The Creative Home Podcast | Episode #256
This episode is brought to you by my Etsy shop, WillowBrookPrintable. Looking for some artwork for your rental property? Check out my instant downloads of artwork you can print and hang in your home at WillowBrookPrintable, and get your house ready to rent!
When we lived in Germany and traveled around Europe, we had to find an Airbnb to stay in because we had five people. A hotel room in Europe only sleeps 2-3 people and 4 if we are lucky. So we always had to find an Airbnb in each city, but we were picky. Finding one took some time and after securing my first trip to Paris, let me share how important it is to make a great first impression and how to get your rental property booked with more guests.
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How to get your rental property booked with more guests
How to get your rental property booked with more guests
Airbnb is a vacation rental property where guests spend time in your home, apartment, condo or spare room in your basement. I first ventured into Airbnb when we lived in Germany. Our first trip was to Paris and I realized Airbnb’s are a better fit for our family of 5. As I said earlier, European hotels only fit 4 people at the most!
As it turned out, Airbnb’s fit our lifestyle better because we knew that most trips would be via plane or train and there would not be a rental car (if we could help it).
The Search For a Rental Property
In my search, there were things we looked for and pictures were worth a thousand words.
I wanted to see how many beds there were.
What did the place look out on?
Where was it located?
Was there a bus or metro stop nearby?
Not all places could be booked in a city so pictures help tell us how much room we had to spread out. Plus, we could save some money and sometimes cook a meal like spaghetti or find a bakery and eat breakfast at the Airbnb. My first place in Paris was an apartment that had a foosball table, a barbie house with dolls, and other toys for my kids to enjoy. Man, I hit the jackpot with that place! Of course, now my family expected all the next places to be just as good. No pressure, right? Unfortunately, there was one bad Airbnb and it happened to be in London. The heat was not turned on and there was no hot water (it was November). We finally got ahold of the owner the next morning (after freezing and wearing ALL our clothes to sleep in) and got it turned on. But that was the worst thing that happened to us. Most places were fantastic in the city, on the beach or in a castle.
So what was it that convinced us to book a place? Here are four things to get your rental property booked with more guests.
1| Lots of light
Open up those windows and let the light shine in. It makes the space look open and inviting and is not a dungeon. You can easily tell customers there are room darkening shades but in the pictures, make sure the lights are on and the windows are open. We stayed in one place that was off a busy road but you could see in the pictures that there were shades and curtains that you could close to make it darker.
2| Hire a photographer
Photographers have some great equipment to make your space look fantastic. It’s not trickery. It emphasizes all the good points. They have great lighting they can use in the photos as well.
Please don’t use your own cell phone to take pictures. Customers will make a decision based on those pictures whether they want to stay or go. So make it count and show off your rental property.
3| Picture of each room
Please show off ALL the rooms that are included in the rental property listing. The entrance, the hall, the bathrooms, the bedrooms. Take pictures of the view out the windows if you have one. Or maybe the local coffee shop or a local place of interest.
We stayed in one place that was a basement of a home and we knew it would be underground, but the set up was amazing. It had a full kitchen, dining area, living space, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. It didn’t look like it would be in a basement. It looked like a regular apartment!
In my search, I was always looking to see if there were enough beds for our family of five. One bedroom had to have a twin and full bed and the second one needed a queen or bigger. Some places had bunkbeds, some had a trundle bed pulled out and others had a sleeper sofabed. Show off all those beds so customers know who can sleep in which space.
If you have a kitchen, show off the appliances like the coffee pot or stove. This gives customers an idea of what they can use while staying in your rental property.
4| Make the bedrooms look like a hotel
If you’ve stayed in one of those nice, posh hotels then you know what I am talking about. The bedding is fluffy and there are lots of pillows. When you hire that photographer, they will show off the space. Just like selling a home, your rental property needs to be staged to help them envision staying at your property. Make the beds, find a nice comforter for the beds so they can enjoy their stay. If you need help with staging your rental property, I can help you with a consultation.
What made our stay more enjoyable was information left by the hosts. Some places had a little binder, some had signs posted in the kitchen. The hosts gave us ideas on places to eat, menus from local restaurants, and just a few helpful hints of the local area. If you go to my Etsy shop, you can download my Airbnb host welcome sign that has all this info.
Information like how far is the walk to the Eiffel Tower or should we take the metro. Where can we get metro tickets? Things like this may be second nature to you but not to your guests. Make it a bit easier with this type of information.
If you are an Airbnb host or own a rental property, make sure you follow those four points listed above to get more bookings. These will certainly help sell your rental property and show it off with those photos. Bring in the light, hire a photographer, take pictures of each room they have access to and make those beds look real nice. Make it look like a place where a customer would like to spend the night in your rental property. And if you need help with artwork to stage your rental property, be sure to check out my Etsy shop where you can instantly download pictures, print or blow up on canvas and hang it up in your living room or bedroom.
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