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How to Transform Your Home Into a Valuable Vacation Rental

How to Transform Your Home Into a Valuable Vacation Rental

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Maybe you are traveling for a few months and want to generate some passive income; maybe you are moving to a different home and want to keep your old place as an investment property. In any case, you need to transform your home into an Airbnb fast — and here are a few tips to get it done.

Know What Your Guests Want

Different Airbnb guests travel to different areas for different reasons. While many Airbnb guests might be travelers looking for budget accommodations, some Airbnb guests are looking for a glamorous location to take pictures for social media. Other Airbnb guests might want a home away from home with all the comfort and amenities a real residence can provide.

Before you determine how you will furnish and decorate your Airbnb, you need to conduct some research to determine what kind of guests you can and should attract to your rental. Thoroughly researching an Airbnb market takes some time and effort, but it should pay off in higher occupancy rates and better guest reviews.

To start, you should consider the region around your home: Why do most people visit? Do you live in or near a vacation destination, or do guests come to your area for business? You also need to consider what kind of travelers frequent your city — whether they are families, young single folks, wealthy professionals or something else. You might explore Airbnb, VRBO and other short-term vacation rental platforms to see how other rentals in your area are styling themselves. Once you have completed some amount of research, you should be better equipped to decorate your home in such a way as to maximize your engagement through Airbnb.

Choose a Simple Interior Design Style

In most cases, you want your home to be as broadly appealing as possible, and you want your home to be functional for all potential guests. As a result, you probably do not want to choose an interior aesthetic that is busy or complex. Styles like maximalism demand a large amount of color and pattern — not to mention cluttering décor — which can turn off some travelers, reducing your occupancy rate.

Instead, you might opt for a more comfortable interior design, like farmhouse or midcentury modern, which many people will recognize and appreciate. You might also rely on your market research to guide your interior design; if most guests are coming for your area’s beaches, a coastal style will suit nicely. Of course, if you are looking to attract influencers, photographers and other artist-types, you can invest in a more thorough redesign of your home — though it likely won’t be quick or cheap.

Find Gently-used Furnishings and Inexpensive Decor

Unfortunately, guests tend to treat the furniture in Airbnbs with greater roughness than they do the furnishings in their own home. Because you don’t want brand-new, high-quality furniture to become damaged after just a few months of operation, you should consider filling your home with gently-used furniture found in thrift and consignment stores. These pieces might not be up to your personal standard for interior design, but they will be much more affordable and easier to replace when guests use them into disrepair.

The same goes for any decorative pieces you use in your home. Generally, it is not a good idea to fill your short-term rental with extremely valuable or remarkably delicate decorations; if they are not broken by your guests, they could be stolen, and it might be weeks before you realize that they are missing. You should try to keep your décor relatively bland albeit appealing and cheerful to discourage guests from messing with it during their stay.

Buy Hospitality Essentials

There are a few supplies that beginner Airbnb hosts often neglect. You should have at least three sets of linens for every bed in your home, to include extra comforter sets stored on site in case your guests need extra bedding. You should also equip your home with more towels than you could possibly expect a single home to use; guests tend to be liberal with their towel usage and might need at least three towels per individual during a single stay.

Many guests prefer Airbnbs to hotels because they have access to a kitchen, where they can cook their own meals instead of spending unnecessary money at restaurants. You should be sure to fill your kitchen cabinets with basic cookware and tableware and a set of spices if you are feeling generous.

Hosting an Airbnb is a more involved business practice than most homeowners expect. However, with a bit of effort, you can make a surprising amount of income from your short-term rental.

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