Creating an in-demand vacation home that stays booked takes work. First, your rental needs to be in a prime area, especially when you’re listed on Airbnb. That’s how you’ll gain the biggest advantage.
First-time travelers to an area will be on a budget and generally book based on price and availability. People who know the area might want to stay in familiar places, even when it costs more. For example, families who take yearly vacations to a particular destination often prefer to stay in the same place each time.
If you can make your vacation home a cozy place for individuals and families alike, you’ll have a better chance of getting repeat bookings.
Here are some tips to turn your spot into a full-time rental:
Provide unexpected extras for your guests
Guests don’t expect to receive more than they pay for, but when they do, they remember it well. Whether you take care of your own property or pay someone to do it, leaving thoughtful gifts for guests to find upon their arrival will go a long way. For example, if a couple rents your home, leave them a bottle of wine, sparkling cider, and a box of chocolates. For single guests, leave a gift card for a local restaurant. For everyone, leave bowls of fresh, seasonal fruit around the house to give your guests something healthy to snack on.
Create a consistent guest experience by making your guests feel comfortable and cover them when they forget simple things like a toothbrush.
Your guests will likely bring their own toiletries, but it helps to leave some extra bars of soap and some toothbrushes just in case they forget to pack something. Provide a small selection of popular movies on DVD, making sure to include holiday-themed movies and children’s movies. Theft is always a risk when renting your home to strangers, but as long as you’re turning a profit, movies are easy to replace.
You’re not running a hotel but the more thought you put into accommodation, the more your guests will want to come back.
Hire a professional interior designer
Before hitting up discount stores for décor, consider the difference between what a professional interior designer does, and what you can do. If you have extremely great taste in design and know exactly how to piece together a room, this tip won’t apply to you. For the rest, this is a critical element in generating repeat guests.
There’s a difference between buying décor that “looks good” and intentionally designing the interior of a home and then sourcing the décor. Interior decorators don’t decide on a general theme and then buy up every item they can find that fits within their budget. Interior designers are visionaries who take fragmented ideas, themes, and concepts and synthesize them into a coherent design. They’re often unconventional, and come up with ideas you’d never think of.
Aesthetics are everything to guests. If they don’t feel comfortable inside your décor, they won’t come back. Decorating your home with specific themes is a bad idea because it will irritate people who aren’t interested in that theme. For instance, being by the water doesn’t mean you should decorate with anchors, boats, fish, and nautical stars. Decorating your home with a neutral theme using a blue color scheme is okay.
Share knowledge of the local area
It helps guests when you share insider knowledge, and if you can’t do it in person, build a simple website for your guests. Travelers want to feel connected to the area. While they can always use a map to explore the terrain, they may not know their way around social norms and customs.
Offer discounts for regular guests
Extending a simple discount to your regular guests will mean something to them. Even a discount of $200 off a week’s stay is significant. They’ll probably splurge and spend extra money on something fun rather than save it, and that’s what you want. It’s like receiving ten free tokens at the arcade just for showing up. You’re not offering discounts to get them to book with you – you’re extending the discount to solidify their loyalty to booking with you the following year.
What do you enjoy in a vacation spot?
Think about what you enjoy in a vacation spot. If there’s something extraordinary you’ve noticed during your travels, add it to the guest experience you’re providing for others.