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Increase Your Bookings: How To Stage A Vacation Rental

Have you ever walked into the vacation rental you’ll be staying in for the next week and wondered how it looks so much nicer than your own home? There is actually a reason for this, and it’s not just because it has been looked after by a professional cleaner. In fact, the host has staged the property to give it the luxurious feel you love. 

Staging a vacation rental is a big part of success for hosts because it makes guests feel more comfortable and as though they have gotten away from the real world. Everything is ordered to perfection, and people see your effort. 

But how do you stage your own vacation rental? Continue reading to find out. 


What does staging a vacation rental involve?

Staging a vacation rental is similar to what real estate agents do to a house when they’re getting ready to sell it. It makes the place look as homely as possible and gives viewers a feel of what it would be like to live there. This is similar to vacation rentals; however, the guests do actually get to stay there. 

Staging is more popular for the images you place on your listing, by placing a bottle of wine and a glass on the dining table or a board game in front of the sofa. However, it can also create the ultimate setting for their first walk into the property. When they get that ‘wow’ factor straight away, they are more likely to be impressed for the rest of their stay. 


Why should you stage your vacation rental?

Staging a vacation rental is extremely important and could be the make-or-break deciding factor about whether a potential guest stays with you or if a past guest gives you a great review. People aren’t going to want to book to stay in a property that is dark, small, and empty. That’s why you want to stage your rental with enough lighting and amenities and move your furniture around to give the illusion of more space. 

You can increase the price of your vacation rental by a bit of staging too. You can easily amp up the nightly cost by simply moving a few things around, doing a bit of cleaning, and adding some flowers and nice-smelling objects. This is also all done without spending a ton on huge renovations. 

Overall, you’ll receive a higher income due to more bookings, and you’re also more likely to have return guests do their luxury stay. 



The best ways to stage a vacation rental

So, you now know that it is important to stage your vacation rental, but how do you do it? It isn’t just cleaning up the trash and dirty dishes around your property; it involves much more. From adding extra pieces of decor to letting more natural light into your living room, here are the best ways you can stage your vacation rental:


Maximize your space

There’s nothing worse than scrolling through available Airbnb rentals and seeing a fairly priced property in the area you want but then seeing the rooms are cramped and look tiny. On the other hand, guests like rooms that give them the illusion of more space, which is why you will want to move furniture around and use colors that maximize the area. 

Try to opt for light colors or white when you’re originally decorating a room. Similarly, avoid patterned furniture as it can make rooms seem more crowded than they are. Another thing to try is moving all your furniture around, usually closer to the walls, to give the illusion of more space. 


Optimize the lighting

No one likes to walk into a dark and morbid room, especially when they’re on holiday. Instead, they want a bright and welcoming place, which can be done by optimizing the amount of lighting you let into your property. Of course, natural light is always the best, so try and keep the curtains open for photos and take them during the day. 

When guests come to stay at your property, they won’t be able to use natural light during the day. Therefore, you must make the most out of your lighting options. Try and opt for warmer bulbs that have been hung up at different heights, so it isn’t too harsh or too dark.


Don’t overcrowd

Too much furniture and too much clutter can make a room look unattractive and potentially scare off guests. You want to keep your space looking as minimalistic as possible, with only the eye-catching furnishings and amenities on show. When too much is displayed, potential guests can quickly lose interest and move on to the next vacation rental. 

Go through each room in the property and ask yourself if an item or piece of decor is necessary. At the same time, make sure no trash or dirty dishes are lying around. You want your rooms to look clean and luxurious at the same time. And the best rooms are the ones with less in them. 


Pay attention to the details

There are sometimes details in the rooms of your property that don’t look good, but you may not notice them yourself. For example, if the wires from your TV are hanging out and tangled between each other, it provides the guests with a feeling of unprofessionalism. A solution for something like this is placing a cable organizer behind the TV.

Check to see if there are any minor stains or hanging seams on any of your pieces of furniture as well. While it may not be something that bothers you, it could bother one of your guests and help them decide to leave a bad review.


Hire a professional

If all of this seems too confusing and you’re worried you won’t stage your vacation rental to perfection, you can always opt for a helping hand. Luckily, there are professionals who know how to do every stage of staging a property and can help your rental look fantastic. They will give you advice, and you can confirm with them whether you want the changes made.

Choosing the right professional is important. Ensure they meet your needs and have worked specifically with vacation rentals. At the same time, you’ll want to read through their reviews and check that they are up to the job.



Don’t forget to focus on the exterior

When hosts start staging their vacation rental, they often forget about the exterior of their property. Even if your guests spend most of their time indoors, for some, the outside may be a selling point, and you need to make sure it is up to scratch as well. Here are a few tips on how you can spruce up the outside of your rental:


Maintain the lawn and hedges

An overgrown lawn is not a pretty site, whether at a vacation rental or your own home. If you upload photos of your exterior on your rental listing and your lawn hasn’t been looked after, or if your new guests arrive and the hedges haven’t been trimmed, it isn’t going to look good for you. 

If you have any form of greenery in your garden, it needs to be maintained frequently and not only once for staging your rental photos. The same goes for any other plants, such as flowers. Ensure you are looking after them regularly and giving them enough water and sunlight so they don’t die.


Furnish your garden

A bare garden is a boring garden, so you may want to introduce a few pieces of stylish furniture into your outdoor space. One of the best things you can add is a seating area, with a possible fireplace in the middle where your guests can sit around at night. It will add an extra feature to your property for a low price. 

Some other furnishings you may want to add to your garden include hammocks, swings, and sun loungers. Add as much furniture as you can into your outdoor space, as you don’t want to clutter the area. You can always consult with an exterior designer for some more advice. 


Clean the patio and pool

Not every property will have a patio or pool, but if you do, you must also take care of these areas. Patios and pools will commonly accumulate a lot of dirt and leaves, making the overall exterior of the rental look unsightly. Tidying up these areas will help you take perfect photos for your listing, but you also need to maintain the areas for your guests too. 

Sweeping down and pressure washing your patio should do the trick every week or fortnight, depending on the season. At the same time, you’ll need to clean out the accumulated dirt and leaves from the pool sometimes twice a week. 


Final thoughts 

Staging a property involves a lot of hard work, but it will pay off in the long run. The best vacation rentals are those that have high-quality photos on their listing and are always in immaculate condition when the guests first walk in. If you keep on top of the staging of your property, you will no doubt gain more bookings and receive excellent reviews.