People love, love even if they don't show it or want to believe it. Putting a little TLC into your short-term rental property can make a huge difference in your reviews, ratings, and your nightly fees. I have stayed in over 30 short-term rental properties while traveling and I've picked up a few things along the way. Even for those without a design brain or vision for "what's wrong" people pick up when a space feels good or doesn't. Not only do you want people to walk into your space and say "wow," you want people to leave and recommend your spot as the "BEST place to stay." It doesn't need to be super fancy, or in the best location, it just needs some special tweaks that show you care! Here are 3 things you can do today to update your space.
1. The Bed. ZERO people ever complain about having the comfiest, coziest bed. This recommendation always gives people the most bang for their buck. If someone can leave and think "eh the kitchen was small and didn't have much in it, but I had the best sleep I've had in months," you win! Make a Designer bed. Must haves include:
- Excellent Mattress - 4 Sleeping Pillows (all different plushness) - 3 Throw Pillows - 1 Throw Blanket - Bed MUST have a headboard - Amazing sheets (I like French Linen) - Duvet + Duvet Cover (again I love a linen duvet cover) Last but not least, when it comes to the floor plan of your bedroom space the bed should ALWAYS be facing the main door into the space (unless that puts your head against a window). If it does... let's talk about it!
2. A Virtual "Things you Must Know" Sheet. I can't tell you how many Airbnbs (and other short-term rentals) I've been to in other countries that provide a checklist or things you must know sheet in their property that's in a different language.
I am sure it's true of places in America too. I've never seen one sheet in Massachusetts that was in a different language. SOO not helpful. You can make a QR code for almost anything these days. Instead of displaying all of your check-in/out information and things to do on a sheet of paper in your space, provide a QR Code that people can scan with their smartphones to give them all the necessary information in the language of their choice. It's the little things! This will show people that you're sensitive to all cultures & languages and you want to do your absolute best to accommodate all guests. Not only that but it opens the door for people to have more experiences through your information, AND you might have fewer problems with people leaving the trash on the kitchen floor and the door unlocked if they have translated directions!
3. Have the Necessities for the Experience you're Selling. I get the feeling that most people throw together a place to sleep and cook when they invest in a short-term rental.
I've experienced SO many properties that have that are losing money and important reviews because they're not selling an experience. You ARE. As a short-term rental property owner, you are selling an experience NOT just a place to stay.
If you haven't figured out what that experience is, do that first. For a lot of places it's pretty self-explanatory based on the environment, for others it takes a little more creative thinking. But either way, make sure you have the necessities to match the experience.
For example, if you're selling a luxurious Napa Valley vineyard cottage you MUST have a corkscrew and wine glasses. If you want bonus points leave a bottle of wine. Orrr, maybe you own a property in cozy new england. Your place should have fire wood, extra blankets, and really good coffee and tea choices.
It's a must. You must sell an experience and you must be able to support it for good ratings, reviews and to be able to raise your rates.