There are two kinds of rental properties: the kind that makes you feel like you’re awkwardly crashing in somebody’s spare room, with family photos on the nightstand and a stranger’s clothes in the closet, and the kind that feels like you’ve checked into a well-appointed, super-cool vacation home that’s actually better than a hotel.
Letting out a rental property is an excellent way to design and manage your own property, bring in some extra income, and meet people from all over the world, too. We asked an expert—Cindy Morrow, the host of a super-stylish loft in LA that started as her second home, and is now an elite Airbnb Plus—how to create a space that’ll get killer reviews (and lots of bookings).
Here are Cindy’s top tips and tricks for creating a next-level vacation rental.
First and foremost, “keep it clutter free: no personal photos or belongings,” Cindy says. “No one wants to go on a holiday and be reminded of all the stuff they’re trying to get away from.”
Steer clear of weird decor
Remember, this place isn’t just for you: It’s for your guests. “Nobody likes to sleep with creepy dolls, and we all know you can’t wash that hand-crocheted blanket,” Cindy says. When it comes to design, think stylish and thoughtful but clean and crowd-pleasing.
Pay attention to even the tiniest details
“Add some useful or fun touches that guests will appreciate: USB charging stations, a bluetooth speaker, board games, and magazines,” Cindy advises. “And don’t be cheap on the basics—especially coffee and toilet paper!”
Make important info easy to find
“Be very clear about your rules and regulations to your guests prior to reserving, and post a copy in your rental,” Cindy notes. That’s also a good place to include important information like WiFi passwords, heat or AC instructions, house rules, as well as a list of local recommendations.
Cleanliness is key
“Clean clean clean! Don’t skimp,” says Cindy. “Keep a clean place, if not for a good review, but just because it’s the right thing to do. Be a slob in your own place, but not in your listing.”
Don’t nickel and dime
“Don’t charge your guests for dumb stuff like dirty towels or a missing wine opener,” Cindy says. Account for these small costs in your pricing, or chalk them up to the cost of doing business, rather than charging your guests afterwards for minor things. They’ll appreciate it (and be more likely to recommend you).
Practice safe renting
A few bits of advice to protect your place: “Be on top of the laws forming in your state, city, and building,” Cindy says. “Invest in an outdoor camera and let your guests know you use it, even if you don’t, and make sure you disclose it in your listing. No cameras inside allowed!”
Lastly, “don’t keep anything personal in your listing. Things do go missing,” Cindy says. Translation: This is not the place for your favorite vintage crockery. Stock up on a new set that’s easily replaced, but still looks beautiful, so you can let your place out worry-free.
Have any tips on how to turn a home into an A+ vacation rental? Tell us in the comments below!