10 Ways To Make Your Short-Term Rental Stand Out

Sep 06, 2018

I just finished binge watching Stay Here on Netflix.

In the show, an interior designer and real estate agent travel around the world to improve people's short-term rental listings by giving them a makeover, a better marketing strategy and tips for being great hosts so they can get better nightly rates, have higher occupancy and receive wonderful reviews.

The short-term rental market is booming. Before long, more people will be staying in short-term rentals than hotels when they travel, believe it or not.

One study projected the industry will grow by over $30 billion by 2021, which is crazy!

This also means there will be more competition and more rentals on the market, so people will have to find ways to make their listing stand out.

That's exactly what I'm offering in today's post: 10 Ways to Make Your Short-Term Rental Stand Out.

It's a great niche that combines what I've learned from residential design, hospitality design, staging, study of A-list properties with great reviews and my general love for being a good host.

These items are what your guests want (and sometimes expect) during their stay to have a great experience.



Reviews and studies show this is the #1 most important item for guest happiness. And not just in the master bedroom. Guests want a comfortable place to lay their heads down in every sleeping area, including sleeper sofas. DO NOT CUT CORNERS HERE. Guests are not forgiving of crappy mattresses and will take the opportunity to leave a bad review if they lose sleep or have an achy back as a result of an uncomfortable mattress. 



I learned this from the show, Stay Here. Allocate 10% of the first nights stay to curate a welcome basket for your guests when they arrive. It's best to include local snacks and goodies that help them have a unique experience.



The kitchen is always the heart of the home, even when travelling. If guests use the kitchen to prepare meals, they're going to notice the quality of cookware, dishes, silverware, wine glasses, pots and pans, etc. If the quality is low, they're going to notice and it'll take a huge part of the enjoyment out of dining in and utilizing the space they're paying for and entertaining friends and family. One of the best feelings on a trip is being pampered and taken care of, and have decent cookware, dishware and utensils is a must.



This is a huge one! While guests can't always put their finger on why exactly they feel so comfortable and relaxed, they do notice how they feel and lighting is a major factor in this equation.

Having the wrong bulbs, or fluorescent bulbs in your short-term rental is a big mistake. Good LED bulbs with a color temperature in the 2700 range are a great choice. Not only do they make people look good under their light, but they are also energy-efficient. 

Take the time to make sure all the key areas where guests gather are properly lit, like the kitchen, bathroom (especially where women will do their makeup), sitting areas and laundry room. Floor and table lamps will go a long way in creating a nice ambiance that adds warmth and a sense of intimacy. Don't skip on these. 



A large percentage of the guests looking to book short-term rentals are families with children. Providing a few family-friendly amenities like games, high-chairs, child gates and toys are greatly-appreciated and can make all the difference for their trip. You could also leave recommendations for services that specialize in providing other things their kids might need. 



The research shows guests feel happier and more optimistic in light interiors. Secondly, light interiors are more attractive in the listing image and photography. If you want to add color, go for an accent wall or accent pieces like throw blankets and pillows.



Nothing says relax and enjoy like a robe. They make guests feel pampered and special, which are the feelings you're aiming to evoke. Although they may be a bit of an investment, be sure to provide robes that are high quality as they will last longer and feel better. 



Providing guests with high-quality bath amenities is important. They likely won't bring their own and it would be a huge hassle for them to have to go out and buy something. You can easily source organic products in small sample sizes or have containers you can refill. Make sure they smell good and contain quality ingredients. This little gesture goes a long way.



I mentioned this in family-friendly amenities for the kids, but also have a few games for the adults. Games bring people together and make them laugh and have a good time.

You can have a few of the classics like Monopoly, Backgammon or Risk and possibly a few others they could have fun with while drinking a glass of wine. Extra points for picking up a local Monopoly or game set unique to the area! 

Needless to say, guests really enjoy seeing they have access to a pool table, ping pong table, etc in the listing, even if they don't use it. 



So many reasons for travel involve romance and spending time and creating memories with someone special. When these guests are looking to book a place they want something that helps them have that experience.

Look to hotels where you have good, romantic memories and bring some of those elements into your master bedroom. Great lighting (lamps, candles, dimmers), a beautiful bed, a comfy mattress, nice sheets, and gender neutral colors and great places to start.

Anything that creates opportunities to relax and encourages them to take time to enjoy the little things together is good!


Do you have any other good tips for short-term rentals, whether it be from staying in one or renting one out yourself? 



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