This evening, as I attempt to multitask—a skill I used to pride myself on and which no longer comes as easily—I am uploading pictures to print for the kids and perusing some photos from our trip to Scotland last summer, while also working on plans for a kitchen renovation. Last June, we did our annual trip abroad and, as usual, stayed in a variety of different accommodations, which we found on VRBO. Our primary concerns were convenience and comfort with a large group (two preschoolers, Dustin and myself, as well as my best friend and her family) and the places we rented were vastly different in each city we visited. In Edinburgh, we stayed in a modern apartment that was situated in a quiet, beautiful courtyard with a garden and plenty of space for the kids to run around. However, one feature this apartment offered made it stand out in my memory—the amazingly luxurious, crisp, clean and comfortable beds. Trans-Atlantic flights with two little people are exhausting at best and when we arrived, I remember crashing onto the soft, down bedding and lying in a comatose state for several hours until I physically had to drag myself and the boys out of the house to get some sunshine. The rest of the apartment was a typical, smallish European apartment, with a tiny kitchen, a modern living room and nicely done, minimalist features. Still, nearly a year later, the memory of that amazing, plush bedding, stands out in my mind and with that knowledge, I would gladly rent that unit again.
This brings me to our latest design services. Jenny and I now offer design packages for budget and style-conscience rental owners who want to stand out in a saturated rental market. The city in which we live has no shortage of beach/vacation rentals and this factor makes it imperative that your unit stands well above the rest. The first contact a renter has with a condo or beach house, typically takes place on the internet and we all know the value of fantastic pictures. We are offering customized “sprucing up” packages that include updated painting, accessories, bedding and other design aspects, on an as-needed basis, as well as photography to be used on rental websites. This small investment will bring more renters, and consequently, more rental income to the homeowner or rental agency. Once vacationers walk into the freshly re-designed home, they will remember luxury, style and comfort, just as I vividly remember the small touches the owner of the apartment in Edinburgh added to their rental. Great online marketing will lure in more renters, beautiful pictures will attract them to your specific unit, and the memories these people make in your freshly redesigned rental will bring them back year after year.