We asked one of our brilliant designers Julian Maison for his expertise on optimising a home for the increasingly popular online property rental service AirBnB. If you are considering renting out your home this is a must read for getting the most from the experience. These simple hacks will put you a cut above the rest, so over to Julian who knows all too well…
Preparing your rental property can be intimidating, my first experience was through Home Exchange. In 2000 my parents exchanged our family home in Palm Beach (Florida) with a family and their home in the Cote d’Azur. We all had our reservations about the idea of having strangers in the home that we had lovingly rebuilt, grown up in and cared for. We had read plenty of reviews of people who had done the same, as well as a few friends who had had their own exchanges with no problems, so we took the leap of faith and never looked back!
- A nicely designed space will lead to better reviews
Just as important, happy renters take better care of you stuff! Studies carried out in the interest of public spaces have found time and again, people tend to treat an area based largely on how they perceive it. If your renters arrive and think the place is badly kept, or uncared for, they will treat it similarly. When renters sense someone has really cared and put loving effort into the place, they will take care to treat it in the same way. So make sure your home is well designed with plenty of heart and you will continue to get great reviews and increase the amount of people wanting to rent your space.
- Identify your potential renter
This depends partly on what sort of guests you would like to attract. It is however, largely dependent on other factors such as: your style of space, location, the neighbourhood, attractions that bring people to your area, etc. It is important to have an idea of who you aim to host in your property. Think about age group, couples, families, business travellers, backpackers. This will hugely impact what sort of design and style you use and what your rooms need to include. For example if you are hoping to attract business travellers because your home is located near a tech hub, think about making the room clean, easy to get in and out of independently, a place to hang a suit, and an iron in the wardrobe.
- The devil is in the detail
Portray an image of what a stay in your home would look like. People have trouble imagining how they would be comfortable in someone else’s home, so plant items that recommend or portray a lifestyle. A good place to start is an activity that people would do at your home, something that they look at and go “ahhh thats just what I need”. Some top tips- open a cookbook on the kitchen counter with a pot of tea, place a novel on the porch chair, turn the fire on and place a comfy blanket on the sofa. Showing the room in two different lights is also nice, one daytime bright, cheery picture and have one by night with dimmed mood lighting.
- Photographs matter
Renters will scroll through many listings and will undoubtedly forget your listing if it does not stand out! To make sure that you GRAB the attention after some monotonous scrolling, add something quirky in the listing’s images. This could start with a real statement piece of the décor such as the amazing window in the lounge. Alternatively some great accessories always go down well such as a lovely old bicycle leaning by an open back door, or an interesting centre piece on the dining table. I once saw a listing where the kitchen sink had an actual baby in the sink covered in bubbles taking a bath and a big smile on his face! Think later to when a potential renting couple is discussing which listing to go with… The conversation goes, “I liked the one with the baby in the kitchen” or “the one with that cute bicycle at the door” give people something to remember you by.