and ultra-comfortable sleeping accommodations is a prized asset in the hospitality industry. By following this lead, you will set yourself apart from your competition as an experienced vacation rental host. Nothing compares to having a good night’s sleep in soft linens, waking up refreshed, and having fluffy towels to dry off with.
Opt for simple, bright white linens and towels. They make your vacation rental look clean, crisp, and professional, while simultaneously being life-savers when stains need to be bleached out. Because these items will be washed frequently, you'll want to purchase a high-quality brand to prevent early wear-and-tear. You'll also want to grab additional sets of both linens and towels when shopping; guests may need extras throughout their stay, and it can be easier on your cleaning crew when doing laundry.
7. Add More Amenities
Set up WiFi, TV’s and Cable if you do not already have them up and running in your vacation rental. Transform outdoor common spaces, such as your deck or pool area, into amenity hotspots by adding a BBQ, cabana, hot tub, ping-pong table, or fire pit. You can also add a minibar or pool table inside. The possibilities are limitless, and you can market these amenities on your rental listing to get more bookings for a higher dollar. Look on AirBnb, HomeAway, and VRBO to find other amenities you can add to your home that you don’t already have.
8. Think About Your Guests
Prep your vacation rental for amazing guest experiences by adding personal touches that show you are thankful for them. Provide toiletries, a hairdryer, ironing board, and home goods such as paper towels, dishwasher soap, laundry detergent, pots and pans, utensils and dinnerware. Stock the fridge full of cold drinks and lay out coffee or tea with cream and sugar. You should also create a Welcome Book with home instructions and places to go in the area.
9. Bonus: Create a Photo-Worthy Backdrop for Social Media
This is not a necessity, but it can help your vacation rental stand out, achieve more bookings, and receive free social media marketing through hashtags and shares. To create a photo-worthy backdrop, you will want to pick a stand out feature of your home and pair it with something fun, unique, or eye-catching. For example, you could put a set of chic, swinging chairs overlooking your panoramic views of the ocean. You could also stock your pool full of oversized floaties or create a beautiful mural on one of your home’s walls. The goal is to create an image guests will love to take photos with. Use this image as the main photo on your listing, and travelers will imagine themselves enjoying your vacation rental.
Turn Your Home into a Successful Vacation Rental with Resortigo
Transforming your home into a successful vacation rental can be overwhelming, especially if it's your first time making the switch to short-term rentals. Luckily Resortigo is here to help! We are an experienced full-service property management company that transforms the way vacation home owners manage their rental property by providing a hands-free and cost-efficient solution. If you would like more information or have questions on this blog, give us a call at 888-573-7678 or visit our contact page!