What the Most Successful Airbnb and VRBO Hosts Know About Staging Their Home
So you’ve decided to rent out your pad to earn some extra cash. Depending on where you live, you can stand to make a hefty profit by making your home available for rental through services like Airbnb and VRBO.
Before you dive in, though, it’s crucial that you come prepared. There’s more to being a successful host on these popular vacation rental sites than meets the eye, and if you want your property to stand out, presentation is key.
To ensure that your space is the one travelers will want to make their home away from home, we talked to some of the most successful hosts on these sites.
Here are their best staging tips that easily—and consistently—snag them reservations:
1. Keep it simple
You may think that showing a tidy and organized home in your listing’s photos goes without saying, but it’s especially important to remember that less is always more. If there is too much visible clutter or even too many personal items, it can distract a potential renter.
De-personalize just enough so guests don’t have to be reminded that they’re staying in someone else’s home: “Guests want to feel like it’s their own little haven while they are away from home,” Laura Butler-Madden, who rents out her stylish London apartment writes in an Airbnb Plus host spotlight post. “We didn’t include any personal photos, just lovely artwork and books, which helps to keep things neutral.”
2. Help guests visualize themselves in the home
Although simplicity is key, it’s also important your space does not look too sterile in photos. Your guests should be able to imagine themselves stylishly living in the home during their trip.
“Set up the space or item so guests can visualize using it in the space,” says Fredrich. “For example, set up a picnic on the private patio to showcase the outdoor space, or set up some board games on the table to showcase which games are available. Make some coffee and tea to showcase your French press and tea kettle.”
Holly Baker, VRBO Premier Partner and host of A&E’s “Vacation Rental Potential,” agrees that these little details go a long way toward helping guests envision their getaway in your home.
“The photos should look like someone is living in and enjoying the home,” says Baker, who rents out her super cozy property in Edmonton, Canada. “That doesn’t mean have actual people in the house, but it does mean having things like lit candles and maybe a few snacks laid out creatively in the kitchen.”
3. Bring in the professionals
A more intense option that pays off? Hiring professionals.
VRBO Premier Partner Bill Duncan recommends hiring an interior designer. He worked with Red Element Design to overhaul his Charleston, South Carolina, property, and he’s thrilled with the results.
Duncan also recommends hiring a professional photographer to accurately capture all your designer’s hard work.
But even if you choose to take your own, it might be worth spending a little time strategically zhushing up the place. “Good, natural light is a must, and sometimes you need to rearrange your furniture to get all the important pieces in the shot,” advises Baker.
Looking to stay rather than stage? Here, 11 cozy tiny houses to rent in the mountains, starting at $45 a night.
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