House staging is not just for real estate auctions or sales. You can also employ a property stylist to help with your bed & breakfast or short-term rentals. With the vacation rental market becoming more and more competitive and with the entry of the big player, AirBnB, which makes it easier for other homeowners to enlist their houses, you have to edge out the competition. Given that the services provided are the same across the board – place to sleep, cook, and relax - it is mainly up to the design and marketing to make sure that your unit stands out. Here are some basic house styling tricks to help you keep your unit booked most days.
A cheap tip you can employ in your house is to put in a conversation piece. It’s that unique sculpture, interesting paintings, or even just your colourful collection of fridge magnets. It becomes the focal piece of your place and your guests’ eyes would gravitate towards it. You can have the simplest of unit but that conversation piece will help people remember your place. Good for returning customers or that really impressive review.
Bold accent wall
If your place does not exactly scream architectural glamour, there is no need to start shelling out refurbishment money and start breaking down walls. Just like the conversation piece idea, creating a structural focal area will erase all ideas of dullness in your home. One way to do this is a boldly coloured accent wall. Maybe style the foyer in warm mustard or one wall in the bedroom as navy as this adds character and warmth to an otherwise sterile looking white room, if you are struggling for ideas then professional property styling may be the right choice for you, find out more here, it's not just for real estate. By styling your home correctly you will be rewarded with happy guests, more positive reviews and more demand for your awesome accomodation.
More often than not, your renters would be tourists who opted to ‘live like a local’ instead of renting a generic franchise hotel. They are in there for the full experience. One special touch you could add to your place is add that local charm your city or country is known for. Aboriginal art for Australian homes or go more specific and bold like a graffiti painting for Melbourne homes.
You have to make your home feel homey without making your guests feel like they are illegally invading somebody else’s home. You might think this is tricky but it simply boils down to detaching yourself and anything personal to your rental. Removing things such as photographs and personal memorabilia. It is also recommended to remove anything religious or political of nature as it may make your guests uncomfortable (you might even get a biased review).
Homes > Hotels
The edge B&Bs have over fancy hotels is that the place does not feel manufactured or manicured. People expect to be very comfortable in your place. Luxuriously staged places however can make your guests feel like a little bit antsy and conscious about scratching and breaking stuff. So spare that thousand-dollar vases and white fur rug. There’s always a cheap alternative that provides the same luxurious feel anyway. (ie second hand antique vases and shag rugs). Insure yourself not just monetarily but from headaches as well.
An actual handheld manual would also help your renters to be more at ease in your place. However, don’t just fill it with rules and dos & don’ts, but fill it in with restaurant recommendations, house instructions (where the ironing board is or how to adjust the heater), and even your city’s informational pamphlets (train schedules, tourist guides). Renting somebody else’s home can be intimidating but invoke that sense of ease and you’ll be bound to have more guests in the future.