Now Featured in SD Voyager Magazine!

This blog post isn’t going to be like my typical post where I share design tips and tricks, instead this blog post is going to be a shameless plug for me and my business! I wanted to share with you the first magazine article written about me and my business. Be sure to check it out, and learn more about me, what I do, and how I got here by clicking HERE

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Are vacation rentals dead?

I hear this question a lot, and I think it is due to the new laws that are being passed almost daily in different counties, cities, states, and even on a federal level trying to limit or ban short term vacation rentals from their area.

While there are some people who oppose the expansion of vacation rentals for various personal reasons, ( I’ve heard everything from “my rental rates will increase” to “I don’t want someone running a business out of a home next to mine” — shocking, I know) there is no rational reason to oppose short term vacation rentals, and there’s no end in sight. This industry is BOOMING and will only continue to grow further as more and more people list their homes on OTA websites like Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, etc. while they travel.

Gone are the days of time shares, with limited dates and high rates, we have moved into the 21st century. Since a majority of short term vacation rental travelers are millennials or young families, their travel habits have changed dramatically from supporting old business models like time shares and hotels, and have moved into a more communal and shared way of traveling through short term vacation rentals, which you can also see this trend with industries like Taxis, Uber, Lyft and other ride share options. 

Popular sites like Airbnb are paving new ways to travel, and large hotel corporations are being threatened. Instead of supporting the few, popularity has shifted to supporting the many by putting small amounts of cash into homeowners pockets rather than large hotel corporations. This industry has grown so much that Airbnb has completed an acquisition of HotelTonight!

Here are some interesting global stats for you from around the World:

Vacasa, a vacation rental firm, has opened a real estate brokerage in Oregon. Vacasa Real Estate will help buyers and sellers of vacation rental properties find homes along the Oregon coast and other popular vacation rental markets throughout the state.

VRBO has announced a partnership with US mortgage lending firm Quicken Loans to allow confirmed revenue earned through the platform to qualify for mortgage refinancing through reviewing the property owner’s income. Property categories eligible for the scheme include both primary residences and vacation properties.

Now, as bigger companies begin to move into the short term vacation rental arena, they will not slow down now. This may have once been a hobby, or after thought of turning part (or your entire) home into a “temporary hotel” where guests paid you much smaller fees than the large hotels in your area to simply sleep for a night, has turned into an entire business model for some people. Many people who started as vacation rental owners have now moved into managing other vacation rentals. Not only creating a new job for themselves, but also helping spur on the economy by bringing in new tourists daily to support the city they are in. 

As history has already shown here, short term vacation rentals are here to stay, and this industry is only going to grow larger.  

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5 reasons why you need to work with a Real Estate Agent

  1. They negotiate for YOU...that's what they do.

  2. The commission is paid by the seller. While this isn’t great, if you are the seller, just think of all the backlash you could get if a sale goes south when the buyer finds something they don’t like while you are in escrow. Agents help prevent this.

  3. They literally do this for a living- Why would you not want to use someone in the know? Especially with such a large purchase? If you are planning on relying on sites like Zillow, I have some bad news, they are not credible sources. Often the information they provide is not even accurate, so you shouldn’t depend on these sites to do your research for you.

  4. Agents have access to rental rates and all the property history, including inspection reports, etc. so you can make an educated decision.

  5. If you plan to sell your home in the future, or want to know what the neighborhood homes are selling for, your realtor can pull the comps or give you a CMA- comparative market analysis which shows sold and active comparables to give a good idea of what is the average selling price in your area.

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Bedroom Decor Tips for Vacation Rentals

Bedrooms are the most important room as a vacation rental, for obvious reasons, this space is most likely where your guest will spend most of their time in your home. So this room really needs to be the focus of your efforts. It should feel like a relaxing oasis.

There are many things to consider such as having a light on the nightstand next to the bed for those people who may be “night owls” or perhaps may need to get up during the night, or early morning when it’s dark as you don’t want your guests fumbling around in the dark, possibly tripping over anything in their path, looking for a wall switch.

Provide lots of pillows and bedding! Keep sheet sets together by placing a neatly folded set inside its matching pillowcase or, for a pretty and functional detail, tie the whole set with ribbon. This is a small cost, but can show your guests you really care about their experience and have thought about all the details. Make sure you have extra blankets in your home, not just for the beds. Often times some guests will want to snuggle up with a blanket on the sofa. It’s always better to over deliver than to under-deliver to your guests. Extra pillows are a nice gesture as well and don’t cost very much.

Provide a place for guests to unpack. Having an empty dresser is nice, but if that’s not possible or not something you want to encourage with your guests (this is often where most guests tend to forget items they left behind after they leave your house), be sure to leave a luggage stand for your guests to easily open and access their luggage without having to leave it on the ground (plan these according to how many people can sleep in each room).

Provide privacy. This means doors, window treatments, etc. to help make the room more private. If you can, I highly recommend providing two types of window treatment; one that is a semi-sheer (providing light and minimal privacy), and one that is a black-out (providing little to no light and maximum privacy). Also, remember to supply all bedroom and bathroom doors with locks.  

Temperature controls- whether you provide a fan or heater (depending on where you live and what kind of seasons your house is in), be sure your guests are comfortable to their standards.

It may not strike you as the most creative part of furnishing your home, but storage is an important factor to take into consideration for any vacation rental. In particular, if guests traveling to your location are likely to stay for a week or longer, be sure to provide ample closet, drawer or clothes rail space to enable them to unpack and feel completely at home. Even the most minimalist rentals don’t have an excuse – there are many stylish options which can also serve as a design feature.

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Top 5 Furniture Ideas for Small Spaces

Small Spaces such as a “Granny Flat” or an ADU (Additional Dwelling Unit) and even the current trend of “Tiny Houses”, have limited storage options, so making the most of the space you have will be key to creating a functionable space.

1. There are many storage solutions that can have multiple functions, such as the bed below from Design Within Reach, called the Nest Storage Bed. It not only functions as a bed frame, but it also is a great place for hidden storage. This way your space won’t look messy or cluttered, and only you will know what’s hiding under your bed.

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2. Perhaps you love your bed, and don’t want to replace it? No problem! Consider using under bed storage solutions that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing such as these modern weave under bed storage baskets from West Elm.

3. There are even multi-functional furniture options such as this urban sleeper sectional sofa from West Elm which, as you might have guessed, converts from a sofa into a bed, saving you tons of space by having a bed that can fold into another piece of furniture, but it gets even better- the chaise that creates the sectional L shape, also has storage built-in, perfect for bedding!



4. Ottomans are also a great versatile piece of furniture- they can be used to sit on, put your feet up on, and this upholstered base storage ottoman from West Elm can even convert to a coffee table!


5. Coffee Tables are often one of the most underutilized pieces of furniture in a home as they are usually thought of as functional, however few are utilitarian like this Industrial Storage Pop-up Coffee Table from West Elm. Its converts from a coffee table into a dining table for two, AND it has storage! Now you’ll never lose that pesky remote again!

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Living Room Decor Tips for Your Vacation Rental

Make sure the remotes to the TV are easy to find and navigate. The coffee table is also a great place to leave local magazines, your recommendations for guests, and a guest book (if you choose). You don’t want guests to have to hunt around the room for things they will need, so baskets or trays are also a great way to keep these essential things all in one location. This should be easily visible (often on the coffee table). Make sure your sofa has plenty of pillows (usually 2 in each corner is a good portion). Is your sofa in decent condition, and the cushions are full? If not, you may consider replacing the cushions, or replacing the entire sofa, if needed. This is often an area where you guests will spend most of their time relaxing, so your furnishings should be sturdy and comfortable. It is best to hide as many cords as you can as well to give the space a less cluttered feeling.    

Here are a few photos of my living room, which has hidden cords, bright lighting, storage, and plenty of seating options with many pillow options.  

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Front Door & Entry Tips for Vacation Rentals

Front doors and entry ways are the first impression your guests will get of your home. Make sure it has a clean doormat with a working light. Consider the condition and color of your door as well- does it need new paint? Maybe a pop of color so it draws more attention? What looks best in the photo of the entry? Should you add a plant for some color and texture? These are all things to consider when addressing the front door, since this will be your guest’s first impression of you, your home, and what the rest of their experience will be like. 

Make sure there is an area to “drop” everything a guest will have with them by the front door (luggage, cellphone, keys, hats, jackets, etc.). You want your guests to have somewhere to set everything while they take a look around and explore their room options and get themselves orientated with their new surroundings (without lugging everything with them, and possibly damaging the walls, doors, rugs, trim, etc. of your home). This could include a console table, with a bowl for keys, a coat rack to hang jackets and hats, maybe even somewhere to leave their shoes. This is also a good place to leave any directions for your guests (key codes, directions, suggestions, etc.) since they will pass this area everytime they leave the house. 

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Kitchen Decor Tips for Your Short Term Vacation Rentals

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home, since most people gather in this location- so you want to make your short term rental’s kitchen is fully stocked!

Be sure you have the following items:

Dishes- (obviously), but make sure you have the correct quantity based on the amount of guests you are preparing for, and supply extras (2 is usually good) just in case some break, or if guests use dishes for more than 1 meal and need additional dishes.

Kitchen Utensils- including enough silverware for the amount of people who can sleep in your home, but also enough for additional guests too (2-4 additional settings).

Serving Utensils- You should have at least 1 large bowl and one large serving plate as well as serving utencils. (Think thanksgiving dinner).

Spices- provide the basic spices like salt and pepper, but also provide other spices for cooking with- this could be something local too!

Oils- provide cooking and frying oils such as olive oil, canola oil, etc.

Snacks- It’s best to provide items that are fairly universal, identifiable, and non-perishable. For instance crackers, cookies and chips are great options since they don’t go bad for a long time. However, unless you are providing a local favorite, don’t skimp and buy off-brand items, be sure to provide items that are fairly well known to the masses, such as Doritos, Cheetos, Chips Ahoy, etc.

Coffee- it’s almost a ritual in the US for many people in the morning to have their “cup of joe”, so be sure to provide options, and enough to last your guests for the length of their stay.

There are many items that are needed in the kitchen, so be prepared to spend a decent portion of your budget in this room when first setting up your vacation rental. Don’t worry, these expenses are usually a one time cost!  

When selecting the decor and accessories for your kitchen, there is a lot to remember, but if you purchase my e-book “How to Use Interior Design to Increase Your Vacation Bookings”, you can get a full list of all the items needed in your kitchen!

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New Book being released!

Hi There!

Just wanted to let you know that my new e-book “How to Create A Healthy Home” is being released on June 1st. This book will go over all the building materials, furnishings, finishes, and household items like cleaning products can produce a toxins that negatively impacting your health. Air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. In 2012, around 7 million people died, one in eight of total global deaths, as a result of air pollution. 4.3 million of those deaths were attributable to indoor air pollution…. but did you also know that the air inside your home is likely to be 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside your home? Be sure to sign up for the pre-sale of this kindle e-book (available through amazon) to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your household.


You can pre-order your copy for 99 cents by click the link below":

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Why you should work with a Professional Photographer for your Vacation Rental

You've probably heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”, and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to vacation rentals! Often times people who are booking your home rarely even read the description before looking at the photos. So why would you upload amateur photos with bad lighting, terrible composition, or even rubbish in the photo? Photos are designed to appeal to you potential booking, not deter them. Working with a professional photographer can help increase the chances of someone booking your home versus another home in the same area, putting cash in your wallet. 

I had the pleasure of working with Tori McPherson of VVR Marketing, based out of San Diego, CA who photographed my home. She was professional, quick, and has a great eye for detail and amazing composition of each photo, making the entire experience feel fun and relaxed.

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 Here is what Tori had to say about her experience: “On our first project Krystin went above and beyond to make sure the space had enough variety to provide the photographers dream interior design shoot. She is well studied at interior design, very professional to work with, and she can make the California style come to life in any space. She is very sweet, genuine, and creative. Definitely my first choice for interior designers in San Diego!”

 

Here are some more photos from our photo shoot: 

 

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This photo is one of my personal favorites that Tori took. The composition of this photo is created by using a rule in photography called golden section of symmetry which draws your attention into the photo. It is also well lit and makes this room feel warm and inviting. 

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Tori was able to get the entire living room seating area in one shot, turning my rather drab grey sofa into a lively looking component of this room. 

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in my living room, I was going for a fun but relaxed Californian vibe with linen pillows, palm photos, and accessories which Tori captures perfectly. 

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it’s always fun to be able to mix up bedding, pillows, art and accessories to create an entirely new and unique space. We kept the headboard, and some of the basic bedding, but made it a slightly more feminine room with dusty pink colors and gold accessories.

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This is my living room wall with a built-in bookshelf and our music station with a record player and a rather extensive collection of records stored under the player on this console table.  

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These statues are one of favorite accessories because they have a personal connection for me. My great grandmother made these. I also have a set of zebras that my grandmother made. I love their unique shapes and their antiqued ceramic surfaces. 

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And that’s me!

I hate having my photo taken, it makes me nervous (I get sweaty palms and all!) but Tori did a great job of not only capturing the room I was sitting in, but also capturing my personality in this smile (she always makes me laugh!). I am so thankful to have such a wonderful photographer who is able to bring my home to life in these professionally curated photos. Check out the tab “portfolio” to see more photos! 

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Humble Design : an amazing non-profit organization

I had the opportunity to spend a couple hours volunteering at an amazing non-profit organization that helps create homes for the homeless. I love being able to put my skills as a designer to good use. I have been looking for an organization that I could make an impact on my community and I think I found the perfect place!

The staff at @humbledesign is so kind and have the biggest hearts. Can’t wait to be of help in the future to them!

If you are interested in Supporting them, they are looking for lightly used furniture, art, accessories, toys, etc. for the homes.


They are also one of the non-profits you can support when you shop at smile.amazon.com!

So the things you were already going to buy on amazon now can help benefit this amazing group of people, caring and giving back so generously to our community!

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That’s me, outside their warehouse, just after finishing pulling some items for their next installation (and I got to paint some art!).  

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Creating homes for the homeless! I’m so grateful to this organization for letting me be able to share my skills with my community in a meaningful way. 

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The amazing volunteers at Humble Design creating beautiful spaces for those in need! 

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What websites should I use for my Vacation Rental?

There are several websites you should consider using depending on where your home is and who you are trying to attract.

HOMEAWAY AND VRBO IS FOR TRADITIONAL RESORT EXPERIENCES

If your home is in a ”destination location” like by the beach, in the mountains, or in a desert location, you should consider using Homeaway and VRBO. Travelers searching for vacation rentals in a resort destination often go straight to HomeAway and VRBO. Travelers who are searching for the traditional resort experience are often traveling in a group of family members, friends, or even business partners and usually for several days, or even weeks. So be sure to consider their home needs as they will vary from group to group.

AIRBNB IS IDEAL FOR URBAN DESTINATIONS AND WEEKEND BOOKINGS

Airbnb is the go-to site for millennial’s and young travelers looking for properties in urban destinations. If you have a vacation rental in a city or trendy location, you should strongly consider using Airbnb. Airbnb travelers tend to be more interested in weekend bookings & shorter stays, so be prepared to have a higher turn over rate each month.

TRIPADVISOR AND BOOKING.COM ARE BEST FOR THE WIDEST RANGE OF TRAVELERS AND LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS

Booking.com and TripAdvisor are large international platforms that cover more diverse options for travel accommodations beyond vacation rentals, including hotel options, B&Bs, and more (so you will have a strong competition!). These travelers are often traveling internationally, and the group size can vary, but are usually small groups of 2-5. Think of this group of travelers as more nomadic than Airbnb, VRBO, or HomeAway, so their needs will be a little different and more basic in nature. If a traveler is specifically looking for a vacation rental, these platforms may not be the first place they look, so you may want to use other websites in addition to this option if you are looking for a full booking schedule. Also, be aware that this site has the highest cancellation rates in comparison to other websites, so be prepared.

COLLEGEWEEKENDS.COM IS NEW, BUT OBVIOUSLY FOR THE YOUNG TRAVELER

The travelers who are searching CollegeWeekends.com are usually going to be college students, and often value price and location over comfort. You can think of this website as more like a “hostel” experience. This is the perfect place to list that spare room in your house, especially if you are walking distance to a college campus. The website also caters to family members who want to visit college students, without having to go through the hassle of commuting to and/or from the nearest hotel after a long day touring a campus or watching the late local college football game. If you are going to list your home on this website, be prepared to be booked when school is in session (during the spring and fall), but you may experience some lack of bookings through this website during the winter and summer months as it’s likely that fewer people will be using the site.

These are the websites that are currently dominating the industry, but it is always changing and there are new sites popping up often, so check back in for more updates, and share your finds in the comments below!

Happy Booking!

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What to put in your Guest’s Welcome Basket

When including gifts for your guests in your welcome basket, be sure that you ask your guests of any food restrictions or allergies if you plan to purchase an edible gift. You can also ask your guests what the occasion for their trip is; perhaps a honeymoon? Maybe roses and champagne would be a nice gift, or perhaps if it is a family vacation, maybe a coloring book for the kids. Try to think of what you could provide (for minimal expense). The more thoughtful the gift, the more likely you are to get an extra positive review!

So, what goes into a perfect vacation rental welcome basket?  It combines both practical and personal items. Let’s take a look at the best items you can include!

 

PRACTICAL ITEM: COFFEE OR SHOWER SUPPLIES

Many people are self proclaimed coffee-fiends. So providing a coffee maker, or coffee pod dispenser could be essential is reaching that “superhost” status. The higher end your property is, the higher end your coffee machine and coffee brand should be. Provide plenty of coffee mugs for your guests as well in addition to creamers, sugar, stirrers, etc. 

If you opt for shower supplies, make sure they are gender-neutral. Shampoo, Condition, and Body Wash are optional, since most people will bring their own, but it is all about the thoughtful gestures here. Consider what type of products you are providing as well, some people may be allergic to certain chemicals in the options you provide. 

 

PERSONAL ITEM: LOCAL ITEMS

All travelers like these types of items. You can add artisan chocolate or a typical cheese from the area. Honey, jam or traditional pasta, etc. What is your town known for? Not everything has to be edible! You can also include handmade soaps, candles or similar things to enjoy once they are back at home. You can even think about partnering with other local businesses to provide these items as part of your welcome pack! Think about what makes your house unique, and what you love about the city or town you are in, and try to come up with something that is gender-neutral, that any guest could enjoy. (Food is my personal go-to for suggestions, because everyone’s gotta eat!)

It’s also a nice touch to provide a handwritten card welcoming your guest to your home.

You can place your welcome book inside your welcome basket as an added touch of originality as well!

This is an example of a creative way of displaying a gift for your guests- this host is providing sunglasses in Sunny San Diego for their guests! The glasses are only $3 each, but they are very thoughtful, and will help give this host a 5 star review!

This is an example of a creative way of displaying a gift for your guests- this host is providing sunglasses in Sunny San Diego for their guests! The glasses are only $3 each, but they are very thoughtful, and will help give this host a 5 star review!

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What to put in Your Welcome Book

Every vacation rental should have a welcome book!

First, what is a welcome book? It includes everything guests may want to know about your home, the area, the town, the city, the history, current events, trendy or new spots, transportation, places of interest, restaurants (best local pizza, best happy hour, late night food, etc.). It may seem like a lot of effort, but remember you’ll only have to provide this written information once – then you can reuse it for all your future guests. This is also a moment for you to reflect on fond memories of the house or the area your home is in. With these tips, you can now create a welcome pack that will leave your guests impressed and excited about their stay.

Don’t forget that presentation is important – Do not place a bunch of posters or papers all over a corkboard, this looks messy and as if your suggestions were an after thought for your guests, which you never want your guests to feel. You want to amaze your guests!

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Bathroom Decor Tips for Your Vacation Rental

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Give your bathroom the attention it deserves. Put away personal hygiene products. Scrub bathtubs, toilets, and shower walls. Make clean and bright your goal. I can not stress this enough- the level of cleanliness of your bathroom will be a key factor into your reviews. Provide at least two body towels, one hand, and one face towel for each guest. Make sure you also provide essential toiletries like hand soap, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. You should also provide a blow-dryer for your guests (one in every full bathroom). While it’s not necessary, it’s nice to provide your guest with toiletries they may have forgotten: toothbrush, toothpaste, Q-tips, cotton balls, etc. Should you choose to provide shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, consider travel sizes are best for new guests- this also can create a fond memoir when a guests leave your space and uses the products again during another trip, reminding them of your vacation rental, and possibly sparking repeat bookings. 

Your bathroom supplies should be easy to find and be full/new. Do not leave your previous guests half filled shampoo bottle in the shower- this will only remind your new guest that there was someone here before them. And while that is true, they do not need to be reminded of this fact. You would never see this happen in a quality hotel, so why would it be acceptable in your vacation rental? It’s almost on the same par as leaving hair in the shower. Eww!

 It’s also a great idea to provide your bathrooms with accessories that match (Tissue cover, trash can, canister, soap dish, etc.) as labels cause a visual distraction. Providing accessories that match gives a clean cohesive look. Just think about your favorite high-end hotel, they don’t leave out their tissue boxes with labels all over it, so why should you?

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Introducing my YouTube channel!

Hello Friends! I am excited to introduce to you my new YouTube channel! I am going to discuss what to do, and what not to do in your home.

In case you haven’t already seen it, here is my first video where I share with you why I chose to focus my interior design services on vacation rentals:

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Website Tips for Vacation Rentals

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DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR OWN WEBSITE

Don’t underestimate the power of your own website. Every reputable business you know of has its own website – and vacation rentals shouldn’t be any different. Besides listing on Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s) like Airbnb, having your own website provides travelers with a place to book directly with you – saving you both money on commissions that OTA’s would charge you if your guest were to book through their website instead.

Plus your website is the one advertising space you are completely in control of. For instance, if you were to solely rely on the bookings you got from OTA website’s, and they were to change their rules or policies, your listing might be pushed out of view of potential guests, or even worse, be removed completely! Why? Because they own their website and can whatever they like with it. This is why you want to host your own website in addition to OTA websites, so you are in control. You show your potential guests only what you want them to see, and everything you want them to see.

In addition, You can share testimonials, social media account information, more information about you, your property, or the area. This is the space where you can share any additional information not listed on the OTA websites. Having this information in addition to a personalized website also helps legitimize you as a business.

There are three most important elements of a vacation rental website:

          1. High-quality Professional photographs.

          2. A captivating description of the property and the area.

          3. Legitimate Positive Reviews or Testimonials of past guests.

 

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5 Interior Decor Tips for Your Vacation Rental You Should Start Using Right Now

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It is all about your guest’s experience

Since most vacation rental owners don’t have a degree in Hospitality, or 10+ years experience working at a hotel, there are often small but VERY important experiences that our guest’s have that we might be overlooking. Here is a list of items you should consider using in your vacation rental immediately- making you the super host in your area!

  1. Front Door: Make sure it has a clean doormat with a working light. Consider the condition and color of your door as well- does it need new paint? Maybe a pop of color so it draws more attention?

  2. Entry: Make sure there is an area to “drop” everything a guest will have with them by the front door (luggage, cellphone, keys, hats, jackets, etc.). You want your guests to have somewhere to dump everything while they take a look around and explore your room options and get themselves orientated with their new surroundings (without lugging everything with them, and possibly damaging the walls, doors, trim of your home).

  3. Living Room: Make sure the remotes to the TV are easy to find and navigate. The coffee table is also a great place to leave local magazines, your recommendations for guests, and a guest book (if you choose). You don’t want guests to have to hunt around the room for things they will need, so baskets are also a great way to keep these essential things all in one location.

  4. Bedroom: Make sure you have extra blankets. Just because you only need 1 blanket at night doesn’t mean your guests will feel the same way. It’s always better to over deliver than to under-deliver to your guests. Extra pillows are a nice gesture as well and don’t cost very much.

  5. Bathroom: Provide at least two body towels, one hand, and one face towel for each guest. Make sure you also provide essential toiletries like hand soap, shampoo, condition, and body wash. You should also provide a blow-dryer for your guests, and if you want those bonus points; robes. It’s also nice to provide your guest with toiletries they may have forgotten: toothbrush, toothpaste, Q-tips, cotton balls, etc. Your bathroom supplies should be easy to find and be full/new. Do no leave your previous guests half filled shampoo bottle in the shower- this will only remind your new guest that there was someone here before them. And while that is true, they do not need to be reminded of this fact. It’s also a great idea to provide your bathrooms with accessories that match (Tissue cover, trash can, canister, soap dish, etc.) and it is best to remove or cover all store labels as they cause a distraction. Travel size shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are best for new guests- this also can create a fond memoir when a guests leave your space and uses the products again during another trip, reminding them of your vacation rental, and possibly sparking repeat bookings.

  • Additional Tip: Consider how your space smells also. Use air fresheners when needed, but also air out your space when guests leave by opening the windows and letting in fresh air. Make sure all vents and ducts are cleaned monthly to keep that fresh scent in your home. One great way to keep a fresh scent in your home is to add a few drops of vanilla oil to your wall paint before you start painting. This keeps your walls fresh and your rooms smelling delicious.

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Decor Ideas for Your Vacation Rental’s Backyard

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Being that I am in California where it is sunny almost all year round, outdoor living space is a big deal here. As in most states, especially during the summer, many people want to enjoy the nice weather and be outside. So it only makes sense to put just as much thought and effort into your vacation rental’s outdoor living situation as you would inside.

Your Backyard/Patio/Balcony is your guest’s outdoor oasis-so let’s make it feel like one!

First, in order to make it feel like an oasis you have to consider the lighting situation. Do you have outdoor lighting? If so, how does the lighting make the space feel? Is there just one giant spot light that makes you feel like you are under interrogation? Or are there many small warm lights scattered throughout the space distributing light evenly across the entire area? Now for the lighting choice itself- Are you going for a modern clean line look? Or a whimsical bohemian vibe? These are two polar opposite types of lighting for a space, so you will need to pick a style and stick with it. Lighting color is also important. Stick to warm white light- it’s soft, romantic and gives your skin that healthy glowing color.

Second, you will need seating. How many seats will depend on how many beds you have (real or make-shift included). You will need 1 seat for each of the guests that would be sleeping in your vacation rental. If your space is designed for entertaining, you will want a couple of extra seats for additional guests. Consider how guests will use these seats too- will they be floor pillows that guests can lounge around with? Or dining chairs? Will the seats need cushions for comfort? If so, consider how and where the cushions will be stored.

Third, you will want some greenery. This not only makes the space feel less sterile, but also can make an impact on the inside of your unit as well if you have windows that face the yard space. You don’t need to over-do this space and make it feel like a jungle. But 1-3 plants certainly helps create a more welcoming space. One idea is to have some pots with herbs (mint, chives, rosemary, oregano, basil, or parsley). Not only are herbs quite resilient, they can also be used for cooking and they smell nice too! Be sure if you are going to have pots outside that you have a base to hold excess water. This will keep your floors clean and your plants healthy and not over watered. If you have plants that need attention during a portion of your guest’s stay, be sure to let them know that someone will be stopping by just to water the plants. If they value their privacy, they can move the plants to a more accessible, less intrusive location, but this should be decided on before they book their stay with you- as most people are on vacation and are not looking to do chores. For this reason I suggest getting evergreen or drought resistant plants- they require little maintenance and can withstand most weather patterns.

Last but certainly not least…. Use this area as an advertisement for your home! Not everyone will have a space like this for their guests- so if you’ve got it, flaunt it! Prep your space with accessories like towels, dinner ware, wine glasses, picnic baskets, magazines - whatever your guests might need or want when sitting in your outdoor space.

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Annoucing the release of my E-Book "How to Use Interior Design to Increase Your Vacation Rental Bookings!"

Guess what!? I wrote another small e-book! This one was written to help those who have vacation rentals increase their bookings by using what I know best- Interior Design. You’ll get boat loads of useful tips that you can start using immediately to help make you and your small business more money in your vacation rental(s)! Check it out on amazon (by clicking the image below). Let me know what you think!

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