How to Make Your Vacation Rental Propery Stand Out

By Heather R. Johnson

With more people listing homes through online rental services such as Airbnb and VRBO, the vacation rental market is exploding.

A Research and Markets report values the global vacation rental industry at $100 billion. It predicts the market will reach $170 billion by 2019. What does this mean for homeowners? To attract renters, it’s more important than ever to offer an exceptional product and market that product well.

Whether you have a cottage in a popular vacation destination or a swanky apartment in a big city, here’s how to decorate and showcase your home to attract short-term renters.

Hire a Property Manager

Unless you want to bury yourself in paperwork, hire an experienced property management company to handle rental details. A property manager deals directly with renters. He or she can market your rental, collect payments, respond to complaints, and make sure your rental complies with local, state, and federal regulations. Choose a company with vacation rental experience. Companies such as Pillow and Air Concierge specialize in online rentals and handle everything from creating a standout listing to cleaning between tenants.

Invest in Quality Bedding

“Comfortable bedding is a must for any type of guest,” says Judi Kieffer, president of Kieffer Design Group, an interior design firm based in Boise, Idaho. “Invest in good quality sheets, a soft duvet that is appropriate for your climate, and enough pillows to keep everyone happy.” Underneath that comfortable bedding, each bedroom should have quality mattresses.

Add Local Flavor

Guests chose your vacation rental rather than a hotel so they can have the comforts of home as well as a “local” experience. Incorporate the destination into your décor. Hang a Golden Gate Bridge watercolor from a local artist in your San Francisco townhome, and leave a sample of Ghirardelli chocolate. Kieffer says to think “white and bright colors in a beach setting, or rustic decor and plush furniture in the mountains.”

Expand Your Market

Your two-bedroom vacation home may accommodate more people with a few changes, thus appealing to a broader audience. Add bunkbeds to the second bedroom and a sofa-bed in the living room, and a large family will feel right at home. Make sure you have enough seating, towels, and kitchenware to accommodate larger groups.

Don’t Forget the Little Things

Something as simple as a basket of travel-sized toiletries can make the difference between a one-time and a repeat guest. Set up the outdoor patio furniture, and brush away debris and cobwebs. Clean the grill and give it a full tank of propane. Set out toys, games, and a few lollipops for children. Stock the kitchen with condiments and coffee. Leave information on local attractions, restaurants, and who to call in case the hot tub won’t start.

Furnish Well

Browse vacation rental listings and you’ll see hundreds of spotless, beautifully furnished homes that look like a page out of a magazine. To compete, replace any worn, outdated furniture with quality pieces. The increase in bookings you’ll see from a more attractive listing will likely cover the cost.

It can take time to find just the right pieces, so consider furniture rental as a turnkey solution to get your vacation rental up and running quickly. CORT Furniture Rental offers vacation home solutions by the piece, by the room, or for the entire home. Professionals deliver and set up your package — down to the last fluffed pillow — within 48 hours of online ordering. Flexible lease terms help you tailor the rental to your needs.

Are you ready to turn your second home into a new income source? Decorate thoughtfully with high-quality furniture and personal touches.