Airbnb is a new way to find a place to stay when you travel, and it is sweeping the world. That’s right, people around the globe are renting out their spare space in favor of making money. It’s an option that not only helps the traveler, but it also helps the property owner. Many people have realized that buying a property can be an investment for more than just fixing up and reselling- it can also be a more immediate investment to rent out space to people looking for a more hometown option when they travel. There are plenty of ways to make a space more marketable to vacationers. Here are a few out of the box ideas that can push an Airbnb above the rest.
For starters, it is important to make sure that the home is fully stocked. This includes anything that a guest may need, in addition to some extras that will help boost guest reviews. Many people bring their own toiletries, but it’s not uncommon to forget or misplace the simple things like shampoo, toothbrushes, and the like. When stocking an Airbnb property, try to think of these things and that will help make sure that nothing is being left out. In addition, thinking about what sorts of things may be found in a nice hotel will bump the guest experience up to the next level. A basic property may have travel sized shampoo, conditioner, and soap in the bathroom with one towel per guest. To boost the luxury level, try buying a bottle of higher quality shampoo and conditioner, body wash, or locally made soaps. Placing these in a basket on an easily visible shelf can be incredibly welcoming and have a hint of fancy. Going above and beyond the mark could also include stocking a few spare toothbrushes, toothpaste, and hair gel.
All of these can definitely liven the space and ease the stress of forgotten toiletries. One necessity to stock up on would be toilet paper- because no one wants to run out of toilet paper while in a strange town. An additional bottle of hand soap if the current bottles are running low is not a bad idea either. Another way to boost the feeling of opulence could be buying nicer sheets and towels. Many hotels buy cheaper bedding and such, then wash each individual pillowcase and washcloth until they are rough and thin. Splurging a little bit for a higher thread count sheet set and plush towels can be the difference between an average experience for the guest, and a remarkable one that will have them recommending the property to friends. Plus, it’s possible to find great deals on bedding. Groupon and individual store coupons, as well as Etsy stores could be the ticket to not breaking the bank.
Interesting additions to each bedroom could include an iron and ironing board. This helps guests that may need to press their clothing after traveling in suitcases for a while. Providing hangers can also be a great idea because most people who travel may not consider how they will hang up their clothes when they get to their destination. If the home has a laundry room, make sure to stock some laundry detergent and dryer sheets. Instructions to strip the bed before leaving could even save some time in cleaning after a guest has finished their stay. Putting a suitcase stand in each bedroom will allow guests to have a place for their suitcases to remain open instead of having to move it off the bed and allows for them to refrain from bending down to the ground, or potentially storing the suitcase on another surface, such as a dresser, that could get scuffed or dented. Finally, buying a few robes to keep in each bedroom that are washed after every stay can make guests feel like they are staying in the lap of luxury.
In the kitchen, it is not a bad idea to have some paper towels stocked as well as extra kitchen towels and some hot pads. It may also save some time cleaning to leave dish soap for hand washing and the dishwasher- if applicable- so that guests can clean their own dishes after they cook in the fully stocked kitchen. A bonus would be putting a few herbs and spices in a cupboard with some nice oils to cook with, as well as having a full set of pans so that the guest has a few options to use in while they are cooking. It’s always fun to try new artisanal herb blends and vinegars - many cool ingredients are local to certain areas and can help guests feel like they are staying in a place that is better than any other options. Checking around local farmer’s markets and specialty stores can provide unique items for guests to try. Adding a list of local restaurant recommendations is often the icing on the cake. Oh, and don’t forget a coffee pot and small selection of beans, teas, and cocoas.
There are definitely other areas of the house that can be spruced up with small touches to make it more inviting. Any interesting artwork from local artist, art from other cultures, or the homeowner’s own pieces can add a bit of flair and can stylize any room and bring together the design schemes. Also, it’s a cool idea to have a few books on a bookshelf so that guests can have something to read if they’ve finished their airport book. Many places have begun putting up “take a book, leave a book” type of libraries, which can even just be a small shelf with instructions to take a book if they feel like it as long as they leave one in it’s place. Having a small stock of magazines, crossword puzzles, sudoku, or even crayons and coloring books can be great, inexpensive projects that can be used in a guest’s downtime. For many guests in today’s world, having wifi and knowing the password can make or break a vacation- especially for business people who may have online meetings. Some Airbnb owners will even go so far as to purchase a gaming console or smart television with accessibility to Netflix and Hulu. Regardless of the space, it is very important to make sure the home has something entertaining in case the guest has finished their airport book and is in need of something to do.
Overall, Airbnb can be a potentially lucrative venture, though it may have some upfront costs. It is imperative to receive good feedback, be prompt with responding to guest questions and concerns, and overall do whatever possible to make a home or property inviting and well maintained. Doing all of these things can help to make an empty living space into a money maker.