Airbnb makes vacation rental booking easy peasy. But once your future guests reserve your place, it’s up to you to create a beautiful and comfortable space for your visitors.
Costs add up when it comes to upgrades and maintenance. But when you’re renting your home, small luxuries go a long way in making your property stand out.
Investing in a few high-tech features increases comfort for your guests, as well as improves their perception of your professionalism. This translates to stellar reviews. Whether you only rent your place occasionally or rent several properties regularly, a smooth process can make or break the experience for guests. Consider these convenient upgrades to compete with Airbnb’s other 2 million listings.
Hire a Cleaning Service
You don’t want to be responsible for cleaning up after your guests. It’s too much to coordinate and it takes the fun out of your entrepreneurial venture. Delegate this task to a cleaning service. Build a relationship with a local service and negotiate a reduced rate for guaranteed business. Cleaning costs can be built into the rental price of your property, especially for long-term tenants.
If your rental includes several bedrooms, or you offer multiple properties, consider a laundry service as well. Bulky sheets and towels mean multiple loads in the washer. Take it off your plate. Plus, a laundry service presses the linens and nothing says vacation like freshly pressed linens.
Investing in an automatic floor cleaner — a Roomba, for example — not only impresses your guests but might also remind them to keep the place tidy. The new Roombas go from hardwood to carpet to thick rugs, adjusting the suction as they move about. And they come with their own automatic recharging dock.
The insane success of Netflix, Hulu and Redbox rentals proves that home theaters are a wise investment. That doesn’t mean you need a separate room, stadium seating and a projector to satisfy. Just be strategic about the space; you’ll need to think about the placement of speakers, the size of the screen and even the acoustics of the room. Also consider ease of use — a hub like Apple TV can help guests navigate their movie night.
If you’d rather not do it yourself, hire someone to build or install the media center. A home automation contractor will have the proper knowledge and certifications. In its guide to home theater systems, Angie’s List recommends checking references and obtaining at least three estimates before committing to a company or contractor.
Make the room a comfortable place to hang out — plush pillows, bean bags and ottomans make great home theater additions.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and nothing is more frustrating to guests than not being able to get into the house when they arrive. Avoid the perils of a key hand off — scheduling conflicts to meet up or the security of hiding a key. Instead, invest in a keyless entry system. This new technology provides the most safety and convenience in the rental industry.
Rated two of the best systems available, the Kwikset Kevo and August, both retail for less than $250.
Kwikset Kevo transforms your phone into a key. Named eKeys, these encrypted codes allow guests access — designated as scheduled or anytime.
The August smart lock syncs with an app. Allow some people all-the-time access, others limited access, and even unlock the door from elsewhere, since the lock runs on Wi-Fi.
Concerns about keyless entry? Curb your worry with a HD video cameras for the front door. View who’s trying to enter from anywhere via your phone.