Furnishing your AirBNB correctly is critical to your success. Whether you are just starting your short term rental business or you’re considering remodeling some existing listings, you don’t want to make costly mistakes when you are purchasing your furniture and other furnishings. Remember that short term rentals are a hospitality business, not a landlord business. You are competing with hotels and motels for guests, not your annual vacancy on Craigslist for a tenant. As such, there are different things to consider.
What are the important things to keep in mind when furnishing your AirBNB unit? What should you avoid? We are going to look at those important questions here. We will also discuss some other tools that may be a great asset for your AirBNB short term rental business.
Do’s When Furnishing Your AirBNB Rental
- Identify your ideal guest, and make sure your design fits their needs and expectations. For example:
- If you have a beach rental, make sure to have items your guests would need to enjoy the beach.
- If you market to business travelers, make sure you include workstations and things like a printer or things a business may need.
- Research hotel chains in the area to see what they offer. Hotels do a lot of research and design to make their properties attractive. Using their styles can give you a shortcut to designing your property.
- Use furniture that maximizes your number of guests. A large bed in the master, multiple beds in guest rooms, sofa sleepers, and air mattresses are great ways to increase your maximum number of guests, which will help you maximize your nightly rate.
- Balance comfort vs durability vs budget. When you are trying to maximize your property’s income, it’s tempting to get cheap items whenever possible. However, as people come and go, your furnishings will have more wear. If you are constantly replacing items, it will cost more in the long run. Also, if your furniture is uncomfortable and people don’t want to use them, it could impact your host rating.
- Use multi-purpose pieces when possible. Sofa sleepers, extendable tables, and movable surfaces allow your guests to customize the space to their needs, without them having to move things that you don’t want moved.
- Remember your outdoor spaces. Having places for guests to enjoy the yard, especially if you have great views, is important.
Don’ts When Furnishing Your Short Term Rental
- Don’t use a very narrow niche theme. While themes can help your listing stand out, a theme that is not broadly popular may not maximize your bookings.
- Don’t leave personal photos and personal items around the property when furnishing your AirBNB.
- Don’t invest in high-end or antique furniture. You want durable, functional pieces that show well in your photos.
- Don’t mess up the scale of your furniture. Furniture that is too large or too small is one of the fastest ways to make your photos appear strange and unappealing.
- Don’t leave artwork loose and vulnerable. “Use security hooks to hang artwork that makes it difficult to steal,” says Karen from A Different View Interiors. This also helps secure artwork in case someone bumps into it. These are a small investment but will help extend the life of your art and paint.
- Don’t rely on one light. Lighting options help your guests use the unit as they’d like, and it can also help your photos.
- Don’t forget the small details. Remember things like kitchen utensils, dishes, charging cables, hair dryers, toiletries, and other items that travelers may have forgotten or taken for granted. You don’t want the small details to impact your guests stay, and ultimately impact your host ratings.
- Don’t skimp on your listing photos. This may seem obvious and may not be related to furnishing your AirBNB directly. However, when you’ve gone through all this work to put together a great unit, you will be shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t use quality, well-lit photos. Photos are all that your guests have to get an idea of the space, and you want it to look it’s best.
Professional Resources for Furnishing Your AirBNB
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when furnishing your AirBNB or furnishing your short term rental. Did you know that there are professionals that can help make this whole experience so much easier for you? They can work within your budget to help you get your unit online and generating income
A Different View Interiors – Karen is an experienced interior designer that can help bring your vision to life for your AirBNB listing and other interior design needs. 813-309-5299
Staged Right – Andrea and her team of stagers work closely with investors to furnish AirBNB as well as stage rehabs for retail sale listings. 813-495-8924
Other Tools for Your Vacation Rental Business
Is this property going to be good for short term rentals? What revenue can you expect? How much is the nightly rent? What is the occupancy? These are all important questions when evaluating a property for AirBNB, and AirDNA is a great tool to analyze a property. Visit their site for more info, or you can read our AirDNA review.
Your regular homeowners or landlord insurance isn’t designed for AirBNB usage. There are several companies that offer specialized policies or specialized coverages so your property is covered properly. Learn more about AirBNB Insurance.
If you need a quote for a property in Florida, give our team at Think Safe Insurance a call at 813-425-1626 or request a quote online. We handle a lot of these types of policies, and we will get quotes with multiple companies to make sure you have the best rate for the proper coverage.
There is a lot to think about when furnishing your AirBNB unit or furnishing your short term rental. Throughout the process, keep your guest experience in mind.
While you are designing your unit and sourcing your furnishings, don’t forget your opportunity costs. I know we are all trying to stay within a budget, but if this takes a long time to ramp up and get online, you are also losing valuable bookings. That’s something that I learned on my first rehab, as I probably lost 2 months of rental income by trying to stay within a very strict budget (and honestly I needed to do that at that time.). There is no right or wrong answer, but it’s another aspect that you don’t want to forget.
I hope that this has given a lot of great info to get your design started. If you are already furnishing your AirBNB unit, what is your best tip? Leave a comment below!