Note: This article was originally published by Dubbo Photo News on the 13th of June, 2023.
When setting up your short-term rental, two of the most important decisions you will need to make are:
1. The configuration of your bedding and;
2. How to style your BNB to enhance your bookings and revenue.
When aiming for the best return, it is crucial to get these two right as they will greatly impact the number of bookings you will receive, the nightly rate you can charge, and therefore the amount of revenue your property can make. When visitors go online to book a home, they will typically find themselves on one of the major Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s) such as Airbnb, Stayz or Booking.com. Your property will then be in direct competition with all the others, so setting up your home correctly from the start can make a world of difference in the number of bookings you receive.
Let start with the choice of how to configure your bedding. You will first need to know your market. Is your property more suitable for families, for a work crew, professional individuals, or all three? The risk being, if you configure your property poorly against your target traveller, you may be turning away a large number of bookings.
Example 1: A simple 2-bedroom property on the fringe of the CBD may be a great weekender for a small family coming to town on a budget. If you were to set the home up with a queen bed and a bunk room, with the intention of hosting small families then that’s great. However, you may just be turning away those groups of two couples, who would need two queens as a minimum or even small work crews who typically book longer stays and fill up your midweek vacancies.
Example 2: On the other hand, if you were setting up a large 5-bedroom home, placing bunk beds in the 5th room would be a great way to attract families. This would then open the opportunity for a larger group or even two families staying together to book your property. In this case, you would be able to charge significantly more per night, due to more people being able to stay as well as provide a better overall guest experience. This may also result in great reviews and therefore more future bookings
Our suggestion is to do your research to understand all types of travellers who are likely to book your home before settling on a bedding configuration. They may differ depending on your property’s location, size, style and quality. If your property is already set up a certain way, still do your research as the cost of a new bed may be worth thousands of dollars more in future bookings.
In a similar way of thinking to the above, the choices you make in styling your home is even more important. When a guest is searching for a property online you only have a few seconds to grab their interest. If your property is poorly styled the guest is likely to flick straight past your listing due to the poor first impressions and the risk of having a bad accommodation experience. Most guests are looking for properties that look clean, tidy, comfortable and warm (easy on the eye).
If you are looking to attract a large number of bookings, we suggest keeping things neutral as a way of catering to the broader range of guests. While you may be tempted to set up your home in your particular style, you also may be accidently turning away many different types of guests.
A common example of this would be a styling with bright and loud colour scheme. This may be appealing to a certain type of guest, however, is most likely to be a deterrent to many others.
We recommend choosing a simple and neutral colour palette when styling your Airbnb and keeping things minimalistic. Add colour to your space with art, cushions and throw blankets. Not only will these stand out in photos but also help to create a warm and inviting space, without overloading it. When guests are scrolling through your photos on Airbnb, you want the room to look and feel naturally bright and inviting, so try not to settle on too many dark colours either. We suggest avoiding patterned doona covers as they can draw attention away from everything else the room has to offer.
As mentioned before, first impressions are crucial to sparking interest and gaining bookings. By keeping to a simple colour palette, adding soft furnishings, keeping things minimalistic and configuring your bedding to cater for the broader traveller, you have a much greater chance of drawing in bookings and increasing your revenue.
It is big job getting your property ready but may pay off well if it’s done right.