It is important to keep revamping and upgrading your vacation rentals to keep them attractive and relevant to your target audience. Routinely renovating your holiday rental while staying true to the essence that you promise guests in your Airbnb description page not only gives returning customers a new experience when they return, it also opens you up to new customers and keeps your reputation golden, because nobody wants to stay in a rusty old cottage where the air conditioning doesn’t work.
There are many reasons why property owners upgrade and renovate their short-term rentals listed below are some obvious ones and some very strategical ones.
As the popular saying goes, nothing lasts forever. When it comes to your vacation rental wear and tear is only going to get that much more frequent. It is almost common sense to realize that guests are not going to be as careful with appliances and furniture around the rental as they are when it comes to their personal belongings.
When it comes to homeowners, a rookie mistake is trying to stay in the trend when they first decorate their rentals. However, trends change, some trends sooner than the others, often leaving behind heavily outdated and sometimes unpractical pieces and with big price tags.
Whether it is jumping on the green bus to make your Airbnb eco-friendly or making it pet-friendly to widen your target audience or perhaps targeting a whole new segment of customers altogether it does not come without making a few changes around the house.
Whether it’s Christmas or Halloween festive seasons call for some extra trinkets around the house that help keep the surroundings relevant. Whether it’s lugging around a 6-foot-tall Christmas tree or cutting up faces on giant pumpkins it doesn’t come without planning.
Prioritize your purchases in order of importance. In order to keep within your budget, make a list of all the things you’d like to have and then put them in order in terms of priority. Once you’ve reached the maximum (aligning with your budget) that you are willing to spend, cross off the rest of the list or save it for another time.
Prioritize your appliances as outdated appliances stick out like a sore thumb. This is not to say that all appliances must be high-end and over the top but it pays to stay up to date with home appliances to keep guests happy. Bear in mind that some appliances such as air conditioning units and refrigerators go as amenities in your Airbnb listing. Some very important amenities to have around the house apart from the fridge and air conditioning units are microwaves, washing machines, and a heating system for cold weather.
When making your shopping list of everything you want to replace, consider DIY projects off of those appliances and furniture that you want to throw away. For example, the kettle on the coffee machine that you want to replace will make for an amazing flower vase when wrapped in torn fabric from that old sofa. Or those old wooden crates would make for amazing shelves when stuck on the wall.
When making changes around the house think of the target audience of your vacation rental, as they will be the ones mostly frequenting your Airbnb. If you plan to target senior citizens then make sure your sofas are comfy and the furniture that might have to be moved, such as the chairs around the dining table, are light.
When investing in appliances and furniture for your vacation rental, remember that cutting costs is not always cost-effective. For example, make sure that appliances that are most likely to be mishandled by guests have a warranty period when you purchase them even if it costs a little more. Furthermore, when going for carpets and bed linens make sure they are hospitality grade products as these products are more durable and are more resistant to wear and tear.
If you are thinking about carpeting your floors consider a color that can hold up stains, think mauve and beige or shades of grey instead of white or baby pink that will immediately alert guests of past stains. The same goes for linens and pillow covers. You could also opt for darker colors to accent your furniture or have it pop out.
However, when going for towels, opt for whites so that you can give guests a hotel-like feeling. White is also a color that allows for bleaching, which is a really good way to wash towels to get rid of bacteria because cleanliness is key.
Place appliances and ornamental trinkets in sensible places to avoid having to replace them frequently. If your Airbnb frequently hosts families with toddlers try not to leave ornaments and trinkets lying within reach. In such cases, it would also be best to limit glass tabletops and ornaments to avoid damage to both the property and the toddler.
If you hope to allow families with pets to your property, make sure you don’t invest in a fancy garden that could be torn apart by a particularly playful dog. And every cat owner knows that curtains that hit the ground are a complete no-no with cats.
Walls play a key role in setting the stage in any room. Bright white walls say large airy rooms where the entire family can hang out and play board games, whereas, darker shades talk about comfy sofas next to the fireplace where you can curl up with your favorite book.
Think of the theme you want to go with each room. Is it comfy and cozy? Is it fun and activity? Perhaps you want to go with warm and fuzzy. Whatever the theme you are going with having walls that match the theme will take you a long way.
Pro tip: if you are having kid-friendly rooms, using washable wallpapers on walls will save you from having to repaint surfaces every time someone decides to get creative.
Set up cozy corners where guests can relax. It doesn’t have to be anything high-end. A love seat by the corner window where couples can reminisce on loving memories, or a thick comfy rug by the fireplace where families can huddle and make memories that they’ll long after they leave your Airbnb. These cozy corners make really good photo opportunities as well giving your vacation rental more exposure when they check in to it on their social media.
When upgrading your holiday rental consider going for a more evergreen theme like comfort. Upgrade routinely and work on maintaining the one aspect that can make or break your Airbnb. It could have guests returning to visit you or leaving you with a terrible rating, a good night’s sleep.
Pay attention to the quality of the mattress you invest in. Many travelers go on holidays to relax. Give your guests a mattress that will give them a good night's sleep and make sure you change the mattress when you feel like it isn’t still doing its job.
Also, have at least three linens per bed, one as a spare when the other is washed and one in case there was an emergency and linens had to be changed suddenly. Invest in linens in darker shades, with high thread counts so that they are comfortable and last longer given the frequency at which it will have to be washed.
While it is not practical to offer guests pillow menus in a homestay, try to have pillows in a range of soft and firm pillows to make sure that there is at least one pillow your guest is comfortable with. Have a few spare pillows in hand in case a guest wants extras. As far as the durability of pillows goes, synthetic pillows are known to last for up to 2 years. In order to increase the lifetime of your pillows and ensure hygiene, consider using pillow protectors underneath pillowcases as an extra barrier.
Renovation costs for properties depend on many factors such as the current state of the property, location (beachside or on hilly mountains), target audience, and how much money you are willing to spend on renovations. The key is to separate the important renovations from the nice-to-haves and stick to your budget to ensure you are not faced with shortages in the future. Renovating your Airbnb is a really big deal and needs careful consideration, but nobody knows your property or your clientele better than you so with your gut and we hope this article can serve you as a guide for when you have trouble making up your mind.