The Best Ways to Stage a Vacation Rental

How to Put a Vacation Rental on the Market

If you don’t know how to stage a vacation rental, you will after reading this article: It is important to have a good appearance.

Professional images to contribute to that statement are just as important. In a world where potential guests may quickly scroll through hundreds of photographs of properties, those with the most appealing, well-staged, professional photography will receive more reservations, views, likes, and repeat visitors.

It may appear simple, but planning, developing, and executing a style for your vacation rental takes a lot of time and effort. It’s also crucial to know how to present a home.

Our team members have staged hundreds of vacation rental houses and assisted with remodels, redesigns, and improvements. We’ve put together this post to help you increase your revenue and make your Airbnb or VRBO more appealing to potential visitors!

How to Stage a Vacation Rental Professionally

1. Conceive a Theme

Choosing a theme will benefit you both in the short and long run. Consider it similar to preparing an outline for a paper or presentation. The more structure there is, the simple it is to imagine and construct.

Also, while it may feed into potential guests’ expectations, your vacation rental theme does not have to be location-specific. We’ve had success with contemporary themes like sleek and minimalistic and earth tones for warmth and comfort. But we’ve also had success with unusual designs like futuristic, lush plant bases and even child-friendly options. It’s important not to overdo it.

Imagine your ideal guests is another wonderful method to develop a theme. Make sure the Airbnb apartment has lots of desk space, comfortable lounge chairs, smart outlets, and insulated quiet places for working if you want to attract digital nomads. If you’re going to appeal to families, make sure the kitchen is properly stocked with all utensils, guarded the stairs, and that high chairs and Pack ‘N Plays are available.

2. Come up with a design

Designing your holiday house should go hand in hand with your theme. Always record what and where you bought a critical component on hand, and this will also assist you with your room inventory listings.

If you’re planning a luxurious vacation house, make sure you have high-quality tables, chairs, blankets, elegant cupboards, new paint, and, most importantly, easily replaceable furnishings.

This does not imply inexpensively, but avoid the European shower kit, the built-in coffee maker, and the electronic lift that stores the TV inside the ceiling when not in use.

Sure, those are high-end features, but the design must also be functional. How easy is it to replace any of those products if they break? How long will it take for replacement parts to become obsolete?

A good design also enables replacements, redecorating, and simplicity of usage. If you or your family uses the property frequently, don’t leave anything you can’t live without or replace on the premises. All artwork and embellishments should be interchangeable to accommodate seasonal changes or improvements. Meanwhile, the integrated whole-house surround system is ideal for a high-tech rental, but make sure you have a guide or someone who can troubleshoot quickly.

3. Establish a focal point

The theme is the foundation, and the design is the framework, but you must elevate the vacation rental by adding a focal point (s).

Is there a pool on the property? Make a pleasant lounge area, outdoor grill/kitchen, or fire pit the focal point of your outdoor patio.

Is it situated in the mountains? All good ideas are a game room with a foosball table and video games, a projector screen on an accent wall, and comfortable lounge seats and blankets surrounding the fireplace.

Like a restaurant with a signature dish or your favorite neighborhood hangout, a focus point can help sell your home. It also aids in the formation of memories, which leads to satisfied and returning customers.

4. Illumination

This may seem self-evident, but there are two points to consider.

Provide as much natural lighting as possible, if at all possible. Natural lighting is essential for good photography, but it also generates a positive image, which is easier said than done depending on the architecture of the home. As we’ll see in the next section, first impressions are crucial.

Second, good interior and external illumination are essential. The dingy-looking can light was removed, and LED lights flush with the ceiling are in. Even if you don’t have the funds to replace all of your ceiling lights, make sure there is enough light in each room and no gloomy nooks.

Third, consider how you may use more light to highlight your theme, design, and heightened focal points. To create an event lighting element, wrap a string of patio lights around a tree or run them across the top of a patio from the property. End tables with lamps, corner floor lights, and even backlit wall d├ęcor are options.

From photography to guest satisfaction, every bit of illumination helps.

5. Organizing

Cleaning may appear dumb and apparent at first but bear with us for a moment.

Remember how we talked about making a good first impression? When your guests arrive, your images should look exactly like the property. As a result, keep your place tidy!

Furthermore, it is critical to ensure that your property is not only professionally cleaned or painstakingly cleaned by you because you regard it as if it were your home, but that a quarterly deep cleaning is also undertaken. This is especially the fact if your vacation rental is managed by property management and you do not visit the residence frequently.

When visitors come, the goal of staging a vacation rental is for the home to look nearly identical to the images. An unhappy guest who mentions your house and says, “DOES NOT LOOK LIKE THE PHOTOS!” is one of the worst reviews.

Furthermore, a clean vacation rental aids in the prevention of any other concerns that may arise for the guests.

For example, if there is a plumbing problem and guests cannot use one of the restrooms for hours or days, the first thing that someone will do is hunt for other issues. A request for compensation and a negative review will follow as those issues begin to mount up.

Over the years, we’ve discovered that keeping the clean house aids in the resolution of any additional concerns that the guests may encounter. You may not be able to oversee all aspects of upkeep, but you can keep your vacation rental tidy.

Getting Ready for the Photoshoot in Your Vacation Rental

We can now discuss how to set up a vacation rental for a photograph, given that it has a theme, design, focal point, adequate lighting, and has been thoroughly cleaned.

The To-Do List

All of the blinds and curtains should be opened. Display all of the natural light we worked so hard to create.
Turn on all of the lights in and around your holiday rental.
Ensure all of your light bulbs and LED lights are in good working order. Make sure that all LED bulbs are the same hue or tone.
Get rid of the clutter on your shelves, coffee table, kitchen, and dining room tables.
Trash cans, kitchen soaps, laundry detergent, and electronic clocks should be hidden.
Look for stains or marks on your walls, carpets, comforters, and blankets.
Ensure that all of your photo frames and accessories are in.
Make sure your focal point is set up and ready to go. Turn on the lights if there is a pool. Turn on the fireplace. Fold the blankets neatly.

The Things You Shouldn’t Do

Don’t leave the Do’s section until the last minute! Before the photographer arrives, make sure you have enough time to prepare the holiday rental adequately. If there’s something you can’t do before the shoot, let the photographer know and see if it can be avoided before the image is taken.
Don’t forget to hire a professional cleaner. Keep in mind that you want your vacation home to appear just as it will when visitors arrive.
Keep your car parked in a garage or a designated parking spot. Ascertain that the guests have a clear view of the entire garage or parking area. Furthermore, the photographer may overlook blurring your license plate.
Anything in the rental that isn’t in the images should be advertised. Please clarify what has changed if you have upgraded beds or furniture on the listing. The photographs, promotion, and description should all be consistent.
During adverse weather, schedule the photo shoot. Photoshop filters and hue tweaks can help, but you want to show off your vacation rental on a sunny day.
Keep any TVs or ceiling fans turned on. Could you turn off all of them?


Finally, knowing how to stage a vacation rental comes down to being realistic about how much money you have or want to invest in your property at any particular time. Refreshing your theme or design might have the same impact as starting over.

You can also design and decorate your home in phases. The least expensive part of the procedure is a professional photoshoot. Depending on your budget, you can always arrange another when essential upgrades are completed.

Finally, and this is something we always stress to all of our owners, do not put anything in your vacation rental that you cannot afford to replace.

Go for it if a $5,000 dining table fits your concept and design requirements. However, do not expect to reclaim the $5,000 spent on a replacement table if a guest scratches it. Takedown the family heirlooms. They will not assist in the marketing of the property, but they will drive you insane if you discover them broken or missing.

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