15 Luxury Short Term Rental Tips That Won’t Break the Bank
Convenience is the Ultimate Luxury
Most people know that the term “modern luxury” is all about convenience and lifestyle. There has been a shift in modern society away from the accumulation of “THINGS.” People are now more interested in gaining incredible, unique experiences. Lately, luxury travel has fallen squarely into this specialized category.
From the moment the trip is booked, to the day of check-in, it is completely about the journey, not just the final destination. The travel to the property, the accommodations, the ‘excursion’ offerings, all need to be distinctive and authentic. These are the experiences that we, as short term rental professionals, work diligently to execute at each of our properties.
Amenities that were once considered an extravagance have recently become standard practice, and many short term rental operators have taken their offerings to the next level. Vacationers and travelers are mostly seeking an easy, relaxing experience. We leverage technology. Technology means convenience, and convenience is the ultimate luxury.
In 2020, a group of Luxury Hotel executives from around the world met at a worldwide summit and spoke about emerging trends. They concluded that today’s authentic experiences are so critical in luxury travel today, that hotels and brands must expand their offerings to fit this need. Short term rentals are definitely at an advantage and poised to meet these needs.
Surprisingly, one does not have to break the bank to set up a luxury short term rental.
Leverage local resources and the power of your skilled, positive communication to make the magic happen.
Here are 15 Luxury Short Term Rental Tips That Won’t Break the Bank:
1. Start with Guest Communication.
The dialogue starts before guests even arrive. Reach out through the booking app or email platforms to learn all about your upcoming guests. Understand the purpose of their stay and put together custom recommendations curated just for them. Are they visiting for a wedding? A funeral? Heading to a business meeting? Going on a vacation? Share your favorite places to work and play. Include fine and casual dining recommendations as well as all local contacts and vendors within your easy to follow digital guide book. The guide book should be robust, digital, however, consider a hard copy, depending on the demographic you serve. House rules are also included. Do not forget basics like check-out instructions and trash pick-up day.
Be sure that the exterior of your property is kept up and attractive. Think about what you are viewing as you are driving into the neighborhood and pulling up to property. Is the location in a safe or dangerous area? Are there cars up on cinder blocks on the front lawn of neighboring homes? Are random strangers approaching and peering into your car? Above all, make sure that your property is in an area that you would feel safe in for yourself and that you would feel comfortable renting in with your own family.
3. Door lock and Doorbell Camera
Have a keyless entry door lock and camera that provides both easy entry and security check-in. Guests are looking for easy, discreet, contactless check-in and check out. Guests are provided a unique entry code the day prior to arrival. The keyless entry door lock makes it as convenient as possible for your guests.
4. King bed
The King Bed is the default luxury travel bed. This is a chance to make the guest feel like a king or queen! They can really spread out and luxuriate in a larger bed such as this. Make sure to have a reasonably firm mattress. Oftentimes these beds can be purchased by a local furniture wholesaler at a discount.
5. Linens and towels
Utilize smooth all-cotton or natural-fiber sheets and mattress covers. Avoid synthetic sheets or mattress covers. Natural fiber sheets are not only comfortable and luxurious, but that are more forgiving when removing stains. Provide your guests with extra fluffy towels. If you can arrange these into unique shapes, all the better. If not, roll these up and stack on the king beds in the bedrooms. This lets the guest know the towels are clean and they are the first to use them this day. Pro Tip: A variety of pillow options is always appreciated (hard/soft)
6. Fast WIFI and Workstation
In this day and age many are working from home or taking workacations. Make things as comfortable and easy as possible for guests by setting up a dedicated workstation in your property. It doesn’t have to be a large area, and doesn’t need expensive furnishings. A simple, clean desk, and high speed WIFI should be sufficient.
7. Smart TV
Offer the guest a choice of movies, and family friendly programs for those traveling with little ones. Netflix is $16.00 per month, and Disney Plus is around $10.00 a month. This should be enough for most families. Basic SmartTV packages usually include free local channels as well as some sports channels, which are important to many keeping watch on their favorite teams. Most short term rental markets do not offer cableTV, however, if you are in a market that does, consider making an investment into cableTV.
8. Grocery Delivery Service
Imagine arriving at a rental that includes a freshly stocked fridge. Doesn’t that seem better than having your guest arrive there and then have to head out and find something on their own? Partner with a delivery service to provide grocery delivery on the day of arrival.
9. Gym Equipment
The Peleton has been the latest crazy among health-conscious individuals. The Peleton may be at the top of your budget, however, a sturdy stationary bike, treadmill, or water rower may be a great alternative.
10. Pet Friendly
Being pet friendly offers both benefits and challengers to a renter. The larger benefits are that you will be much more inclusive to all guests. People are traveling with their pets, they want their pets around. You can charge a premium because it costs a lot to board their pets and your home will still be the cheaper option, even at a higher than normal price point. The drawbacks are that you will have to have flooring that can be easily cleaned, and you may have to complete minor repairs; ex painting, etc.. if a dog scratches on your door frame or chews on a piece of furniture. Make sure to include a non-refundable pet deposit fee to cover any damages.
11. Family Friendly
Three things to include: A pack in play, a stroller, and a high chair, are a MUST for a family friendly accommodation. Do include in your guest book plenty of family friendly activities near your location; some examples are zoos, children’s museums, and local parks.
12. Fully stocked kitchen is paramount.
Include quality basic cooking tools. A basic or advanced coffee maker with pods. Remember, this is the guest’s home away from home. Make sure they have enough dishes, flatware, drinking glasses, including wine glasses. High quality pots and pans. Baking dishes, storage containers, and a good knife set. Don’t forget to include a wine bottle opener for celebrations.
13. A full-length mirror in each room
Guests will want to know how they look before stepping out. This is especially important for business travelers and other high class clientele.
14. Quality and stylish furniture and design
Designing with a theme in mind is key. Some great options are Scandinavian design, French Country, Eclectic, and Bohemian. These styles can be versatile and easy to mix and match with. Guests love elegant touches. Be sure to have a reading chair - chosen for comfort, not just design. At least one chair in your rental should be ultra comfortable so that your guest can have a seating arrangement to relax and unwind after a hard day's work, a long meeting, or after visiting relatives.
Professional photos of a well-designed rental instantly sets the property apart from all other similar. Short term rental photos should not only convey property features, but they must tell the story of the experience. Your photos are a storyboard for your guests' imagination. Tell a story showing, “imagine yourself doing this,” “this is what you’ll wake up to,” “these little things will make lasting memories” ‘doesn't this look inviting?” and so on. Add captions to your photos to enrich the experience — “Sink into this luxurious corner tub, Wake up to the sound of birds chirping in nature, Everyone can relive their day over dinner, Your children will find their favorite snacks in the pantry, Put your feet up on the ottoman for drinks on the private porch.”
I hope these simple steps are a help to you on your luxury rental journey.