If you’re getting your entrepreneur on in 2020 and starting a little self-run Airbnb business, we applaud you. But like any good business owner, you’ll need to make smart financial decisions in order to have this investment (both in money and time spent) pay maximum dividends.
A study from 2017 shows that folks are adding an average of $924 per month to their income by hosting an Airbnb property, and since the only real overhead cost is ensuring a functional and comfortable stay, it’s a quick way to earn some extra dough. I recently started managing a property in Brooklyn myself and spent a good portion of last fall sorting through various home goods retailers to find the best product to stock and furnish it.
While You're Here6 Airbnb Cooking Experiences to Try in 2020The first thing you’ll want to determine when stocking and furnishing your Airbnb or vacation rental is the target demographic you’re looking to attract. If you aim to attract a higher-end traveler who’ll spend a bit more but expects a nicer experience, your choices should reflect that like luxurious sheets or a nicer coffee system, a mini-bar, fancy toiletries, or even a stash of local luxury treats. Newer services like The Plum Guide are curated specifically for travelers looking for those extra comforts and getting listed there (they personally vet each home) can help raise your listings profile and nightly rate.
If you plan to cast a wider net with less emphasis on a luxury travel crowd or you don’t have much to spend on initial costs, take a utilitarian approach and choose things that are durable and serviceable but not over-the-top or expensive (should you need to replace them).
Remember, you create your own listing so if you’re springing for high-end goods like All-Clad cookware or 1,000 count sheets, you can tout that in the description. Many people scour Airbnb listing reviews before they book, so you’re likely to attract folks willing to spend more if guests are talking about all those extra touches in reviews.
From sheets and towels to less obvious items like in-shower soap dispensers and luggage racks, here are a few favorites for stocking and furnishing your Airbnb with both budget and higher-end picks.
Sheets are one of the fastest ways to please a guest seeking a luxury experience. Organic cotton and high thread counts make a big difference. Nobody could blame you if you didn’t want to spend top dollar on sheets for strangers but luckily there are some great budget options out there too.
Pro tip: Having at least two sets of sheets per bed is critical if you plan on doing regular back-to-back bookings.
Brooklyn Bedding Organic Cotton Sheets, $125 on Eco-Sleep
These 100 percent organic cotton sheets get softer the more you wash them and are truly like sleeping on some sort of flat cloud. They are also mighty durable and will hold up, but I’d recommend them only if you’re shooting for a clientele seeking luxury. Buy Now
Mellanni Brushed Microfiber Sheets, $25 on Amazon
I wouldn’t buy sheets that are much cheaper than these or you might start getting dragged in your reviews online. $25 for a set of queen-sized sheets is a pretty inexpensive pick, but these Mellanni sheets—which come in a myriad of colors—are a good bet and receive high marks in Amazon reviews.Buy Now
Make sure you have enough towels for the number of guests you’re allowing to stay in your place. Like sheets, having two sets is ideal if you’re going to be looking back to backs, and with some very usable towels priced as low as $7, you should be able to swing it.
Pro tip: Avoid white towels, which will, of course, more easily need to be replaced faster.
Luxury Hotel & Spa Bath Towel, $52 on Amazon
Give your guests the full spa experience with these fluffy and soft towels. Maybe even throw in a bathrobe for good measure.
Martha Stewart Collection Quick Dry Reversible Towel, $4.99 (Originally $16) on Macy’s
I own these very soft, quick-dry towels and use them for Airbnb guests. They are currently down under $7 which is a total steal.Buy Now
Related Reading: 7 Packing Cubes That Make Travel a Breeze
Good colorful wall decor works to make a space more interesting and can be the thing that helps sell your place in pictures. I know I’ve fallen for a fun, funky print before *books now*.
Felt Wall Art, Blue, $169 on West Elm
This stunning felt blue wall art won’t break the bank but will definitely stand out in a glamour shot of your living room.Buy Now
Cactus Garden Wall Hanging, $14.74 on Walmart
Most wall hangings remind me of a smelly college dorm or frat house, but this bright and happy dessert fawna scene adds instant texture and character to any space. Buy Now
Bonus Budget Pick:
Invroheat Decorative Wall Hanging, $49.95+ on Amazon
These quirky new gadgets aren’t just affordable wall art but also double as infrared space heaters. It’s an economical way to heat bedrooms or areas that tend to get colder. Buy Now
Pick one great chair to anchor the living room or a bedroom with some space to spare. Or snag a set of cool and modern utility chairs to position around the house.
Modern Mid-Century Chairs (Set of 4), $87.99 on Amazon
These Eames knock-off mid-century chairs have personality, and if you’re hosting large groups, you can never have too many places to sitBuy Now.
Carson Carrington Rapina Lounge Chair, $258 on Overstock
A stylish, durable, and comfy retro chair to anchor a living room or the corner of a large bedroom. Buy Now
Having some quick and easy ways to make your apartment or home smell good will invoke warm and cozy feelings. Candles are a bit of a liability so try these oil diffusers instead.
Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser, $29.99 on Target
Aromatherapy oil diffusers, like this affordable unit from Target, are easy to use and much safer than candles. Add in a few drops before guests arrive or leave the oil out for them to use. Buy Now
June & May Essential Oil Diffuser, $45 on Anthropologie
While still very affordable, this oil diffuser doubles as a little piece of art/decor for a bedroom, bathroom, or living room.Buy Now
Soap is one of those things you might forget to bring on vacation, so it’s nice to have some on hand for guests.
Clear Choice Shower Dispenser, $19.99 on Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond
For less than $20, you can set your shower up with this built-in dispenser for shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel.Buy Now
Modundry Wall Mounted Shampoo Soap Shower Dispensers, $26.88 on Amazon
This unit accomplishes the same thing with a slightly more polished look. Comes in a set of two or three.Buy Now
We have an entire post full of suggestions for stocking your Airbnb or rental property’s kitchen but there is probably nothing more important that a seamless and easy-t0-use coffee system. Nowhere does it say that you must provide caffeine to weary travelers but I can tell you that it goes a long way if you do. And it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank, either.
Having a simple drip coffee maker is a great place to start but if you really want to earn brownie points stock your rental with a one-touch espresso machine.
Black + Decker 12-Cup Coffee Maker, $23.99 on Best Buy
It doesn’t get much simpler than this no-nonsense coffee maker from Black+Decker, and that’s a good thing because too many bells and whistles will just create more work for the guests in the long run. It gets great reviews in verified purchasee reviews and you simply can’t beat the price.Buy Now
Breville Nespresso Mini Espresso Machine, $127.50 on Amazon
For a slightly more elevated experience, spring for an automatic espresso machine (traditonal espresso machines can be complicated) like this Breville Nespresso Mini Espresso Machine. They don’t take up much space, are easy to use and will let your guests get up and out without much hassle but plenty of caffeine to tackle the day.Buy Now
Walnut Luggage Rack, $22 on Walmart
Having a place to put your suitcase that’s not the floor or a desk is nice when you’re traveling. I bought this walnut luggage rack, which is sturdy, looks nice and folds up and out of the way when not in use.Buy Now
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