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5 Upgrades Your Guests Want to See

decor extra income May 21, 2021

As a host and property owner, you must protect your income investment by attracting and retaining quality short-term guests. To accomplish this, it's important to ensure that each property is updated with all, or at least some, of the amenities short-term guests desire to have in homes they rent.


NOTE:  Get what you can afford as long as the area you're in dictates the return on your investment.  This means don't over upgrade for your area.  You only want to put in what you'll be able to get back out.  Look at the Top 10 properties in your area (this is easy to do using Airdna) and study the competition.  Do your research and know your numbers.  What will you be able to make if you make similar upgrades?  Run the numbers, then decide your budget and stick to it!


Whether decorating or renovating, focus on these most coveted home features that'll help you attract discerning guests who will come back time and time again:


1.  Wood Flooring.  If you have quality wood flooring in your rental property, you're already ahead of the game simply because wood floors make such a huge impact.


• Of course, authentic wood flooring would be the ideal choice. This can cost between $3.00 per sq. ft. for maple flooring up to $8.50 per sq. ft. for Brazilian wood.  


• Laminate plank flooring gives the same look for a fraction of the cost. It can cost as little as $0.89 per sq. ft. from flooring outlets such as or



2.  Updated kitchen and bathroom.  Every room in the house is important, but an updated kitchen and bathroom will make guests go gaga over your property! Indulge in a tiled backsplash, and updated countertops and cabinets and you're sure to "wow" prospective guests.


• A tiled backsplash can cost anywhere from $250 to over $1,000 depending on the type of tile you choose. For an inexpensive fix, choose white subway tile - a tried and true favorite amongst guests. Or if your budget allows, spring for a mosaic glass tile backsplash.


• Placing granite in a short-term rental can be a waste if it's in the wrong market. Unless you can charge an above-market rate that warrants the expense, you're unlikely to make your money back in a timely fashion, so do your homework. However, in the right market, you can make your investment back in one or two stays.  That's what you're looking for!  If you're in a slower market, you can give your guests the feel of granite by using a granite countertop paint kit or laminate from Lowes.  There's also a cool epoxy product that can look like marble, granite, or travertine.  A company called Stone Coat has some very cool videos you can check out here.



3.  Spring for molding.  Molding can make any home seem luxurious and finely detailed. And while molding can cost quite a bit of money, if you're willing to install the molding yourself you'll be able to save quite a bit.  It's actually not too difficult to do, either.  It's a great weekend project - or when you've got a two or three day gap.


• When in doubt, always choose crown molding. Other popular molding options are wainscoting and chair rail. If possible, also add molding to your doorways and over windows to create a cohesive look.


• If you're on a tight budget, opt for faux crown molding. The material is often plastic or faux wood, but the effect is still much the same. Chances are your guests aren't going to climb onto a ladder just to touch the crown molding.



4. High-End Master Closets and Ample Closet Space.  I know.  Closets? Who would have guessed it, right?  But guests will feel the class ooze from a custom master bedroom closet.  And even on vacation, guests seem to love closets and storage for suitcases all the overpacking and overbuying they have done.  Seems odd but it's true.  In terms of storage, guests are no different than owners - they always need storage space and a place to tuck away their suitcases, strollers, coats, and generally keep things out of sight in order to enjoy their stay. You don't have to move a wall back a few feet to make a walk-in closet in the bedroom, but you do have to have ample closet space, and the nicer looking, the better.  Install a custom shelving system in the bedroom closets in order to make the closet space clearly defined and more useable.


• You can create your own closet system by simply installing a double-up adjustable closet rod (creates an adjustable 2nd rod) for about $10. Installing several shelves and a small shoe rack will also do wonders for storage space.


• All in all, this project can cost you less than $100 and the response you'll receive from guests will be worth the minor investment.


5.  Get rid of the brass.  Brass finishes scream "80s' and unattended" to guests.  It shows that the property has not been brought into modern times, and therefore not worth paying premium rates to stay in.


• Replace brass doorknockers, doorknobs, lighting fixtures, and cabinet handles/knobs with pewter or brushed nickel finishes.  It's such a small update but it makes a big difference in how the unit is perceived by prospective guests and guests who are staying with you.



Just one or two of the updates mentioned above will immediately increase the aesthetic appeal of your rental property.  However, when all of the updates are implemented together, the results are astronomical: not only will you increase your appeal to guests, but your property will be able to increase its rates, as well, bringing in more income.  




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