Preparing Your Home to Be a Top-Notch Vacation Rental

Jeff Peterson
Jeff Peterson
Published on March 25, 2020

Guest Writer: Erin Reynolds of

The vacation rental market continues to grow as more and more travelers are choosing private homes over hotels. This is largely due to the fact that vacation rentals typically offer more space and privacy along with a full kitchen and laundry facilities—all while costing less per night. Short-term rentals can also be beneficial to owners, as they provide an opportunity for additional income, among other good things.

To make your short-term rental to be a success, however, ensure it stands out from the competition. Here’s how.

Upgrade the Kitchen

The kitchen is among the most important rooms to give attention to in your vacation rental home. Remember that having a full-service kitchen is one of the most significant advantages guests enjoy by choosing a rental over a hotel. Think of ways you can spruce up the kitchen without draining your bank account.

For instance, if your cabinets are outdated, consider refinishing or painting them. TheKitchn notes painting is a relatively inexpensive fix; you can plan on a pro charging you roughly $100 per door and $25 per drawer, or you can DIY the project for a few hundred bucks. If you employ a maintenance staff at your vacation rental, they can handle this as well.

The same goes for your appliances; you can DIY the project or have your refrigerator, oven, microwave and other appliances painted at a body shop, which is much cheaper than buying all new appliances. Appliances should function properly as well, so if your refrigerator is leaking or getting too cold or not cold enough, you’ll have to get it serviced. Typically, a general maintenance check will run you $100 to $300, but if you need parts replaced, the job may cost over $1,000 (materials included).

Upgrade the Bathroom

The bathroom is also an essential room to upgrade in your vacation rental. There are many budget-friendly ways to spruce up a bathroom, from updating fixtures to painting the walls to freshening the caulk around the tub and sink.

Another upgrade to consider is re-tiling the floor and/or shower, especially if the current tile is made of plastic or beyond repair. Look into ceramic tile, as it is typically less expensive than porcelain. As an added perk, your vacation rental will be much easier to clean without carpet.

Include the Necessities

There are certain items that every guest will expect to have available when they stay at your vacation rental. Think of what makes your house a home to you, and make that experience happen for each guest.

Here are some things to include in your rental:

  • Plenty of clean linens
  • Basic toiletries
  • An iron and ironing board
  • A refrigerator
  • An oven/stove
  • A microwave
  • A coffee maker
  • Kitchenware

Include Entertainment Options

It’s also important to include some forms of entertainment in the vacation rental. For example, make sure there is at least one flatscreen TV, though it doesn’t hurt to have a few TVs. Also, consider including a cable subscription and streaming device that allows guests to watch their favorite shows and movies. Moreover, keeping a few board games and children’s toys can add a nice touch. And, of course, you want to make sure the home has a reliable internet connection.

Keep It Spotless

Finally, your vacation rental won’t be a success unless you keep it really, really clean. Cleanliness is one thing that people love about staying at hotels, and you will want your rental to be up to par with a fresh hotel room. The most practical way to make this happen is to hire a professional vacation rental cleaning service to deep clean the rental after each guest leaves.

Among other benefits, turning your home into a vacation rental is a great way to bring in some additional income. Evaluate the kitchen and bathroom to see if there are any upgrades needed, and be sure to provide guests with basic necessities and entertainment options. Lastly, hire a cleaning service to maintain the rental and keep your guests happy. A lot goes into owning a short-term rental property, but these tips will help you get a solid start.

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