airbnb design tips

Styling an Airbnb Property to Maximise Returns

Just over a decade ago, simply offering an extra room in a major city for less than the cost of a hotel was all you needed to do to attract interested Airbnb customers. The vacation rental market has since exploded. Today, hundreds of rental properties are available for both short- and long-term rental in just about every corner of the world.

For those seeking long-term lodging, this means more choices and incredible value in many cases. For those renting Airbnb properties, it means higher expectations and more competition. Here are some ways that you can use style and décor to maximise your investment at your Airbnb property.

Play To Your Strengths

Not every Airbnb property can serve every traveller’s needs. As a property owner, you’ll want to think about your ideal customer. Is your property perfect for a retired couple looking for an extended vacation? Are you equipped to serve families with children that may need to stay a month or two? Or are you ideally located for travelling business professionals looking for a temporary residence and working space?

Once you know who would love to stay at your property, style the place and beef up your offerings to serve that audience. For example, if you decide you have the perfect spot for families who need to relocate to your area for a few months, be sure you have child-friendly and durable furniture as well as a well-stocked kitchen for meal preparation. Offer comfortable lighting for family space and quality window coverings in the bedrooms. Invest in some extras like play pens, electronic entertainment or high chairs.

On the other hand, if you want to grab the attention of business travellers, be sure you have reliable, fast WiFi connections, ergonomically correct furniture, and common office equipment such as a printer, scanner or fax machine. You’ll want lighting that is ideal for working extra hours as well.

Select Unique But Tasteful Decor

Airbnb décor can always be a bit challenging because everyone has a different opinion of what is beautiful, comfortable or attractive. Pick a theme that either corresponds to the tastes of a large portion of your target audience or select something that’s unique to your local geographic area, culture or region.

Try to select furniture, artwork and other décor that complements your overall look. It may be worth the investment to talk with a professional interior decorator, a property management company, or at least a friend who had a natural flair for style and décor.

Choose Quality, Durable Furniture

Remember that as a property owner, you’ll be hosting different people over a long period of time. Although long-term Airbnb customers are probably not as hard on your furniture as a rotating number of weekend travellers, you’ll still want to invest in high quality, durable furniture to withstand high usage and still look attractive and relatively new over time.

Invest in the most important pieces including quality, comfortable beds, sofas and reclining chairs. A sturdy dining room set with easy-to-clean chairs would be a worthy investment as well.

Opt for Common Kitchen Appliances

For those guests seeking long-term Airbnb rentals, you’ll want to have a well-stocked kitchen. Be sure you invest in quality appliances that are easy-to-use and clean. You don’t have to have many obscure kitchen gadgets but make sure you have plenty of commonly used items such as a coffee maker, microwave and an assortment of dishes, pots and pans, cutting boards, and utensils.

Skip The Blinds

The windows of an Airbnb property offer a great area to spruce up. Heavy curtains can add a great deal of warmth to a room, both in terms of appearance and temperature control.

You may want to consider investing in room-darkening window coverings or blackout curtains in the bedrooms to help ensure a great night’s sleep for your guests anytime they want to sleep.

An extra layer of sheer curtains can be a nice touch when customers would like natural light and privacy at the same time.

Incorporate Fabulous Lighting Options Throughout

Light has a wonderful way of changing the entire mood of a property, individual room or even marketing photography on your listing. Select your room lighting carefully.

Lights that hang from the ceiling can add a customized look for any room, often becoming a centerpiece. Simple warm table lamps can add much to the ambiance of any space. Consider well-lit desk spaces if you offer a work area as well. A reading lamp near beds is a welcome addition for those who enjoy a good book before bed.

Be sure to utilize those lights when you’re taking your photos for your Airbnb listing. A professional photographer can help you position lights to make your property the most attractive online.

Don’t Forget The Details

Although having the right large pieces of furniture, lighting, flooring and window dressings are all important, don’t forget the small touches that will make your place unique and cozy.

Fresh flowers and plants, although they require some care, are well worth the investment. Place them near natural light sources and scatter vases with fresh flowers throughout the home for great photo opportunities. Even if your guests do not want to keep them long-term, they certainly make a great welcoming gesture at the very least.

Incorporate tasteful décor in candles, knick-knacks, paintings and artwork to make a house feel more like a classy home.


Enhance Room Through Color Choices

Minimize the number of your stark white walls. Instead, use colors to enhance the feeling of particular spaces at the property. For example, warm paint colors can make a room particularly inviting or a dark color scheme can add coziness to a small nook area for private conversations, quiet reading or a cat nap. Consider painting the ceiling to change the ambiance of the room even more.


Select Flooring Options Fit For Each Space

Thick, lush carpet may be a great option for bedrooms, which don’t see as much traffic in a long-term rental as many areas. It can add warmth as well as sound insulation, both welcomed properties in a bedroom.

Hardwood floors or faux hardwood floors are classic, attractive and relatively easy to clean and maintain in main living areas. You can add a touch of style in a particular room with an area rug that complements the design of the room.

Durable, easy-to-clean tile may be the best choice for kitchen and dining areas as well as bathrooms. Many inexpensive yet durable tiles are available if you can’t afford ceramic options.


Get Professional Assistance

Many Airbnb property management companies, Airbnb itself, and independent designers and consultants can offer a helping hand when it comes to styling your Airbnb for maximum profit. Look into the services they offer and consider the return on your investment. It may be worth hiring a professional who can help make the large and small decisions to help you property be as appealing and as attractive as possible for potential customers.

By following these suggestions, you can style your Airbnb property to compete successfully against others in your market.


Airbnb interior design tips

8 Interior Design Tips to Maximize Airbnb Long-Term Rental Returns

Long-term rentals can be a fantastic source of secure revenue for an Airbnb host. Securing more or repeat long-term rentals will depend on how customers enjoy the experience at your Airbnb property during their stay. When it comes to encouraging return customers, your property design may have a lot more to do with it than you might think. Find out how these simple design choices can help you maximize returning clients. Plus, find out what host management companies are and how they can help, too.

1. Choose Functional Furniture

Choosing stylish furniture pieces can attract renters to your listing. But if you want them to keep coming back, make sure your furniture choices are functional. Especially for long-term renters, functionality could be the defining factor in whether clients return. Comfort is a top priority when it comes to seating and bedding, in particular. Opt for sectional sofas that can be easily rearranged or comfortable recliners.

Anything that is adjustable to suit an individual’s needs is a great choice for maximizing comfort and encouraging a return visit. Save your style and flair for decorative items instead. When it comes to furniture that customers will be using daily throughout their stay, comfort should always come first. Practicality is just as important, too. Long-term renters will want plenty of room to store their clothing and toiletries.

2. Provide Proper Lighting

Dim lighting can look very trendy, but your customers likely won’t find this feature too pleasant after several nights stay at your place. Again, functionality is key. You can add a dimmer for your client to use at their discretion. However, the option for functional lighting should always be available. Include pot lights and chandeliers wherever possible. Choose LED bulbs over traditional bulbs. They last longer and are much brighter. Avoid anything with a yellow tint when it comes to lighting. Another great tip is to include a bright reading lamp somewhere in the space.

3. Choose Practical Window Coverings

For the windows, remember that most people welcome light in the day but prefer total darkness at nighttime. A simple way to achieve this is to opt for sheer curtains with blackout curtain overlays. Your renters can maximize natural light during the day, without compromising privacy, and still have total darkness at night. Versatility and practicality are essential to maximize comfort and encourage customers to return – especially for extended stays.

Another option is to choose privacy blinds. These can offer both partial lighting or blackout options. They are also a sleeker window covering that is much less cumbersome than curtains. This can work perfectly for a minimalist chic design.

4. Choose Durable Floor Coverings

When it comes to the floors, choose a material that is durable. Think bamboo wood flooring or tile. The idea is to have a floor that looks warm and inviting, but can also stand up to various tenants. Damaged floors can turn renters off, and you can’t change the flooring every time a new renter visits. Durable floor options will help you maintain the aesthetic of your property. They can also maximize your spend.

You can also try vinyl flooring. It’s easy to install and very cost effective. The only flooring option you may want to avoid is the carpet. Carpet flooring can hold in dust and be allergenic for some individuals. Plus, they stain, and regular maintenance can be costly.

5. Opt for Neutral Paint on the Walls

Lighter shades of paint maximize both light and space. This will not only help your place appear larger and brighter, but it’s a timeless look that doesn’t need constant updating. The idea is to be very easy on the eyes. If a renter is staying in your place for months at a time, the last thing you want is for them to get fed up of staring at bold walls or colors. Instead, limit colorful choices to wall décor if you want to spice things up a little.

6. Make Sure Kitchen Tools are Functional

You can get creative with tabletop décor and accents. Just make sure functionality remains your top priority when selecting kitchen tools. Remember, your clients need to cook and use the kitchen as they would at home during a long-term stay. Include the basics like pots, pans, spatulas, a whisk, serving cutlery, dishes, bowls, cups and glasses, knives, and serving platters. A nice touch would be to include wine serving options like a decanter. Practical items like a blender and dishwasher can also come in very handy for your renters. Long-term renters are much more likely to use the kitchen daily since they will be setting up camp for so long. If the kitchen is as easy to use as their own, they are much more likely to return.


7. Avoid Controversial or Profane Artwork

Stay away from anything that may be offensive or vulgar. Keep your artistic choices limited to items that do not represent any cultural, religious or political ideologies. And of course, stay away from any pieces that poorly reflect other cultures or nationalities. You don’t know who will be staying at your rental property. Make sure it is welcoming to anyone and everyone.

8. Avoid Personal Items

To make customers return, make your rental space feel friendly and inviting, like your client’s very own home. Think of how realtors stage a home to make it more appealing. They want consumers to feel at home without feeling as though they are in your home. Avoid leaving behind any personal items like photographs of you and your loved ones. You want your clients to feel welcome in your space, not as though they are invading it.

What is a Host Management Company and Why Should You Hire One?

A host management company provides services to help Airbnb hosts manage their rental properties. With various individuals staying at your home, it can be overwhelming to manage. A company like this can help keep you organized and on track. Plus, they can help you earn more money from your properties.

Host management companies have loads of experience when it comes to Airbnb rentals. They can help you with everything from décor to management to listing creation. This can be particularly useful to you if you don’t live near your property or have several properties to manage at once. Remember, all it takes is one bad review for your rental income to suffer. A host management company can help you maintain a stellar reputation. They will ensure your properties are clean and prepared for the next visitors. They can take care of necessary repairs, too. This can take a tremendous weight off your shoulders and help you maximize your rental income.

Getting clients to return for long-term stays at your Airbnb properties is directly related to they feel when they are living in your space. Make design choices that maximize functionality and comfort. If you don’t know where to start, turn to a host management company for help.


How Much Can You Make Renting Out A Room?

How Much Money Can You Make From a Vacation Rental?

How Much Money Can You Make From Renting Out Your Home?

If you’re interested in a side gig that potentially brings in tens of thousands of dollars each year, renting out your vacation home is the way to go. Property rental websites like VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) and AirBnb have boomed in popularity as travelers demand more from their vacations.

The “free” hot breakfast and on-site restaurant simply aren’t making the must-have amenities list anymore. These alternative lodging websites are now two of the top choices for vacationers, connecting travelers to property owners hoping to rent out their homes for extra cash.

The appeal of having the luxuries of home – but in an awesome city – pulls travelers to the 2 million rentals on VRBO, and the 5 million on AirBnb.

If you want to make some serious cash with a side gig, renting out your vacation home is the way to go. Before you start researching whether VRBO or AirBnb is better, decide how you want to rent your space. Your answer will likely help guide which platform is better suited for your property.

How Much Space Do You Want to Offer?

The main difference between VRBO and AirBnb is the types of spaces that can be offered on each site.

  • VRBO: Only entire homes are offered for rent on the site. So if you’re not willing to give up the whole condo, cabin, or beach house, this isn’t the platform for you. This restriction gives your guests comfort in knowing they won’t be sharing the property when they arrive.
  • AirBnb: Don’t mind sharing your space or want to rent to travelers who are up for renting just a room? AirBnb is the place to be.  AirBnb owners can rent out their entire home or offer up a single room.

How Much Can You Make on Vacation Rental Sites?

There are a number of factors that go into how much you can make by listing your property on VRBO or AirBnb. While some vacation property owners rake in more than $10,000 per month, renting out a single room can still help you bank a few hundred dollars each month.

Those who list their property on AirBnb bring in an average of $11,000 per year, while VRBO owners make an average of $28,000 annually. Before you list, it’s important to understand the fees you’ll pay to place your vacation home on each platform.

VRBO & AirBnb Fees

  • VRBO Fees: Owners can opt into a VRBO subscription or a pay-per-booking model.
    • The VRBO subscription requires each owner to pay a $499 yearly subscription fee and a 3% processing credit card fee. For owners who rent their property for at least 6 weeks out of the year, this model works best.
    • VRBO’s pay-per-booking model allows you to skip the subscription fee, but you’ll pay 5% for each booking made through VRBO as well as the 3% credit card fee.
  • AirBnb Fees: A pay-per-booking fee of 3% is charged for each reservation made on AirBnb.

In general, AirBnb attracts visitors looking for a short stay or weekend trip, while VRBO caters to those planning a week-long vacation or new city experience.

What Determines My Vacation Home Rental Revenue?

Even after you decide how much of your home you want to rent out and which vacation rental platform is best, there are outside factors that play into your revenue potential. When you price your vacation home, consider these elements:

  • Area events (Concerts, festivals, sporting events)
  • Amenities you offer
  • Location, location, location (VRBO traditionally does better in vacation destination areas)
  • Local taxes
  • Personal usage
  • Regulatory considerations
  • Seasonality
  • Self-managing vs. hiring a property manager
  • Vacation rental competition
  • Wear and tear, plus the cost of maintenance
Airbnb Booking Tips


Make More Money from Your Vacation Rental Property

If you want to make more than the yearly average of a typical vacation rental owner, you need to implement a strong strategy for how you’ll screen renters, accept payment, and set property policies. When you have the right procedures in place, your property will bring in top dollar. Here’s how to do it.

  • Screen renters: You wouldn’t let just anyone into your home if you were there, so you should be even more vigilant about who has access to your property when you won’t be home. Speak with potential renters on the phone, not just via email, to determine if your home is right for their trip and if you’re comfortable with the guest.
  • Establish a rental agreement: A clearly written rental agreement establishes expectations for you and the guest. The document should include the rental period, pet policy, occupancy limits, and rental and incidental fees. You and the renter should sign and receive a copy of the agreement.
  • Request deposit: Allowing guests to pay for the rental upon arrival leaves you at risk for a no-show. Require a 25% deposit to book the room and the remainder of the amount with enough time for the payment to clear before handing over the keys.
  • Meet in person: Even if the guest pays in full before arrival, don’t send the keys in the mail or leave them in a pick-up location. Meet the guest who booked the home and introduce yourself. This not only allows you to confirm the person who is staying in the home is in fact the person who booked the rental, but it also allows you to spot any potential challenges like unexpected pets.
  • Enhance the experience: Not only should everything in the home be in working order, but offering custom luxuries—like clean linens, toiletries, and a welcome basket—will enhance the guest’s stay. The more the guest enjoys their rental experience, the more 5-star reviews you gain. Owning a top-ranked property on the rental website means your rental property value increases.

Price Your Property Well

Avoid vacancies in your vacation home rental by pricing the property well. Consider the size, amenities, and location of the home, and study other vacation options available to travelers. A price that’s too low will make it hard to get your money’s worth, but over-pricing the home means the property will stay empty. Airbnb makes this part a bit easier with Smart Pricing, which sets the rental price based on a number of factors, such as time of year, and location.

There are also a number of tools out there to help hosts with things like set up (HappyHost) and pricing (Beyond Pricing).

Use your vacation rental as a side gig revenue when you know where to list, how much to ask, and how to feature the home’s best assets. Consider how much of your home you’re willing to rent and put the proper procedures in place to attract quality guests to keep your vacation rental full—maxing out your side hustle income.