by AINSLEY LAWRENCE
Listing a home on Airbnb or other short-term rental sites is a great way to earn extra income through your available space. On average, hosts in the U.S. make around $9,000 each year. When you consider that passive income, it’s a worthwhile investment to get your Southern home renter-ready.
People tend to look for rentals in the South because of the weather, the charm, the history, and, of course, the hospitality.
Whether you have separate property, turned into an Airbnb or you’re willing to remodel an area of your home to rent out, you can ensure guests experience the traditional Southern charm they expect with extra preparation.
Let’s cover a few tips you can use to bring that charm to life and attract guests from all over the country to your little southern section of the map.
Boost Curb Appeal
When renters check out your listing online, the first thing they’ll notice is the exterior of your space. So, it’s important to play up that “Southern charm” as much as possible by boosting your curb appeal and encouraging them to keep clicking on photos and learning more about the property.
Thankfully, starting with the exterior of your property is easier than you might think. It will allow you to create a cohesive aesthetic, or a “theme” for the property that you can use throughout the exterior and interior. That’s a great way to keep everything looking clean and organized without having to come up with fresh decor ideas for every room.
Some of the easiest ways to boost your property’s curb appeal include
- Upgrading the garage door
- Investing in your landscaping
- Lighting the home’s entryway
- Cleaning the gutters
- Powerwashing the siding
- Using the right outdoor furniture
Everything from your plants and flowers to your chosen decor will give people looking at your property a better idea of what to expect. Choose a theme that fits the home and the area, and you’re likely to attract more potential renters.
Give The People What They Want
People tend to have a certain image in their head when considering booking a stay at a traditional Southern home. If you’re trying to attract as many tourists as possible to your property, you might want to consider giving into some of those notions, including playing up traditional styles or going “rustic” with your decor.
A rustic Southern home typically favors “raw” elements, so don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your ideas, as long as they fit your overall theme and seem to go well together. If you’re looking for a little inspiration to get started, consider using things like
- Natural woods;
- Warm colors;
- Rugged furnishings like leather couches and wooden tables;
- Western decor;
- Distressed furniture or decor.
Just because you want to decorate your home with a rustic motif doesn’t mean things need to feel outdated. There are ways to combine the old and new seamlessly that will allow your renters to feel comfortable and safe, with a touch of old-fashioned charm. Embrace the “rustic-chic” vibe and be playful with some of the traditional Southern stereotypes.
Ensuring Your Property is Ready for Guests
Most people want to feel at home in a rental property, even if they’re only there for a few days. No matter how much decorating you do inside and outside, there are a few minor touches you should put in place that will ensure everyone who rents your space will feel like they’ve received true Southern hospitality.
First, remove any personal items from the space. If you’re renting out rooms in your own home, that can be a bit difficult, but your guests mustn’t feel like they’re invading another person’s space. It can make people uncomfortable to see family photos or other personal items, so move them to a different part of the property.
Next, make sure everything is well-maintained. After each renter leaves, do a thorough cleaning of the entire property, and potentially consider doing another before the next renter arrives. Remember, people are paying for a stress-free, relaxing experience, and the last thing they want is to feel like things are dirty or not taken care of when they arrive.
Finally, provide some essentials. Let your guests know that no matter how long they stay at the property, they’ll have everything they need. Some of the basics you might want to leave for your renters include
- Kitchen utensils and dinnerware;
- Pots and pans;
- Fresh toiletries for every guest;
- Linens and towels.
You might not be a hotel service, but these small items can go a long way in making your guests feel comfortable and cared for. At the end of the day, if you want to see success with your rental, you’ll benefit from as many positive reviews as possible. Small touches can make a big difference.
If you have a home in the South, or a piece of property that isn’t living up to its full potential, consider turning it into an Airbnb. You’ll make extra money, interact with interesting people from all over the world, and you can have a lot of fun bringing your property to life in ways that people will absolutely love.