Vacation rentals provide a steady stream of revenue for many of its nearly three million hosts, but there’s more to having a successful listing than simply buying a property and posting on the Airbnb platform. A bit of knowledge can go a long way, in this case generating greater revenue by improving your reviews, further enhancing future potential returns.
Here we will explore how you can provide a better experience for your guests by increasing your Airbnb rental value and bolstering your reviews, which will ultimately maximize the value of your real estate rental for your IRA or other tax-advantaged accounts.
1. Open your Airbnb to kids and pets
Many Airbnbs are geared to adults, but by allowing children and pets to your property, you’re expanding your potential audience and making your location far more appealing to families.
If you’re allowing children and pets, make your space as safe and durable as possible without compromising the look of the rental. Avoid tables with sharp corners, install tile or hardwood floor, and go with darker furniture and decorations to mask potential stains.
If your space can accommodate a dedicated nursery, a safe place to sleep can be a meaningful consideration for parents with infants, as traveling with a crib is a hassle. A collapsible crib or play yard is great, as it allows you to offer a crib for those who need it, but save space when it’s not required.
A dedicated outdoor space with a proper fence is also nice for people traveling with pets. Ensure the fence around your space is solid, without any holes or gaps, and keep in mind a garden is at risk of being dug up if you’re allowing dogs. Instead, consider having a streamlined lawn with a rock garden in the corner.
2. Use professional cleaners
Hire professional cleaners after every visit and mention that you do so in your listing. This not only ensures your place is clean and allows you to market its cleanliness.
Shop around to find a balance between a great price and great reviews, as many cleaning companies specialize in vacation rentals and provide flexible schedules to accommodate check-in/out times.
3. Create a nice outdoor space
A private outdoor oasis, regardless of size, can be just the perk travelling guests need after a day of exploring. Consider offering a grill, firepit, or merely a nice spot with comfy chairs and native plants for guests to enjoy the sun.
If you plan on allowing children and have the space, think about including outdoor games so they have a way to burn off excess energy outdoors. Bean bag toss, also known as cornhole, or horseshoes are simple and accessible, giving families something to do while winding down for the evening.
Finally, depending on the size of your property, you may want to consider hiring a lawn service, especially if you have multiple locations you rent out. An unkempt lawn will be unappealing to guests and could provide an unfair assumption that the property is not well kept.
4. Provide secure, fast internet
Whether your guests are professionals looking for a hotel alternative or travelers eager to learn more about your city, access to high-speed internet is always appreciated and usually expected, especially if your property is large enough for several guests to be online at the same time.
Try to secure internet with a speed of 250mbps if possible, as this will allow guests to easily get on video calls, stream files, and download anything necessary for most jobs. Do shop around, as internet prices vary widely, and avoid satellite internet if you can. While this type of internet is advertised as high speed, it often struggles under streaming and heavy use.
As an added perk, fast internet makes it possible for you to provide streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, which can be a nice value-add, especially if you have guests during colder weather when people are more apt to stay inside at night.
5. Stock the best toiletries
Many guests are looking for a luxurious hotel experience, regardless of where they are staying. Beyond offering just the essentials, consider splurging for a few dollars more to offer higher-quality soaps, lotions, towels, and linens. You can save by buying more expensive items like towels in bulk or when on sale–plus having more on hand may mean that they are less likely to wear out quickly.
If your town or nearest city has any local soaps or lotions available, consider stocking them with a note on their local origins. This gives your Airbnb an especially personal touch, making the experience for out-of-town guests unique. Plus, it could even provide partnership opportunities for the makers of these products, as many local businesses would gladly promote your property if your rental features their products.
6. Provide great coffee and beverages
Much like the lotion and soap recommendation above, consider stocking high-quality local coffee and a complementary bottle of wine, especially if your property is in an area that specializes in either.
Along with quality coffee beans, you’ll want to make sure you have a nice coffee maker. A drip coffee maker is low maintenance and easy to clean, but a single-brew setup like a Keurig is also a nice touch for convenience. Be sure to leave written instructions on using the coffee maker to avoid any mishaps.
7. Add an Airbnb Experience
Experiences are a new Airbnb feature that allow you to host a local activity for rental guests or any paying participants. Experiences can be anything from a local food tour to a guided hike through your favorite park.
Airbnb Experiences are a great stand-alone income stream, but can also help draw additional traffic to your rental and branch out to new audiences as well. Someone might be looking solely at local Airbnb Experiences and may not need a rental at the moment, but after having a great time during your Experience, he or she might be more likely to turn to your property when the time comes.
Purchasing your next vacation rental with your IRA
Whether you’ve got one vacation property, several, or have yet to get started, it’s never too late to use your existing retirement or tax-advantaged funds to purchase a home or condo and grow your Airbnb rental collection.
To learn on how you can participate in this growing sharing economy while diversifying your retirement portfolio, feel free to reach out to New Direction Trust Company at 877-742-1270 or via our client portal with any questions. Ready to get started? Open a self-directed account now!