Tips for Renting Out Your Home

As Airbnb and other short-term rental sites gain in popularity, property owners are putting more consideration into curating their spaces to cater to guests. Thoughtful design can make a home feel fresh, unique and inviting – qualities that are exceptionally important when your space moonlights as a vacation rental. A little effort can go a long way in making your place hospitable and appealing to prospective renters. Here are a few design elements to be mindful of when getting your home rental-ready.

Planning ahead is key if you’re reconfiguring rooms or designing from scratch. Figure out optimal room layouts by identifying the best features of your home.

Sketch a layout and then map out which areas would ideally be used and for what purposes — think entertaining, movie watching, game night, extra guests, dining or workspace. Give each space or area a job.

Have a great view, beautiful fireplace or cozy nook? Make sure to arrange seating areas that take advantage of it. You’ll also want to consider whom you’re trying to appeal to — your ideal renter. Is it the family on vacation? The person visiting on business? Make sure you can cater to that target audience, whether that means focusing on kid-friendly features or providing a laptop-friendly workspace with office amenities.

Once you’ve determined the best area in the space for each functional zone, then plan furniture and accessories that support that zone.

Always measure your space first, and take the tape measure with you while you shop for furniture to spare yourself from waiting in the return line.

Invest in furniture pieces that are multifunctional and offer flexibility, especially in smaller spaces. Sleeper sofas, coffee tables that convert to work or eating surfaces, fold-down tables, and desks will ensure you can accommodate a variety of guests.

Storage benches or ottomans are great for tucking away spare blankets, pillows and other housewares that may come in handy. Keep in mind your furniture will be seeing a lot more traffic, so make sure you’re using pieces that can withstand heavy use.

To increase longevity, look for commercial-grade or sturdy fabrics that are stain resistant. Go for cotton, polyester and other fabrics that can be tossed into the wash once the guests leave.

Use furnishings that are easy to clean, too. Rather than an expensive wooden credenza, opt for a more reasonably priced piece that can be wiped down after each stay. And be mindful of expensive, fragile or meaningful items you may have in your home, making sure they are stored out of harm’s way.