If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re ready to furnish a rental property and post it on Airbnb. That means we have a complicated relationship. I love you, I fear you, and sometimes, I even hate you (I’m sorry!)
I’m a full-time traveler and have lived in Airbnb apartments and short-term rentals for 16 months now. Oh, and I move to a new one every single month.
That means I’ve seen the inside of A LOT of properties recently. Some good, some bad, and some just plain ugly.
Lucky for you, I’ve decided to vent my frustrations in a helpful post on how to furnish a rental property straight from someone who is actually living in them.
I know most people who rent your place are just passing through, but the digital nomad movement is on the rise. Using these ideas will make your rental property more appealing to long-term renters who always have an eye on the reviews looking for small details like these.
So, without further ado, here are my five tips to furnish a rental property that every guest will love!
1. Live In It
It’s so simple, it hurts. I’m honestly surprised more hosts haven’t actually spent time eating, working, and cooking inside their own properties.
Welcome to a week in my life. During it, expect episodes like: getting all prepped to make that new Pinterest recipe, only to realize you don’t have a grater.
Or, a situation in which: you unpack a suitcase full of clothes only to realize there is not a single storage space for them (yes, this has happened to me more than once).
The list goes on and on.
Honestly, this is really the only tip you need to quickly learn exactly how you need to furnish your rental property. However, I know most of you just don’t have the time or energy to do it so I’ll continue with the rest below…
2. If You Want a Clean Apartment, You Need to Provide Cleaning Supplies
Fun fact (or is it?): the only host who complained about the apartment being dirty when I left was also the only one suspended by the Airbnb security team because his messages to me were so unhinged.
Well, the reason his apartment wasn’t spotless when I moved out wasn’t because I already paid a cleaning fee, and it wasn’t because I lived in it for a month rather than the usual two or three days (although, I feel these are both valid reasons…) it was because he didn’t provide a single cleaning supply! Not even a broom!
I’m more than happy to take your apartment through a weekly clean on my own because I’m not an animal and don’t want to live in my own filth. But, that requires a couple spray bottles, a mop, and maybe an old rag or two as well.
Stock a cabinet with cleaning supplies and if your next tenets are anything like me your apartment will be sparkling when they move out.
3. Your Kitchen Needs More Than You Think
I have never once moved into an apartment that has spices in the kitchen. Never. My garlic powder budget has become like $60 a year and counting. A basic spice rack would seriously be a godsend for cooks like me, who often get stuck using salt only for weeks… so boring.
While you’re in the kitchen aisle, you should also buy a corkscrew (even though I’m now a pro at getting wine bottles open with a bobby pin and a spoon, contact me for more details), chip clips, a pitcher, a grater (clearly I’m passionate about shredded cheese), and a large pot with a lid (this is rare for some reason). Also, any sort of coffee maker is required (please don’t make me consume any more instant sludge) and Tupperware and aluminum foil are very appreciated as well.
Finally, take a moment to honestly evaluate your counter space. I’ve been in more than one Airbnb with so much random stuff on the counters that I’m unable to actually cook. Get rid of it, and cook a meal or two in the kitchen to make sure it’s fully stocked and usable.
4. Consider the Small Stuff
You would be surprised by how many apartments I stay in that don’t have a single lamp. When my choices are overhead lights or nothing at night, it’s hard to relax in the apartment.
Other furnishings that have been seriously lacking in most rental properties I stay in include hangers in the closets, coasters so I don’t destroy your tables, and a full-length mirror. Also, please put a trash can in the bathroom. I’m sad that I even have to ask.
Another great tip is to never furnish a rental property with anything white! This freaks me out!
The one I’m in now has white sheets, white towels, a white tablecloth, and a white throw blanket on the couch. I mean, it looks nice, but there’s literally no way I’ll get out of here without accidentally destroying something, and I would really prefer not to do that.
If you really wanna be a stellar host, include details like converters, charging cords, travel-sized shampoo and conditioner so I can shower when I arrive, and a card with the wifi password prominently displayed. Small things like that make me feel like a human again when I get into the apartment after 30 hours of traveling and are much appreciated.
5. Throw Out Everything Decorative
Decluttering is all the rage right now, and it’s something every Airbnb host should accept deep, deep, into their hearts.
Things I’ve had to move/hide/stash when I moved into new apartments include: vases with dried flowers, framed personal pictures, candles, a very large, very strange decorative tree, musty books, an endless supply of knick-knacks, and once an entire table set for 10 in a one-bedroom apartment… just, why?
I don’t have much stuff, but I still need space to put it. If you truly insist on sharing your decorative taste with your guests, then at the bare minimum make sure they have an empty set of drawers for clothes, and a shelf or clear counter space in the bathroom. That’s all I ask!
Use These 5 Tips to Furnish Your Rental Property
When I’m looking for my next Airbnb, reviews are my best friend. Just a few positive words from another digital nomad who spent weeks in your apartment will automatically move it to the top of my list.
So, take some time to furnish your rental property with a new eye and full-time travelers around the world will thank you!