Vacation Rental Blog Posts

Improving Your Airbnb Game

June 24, 2020

Akin to the real estate slogan, “location, location, location”, one for the vacation rental market should be, “details, details, details”.  Overall experience is what makes a holiday memorable…and if it’s bad, well… When cruising through options on rental sites, the pictures are what draw in your potential client.  Many owners go to great lengths to […]

Akin to the real estate slogan, “location, location, location”, one for the vacation rental market should be, “details, details, details”.  Overall experience is what makes a holiday memorable…and if it’s bad, well…

When cruising through options on rental sites, the pictures are what draw in your potential client.  Many owners go to great lengths to make sure that there is just the right styling and that their property looks clean and bright.  But reality doesn’t often back up those pictures.

Over time, deco can get broken or go missing, furniture damaged, linens stained, or maybe a rogue guest has dampened your spirit. So, it might start to feel like this venture isn’t worth it.  Everyone can have a bad season but attending to some of the unseen details as a baseline can help you carry on.

Couch and furniture. Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash.

Furniture

I’ve seen it many times because it’s going to be a “rental”, owners put in their tired furniture and redecorate their own homes.  It’s kind of a rule of thumb that if it looks dinged up, people will think you won’t care if they are reckless. 

You don’t have to buy new furniture, but solid good-quality used furniture will not only take a beating, but people will subconsciously take better care of it. The same goes for the mattresses and pillows. Did you know that Marriott® has a web page where you can buy their famous mattresses?

If your guests feel rested during their stay…or not, they’re probably going to blame the mattress.  Installing quality bedding, not your old ones, is a good investment.

Linens

I was a vacation rental cleaner for a host who thought that having white towels was a good idea…until a wedding party used his home for the bachelorette party.  Thick layers of makeup and cleaning up regurgitated pizza destroyed the lot. Hotels have industrial chemicals and machines to battle the worst of stains, but they also have voluminous stores of backup linens.  I recommend dark-colored cotton towels. 

They can hide all kinds of previous sins without looking bad and cotton can take the hot washing required to sanitize between guests.  Microfiber may be inexpensive, but if it’s used for, say…cleaning up a broken perfume bottle, the fibers can hang on to the glass chips and possibly scratch a later guest or furniture. Cotton is biodegradable too.

Couch with pillows and linens. Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash.

Bed linens should also be of higher quality. Use down comforters with duvets and cotton sheets.  All-in-one comforters don’t launder well and become lumpy and awkward looking. The duvets can be switched and laundered in between guests, and the down provides coziness without a bunch of extra blankets.

They are going to endure more washing than what home sets normally do especially during the pandemic.  In laundering microfiber sheets, I have found that they are full of static no matter what. 

They attract every single stray hair in the room. They also form pills, which can be uncomfortable to sleep on.  I have found IKEA sheets to be a great value. They feel like crisp cotton, are inexpensive, and can be purchased separately so if one sheet is damaged, you don’t have to replace it with another whole set.

Kitchenware

Whether your guests choose to prepare food or not, it’s nice to be able to use superior cookware, matching dishes, and flatware. A hodgepodge collection says “cheap” and that you don’t trust the people in your home to care for it…so they won’t.  Heft and style lend to their experience, and that you want your guests to feel at home.

Stocking the property with the best quality you can afford is just as important as high-quality vacation rental cleaning. High-quality furniture, linens, and kitchenware will yield higher rental income and better guests. If it looks cheap, you will get cheap.

Amy Willard Avatar

By Amy Willard