Cleaning your rental property may not be the most glamorous task, but a clean space can improve your reviews online and increase repeat bookings. While the usual cleaning suspects are critical—including vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen, and scrubbing the bathrooms—sometimes the little details can have more of an impact than you realize. Here are a few easy-to-tackle but often-overlooked areas that can make a big difference in the appearance of your property.
The microwave can get really dirty in a short amount of time. Since the inside of the microwave isn’t the first thing renters see, it’s often overlooked. But when someone opens the microwave and finds it dirty with the previous renter’s food, it can sour a positive first impression. Even worse, with the amount of food allergies today, dirty microwaves can be dangerous. Here’s a simple trick for keeping it spotless:
Fill a small bowl with about one cup of water.
Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl.
Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for three minutes.
Let the bowl sit, uninterrupted, for five minutes.
Open the door and remove the bowl. Wipe down the ceiling and walls of the microwave. Sometimes the turntable can be removed and washed in a sink, if necessary.
Just like the microwave, the inside of the dishwasher can become very dirty, and has the potential to turn a positive rental experience negative very quickly. Take a few moments to clean it out between renters for sanitary reasons, and to avoid mold and future damage to the appliance. The dishwasher can also be cleaned while you are tackling other items around the house.
Remove any excess food particles.
Pour baking soda on any food stained areas and let sit for five to 10 minutes.
Use a small sponge or toothbrush to wipe away baking soda. Some stains need to sit for a longer period of time than others. Bonus: Baking soda also helps cut down on food odors.
Pour two cups of vinegar on the bottom of the dishwasher.
Run the dishwasher on energy saving mode.
Let it sit closed after the cycle is completed for about 20 minutes.
Open and wipe down the inside. Vinegar will help remove food stains as well as hard water stains.
Lots of renters won’t even use the oven if they are on vacation. Regardless, it’s important to check its condition between renters. If a food spill is left unchecked, it can lead to smoke, odors and even fire. For difficult food spills in the oven:
Place an oven-safe bowl of water on the middle rack.
Set the temperature and 450 and bake for 20 minutes.
Wipe down the walls of the oven. Use towels and sponges as required to remove baked-on food.
One of the places most people forget to clean is located right above their heads. Ceiling fans, picture frames and vents all collect dust. No renter wants to turn on a ceiling fan on a hot day, only to create a dust storm. Purchase a long handled duster, and wipe all of these high and hard-to-reach areas down in between rental agreements.
Even if a home isn’t perfectly clean, certain smells can give a cleaner impression. Use universally pleasing scents such as vanilla or lemon to make your rental property feel crisp, clean and warm when renters arrive. While you can use air fresheners or candles, you can also dab a bit of vanilla scented oil onto a cotton ball and place it in the air filter of the vacuum. When you run the vacuum, it will infuse the air.
Pro Tip: Create a Cleaning Kit
Most rental agreements specify leaving a space “broom clean.” The act of simply leaving cleaning supplies where renters can see them and access them encourages cleaning. Assemble a small cleaning kit on every floor of your rental home, and stock it with fresh, easily recognizable cleaning products. Make sure the product labels and instructions are easy to read. If you have special instructions on how to clean something, such as the kitchen counters, make sure to include these instructions in written form near the applicable cleaning products.
Here’s what to include in the cleaning kit:
Instructions for cleaning
Paper towels and rags
Bathroom cleaners — toilet, shower, floor, etc.
Make sure to exclude anything that could cause damage to your property if used improperly, such as bleach.
Keeping a rental property in top form is easy if you establish a cleaning routine that encompasses all areas of the space. It is important to leave nothing out, and complete the same tasks every time the property is rented. Create a checklist for yourself, or your property manager, to ensure nothing falls between the cracks.
About the Author Bonnie Dewkett is a cleaning and organizing expert who writes for Quill.com and The Joyful Organizer. She is passionate about helping people declutter and loves to see the positive impact that getting organized has on their lives.
And yet you still face “The Case of the Disappearing Guest.”
That is: you have a promising early exchange with a potential guest, the ball seems to be steadily rolling toward a booking, and then they simply vanish—never to be heard from again, no matter how many follow-ups you send.
With all these checkmarks working to your advantage, what the heck happened?
In my 20+ years as a vacation rental guest, I’ve been through the inquiry process many times…from the other side of the potential transaction. Allow me to be your case study.
In the below article I’m going to share with you a few of my most memorable booking experiences, and why they’ve stuck with me. (These are real-life examples, but I’ll leave out names to respect the privacy of the owners.)
In The Bookings Race, the Hare Usually Wins
We vacationed in Sandbridge, VA in the summer of 2013. We didn’t want to stay in Virginia Beach (too busy) and OBX was booked. I luckily struck on Sandbridge, a quiet community nestled between Virginia Beach and OBX. Perfect!
I searched, sent out multiple inquiries, and then sat back for the waiting game. Except this time was different. Before I’d even sent out my final inquiry I received a response from a local property manager. It wasn’t the most detailed and personal of responses, but it had one major asset: it was rapid!
Guess what? We booked her place.
When it comes to vacation rentals, ignore the “slow and steady” argument, as well as any advice that tells you to avoid the immediate response for fear of “coming on too strong.” In the race to convert a guest inquiry, the speed of response is probably the biggest factor in locking down a booking. And the easiest, too.
How fast should you respond? As fast as possible, really.
After all, the modern vacation rental guest is generally always “on,” and always ready to book. Especially the millennial generation, who were raised on instant access and fast communication. If you can manage to respond in less than 2-3 hours, then you’re right up there with the best of them (within reason, of course – you do have to sleep!).
Your Guests Have iPhones – Call Them!
It’s the age of the millennial guest, I know. But many of us gadget-crazed guests do sometimes use the phone for its traditional use!
Case in point – I was headed to Sanibel, FL last year with my family. I sent out some inquiries and received a call from an owner who wanted to know if I had any questions about the property.
I confess; I was a little taken aback. I didn’t expect a call. But after 10 seconds of adjusting and composing, I settled in for a great chat, and 5 minutes later I’d booked a stay at his 2-bedroom condo. Afterward, I received responses via email from a few other owners. But they’d already lost out to our old-fashioned friend…the humble telephone!
Equally impressive was the phone call I received from the same owner on our first morning at the condo, just to see how things were going. This is an owner who clearly cares about the entire guest experience. Cynics may suggest the owner was somehow intrusive or snooping, but I felt only positive vibes!
(As a related aside… although I’ve never received a video response to an inquiry, I have seen many examples used by owners over at Matt Landau’s Inner Circle. Highly personal and certainly trust-fostering…a great mode of replying!)
You’re Way Cooler Than Any Guide Book
My family is taking a trip this summer to Daufuskie Island, SC. This wasn’t our original plan; I’d been looking at Hilton Head Island, but an intrepid owner sold me on Daufuskie.
If you know Daufuskie, you’ll know there are no grocery stores, and you can’t drive to the island – it’s boat transfer only. Presented with a few logistical challenges, we started to wonder if Hilton Head might be the less-stressful choice. Right on cue, the owner in Daufuskie alleviated our fears with her expertise. From boat transfer choices, to online grocery shopping options—she covered it all.
Had it not been for this owner on Daufuskie, we would almost certainly have favored the easier route of Hilton Head. And on top of that, she didn’t just give functional information; she also gave us a list of local hangouts, and even a couple of local cooks who will bring prepared food right to our rental.
No bookstore guidebook can match this kind of personal knowledge. They almost always lack suggestions for the “Mom & Pop” places that us modern guests like to frequent. After all, we’re looking for that one-off local experience to remind us where we are in the world. It stems from the same value base that led us to stay in a vacation rental in the first place!
All of this is even more relevant when you consider the person tasked with finding and reserving the vacation rental. He or she has the added pressure of the group to find the perfect stay for everyone. So lend that harried person a hand, and differentiate yourself in the process!
Personalize Your Communications
As I said, those of us looking at vacation rentals over more traditional lodging are often searching for a more personal way to travel. Yes, price is important, but it’s very often a unique experience that guests are after. You can only stay in so many essentially identical places before you crave something a little different.
Use this personal angle to your advantage in all your guest communications. For example, if your potential guest mentions or marks that they have 2 kids, elaborate on your property’s kid-friendly features in your response. Something like:
We’re delighted to confirm that our villa is available for your chosen dates at the price of x.
I notice that you have two kids traveling with you. We’ve spent many happy vacations here with our own children, and we’ve got lots of amenities to keep them entertained! From the large rear garden and heated pool, to the cart of beach gear that we provide to all our guests, to the games room complete with pool table and foosball….”
I’ve seen so many inquiry responses that simply tell me the property is available. When I find a personal touch—something that shows the owner has thought about me, personally—I will pay attention, and more often than not, close the whole thing with a booking.
No more “Case of the Disappearing Guest”!
Andy McNulty is Co-Founder of Guest Hook, the web’s first vacation rental copywriting agency, and Touch Stay, a digital welcome book to help you create great guest experiences through modern technology. Having grown up on vacation rentals, he is passionate about the industry and believes its greatest asset is the personal, 1-to-1 approaches of owners and property managers.
The ultimate goal in listing your vacation rental is to increase its potential for profitability. You place your offer up on a site like FlipKey, get in front of thousands of interested travelers, and start making money by renting it out – right? Not entirely. In order for your listing to work, you have to run your rental like a savvy small business owner would run a successful storefront. Your home and the customer service that accompanies it must provide the things your renters want and need in order for you to reach the highest level of profitability through renting. If you’re still a bit new to the small business mindset, have no fear! Check out these 6 tips to run your vacation rental like a real-life entrepreneur.
Evaluate and Understand Potential Risks
Outlining and covering your potential risks as a vacation home owner is the first step in successfully managing your rental. Small business owners take time to understand possible causes for profit loss, and find practical solutions to cover each. List your concerns first then pair each with a measure of prevention. Whether these prevention measures include contract modifications, additional security, or specialty insurance, take time to research your options and find those with the highest potential for reducing risks.
Invest in Security
Speaking of security, ensuring the safety of your customers will be critical. This holds true in every industry, however, it is especially important for consumers within the hospitality industry. Many home owners fail to see the importance of a home security system. You may hold this personal preference when it comes to your home, but you shouldn’t treat your rental like your home. It’s your business. Investing in a business security system will help you provide the reassurance your guests need to enjoy a comfortable and safe stay. It will also help you protect your profits from break-ins and potentially dishonest guests.
Think of the Consumers’ Needs Before They Do
Successful business owners are constantly thinking of ways they can further improve their product/service to better meet their consumers’ unique needs. Think like your consumer to get a better idea of what they will want and need during their stay at your rental. Think of the things you appreciate having during an out of town stay, and make these available to guests of your rental. Also understand your area and provide information and materials that stand to benefit visitors. Examples of this could include providing bottled water for vacation rentals located in warm climates like Las Vegas or Phoenix, or offering hot chocolate for winter travelers in Park City or Denver. The FlipKey vacation inspiration page could serve as a useful tool here to get ideas from travel guides and “best of…” galleries.
Consider a Third-Party Cleaning Service
A clean environment is essential to the success of any business. As a business owner in the hospitality industry, it is your responsibility to provide a clean home. Unfortunately, you may not have the time to clean your home well enough to meet the hospitality industry’s standards after every guest. This is where a third party cleaning service can help! Online housekeeping guides like Housekeeping.com can help you find quality housekeeping services that won’t blow your rental profits. Find a service that works for you, then schedule regular cleaning appointments in between stays to ensure each guest is welcomed with a spotless vacation home.
Listen to Consumer Reviews
An important part of continuously meeting your consumers’ needs is to actually listen to their reviews following a stay. Smart entrepreneurs pay attention to both positive and negative reviews and do their best to understand reviewers’ comments from the consumer’s perspective. FlipKey provides a section for consumer reviews to help you with this part of your rental management. If you’d like additional feedback from renters who didn’t leave a review, try sending a quick follow up after their stay to say thank you for choosing your listing and ask if there were any additional amenities/resources they would have found useful during their stay.
Keep up on Market Trends
An integral part of managing your rental like a successful small business is staying competitive. Small business owners are constantly watching market trends and making improvements to keep up in competitive markets. Look at successful listings in your area to see what they’re offering. Check out their reviews to see what travelers are saying about their stays. Are you currently doing these things? What could you do to generate the same raving reviews? Additionally, you should keep up on what’s trending in the promotion of successful listings. How can you get your listing out in front of more interested users and by way of which avenues? FlipKey recently published an article with some great tips for using social media to promote your listing.
Cosette Jarrett is a contributing writer for several lifestyle and tech blogs. Her current work includes roles as the go-to tech girl at HighSpeedInternet.com and regular contributor to the Lifehack and Business 2 Community blogs. She enjoys creating pieces to help both businesses and consumers find increased simplicity and efficiency at work and on the go.
One of the most useful items you can provide your guests is a basic guide, or welcome book, that gives a snapshot of your area. In this book, you can compile all important information into one place, helping to reduce questions from guests while reinforcing their impression of you as an organized owner. Leave your welcome book in a place where your guests are sure to find it when they arrive, like an entryway table or kitchen counter.
Make the information easy to find, by using a binder with tabs separating each section. Along with your tips, consider placing a welcome letter at the beginning of your book. This can be a short note of thanks that will help make your guests feel at home when they first arrive.
To get you started, here’s a list of items we recommend you include:
Emergency numbers/contact information
Wi-Fi network and password
Check out times and departure instructions
“How to use” guides
Water and septic systems
Provided household supplies
Toilet paper, paper towels, linens, etc
Restaurants – include menus for takeout and delivery options
Grocery stores, farmer’s markets/stands
Local attractions – hiking trails, best beaches, amusement parks, etc
In the vacation rental industry, repeat customers can be a strong proponent for your listing. Happy and repeat customers typically provide stellar reviews, book in advance, and can provide traveler insight and tips on how to improve your property that owners may not consider. So how can you attract repeat customers? We’ve compiled some tips to help keep your calendar booked.
Before the stay
Once a guest books, it’s important to follow up as soon as possible to address any questions they may have about the property location and surrounding area. Set their mind at ease by providing up to date contact information, should any issues or other questions arise prior to their stay. While your guest may already have planned activities for their vacation, providing insider tips and suggestions of things to do shows your guests that you care about making their experience enjoyable and fun.
During the stay
Create a brochure for your house that includes FAQ’s, house rules, restaurant/activities suggestions, and your contact information. Guests will appreciate having this information at their disposal should they need any assistance.
After the stay
Upon check out, send a thank you note to your guests. Thank you’s add a personal touch that highlight your attention to detail. Remain accessible to answer any post-trip questions your guests may have. For example, if a refundable deposit was included in the reservation, let guests know the timeframe during which they can expect their deposit back. Follow up with guests a few months later to remind them of their wonderful vacation. Providing a special discount for repeat customers gives guests an additional incentive to rebook.
￼Ultimately, remaining accessible, attentive, and personal helps attract quality and repeat customers. Happy bookings!
It’s no secret that vacation rentals are getting more and more competitive, especially in highly booked vacation destinations, and this means that vacation rental owners are having to up their game to attract the most guests. At Air Concierge, one of the ways we do this is by stocking vacation homes with a welcome package. Guests simply LOVE the welcome package and often gush about it in their reviews of the property (which means even more bookings!). A simple gift to welcome your guests to your home sets the proper tone for their stay, makes them feel welcome, and most importantly reminds them that they’re staying in a unique home, not some generic hotel room.
But what do guests really want in their welcome package? What is the perfect item, or perfect combination, that gets those glowing 5-star reviews? Half of us here thought it would be chocolate, while the other half thought it would be fresh flowers. Both have their merits, and both are truly appreciated by the unsuspecting traveler. But we were looking for the best – the thing that would do it every single time. So we ran a test.
Over the summer we placed a box of local, gourmet chocolates in half of our vacation rental properties, while the other half got a vase of fresh, seasonal flowers, and recorded the guest response to each. We discovered that the overwhelming majority of guests preferred the chocolates!
But then we posted about the experiment on our Facebook page. In a notsosurprisingturn, the overwhelming Facebook majority was for both chocolates and flowers! By themselves, chocolate and flowers were tied for votes, and there was even a suggestion for wine being included in the welcome package. We also shared our findings with a few other vacation rental owners and discovered local, nonchocolate food items were also a big hit (examples included salmon jerkey for properties in the Pacific North West and local maple syrup for properties in Canada – this is the perfect opportunity to show your creativity!)
So which is really the best welcome package for vacation rental guests? If you can only include one item, go with some local gourmet chocolates (or, at the very least, a food item). Guests enjoy having a bit of something sweet to greet them after their travels, and returning at the end of a night in your town to find some leftover chocolates puts their mood in a happy place for the evening. But if you really want to up your game as a vacation rental owner, some chocolates and a simple vase of fresh flowers can be the difference between a 4 and 5-star review from an otherwise satisfied guest.
Regardless of what welcome gift you choose for your guests, remember that this too often neglected addition goes a long way and can bring you returns so many times more than the small cost of a box of chocolates.
Ryan Danz is the founder of Air Concierge, a vacation rental property management organization designed to improve the vacation and shortterm rental home experience for property owners and their guests. Ryan is also a California licensed attorney, wellversed in the tax matters surrounding shortterm rental properties and offers his insight to his clients.
As a customer care representative at FlipKey, I have heard from many frustrated travelers who were confused and panicked because their reservation was canceled at the last minute. Many of these travelers were not contacted by the owner explaining the situation, but instead received an email from FlipKey stating that the reservation was canceled and that a refund is on its way. This can lead to some tense conversations, so I recommend that the traveler reach out to the owner to discuss why the reservation was canceled in the first place. Here are some tips to avoid this uncomfortable situation:
Before canceling a reservation, reach out to the traveler by email or phone. Once payment has been made in our system, you are able to see the traveler’s personal email address or phone number and can use them in case situations like this occur.
In the email or phone call, be truthful about why you have to cancel the reservation. Travelers will understand if a pipe has burst at the property and there is water damage, or if a tree limb has fallen through the roof. However, FlipKey does not condone canceling a reservation because you received an inquiry from a second traveler for a larger amount of money.
Find an alternative
Once you have explained the situation to the traveler, work with them to try to find an alternative accommodation that fits their needs. If you have another property that could accommodate the reservation, make sure to provide the traveler with plenty of pictures or a direct link so they can look at it before making their decision to proceed. Or, if you know another owner with availability and are able to work out an agreement, put the traveler in touch with them to work out the details.
In both situations, you’ll want to make sure that you send the traveler a new rental agreement that outlines the updated information.
Offer a future discount
If neither option is available and you have to cancel the reservation, consider offering a discount to the traveler if they re-book during different dates. Try to keep your interaction on good terms so the traveler will consider re-booking with you again once the property is available. Sometimes travelers’ dates are flexible, and if work needs to be done at the property, they can move their vacation a couple of days. Also, the traveler might visit your area often, so there is an opportunity for them to book with you again.
Understand the refund policy
It is also important to inform the traveler that once you issue the cancellation and refund, FlipKey will release those funds back to the card that the traveler paid with, but that it will take 7-10 days for the funds to be processed by the traveler’s bank or credit card company.
While no one likes to have their plans canceled on them, it is still possible for both parties to come out of a situation like this with no hard feelings towards each other. For instance, a couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from a traveler who was contacted by the owner who canceled the reservation a couple days before check-in. The owner worked with the traveler to find alternative accommodations, but nothing was available. So, he issued a full refund and was apologetic and hoped that the traveler could book with him in the future.
When I asked the traveler if she was angry that the reservation was canceled at the last minute, she said she wasn’t. In fact, she was grateful that the owner had actively reached out to her, explained the situation, worked with her to resolve it and was apologetic about the inconvenience. To his credit, the owner was able to take a tense situation and create an outcome that satisfied both parties.
For more information on owner cancellations and refunds, visit our Help Center.
Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the leap and list your vacation rental on FlipKey and TripAdvisor. Now how can you market it? There are several different types of travelers out there, so here are a few tips to help you target the key demographics.
A Family Vacation
Parents want to make sure that their children will be staying in a happy, fun and safe environment. If there are local amusement parks, attractions and restaurants for the whole family, be sure to mention them in your property description. It can also be very difficult to transport all the comforts of home, so why not help to fill a family’s checklist? Do you have family friendly amenities that you don’t mind sharing? A high chair, crib, backyard games and pool toys? Don’t be shy to include them in your property description and amenities. Even that big screen TV and Blu-ray player might come in handy on a rainy day.
The Romantic Getaway
Do you have a quiet and secluded property? Your vacation rental may be the perfect spot for a romantic getaway. When couples plan this type of escape, they want to know that the atmosphere is just right. Your stone fireplace, four poster bed or hot tub may be the key features that separate your property from the rest. Be sure to highlight them by taking advantage of our unlimited photographs on FlipKey and TripAdvisor. You might also want to mention a few dinner spots that are perfect for a night on the town.
A business traveler is looking to stay connected and have a seamless experience getting in and out of town. First, they are looking for a solid WiFi connection. Be sure that WiFi has been added to your list of amenities as it has become a key selling point for all types of travelers. Close proximity to the airport or public transportation is also a strong selling feature. As business travelers don’t always have the option to extend their stay, it may be helpful to cater to these travelers with a nightly rate. Business trips may not fit your minimum stay requirements, but these reservations can help to fill the gap between your weekend and long-term travelers.
Elderly and Special Needs Travelers
Finding a property that caters to travelers with special needs can often be a challenge. If your property is handicap accessible, it can be a major selling point for your listing. Make sure to note that your property is wheelchair and elderly accessible. Prospective travelers have the ability to search for these types of properties using one of FlipKey and TripAdvisor’s many search filters. Also, if your property is not currently listed as pet friendly, you might want to consider making a special exception in the case of a service animal.
You may have already noticed that your listing is a very popular spot among a certain demographic. Why not cater to your market and make it the best?
One of the biggest concerns of many travelers heading on a trip is how they are going to check into the vacation rental and start enjoying their vacation. It’s important to consider the check in procedure that works best for the vacation rental. A stressful check in can set the tone for the trip and influence how the traveler feels about the property.
Coordinating check in times can be difficult when the traveler is coming from far away. A traveler with a long drive or a connecting flight may run into traffic or delays, leaving the owner or property manager waiting and wondering when the traveler will arrive. Having a keyless entry to the property can take these factors out of the equation.
Without keys, as an owner you don’t have to worry about the traveler misplacing the key or not returning it at the end of their stay. You won’t have to make new copies or come to the rescue if a traveler locks themselves out with the key inside on the counter.
As a traveler, you can go enjoy the beach or explore the city without having to bring a key with you-it’s one less thing you have to worry about when lugging your beach chairs, towels, surfboards or wallet, passport, bus passes, etc.
Another advantage is that all members of the group can access the property without all being issued a key. If you’re on vacation with your extended family, the whole family doesn’t have to plan to be back in time for the baby to take a nap, or synchronize your schedules so that everyone is ready to go out to dinner at the same time.
While a keyless entry can save time and help create a hassle-free check in, there are some other factors to keep in mind. Having a keyless entry can make the check in process easier for the owner and the traveler, but communication is essential. Make sure the traveler is aware of the code and the steps to use the keyless entry. If the traveler does not have the correct access code or does not understand how to use the system, this process can be more frustrating than simply having a traditional key. Some travelers may find it more burdensome to remember the code instead of remembering a physical key.
The negative side of not issuing a key to a group of travelers and allowing them to access the property freely is that they can easily share the code with others outside of their group. This makes is difficult to monitor who is coming and going.
Like all technology, there is always the possibility of a system error or hardware malfunction. Battery or electric powered locks prove to be useless when the power source is cut off. Keyless entry systems can also be more expensive than traditional locks and may require more maintenance.
Weigh your options to find the most efficient way to manage reservations and create the ideal experience for the guest. Some of the best keyless entry vendors in the business are: Lockatron, Kaba, Point Central, and Resort Lock.
Stepping into your vacation rental should not feel like you’re stepping into the 1970s, or worse. We all love our grandmas but there’s a reason we poke fun at her shag carpeting, endless refrigerator magnets and Home Shopping Network hoarding – because they are weird. Avoid these design faux pas listed below so your guests can enjoy a modern stay instead of a trip down memory lane.
Floral Patterns on Everything
Although you may treasure a certain bed sheet or pillow covered top to bottom in pale floral prints, which at one point in time used to be vibrant in color, your potential travelers are not experiencing a mutual feeling.
Why Floral Patterns are a Deal Breaker: They can easily be misconstrued for being old and worn. Let’s be honest: everyone wants to climb into a crisp, clean bed at the end of the day. No one wants to wrap themselves up in vintage blankets that once were a part of your crib.
The Fix: Go for something that never goes out of style. Think solids in various arrays of color that make your vacation rental feel warm. If you wish to show off your style, try draping a throw covered in patterns over your couch or try placing a few patterned pillows on your chairs. Bottom line: go for something new and keep it simple.
Ditch the Clutter
Nothing puts a damper on a beautiful room like clutter. In a generation that values space, think of the amount of room you will uncover once you trash those extra magazines, put the shoes in the closet and remove some of the knick knacks.
Why Clutter is a Deal Breaker: No one wants to fish around the coffee table to find a place to put their coffee mug. When your guests are on vacation, they want to be able to put their feet up and relax. Too much clutter can bog your travelers down and stress them out.
The Fix:If you have a certain collection of records by your record player, keep ‘em! The best thing to do is create (or purchase!) a unique storage piece to properly stack them. Limit the amount of magazines flung about your coffee table to about two or three and toss the rest. A rule of thumb: If you are unable to see the cushion on the chair or you are unable to close the door of your closet, there are too many things strewn about!
We all love our families, some more than others. However, not everyone wants to see your life’s history hung up on every wall of your home (especially the portraits taken in black and white from 1940 staring you down as you try to fall asleep).
Why Family Photos are a Deal Breaker: Typically these family photos can be found in mismatched frames, in an array of sizes clustered altogether. They tend not to be anyone’s best photo and can ultimately make your guests feel slightly uncomfortable.
The Fix: Make your travelers feel excited about the town or city they are visiting by displaying pictures of the local area. If you are in New York City, think about the Empire State Building or Central Park. In Spain? How about a snapshot of Alhambra or the beautiful beaches of Ibiza? Add a homey, personal touch by taking your own snap shots! Just remember to avoid clutter and if you choose to go with the collage look, use the same size frames and hang them up in a grid fashion.
Although they may be keeping your furniture clean, plastic coverings not only look tacky but can be quite dangerous.
Why Plastic Coverings are a Deal Breaker: As a property owner, the last thing you want is a fire hazard especially when people are constantly coming and going. Think about how close your plastic covered sofa is to the fireplace or how hot the light bulb of your lamp is going to get underneath all of that plastic. Not only are these coverings dangerous but they are not inviting to your guests. Basically they are telling your travelers not to sit or touch. If you truly believe you are preserving the cleanliness of your furniture, think about all of the sweaty legs and arms that are getting stuck to the plastic!
The Fix: Grab a pair of scissors and cut away!
I am sure you have heard it before: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! I cannot stress how incorrect this statement is when it comes to home decorating.
Why Outdated Appliances are a Deal Breaker:Think about that boxy television set in the living room where each time you go to turn it on, you have to play with the antennas for a solid five minutes before sitting back down. Or how about the refrigerator in the kitchen which is supposed to freeze your ice cream but instead turns it into soup. As a property owner, you do not want to take your guests off of vacation and put them to work.
The Fix:Donate your old appliances to a local charity and spring for the new versions. Attempting to save a little money? Try selling your outdated appliance and using that money towards something more modern. That old boxy television set can easily transform into a sleek, flat screen that takes up much less space!
FlipKey is a vacation rental marketplace with more than 240,000 rentals around the world. Find the perfect place to stay for your trip, and get great value along with the space, privacy and amenities of home.