In today’s competitive vacation rental market, it’s important that property managers and owners use every tool possible to stand out from competitors. One way to do this is through the use of high-quality photography. However, no matter how professional the camera or photographer, if the rental isn’t staged well, it will fall flat. Ensure this doesn’t happen with these helpful tips for staging vacation rentals and make sure yours looks its best.
Welcoming Photos: 8 Tips for Staging Vacation Rentals
Start with Updating
The first step is deciding whether the vacation rental needs an update. Items to check include: throw pillows, comforters, couches, chairs, lamps, curtains, art and others that may seem outdated compared to the rest of the home.
Make a list of these items and shop around. One option property managers can use to quickly update a vacation rental is the Design Made Easy app. Once downloaded, the team will create a look and help update furnishings at a fraction of the cost of hiring an independent designer. Once all the new inventory comes in, replace and move onto cleaning.
Restock, Declutter, Rearrange
Restock the vacation rental with fresh white linens and towels, toiletries, and toss any used shampoos, conditioners and soaps. In the kitchen, replace the hand towels, oven mitts/pot holders, paper towels, napkins and any other items guests may need. Guests want to feel like this is their home away from home, so everything should be unopened and new.
Once everything is stocked, put away clutter. This may include straightening a DVD or board game collection, rearranging knickknacks and art, and placing toys in closets. Keep everything neat.
Next, move onto rearranging the furniture to provide a more open layout. Create small gathering places where friends and family can spend time together and nooks where someone can enjoy a good book. Angel things to look their best and open up the space if needed.
Hire a Cleaning Crew
Bring in a professional cleaning crew and ensure the vacation rental is spotless. The cleaners should do a thorough cleaning, including vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, cleaning the patio and pool, all glass and bathrooms.
Set the Tables: Kitchen/Dining/Patio)
No matter what size the eating area, all tables should be set with clean place mats, plates, silverware, glassware, and fresh flowers or fruits. Make sure to set all tables in a way that helps potential guests imagine sharing a meal with their loved ones.
Open Curtains, Blinds, Room Doors
Let the light in! Natural light provides what’s needed to brighten up a room. If the vacation rental has a scenic view, showcase that through listing photos. Open all bedroom and bathroom doors as well, so photos capture the entire space.
Turn Off the TVs
Leaving the TV on may not show well in photos, so make sure it is off. The TV can serve as a great amenity and add to the photo, but not if it’s fuzzy or dated with what’s on at the time.
Add Little Details
Little details go a long way when staging a vacation rental for photos. Have tasteful flower or silk flower arrangements throughout the home, fold new toilet paper into triangles, add a box of chocolate and welcome letter, and think of creative ways to make the property stand out among the competition. One option is plug-in air fresheners that keep the rental smelling clean and fresh.
Is the rental kid- or pet-friendly? Consider adding items that will accommodate these travelers, including high-chairs, a play-pen, leash, clean food and water bowels, and a list of nearby parks good for children and pets.
Stage for Seasons
If the destination has multiple seasons, stage the home for each one with seasonal décor and amenities. For example, if it’s winter in a mountain destination, light the fireplace to create a warm ambiance. In the fall, change colors to represent foliage, and take photos of nearby trees and scenery. For spring and summer, have bright colors throughout the home.
Take Indoor and Outdoor Photos
Many property managers only focus on the inside, however the outside is just as important. Hire a professional landscaping team to design a welcoming scene outdoors, and maintain shrubs, trees, the yard and other outdoor aspects. Pay close attention to whether the home and/or patio should be painted or updated. All of these elements work together to enhance listing quality and ensure the rental is staged to appeal to potential guests.