Your AirBnB space is gorgeous. You've read all you can about making the most of your space and writing a killer listing, but you still can't seem to book it as often as you'd like. Sometimes, you feel like there's something you're missing. A secret ingredient that would pull more renters, or at least attract a few who would fall in love with your space and give it great reviews (and hence, draw more guests). It's almost as if there's a guidebook everyone else has, but you don't. Frustrating, isn't it? We peeped through the top Aussie AirBnBs and identified the characteristics they share, and then we took it one step further. We asked the owners what made the difference in their rentals. It's easier than you think to take your AirBnB from booked often to always booked, and these ten tips are what you need to get there. Best of all, they're easy and inexpensive.
Colour with Care
"Our biggest starting point was to pick a colour and stick to it. We decided that the base colours of black and white in varying shades were simple and go with everything and then we chose red to brighten things up in our accessories. Good old fashioned timber gave a homely feel whilst the bold colours gave us a modern feel." - Kim and Sean, owners of three AirBnB properties in Tugun, Gold Coast.
Colour is more than just an aesthetic touch. Humans are animals, and let's face it, our instincts regarding colour are strong. Red wakes us up and makes us alert, green is inherently calming, and yellow activates the memory while stimulating creativity. Certain colours, like pastels and fluorescent tones, are perceived as youthful. Others, like muted grays and other neutrals, are viewed as more mature. When you decorate your space, think about how you want your guests to feel. What emotion do you want the room or unit to create? Chose a colour palette that matches, but don't forget your location. When guests arrive at a beach house, they crave colors that remind them of summer holiday and the colors of the coast itself. Bright tones of blue, green, white, and light gray are good picks, as are bright pastels like lemon yellow. If your primary vacation crowd arrives in winter, focus on bringing warmth to your space. Dark wood furnishings, dark orange, red, and brown accents, and soft textures make a room feel warm and comfortable, and neutral accents keep it from feeling too heavy or dark. Looking for year-round versatility? Consider a neutral wall color with seasonal accent pieces you can easily change.
Embrace Different Textures
Think about your favourite sweater. How does it feel when you hold it? What about the grammar school desks you used as a child? And the seats in your restaurant of choice? Texture cultivates memories. It's always a part of the visual appeal of a room, and determines how comfortable your guests will feel. Regardless of your style preference, you can use texture to make your guests at home. From Kantha silk cushions in the living room to a timber and steel knife block setin the kitchen, texture drastically impacts the feel of a space. Use a variety of textures in your space to create a cosy ambiance, but make sure that they combine well. Too much stainless steel can leave a room feeling cold, and a few stone accents can create a homey feel but if you overdo it, the space becomes ostentatious and overbearing. Just as a pop of colour makes a big impact on the feel of a monochromatic space, mixing textures can accentuate the overall design of a room even if that design is minimalist or modern.
Keep it Clean
We once heard the story of a couple that rented an AirBnB in Melbourne, only to discover that it was the scruffiest house in a rough neighborhood. They were good sports and didn't mind the outside, and the late hour made an alternate booking impossible but the interior frightened them with its filth, and led to an immediate bad review. I doubt you'd be reading this article if your house had the same unpolished and unvarnished wood floors or unspeakable loos that couple encountered on their first AirBnB experience, but no matter how clean you keep your place, there's always a guest who wants it cleaner. Make a good impression by cleaning right before their arrival time, so that the smell of cleaning products still lingers in the air. A fresh scent and good maintenance of the facilities is vital. This is one area you can't afford to make any missteps, so be careful to keep your AirBnB spiffy.
"Clean and fresh are the most important ingredients in a good AirBnB rental." Ron, owner of a popular AirBnB in Manly.
Luxury is Affordable
Don't spend a fortune on the space. You're supposed to be making money on your AirBnB, not losing it. Shopping smart for luxe items at low cost is a great way to save money while creating a stunning impression. Decorative touches like this Kashmiri vaseadd a luxurious feel to your space, without costing a fortune.
"Having been a host & super host with Airbnb over the last 3 years, I must say it has been an amazing experience! It's all about being gracious & keeping things simple & comfortable. A keen eye for detail is a great thing as you choose home wares & decorating is a breeze if you choose a theme. The theme at The Perch was about fitting in with the unique Eco environment (creek running through the yard & a lush tranquil garden) & I planned it as if 'I' would be using it [Choose a wow' item] It does not need to be an expensive item, just chosen with heart & good intent." Vonnie, former AirBnB owner of The Perch, a popular AirBnB in Epping
Luxury isn't about using copious amounts of high-quality materials or art and design items that look (or are) expensive. In most cases, it's about simplicity. Keep your AirBnB unit's decorations to a minimum, but make sure to include one or two "wow" items in each room. Like Vonnie mentions, they don't need to be pricey, just carefully chosen.
Kill the Clutter
"I tried to reduce clutter, which is difficult for me because I'm a hoarder, so I tried to do this enough to give shelf space, but not too much that it would lose the character of my home I find guests like clean, open and simple spaces that they can then make their own." Reena, owner of two stunning AirBnB listings in Perth City.
Reena was right to keep the clutter under control. Guests love open spaces that can be easily navigated. If your AirBnB is an active part of your home when it's not rented, modular furnishings are a great way to keep your personal items out of sight. Remember not to store valuables in the space, however. This 9 drawer storage cabinetis a quirky conversation piece that blends with a range of styles and offers plenty of space to keep your personal items hidden. There's more to keeping clutter under wraps than just keeping our own stuff to a minimum. No matter what design style you are aiming for, it's easy to overdo the decor. You find a piece you like, and a zillion accessories to go with it. Instead of the loveseat and reading chair that fit in your space, you opt for a bookcase, a full couch, a reading chair, an ottoman you get the picture. An overcrowded space is uncomfortable. It feels cluttered, crowded, and smaller than it needs to. Use space wisely, choose a few decorative pieces carefully, and leave yourself a little room to add personalized touches for your guests, like a welcome note, a chocolate bar, or a vase of flowers.
Let There Be Light
A well-designed space that's poorly lit can feel like a prison. In best case scenarios, dingy lighting makes a place look dirty. Headaches, a bad impression, and even potential injuries can result if your lighting is too dim. A well-decorated AirBnB can feel instantly more cheerful when the lighting is bright and ample. As much as lighting is important, the ability to customize it is equally valuable. Your guests will most likely prefer the ability to access different types of lighting, regardless of the size of your AirBnB space. One of the best AirBnB spaces we know of offered lamps for every bed, and a desk lamp, floor lamp, and ceiling lamps in every room. The right amount of light won't make a good impression if you don't use the right fixtures. Make sure you choose light fixtures that fit with your space; one that matches your design, budget, and the feel you want to create. Choose warm or cool options based on the colour palette of the room and the emotional response you want to evoke. And if you've got the ability, a little natural light goes a long way sky lights and spacious windows are features to take advantage of in your AirBnB listing.
Cater to the Entertainer
Not everyone who travels wants to stay alone in their room. It's quite likely that your guests may want to bring over a few friends, relatives, or acquaintances. Although it isn't necessary, providing supplies and seating for entertaining is a good way to make a lasting impression on your guests. Add enough seats to the space that guests can easily accommodate the maximum number of people you are comfortable with them having over don't provide too many seating options if you aren't comfortable with a party in your space, however. A few serving trays, cocktail supplies, and a music player are tiny touches that most guests will appreciate, and that can add a nice touch to their stay, even if they don't make use of them.
Details Make the Difference
Do the little things notes, flowers, personalized touches they give your guests something memorable to comment about in a review. AirBnB rentals are special for the personal edge they provide. The company started as a way to rent out an airbed in some extra space in your own home. Today, it's obviously very different, but the personal connection is still something guests crave. If they didn't, they'd stay in a hotel. The details of your space, like the books you keep on any public reading shelves, the music you put on the player or make available to guests, and the toiletries you provide help guests to understand you and form a connection with your AirBnB. You don't need to spend a lot of money on these details use items you already own, pick up a few special things at rummage sales or low-price retailers, and add a little life to the place. Some AirBnB owners have pets that live in their properties. If you have a four-legged, feathered, or scaled friend, make sure that info is in your listing. It will help you avoid any unwanted surprises, and may attract like-minded guests. Most importantly, don't put anything in the space that you wouldn't use yourself.
"Keep the space uncluttered, but add some decorative touches; after all this is an Airbnb experience, not an impersonal hotel. I have some nice ceramic bowls, wooden artefacts, a scented candle (which I sourced in bulk on Ebay) and a real pot plant about the place. They were all inexpensive so there are no tears if there are breakages, but they colour co-ordinate with the furnishings in browns and greens, which makes the space seem smart. Invest in a couple of good pans and sharp knives--nothing worse than blunt knives when you're trying to cook Buy the best quality bed linen and towels you can, and make sure the sheets are white, cream or ivory because dark sheets are not as inviting.... We provide toiletries that look and smell like the Aesop products, but without the huge price tag. There are quite a few brands around in similar packaging. Have one wow factor which makes the stay a bit special. For us it is the wicker hanging chair." - Abby, owner of a gorgeous self-contained AirBnB in Kooyong.
Divide and Conquer
Even a small space can feel big if you decorate it correctly. A rug can be used to create a division between the living and dining rooms in a space that serves as both. Waist-high bookshelves can serve a similar function, as can a dual-sided buffet or a dividing screen. If your space needs an office, a living room, or a dining room in addition to space to sleep create it using carefully-chosen accent pieces. Give each part of your rental a personality of its own, and make sure that the space feels comfortable and clean. Divide it logically, by thinking about how you would use it if you were a guest. Ask a few friends and relatives to give it a peek, too. You may see the space very differently than your guests will. More input improves the overall result.
But Don't Forget to Keep it Together
So far, the recipe is simple. Just make sure your space feels open, spacious, and uncluttered, use colour and texture wisely, and don't overdo it. Add good lighting and a few special touches, and you're ready to go. But there's one more thing you need to keep in mind. Unity. Make sure your space feels like it belongs together. Even eclectic designs need something to pull them together. Maybe it's a particular colour or texture, a theme, or a design style - but whatever you do, don't forget it. A design that isn't unified can feel like a hot mess instead of a home away from home. Follow these tips, and you'll wind up with an AirBnB that's so hot, you'll be looking for time off instead of searching for renters. Have any tips of your own you'd like to share? Add them in the comments or tweet them to us. We'd love to share them with our readers!