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Tips To Stage Your Vacation Rental

Few people know that staging a rental is just as important and beneficial as it is for selling a home. And, it can be a major competitive advantage for you as a landlord. Unlike long-term rentals, vacation rentals are normally advertised and booked directly through an online service, so you need great photos and an impressive write-up that will put you ahead of your competition. And yes, honesty counts. If your photos and description don’t add up, you can bet that it will negatively impact your success rate. Tenants appreciate honesty, and knowing about a potential kink or two with a property is far better than having them experience it by surprise. So, how do you showcase your rental to have it stand out amongst the rest? Read on as we outline 10 tips to stage your vacation rental property to get the best value and 5 star reviews.

Remove Clutter

First things first - remove any clutter that has collected over the years. This includes any and every area that the tenant will have access to. You want your place looking sharp, and one of the best ways to do that is by clearing away your junk. This will help create the illusion of more space while enhancing the natural light throughout it. If you need help determining what clutter should go, have a friend or family member with a stern, critical eye help you.

Get Rid of Personal Items

A home that is decorated with your bold, personal style could deter people from renting your place. They need to visualize the property as their new home, even if it’s only short-term. This doesn’t mean that it should be bare and cold. Just try to focus on using simple, neutral tones and décor that will appeal to everyone. This also doesn’t mean that you should be afraid to add a few design touches, especially if it’s something that accents the local area, like an artisan rug, hand-made pillows or crafted glassware – just don’t over do it. And when it comes to personal belongings, remove any items that are of value to you. This is where a professional stager can really help if you’re feeling unsure about how to design your rental space.

Do The Repairs & Maintenance Right Away

The worst thing that you can do is to let a new renter move in before you have inspected the property after a previous tenant has left. Your property should be in pristine condition, both inside and outside, before each renter arrives. So ensure that any necessary upgrades or repairs are completed before the next booking.

We suggest asking a friend to come over and do a walk-through of your unit to pinpoint any flaws that you may have gotten used to seeing over time. It always helps to have a fresh set of eyes to help you pick up on areas that need attention.

If you’re not sure on what areas to really look at, consider some of these important ones:

  • Ensure the A/C unit and fans are working properly (especially if you’re located in the tropics)

  • Ensure all doors lock properly (renters shouldn't have to struggle to unlock the door each time)

  • Repair any cracked or ajar windows (no one likes the idea of waking up to creepy crawlies)

  • Ensure there are no leaky toilets or taps

  • Ensure the shower works properly with both cold and hot temperatures available (hot water is a must for most renters, no matter the climate of your destination)

  • Ensure that the Internet and cable are working (this is very important since many renters are also digital nomads these days who depend on reliable Internet)

Remember, these little things really count when it comes to providing an enjoyable stay for your guests. It may seem like a lot of work to handle, but it will be well worth it when it comes to your glowing reviews and occupancy success, not to mention the extra steady income you’ll receive.

Don’t Forget About The Exterior

Exteriors are just as important as interiors when it comes to rental value. Ensure that you tidy the backyard space and clean up all the entrance areas. If you have a lawn and garden, keep them manicured and nicely trimmed. Green luscious plants, blooming flowerpots, functional patio furniture, and a BBQ can give you a major boost above your competition.

Optimize Light Exposure

One way to really enhance your rental space is to let in as much natural light as possible. No one wants to walk into a dark and depressing environment. So open the curtains and drapery that cover your windows before each renter arrives. Also, ensure your windows are cleaned regularly.

Hire A Professional Cleaner

Hiring a cleaning company to give your house a proper clean before each new renter arrives is a helpful tactic that can save you time and energy. A professional will have the tools and experience to clean all the nooks and crannies thoroughly. Plus, it’s important to have any odors addressed that may be lingering throughout the unit, especially if your rental is pet-friendly.

Stock It Properly

One thing people don’t often think about when it comes to staging is stocking the unit properly. You should have cups, glasses, dishes, cooking supplies and appliances that people would normally use and need on a daily basis. That means having a toaster, coffee maker, wine glasses, bottle opener, as well as some salt and pepper on hand, for starters. You’d be surprised at how many rentals don’t include the basics like dish soap, hand towels or enough cutlery – all of which can really detract from a renter’s overall experience. If renters see that your house is properly stocked in the photos or description, they will be much more inclined to rent from you.

Think Curb Appeal When Shooting The Photos

When it comes to your photos, learn to highlight the positives and think about what will attract renters to your listing. What makes your unit unique? Maybe it’s your large terrace and outdoor setting, or a Jacuzzi tub they can indulge in, or your central location. If you’re struggling to identify the best features, ask a friend or family member to help you pinpoint the best qualities of your property. Then make sure to include these in your photos, front and center. Be creative, but be honest.

A well-presented space is crucial for gaining a successful occupancy rate. Focusing on factors such as these can drastically improve the renter’s opinion and the overall value of your property. So before you place your vacation rental property up for rent, use these tips to stage your vacation rental and get the best value and success rate. You’ll be happy you did!


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