More Americans are starting to board the bandwagon of side-hustles, becoming landlords or Airbnb hosts and hostesses to make some extra income on the side to supplement the traditional 9-to-5 work schedule. It’s a great time to become a landlord, as a 2015 study found that 37 percent of U.S. citizens rented their homes, rather than owning them.
As renting continues to increase in popularity, it’s more important than ever for landlords and Airbnb owners alike to stand out among the competition. And it might be easier than you think. We’ve gathered five design tips from professional home stagers and seasoned landlords that’ll help you make your rental more appealing to potential tenants.
Don’t get lost in countless colors and patterns. Keep it simple by using neutral colors and minimal patterns in your paint and décor.
“When looking for colors to use in your space, neutral colors always work best,” emphasized Cathy Hobbs, celebrity interior designer and home staging expert. Hobbs suggested colors such as black, white, and taupe in order to create a soothing environment.
In addition to paint, many landlords are installing light wood hardwood (or vinyl plank) floors, suggested Ashley Marino, the principal decorator and owner of Ashley Marino Designs LLC. Light flooring not only adds brightness to the space, but is far easier to clean compared to carpeting. Add a rug in each room for a pop of color and added comfort.
A messy or over-decorated room can create a cramped perception of your space. Cut down on the clutter in a room by using furniture that is simple, multipurpose and durable.
Mid-century modern furniture, suggested Marino, is a popular choice among homeowners and renters alike, not only for its stylishly simple design, but its dedication to function and longevity.
Marino suggested sticking with lighter wood tones and greys for the larger furniture pieces in the room. Side tables and lighting with metal accents add to the design of the space. By keeping it simple and clean, potential renters or Airbnb guests will be able to get a better impression of the space available.
Lighting is an important element in a rental. You’ll want to take advantage of as much natural light as possible. Where lighting is scarce, use lamps or other light fixtures, suggested Bonny Christy, editor of the FurnishMyWay Blog, an interior design, fashion, art, and general lifestyle blog.
“Dark rooms are not what people want when they rent, either for travel or a home,” Christy said. Combat the dark corners of your home by installing lamp or light fixtures that not only provide an adequate amount of lighting, but double as a decorative piece of furniture.
Make sure you pay attention to the type of lighting needed in each room to achieve the look you’re going for. From ambient to task, accent or object lighting, pick the perfect type of lighting for each room.
At the end of the day, you’ll win over potential renters or Airbnb guests with your attention to detail. Hospitality goes a long way in this business, so make sure you go the extra mile in the details.
For a luxurious effect, invest in comfortable bedding and bathroom towels worthy of a five-star hotel with soft, fluffy textures in a neutral color. The more comfortable and inviting, the more likely someone will want to stay in your place.
“Clean and comfortable white sheets with coordinating comforters or quilts never disappoint,” said Sarah Karakain, interior stylist and organizer.
Stock up on toiletries in your bathroom and complimentary snacks in your refrigerator and pantry. A little effort goes a long way. Even having a coffee maker and fresh ground coffee at the ready can make all of the difference.
Your listing’s curb appeal is the first thing a potential renter will notice. It can be a telltale sign of what to expect inside, so make a good first impression by increasing the curb appeal of your space.
Marino said to clear your lawn of clutter, ensuring that any greenery is healthy and manicured, and the lawn is cut and trimmed on a regular basis. An overgrown lawn littered with leaves or debris can ward off many potential renters.
If you really want your rental to stand out, Marino suggested painting your front door a bright color that’s different from the other doors on your street. That way the property will stand out and make it easier for guests to find (example: “Look for the house with the pink door!”).
Don’t stop at your front door. Diana Scarpa, owner and lead designer of Opal Home Staging, stressed a nice doormat goes a long way to make a listing look homey. She also said to add some seating (if there’s room) and pots of flowers or greenery on either side of the door or on the top step of the porch.
If you’re interested in increasing the appeal of your property to potential renters or guests, follow these five easy steps for the best results. Not only will you stand out among the competition, a successful side hustle can even help you save for large purchases, such as a down payment on a house.
From the suburbs to the city, Allison Saunders has a heart for all things Detroit. Originally a writer and publisher for the Opportunity Detroit blog, she brings a passion for human-interest journalism to the Zing blog, aiming to have real conversations with her readers. As a millennial, she hopes to provide a new understanding to the world of mortgages and money to her like-minded peers. Check out more information about home, money, and life from the Zing Blog.