So you’ve decided you want to turn your home into a homey little rental. Why shouldn’t someone enjoy your abode when you aren’t?
Here’s the thing: you’re joining literally million listings hoping to be as hospitable as a hotel. So if you are looking to stand out, we’re here to help. Here are our tips to creating the kind of Airbnb that’s booked solid.
[Insert satisfied guests here].
Know Your Best Angle
What makes your pad stand out? Are you country estate with gorgeous views? A hip loft in a neighborhood with an indecipherable acronym for a name? The ultimate bachelorette party destination? Figure out what would get people excited about your space and then lean into it. If you think people are clamoring to come to the city and stay in your hood, outfit your space with area-appropriate goodies— wine from a local vineyard (and maybe a few of our stemless wine glasses), sunblock and beach towels if you are coastal, binoculars if you are in intense bird-watching/retirement country. Pick your niche, and exploit it.
Blow them away by providing all their self-care needs.
Think of the Basics
Basics is our business, so we should know. To create the perfect vacation rental, you want to provide all the comforts of home. We’ll get to the more luxurious versions of that in a second, but also don’t forget the less-than-sexy essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, a hair dryer, dish detergent, an easy-to-operate coffee situation, etc. Put them somewhere guests can find them (so they aren’t forced to rummage through tons of drawers in search of a spoon). Display the WiFi password prominently. The less they have to look for the things they’ll need, the more they’ll like it.
The must-see destination of your rental: the bed.
Bed bed bed
Think about the best hotel you’ve ever stayed in.
Now tell us that the first thing you thought of wasn’t the bed. You can’t, can you?
Ultimately, your guests are paying for a place to sleep so this is where to splurge. Let’s not forget that one of those Bs in Airbnb is for bed.
Set them up for snooze city with a good mattress, quality pillows (down or down-alt - take your pick), and sheets that won’t give them derm-abrasion. Might we recommend some of our excellent for sleeping sheets in a sophisticated colorway that projects “hi these sheets were not on sale at the discount store.” Breathable sheets in linen or percale in an elevated colorway feel luxurious and like the kind of treat guests might not spring for at home.
Once you’ve got the bed itself made, make everything else around it. Keep them in bed longer by making the bed an independent island of comfort. What do you wish you had when you were already tucked in, you know in that moment where you don’t possibly want to get up but you need something. A charger? A remote for the AC? More water? A crossword to puzzle out when sleep evades them? The best host makes it almost impossible to leave the lodgings.
Stock a spa-like bathroom and you'll clean up with your guests.
First of all: cleanliness is always next to godliness, but even more so in a temporary rental. Any and all deities prize a clean bathroom. Make sure things are tidy and easy to navigate—remove any roadblocks that keep them from tracking down what they need (and from rummaging through your personal pharmacy and beauty counter). If you keep your concealer concealed, everyone will appreciate it
Travel sized products are a drain on society. Let’s all be honest. How many of us have realized that we packed mini conditioner but not itty bitty shampoo? Or flew without any toothpaste to speak of? Provide a couple of nice products for your boarders to use, and maybe a couple of extra indulgences—a few five dollar face masks or some bath treats turns your space into a mini spa. And if they’ve got some extra luxe towels to dry off with, there’s no need to even go out.
When your kitchen is well organized, they'll have no reservations about coming back.
Food for Thought
As we mentioned, it helps to think about who is using your space and how they will use it. One of those questions to ponder: are you an Airbnb where people will make food? If you are a cabin getaway or have a chef’s kitchen in the city, you’ll want to provide a place for them to flex their culinary muscles. No one is going to balk if you don’t have a sous vide machine, but your guests might be a little more annoyed if you don’t have the necessities like a good cutting board and unchipped bowls to eat from. While it might seem smart to choose cheap plates and serveware, high quality pieces that you don’t have to check for chips and replace are worth the investment.
Don't hide the essentials– this isn't a scavenger hunt.
To really set yourself apart you want to give guests a little something extra, whether it’s a highly Instagrammable moment in your home (we see you very cool hammock chair outside) or a welcome bag of bagels and schmear for first-time Manhattan visitors. They’ll remember these little moments and, hopefully, share them in those coveted reviews. A bottle of wine and two glasses ready for your romantic rendezvous. A super fluffy robe to wear once they hop out of the shower. These little touches make all the difference. Just don’t overdo it. Think wine but not a heart-shaped box of chocolates. No sign that says “stand here for selfies.” No overly detailed, laminated guide to the town. Remember: no one likes a try hard.