How to Make your Rental Stand Out in a Saturated Market
Gone are the days of purchasing a cookie-cooker unit with bland furnishings and receiving a soaring return on your short term-rental investment. With the rise of STR listings comes the fall of guest occupancy rate, and with Nashville home prices surging over the last few years, investors are feeling the financial sting of vacant rental homes.
So where are our faithful daisy-duked bachelorettes?
According to BiggerPockets, “In total, there are roughly 1.3 million [STR] listings available for rent in the United States, which is up nearly 25% year over year. This marks a record high for total available listings in the U.S.” (1)
And per AIRDNA, “Supply growth [in the US] substantially outpaced demand growth for the month, with occupancy falling by 8.6% in May to 60.2%.” (2)
What does this mean? In short, it means supply is up and occupancy is down.
While this isn’t an investor’s favorite turn of events – no one wants their rental home sitting vacant – these shifting statistics can actually work in your favor. Stand by.
In a thriving tourist market like Nashville, one of the most important ways to prevent your investment property from sitting vacant is to style it. And we aren’t talking about putting your grandmother’s basket of ivy on the kitchen table and calling it a day.
Professionally styling your vacation rental helps it stand out from the competition and improves your chances of securing more bookings for higher rates (especially in peak seasons), granting you the return on investment you deserve.
These days, with streaming services featuring Airbnb-spotlight shows like Instant Hotel, Stay Here, and Matt Landau’s ‘Sense of Place’, guests not only expect more out of their Airbnb experience, but their booking preferences demand it.
Guests will pay more for a styled short-term rental.
You know how it is – walking into a beautifully and thoughtfully decorated home you’ve rented feels a tiny bit like walking into your personal episode of an HGTV home reveal. Guests immediately feel a sense of excitement, relaxation and luxury in a space that is – though temporarily – their very own, and that’s how everyone imagines their vacation will feel.
And guess what? Guests will pay more for this kind of experience. At least, this guest would. Hi.
The measures you take in styling your STR will speak for themselves in guest reviews.
Not only is a styled rental home eye-catching, but it also encapsulates the “above and beyond” quality guests are always hoping to capture in their home away from home. Luxury but not stuffy. Fully equipped with guest essentials and extra amenities for maximum comfort. These types of thoughtful touches leave a lasting impression and provide a memorable experience for visitors.
The more positive reviews you have, the better the Blessed Algorithm treats you. The better the Blessed Algorithm treats you, the more clicks your listing will get. The more clicks you get, the more bookings you secure. You get the idea.
Guests will (have FOMO and) book your rental further in advance.
As future travelers peruse these gorgeous photos and beaming reviews, they’ll get a dose of that good ‘ole American FOMO. Eager to make this their own vacation home experience, travelers will often book further in advance to ensure they’re securing a great rental before it’s booked by someone else. Speaking of, don’t forget to check the status of your cancellation policies – a Strict or Flexible Cancellation policy can make or break a good booking season (we advise Strict to help prevent last-minute cancellations, but do sometimes offer refunds for special circumstances).
Times are insane, yet people are still traveling. For now.
Even with our world’s pendulum of crazy in full swing, people are hungry for a chunk of normalcy and are satiating that hunger with travel, despite current economic conditions.
According to BiggerPockets, “It turns out [the continuation of travel] has to do with making up for lost time (33% of respondents), taking advantage of normal life again (38%), and the fear of missing out (25%).” (3)
All that to say, amid the whiplash world of travel we live in, the future of STR prosperity is, at best, uncertain. This is why it’s crucial to take the next step in your investment and style your rental home. It will make your listing stand out with gorgeous photos and receive a higher number of views, preventing it from being overlooked. Paired with a great host, it will also ensure an overall higher occupancy rate with more competitive prices.
Lucky for you, we happen to be professional short-term rental stylists – look how well that worked out! As design experts in the short-term rental field, we can curate the magazine-worthy design your rental deserves and equip you with everything you need for long-term success. You can request a discovery call here and be well on your way to receiving a better return on your investment.
And now for Charli and Nat’s Q&A of the Day –
“Charli, what’s one of the most common items guests leave behind?”
“Natalie, that would be a fake eyelashes stuck to a pillowcase.”
Word of Advice: Do not try to reuse someone else’s fake eyelash(es) found on a pillowcase. Ew.
Align Yo Design! Or, I mean, let us do it. –
For better or worse, “heads in beds” is a term many STR investors are familiar with. Put simply, you want to sleep as many guests as comfortably possible in your rental – comfortably being the keyword.
Whether you’re a short-term rental owner or not, utilizing your living room sofa as a spare bed can make a world of difference, and we have found…the one.
This beautiful, sleek sofa doesn’t even look like it folds out into a sleeper-sofa. Oh, but it does. Not only is it comfortable, it is also USER-FRIENDLY. Sleeper-sofa for dummies, right here. When you’re exhausted from a long day of travel or touristing, no one wants to spend 20 minutes assembling a pull-out bed. With this beaut, you don’t have to.
And remember, kids, always pair a coffee table (or ottomans that give the alternative function of a table) with your sofa – sleeper or not. Yes, even if you have a small space. It doesn’t have to be a large table, and you can even do nesting tables if you prefer; just remember a coffee table should be roughly two-thirds the length of your sofa to get the right visual balance.
Until next time,