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How to make your short-term rental stand out


The short-term rentals industry is getting more and more competitive.


Over recent years, the number of properties has risen markedly as new players enter the market – with all of them keen to reap the rewards of an ever-expanding industry.


So, what can you do to stand out? What are your rental's unique selling points?


Here at HCH, we have been dreaming up ideas that can make your property both desirable and memorable.


Themed decor


Whether it's a seaside getaway, vintage-inspired space, or modern urban retreat, a well-executed theme can make your property both memorable and photogenic. When I think of themed decor, I recall a trip I made to the Cotswolds a few years ago. The property I rented had a thatched roof and was rustic and traditional throughout. It beautifully matched its surroundings and certainly inspired me as a short-term rental host.


Local art and crafts


I interviewed Moriya Rockman for the #HCHPodcast recently (episode coming soon) and she advised hosts to be ambassadors for their local community. It sounded like a perfect ethos to me – and you can do precisely this by showcasing local art and crafts, which provide guests with a sense of the destination's culture and creativity.


Smart home technology


Smart thermostats, keyless entry systems, and voice-activated assistants can all enhance the guest experience. We spoke to Dana Young from AIPEX Technologies on the #HCHPodcast recently and he outlined his brilliant 'Alexa Device' for short-term rentals. This would really make your property stand out and is available for only $10 a month.


Unique architecture or design


If your property has unique architectural features or design elements, make sure you highlight them. This could include exposed brick walls, a lofted ceiling, or custom-built furniture.


Outdoor amenities


Attractive outdoor amenities, such as a private garden, patio, balcony, or rooftop space will help your listing stand out. Outdoor seating, a barbecue grill, or a fire pit can also enhance the overall experience. Tip: if your properties are in the north of England – like mine – make sure you keep the seating covers indoors when they're not being used. Mine are currently drying in the garage after being left in the rain!

Luxurious bedding and linens


Investing in high-quality, luxurious bedding and linens is one way of providing a luxurious stay. A comfortable and well-appointed bed is often a key factor in guest satisfaction. And as we mention in our free e-book for hosts and property managers, you can never have enough bed linen!


Unique or antique furniture


Incorporating unique or antique furniture pieces can give your rental character. Vintage items or locally crafted pieces can add charm to the space.


Entertainment options


A well-stocked bookshelf, board games, and selection of movies will impress guests. Plus, if your listing is popular with families, a few toys will always go down well with children and parents. I used to keep a bunch of my daughter's toys in the first rental we owned and they would often get mentioned as a positive feature in guest reviews.


Welcome basket or local treats


Creating a welcome basket with local treats, snacks, or beverages can leave a positive impression on guests and make them feel welcomed. A note on alcoholic beverages though – I used to leave a small bottle of wine or a few beers for guests but found many travellers are now teetotal for a variety of reasons. So perhaps it's best to avoid the booze.

Customised amenities for guests


Consider customising amenities based on your target guests. For example, if your rental caters to families, provide children's books and toys. If it's a business traveller's retreat, offer a well-equipped workspace. If your guests are coming on a golf holiday, leave them a branded ball each and a few tees.


Therapeutic or spa-like features


Spa-like features like a jacuzzi, sauna, or rain shower will ensure your rental really stands out. Better still if you can create a relaxing atmosphere with soothing colours, soft lighting, and comfortable seating.


Local guides and recommendations


In my experience, guests love loads of information about the local area. From restaurant, pub, and cafe recommendations, to days out, special attractions, and more. One way you can curate all these insider tips is with a digital guidebook from Orana Stay (HCH sponsor). Helping your guests discover hidden gems is likely to earn top reviews.


Pet-friendly features


If you allow pets, make your property pet-friendly with amenities like pet beds, bowls, and a secure outdoor space. Consider partnering with local pet services for added convenience.


Environmental sustainability


Emphasising your green credentials is a must in today's market. Use eco-friendly products, provide recycling bins, and communicate your commitment to sustainability. More and more guests are favouring listings which prioritise green initiatives – so it's better to get ahead of the curve in this regard.

Specialty kitchen appliances


Consider adding special kitchen appliances or gadgets that cater to specific interests, such as a coffee maker with different brewing options or a wine cooler or even an air fryer.


Above all, remember to showcase these features prominently in your listing descriptions and photos to attract guests who are specifically looking for the unique experiences your property offers.


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