Dos and Don’ts from your Resort Collection Rental Services team!
Your rental unit is a big investment! Oftentimes, owners purchase a condo and throw any cheap furniture and décor inside they can find, thinking they’ll have to replace it soon anyway. Unfortunately, this creates for a less-than-stellar vacation experience for the guest.
Have you ever booked a hotel room and ended up with a mattress so hard that Fred Flinstone would’ve slept on it?
You could see visible – and questionable – stains on the carpet or furniture?
The desk chair had a broken arm or loose wheel?
The television was straight out of 1980?
We want our guests to have a vacation experience that we ourselves would enjoy! This starts as soon as they walk in the door of their vacation rental. To help our owners furnish and decorate their condos efficiently yet effectively, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips and tricks to help you along the way. Luckily, our Rental Services and Rental Maintenance teams are here to take care of your rental unit and help in any way they can!
Choose furniture that is built to last!
Your rental unit will experience a LOT of traffic, especially during peak season. When buying furniture, think of materials and quality that will last. Commercial grade is always a great rule of thumb to live by. If you have any furniture that’s “good enough” for your personal needs but isn’t really appropriate for guests, it’s time to find replacements. That old creaky bed frame should be replaced with a more enduring model, and the recliner that requires extreme force should be swapped out with one that’s more user-friendly.
Go through your house and imagine if you were arriving for the first time. Can you flop down on all the beds and furniture without breaking something? Is it easy to open and close drawers? Are there cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom that aren’t fitted properly?
You should also keep in mind that while renters will generally be respectful of your home, accidents do happen. Be sure that you’re comfortable with the fact that your vacation home furniture may pick up a few dings and scratches here and there.
Upgrade your bedding.
Sure, that cheap mattress may look enticing. Guests are coming to spend time on the beach, not in bed, right? Wrong! We are trying to sell a relaxing beach vacation experience which includes all aspects of their stay. Always put yourself in the vacationers’ shoes; would you be happy sleeping on this mattress if you were the guest?
Brighten things up with a fresh coat of paint.
If you want an instant upgrade in your rental investment, all you have to do is paint it. We suggest using an eggshell or satin finish on the walls and a semi-gloss finish on the trim. The semi-gloss finish on the trim is key; this finish gives it more of a pop. Then, add color with wall art, throw pillows, rugs, lamps, etc.
P.S. We recommend doing any significant project, that take your unit off rental for a period of time, out of season. You’d be surprised by how many owners choose July 4th weekend to start their renovations.
Trend towards crowd-pleasing décor.
In your own home, your taste will obviously dictate almost all of your decor choices. But in a vacation home, it’s often better to err on the side of what will appeal to the majority of people, rather than what appeals to you personally.
That’s not to say you should have a second home with decor that doesn’t match your own taste! If you like modern style, you should stick with that. If you prefer American Colonial, go for it. But when it comes down to unusual art choices, bright paint colors, or quirky textiles, it’s generally better to go a little more conservative.
It’s also a good idea to generally match what a traveler will tend to expect in your area – for example, Florida condos are often decorated with a “beachy” theme of cool blue walls and coastal décor!
Remember: If you can’t live without it, it doesn’t belong in your rental unit!
Provide Good Lighting
Many owners forget this important touch! Include lighting next to all of your beds rather than relying on the overhead light. Your guests who want to read before turning in will thank you – and it’s one of those little inconveniences that adds up over a long stay.
Similarly, make sure your kitchen has sufficient lighting to help avoid any accidents. Your guests won’t be as familiar with your property as you are, and a kitchen is full of sharp objects! Make it easy for them to see what they’re doing and you’ll keep your home accident-free.
Well-lit bathrooms, hallways, and living areas also provide a much more enjoyable experience for any guest. Good lighting makes it easy for them to set the mood, see where they’re going in an unfamiliar home, and get important tasks done. Put some time and effort into making sure they’ll never have to fumble in the dark, and you’ll have much happier guests at the end of their stay.
Avoid the color white.
Aside from walls and trim, we strongly encourage owners to avoid white or other light-colored furnishings. Light colored fabrics, bedspreads, blankets, etc. will turn up dirty after the first guest stays in your condo. Although we all love the crisp, solid look of white décor and furnishings we see flipping through the latest Pottery Barn catalog, colored patterns add a great “pop” and can withstand a little more wear-and-tear inside your rental unit.
Less is more when decorating your condo. Keep it simple; include the necessities and focus on incorporating high-quality, durable furnishings instead. Faux plants, intricate centerpieces, and unnecessary accents are just dust-collectors and tend to junk up an otherwise nice condo.
Do you have any tips or recommendations we didn’t mention on this list? Let us know!
We had some help on this blog content from BiggerPockets.com and Blog.EvolveVacationRental.com.