When and How to Upgrade Your Short-Term Rental Property

The short-term rental business has exploded in popularity for the simple reason that the requirements needed to get into this business are not as stressful as the long-term rentals. With the rising number of commercial real estate investment opportunities on the market, many people are slowly taking up the different options to boost their financial muscle for the better.

A bright/white modern kitchen in an Airbnb

When It’s Time to Upgrade Your Short-Term Rental Property

When it comes to business, no one is perfect. Even the most well-known entrepreneurs have made significant mistakes along the way, but that hasn’t deterred them from continuing their business. If you had put all the work into your short-term rentals and the results weren’t fruitful, then this is the time to give it another try.

This time around, take time to:

  • Learn what your competitors are doing differently
  • Have a solid financial budget
  • Do market research and get the best marketing strategy
  • Know the importance of property managementif you’re not always there to oversee the work
  • Make the necessary upgrades that are needed for your rentals to stand out.

During your research, you will learn when the most popular times to rent your property are. While this may seem obvious, you want to do your renovations and upgrades during the off-season so that you do not lose time to make income. With the right resources and valuable strategies, the results of the business will certainly reflect the effort.

How to Upgrade Your Short-Term Rental Property

Remember that this is an investment, and the first impression to the customer will always matter, especially when doing such a business. Therefore, all seriousness is needed when making these upgrades. Here are some improvements you can make to your short-term rental property:

1.Exterior Upgrades

The home’s exterior is the first thing the guests see when they get to your property. Therefore, it needs to be as attractive as possible, and it should make them long to see the home’s interior. The front part of the building doesn’t require high maintenance routines to draw attention.

Simple things such as adding a small garden or planting new grass can give a new look it needs. Here are other additions that can help boost the building’s exterior look:

  • Plant bright and attractive flowers on the flower beds
  • Trim the shrubs and trees
  • Install new pavers
  • Add planters on the front porch
  • Paint the exteriors of the building like the roof, front door, or shutters
  • Provide an outdoor seating space if possible. Whether it’s a patio or on the balcony
  • Strategically set a garbage can in the compound

2. Do an Interior Repaint

If your rentals are old, then the color scheme could be outdated. Just like the exteriors, simple color fixes could be the magic that your rentals need to reignite the spark. The most common places that need a paint refresh are the kitchen and bathrooms since they are more susceptible to mold due to frequent water usage. Also, ensure that you use neutral paint colors like white and cream to enhance uniformity throughout your home.

Painting is one of the more affordable upgrades but may take some time. Therefore, it is advisable to hire a professional to get the job done efficiently and effectively. If you take good care of your property, the next time you will need a paint refresh will be after 4-5 years. If you want to get back to business soon, prioritize this upgrade, especially if you’re doing an overhaul house repaint to ensure that the paint is all dried up by the time you resume business.

3. Install Wi-Fi

With the availability of cheap, internet-enabled phones, it’s almost impossible not to have renters who will access the internet once in a while. Wi-Fi seems like a necessity, and people will use it either for entertainment on TV or with their gadgets. They came to relax, so the last thing they want to be worried about is accessibility to such amenities. Therefore, you must get a good Internet Service Provider to install reliable and stable Wi-Fi in the homes and make the password accessible to the renters.

4. Do Some Kitchen Upgrades

Once in a while, you will host renters who will rent out your space for a longer time. If that’s the case, the cheapest and best option will be to cook for themselves. Therefore, you should see to it that the kitchen is well-stocked with necessities. Yes, we agree that kitchen appliances can be expensive but think of that kitchen as you would with your home and provide all the necessary devices. Having a well-equipped kitchen will be very attractive to potential renters and exponentially boost your business if you use it in your marketing strategy.

5. Do some Bathroom/Bedroom Upgrades

The bathroom and bedroom are unavoidable rooms of any home. The first thing that any renter will look at is the hygiene standards reflected in these two areas. For example, the toilet seat may start yellowing in the bathroom after some years due to the time factor. Some renters may think this is unhygienic. Therefore, it would be wise to replace all the old fixtures and give the bathroom the modernity it needs.

For the bedroom, buy new beddings and mix the colors and textures to boost that unique look. If possible, also ensure that the sleeping space is enough to host many guests in large groups. While they may spend more time in the common areas together, they will almost always retire to the bedrooms at the end of the day. It is important to keep these spaces comfortable and welcoming.

6. Use Enticing Decor

One of the primary reasons your potential renters will opt for a privately owned rental rather than a hotel is to experience the homey feel. Well, you don’t have to change all the furniture to boost the home’s look. There are many imaginative ways of doing it. For example, you can use bold rugs, add plants and flowers into the interior, add a statement art piece, use a vintage lamp, and much more.

7. Enhance Security

Your guests should always feel secure while on your property. Luckily, modern fixtures like automated front doors need passwords or codes to access the home. If these are expensive, you can install CCTV cameras or motion sensor lights, especially on the home exterior. There are several types of That way, the renters will never have to worry about their safety getting compromised in any way.

8. Leave a Detailed Instruction Manual

An instruction manual helps the tenants and saves you the hassle of always getting calls from the renters on how to operate things like the dishwasher or remote in the home. They may still call anyway, but the calls will be minimal with all the relevant information in place. The end goal is to make their time there enjoyable and your time peaceful wherever you are.

If the first word you get from the short-term renters is “wow!” at first glance of your rental units, you will have made a mark. Great reviews also mean more business for you. If doing these upgrades is bound to give you more business, why not do it?

9. Upgrade Your Insurance Policy

Now that you’ve worked so hard and spent the extra cash to improve your rental, you want to ensure your investment is adequately protected. This starts by verifying your current insurance policy. Insurance can be confusing, especially when it comes to short-term rentals. That’s why the insurance specialists at Proper are such a great resource. They perform free coverage comparisons to help you understand exactly what would and wouldn’t be covered based on the language in your current policy.

The consultation of a company like Proper can help you identify the kind of policy you have which in turn determines many of the limitations you may have as well. For example, if you have a standard homeowners policy, they’ll help you identify limitations such as the dreaded ‘business activity’ exclusion, one of many shortcomings of the standard HO3. Or, if you have a Landlord DP3 policy, they’ll help identify common limitations on coverage for the contents of your home and demonstrate the many liability shortcomings of ‘premises liability’, the type of liability found on the landlord form.

A top-tier policy is custom-written for short-term rental home businesses. These policies will include comprehensive coverage for your home, everything inside, your business income, and commercial-level liability. This is what makes a true short-term rental policy like Proper offers so unique. They’ve custom penned the most comprehensive policy on the market with unmatched protection for your property, income, host liability, amenity liability (bikes, kayaks, hot tubs, etc.), theft, vandalism, bed bugs, and more. They even cover squatters.

Upgrade Your Short-Term Rental Insurance Today

Eliminate the stress of renting out your newly renovated home to strangers by purchasing a policy that’ll protect you and your business from liability and damage claims. Proper Insurance is the nation’s leading short-term vacation rental insurance provider, with the most comprehensive policy on the market. We protect homes in all 50 states with unmatched coverage for your property, revenue, and business liability, customized to include guest-caused theft/damage, liquor liability, amenity liability (bikes, kayaks, hot tub, etc.), bed bugs, squatters, and more. 

About the Author

Justin Brodin

Justin Brodin is the Marketing Director at Proper Insurance, where he specializes in short-term rental insurance education. With six years of experience in the STR industry, Justin has developed a deep understanding of the unique needs and challenges short-term rental owners and operators face. He currently resides in Austin, TX, where he enjoys the warm vibes of the city and spends his free time on the water.


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