Tips to Make Your Airbnb Stand Out From the Competition

Whether it’s a full-time gig or a side hustle, people turn their properties into Airbnb locations for many reasons. The vacation rental industry is highly competitive and often revolves around unique properties and good locations. Successful Airbnb hosts are aware of what they offer and know how to sell it right. To gain an advantage, you may need to go above and beyond to wow renters.

Offer Extras

Who doesn’t like free stuff? Hotels often offer free breakfast with your stay or a bottle of champagne for romantic weekend packages. Freebies and gifts entice customers to book Airbnbs, too. Consider a few of the following extras to include for your guests:

  • Welcome Pack: Impress guests with a free basket of goodies that’s simple and quick to put together. A welcome pack might include a bottle of wine from a local winery and some delicacies from a nearby candy shop wrapped in ribbon with a personalized tag.
  • Passes to Local Attractions: Venues often offer discounts if you purchase museum, zoo, cinema, art gallery, amusement park and other local attraction tickets in bulk. While these Airbnb amenities will cost you, rave reviews can make it a worthwhile investment.
  • Guided Tours: Stop by a state visitor center and pick up information pamphlets about guided tours to leave for your Airbnb guests. Or, take it a step further by working with local nature guides, ghost tours or historical groups to offer a discounted rate for your guests. If you are passionate about the area, you can also offer your own services as a guide.
  • Local Restaurant List: Providing a list of diners, pubs and eateries helps your renters settle in, and going the extra mile can boost your ratings. Organize the list by breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner and mention special offerings like happy hours and local favorites.

off white metal and teak dining set

Create Ambiance with Lighting

Renters want to spend their vacations somewhere comfortable that feels like an escape from their everyday life. Lighting plays a big part in setting that mood. Strategic lighting, whether natural or artificial, also makes photographing and marketing your vacation rental much easier.

Install dimmer bulbs in overhead lights so guests can adjust light levels to their liking. Use table lamps in bedrooms and hang both sheer curtains and light-blocking drapes on windows so guests can wake at sunrise or sleep in. Decorating your patio with lights lets visitors enjoy the outdoors after dark, and they’ll welcome the charm and safety offered by patio lighting along deck rails or walkways.

back yard string lights

Avoid Over-Decorating

While a gorgeous hotel room with designer-curated decor is the ideal for some travelers, over-the-top furniture and decor can make your Airbnb look cluttered. Avoid over-decorating and opt for a cleaner look with small touches here and there. Take some time to plan out your room layouts and accents, and consider some of these Airbnb decorating tips:

  • Use Plants and Fresh Greenery: Adding healthy houseplants to your place instantly refreshes your look and gives rooms a clean, natural vibe. For low-maintenance options, consider succulents or air plants that need less water and are easy to care for between Airbnb bookings.
  • Emphasize What’s Already There: If your property has 20-foot ceilings or exposed beams, highlight these unique architectural elements and sell your space with good photography. If you have a registered historical home, consider decorating with period-appropriate accents, too.
  • Optimize Your Layouts: If you’re working with a smaller space, choose streamlined furnishings like chic mid-century designs over bulky chairs or sofas. In open floorplans, create intimate islands by using area rugs to designate dining and seating areas while keeping pathways uncluttered and accessible.
  • Opt for Artsy and Functional Decor: People choose Airbnbs over hotels because they’re looking for an experience beyond just a place to sleep. Bring a three-tier shelf and fill it with books on local history, a few popular novels or board games for guests to borrow. Add artwork from local creators or themed prints to create a space that’s comfortable yet personalized.

Solana White 3 Pc Dining Bistro Set

Make Hangout Spaces

Furnishing your vacation rental appropriately helps you avoid over-decorating and creates a more comfortable space for guests to hang out. Create cozy seating layouts in the living room, bedrooms and maybe a dining room or breakfast nook that allow families and groups of friends to chat, play games or watch movies. Apply this strategy to your patio layout as well.

Arranging patio furniture to create hangout spaces for lounging, partying or grilling out offers your guests a total vacation experience. Get creative by using a chic outdoor rug to separate your sectional from your grilling area. When temperatures drop, position lounge chairs around an outdoor heater or a fire pit for a cozy spot to share stories or make s’mores.

Wicker cabana sofa set

Maximize the Occupancy Space

The more occupants a rental can hold comfortably, the more you can charge as a host. While making your property bigger may not be financially viable, you can use other techniques to increase your occupancy size. Adding beds through multipurpose furniture or thoughtful design may be pricey at the outset, but Airbnb improvements that appeal to guests will soon offset the initial cost.

Futons and sleeper sofas function as both a couch and a bed in your Airbnb, which can be invaluable for accommodating guests while also providing cozy seating. If your location is a popular tourist spot for parents with kids or young teens, investing in bunk beds lets you cater to families and other large groups.

Keep the Property Clean

Cleanliness is your top priority when advertising and renting out your Airbnb. In addition to ensuring all surfaces are clean with antibacterial cleansers, keep the space tidy by making beds, vacuuming floors and dusting before and after bookings. When your property is not in use, maintain your outdoor furniture with cleaners and winterize specific materials properly.

Maintain the look of your home on the outside as well. Landscaping is often expensive if you don’t have time to do it yourself, but smart technology for your backyard can help. Let outdoor automation and the beauty of your lawn and flowerbeds impress your guests when they arrive.

Maintaining Your Patio Furniture

Invest in High-Quality Photographs

When people search for places they want to rent, they respond best to effective visuals. High-quality photos sell your Airbnb and make optimal use of expert decorating and fantastic lighting. You can either hire a professional, ask an aspiring photographer friend or offer the job to students at a local school looking to add to their portfolio.

To create quality photos, look at the space from a potential guest’s point of view. Close-ups of bedrooms and beds illustrate how neat and comfortable they are, while a shot of a super clean bathroom is also reassuring. Use creative camera angles to avoid mundane elements like cords and outlets when taking photos of amenities like coffee makers, microwaves or flatscreen TVs.

Sell Experiences

Couples, friends, families and other vacationing crowds take trips to experience different destinations and get away from their hometowns. As an Airbnb host, you can use your vacation rental to sell those experiences or simply offer tourists a place to stay while they enjoy your city. Use local history, theme parks, seasonal celebrations and other attractions to entice guests to stay with you.