Your guide to starting and hosting a stylish Airbnb
It’s the pipe dream heard around the world: you stumble upon a small bungalow on the beach, put some money aside, and soon find yourself sitting atop a vacation home in a lucrative gold mine. a lot of money month after month. The advent of Airbnb may have done at least some of this fantasy a tangible reality, but becoming a successful vacation home host is always much easier said than done. From designing an attractive space to putting in place thoughtful touches that will keep guests coming back, we’ve got all the tips and tricks to start a successful – and stylish – Airbnb! – which is quickly becoming a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Pro Tip: Have your “No Vacancies” sign ready, you’ll need it.
Tip #1: Driving Loose To research
This may sound a bit harsh, but hear us out – if you have big dreams of running an Airbnb, you really (and we mean really really) have to do a ton of market research first. Finding the right location for your business venture is a bit like catching lightning in a bottle – you want a location that’s proven to attract and entertain tourists, but isn’t then big that the rental home market in the area is already oversaturated, making it less likely you’ll find a mega hit (and we want that for you!). Just because you grew up visiting an off-the-beaten-track lakeside town every summer with your family doesn’t mean it’s the right place to post your Airbnb, so you may need to remove your nostalgia factor from the equation. . Instead, talk to business owners and travel agents in your area of interest to get an accurate idea of exactly what “tourist season” looks like and what kind of market interest you can get. expect.
Tip #2: Match your design to the local environment
Good tourism is an immersive experience, and more and more people are traveling with the intention of immersing themselves in all that their destination has to offer. Think for a second about the best hotel experience you’ve ever had – we bet it was just as much about the decor and how the hotel made you feel feel because that was where you were actually assigned on vacation. To get the most out of your Airbnb adventure, try to make your home decor reflect the vibe of your vacation spot. Seaside destinations call for lots of light fabrics, neutral decor and wicker accents, while rustic getaways pair naturally with darker hues and cozy knits. Spend time visiting area restaurants and hotels to get a feel for their style, then create a mood board for your own plans before you get to work.
More Beautiful House
Tip #3: Decorate for coziness
We’ve all (unfortunately) made those design purchases that are visually beautiful, but utterly uncomfortable — and believe us, that’s not how you want your Airbnb to feel. Remember: Guests book your home as respite, so every design choice you make should be considered through the lens of comfort and relaxation. Splurge on the right linens, opt for the extra-deep sofa, step out for the heated floors — the more your home feels like a cozy snuggle, the more likely guests are to walk away with the warm stuffed animals. And remember, comfort isn’t just about feeling physically comfortable in a space – it’s also about functioning comfortably. That means plenty of intimate seating areas where families can reconnect over a board game, a dining table big enough to seat the entire number of guests, or a bunk room that lets kids swap stories ghosts in the dark.
Tip #4: Don’t Forget Amenities
If you want to make (and charge) big bucks, you definitely need to focus on amenities. Since many guests stay at an Airbnb for a week or more, it is expected that all their needs will be met, which is not always easy if you are not on site like in a hotel traditional. Do your best to outfit your home with, well, all the comforts of home before you welcome your first guests. That means obvious things like a full set of crockery, glassware and cutlery, but also less obvious additions like boogie boards for the waves and lanterns for nighttime beach rides. A high-end crowd will likely want thoughtful extras too, like whole-house smart speakers and a fancy espresso machine. If you can’t afford these types of extras just yet, plan to splurge after your first successful guest rounds.
Tip #5: Work with local flavors
To further establish your Airbnb as a the place to visit in your vacation community, consider incorporating local manufacturers and suppliers into your guest experience. The easiest way to go about it? Art and home items! Chances are there’s a large, established collection of designers in your community of choice, so tap into them to bring some authentic flair to your Airbnb. Ask a local ceramist to create iconic mugs for the house (bonus points if guests leave with them!) or ask a nearby painter to add a mural to the porch. This sentiment also applies to other vendors in the area, who can be key allies in spreading the word about the hottest place to stay in town (um, It’s your house). Provide guests with a directory of local businesses to frequent during their visit, or team up with a nearby professional (think: a private chef or salsa instructor) for an experience guests can only mark by staying with you.
Tip #6: Try a signature scent
Smell is one of our most powerful senses, and it has the ability to cement a place in our memory better (and more vividly) than almost anything else. Take advantage of this olfactory fact and “brand” your Airbnb with a signature scent that guests will remember long after they leave. Pick up a few chic diffusers to scatter throughout the house and concoct your own essential oil blend, or grab a few candles from a local company to weave in sensory notes that nod to the region. This will add that extra layer of something something to really make your Airbnb stand out from the crowd.
Tip #7: Splurge with professional photos
You’ve beautified the house, you’ve decorated your heart, and you’ve got a team of killer locals by your side – there’s only one big thing left to do to get your Airbnb ready for the world: take pictures. An Airbnb listing is only as good as the photos (and description!) that come with it, so now is not the time to rely on your smartphone and dim lighting to do the job. Instead, hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your venue, making sure you get all the best angles, decorating moments, and scenic views that make it special. Trust us: Crisp, clear, and inviting photos will go a long way in enticing customers to click “add to cart.”
Tip #8: Tap a friend for a trial
There are just some things you can’t read well if you’re “too close” to the situation, and your Airbnb is probably one of them. After all, it’s been a labor of love so far, and it’s probably something you’re excited (and a little nervous) about getting into ether. To ease your mind and resolve any last-minute issues, ask a few friends (or several, if you have a house that’s meant to accommodate a crowd) to spend a weekend at your house for a sort of test drive. You will get the most out of this experience if you treat them as you would a real guest, interacting with them the same way you intend to communicate with visitors (such as via SMS or WhatsApp), offering a “welcome” e-mail, and more. That way, you’ll hear first-hand about all those pesky things that can cause a guest to list your Airbnb rating—think: bad water pressure or a faulty garage door—before they become a problem for paying customers.
Follow House Beautiful on instagram.