Tips for preparing your short-term rental/holiday let

When you decide to rent out your property either as a holiday let / Airbnb or for short term rental, in order to maximise on your return in the first instance you need to make sure it has a strong visual appeal and ticks as many boxes as possible.

Properties that look better in photos stand out from their competition are seen as more desirable.

Stylish, well dressed rental properties attract more interest and can usually be charged at a higher rate.

We have put together a few tips to help you to make the most out of your rental accommodation which you may find useful……

Know your target audience

When preparing your property you need to ensure that it is tailored to the correct target audience. This will depend on various factors including geographical location, property size and type, the purpose of the stay (business or pleasure) and the type of people who might be staying there.

If it is a small place suited to couples reflect this in the photos – make it cosy with a subtle air of romance. For larger family size places make them homely, practical and fun. If it is for business use incorporate a desk into the space.

Maximise on potential sleeping accommodation

More beds adds more value – consider additional sleeping options in the property i.e. a sofa bed or futon in the living room, bunk beds in one of the bedrooms etc

Number of potential guests

Think of how many people might be staying there and equip the property according to the number of potential sleeping spaces. Ensure there is enough linen, bedding, cutlery, seating and dining spaces etc to match.

Communal spaces

Allow for communal space both inside and out where possible. This makes a huge difference to the property’s appeal especially if the rental period is for more than a couple of days.

Outside spaces and kerb appeal

The property needs to look appealing from the outside too so don’t forget to dress those areas. They should be clean, well maintained and inviting with adequate lighting. Use low maintenance plants and if there is space add seating and / or an alfresco dining area. Front doors can also benefit from a fresh coat of paint and new / clearly visible door numbers.

Property maintenance

The property should be as low maintenance and user friendly as possible. Use surfaces that are easy to clean i.e. leather sofas, vinyl flooring, machine washable fabrics for soft furnishings etc. Dark grout in kitchens and bathrooms are also easier to maintain.

Consider placing an automatic air freshener near the entrance so the place smells fresh when they walk in (nothing too strong or overpowering though!) Make a small hoover and some basic cleaning products available for use where necessary.

Keyless entries are easier to manage, guests / tenants can come and go with more flexibility and it removes the stress and expense of replacing lost keys etc.

Design for safety

Avoid using items that are easily breakable or furniture with sharp corners particularly if the property is suited to families. Ensure the place is child friendly i.e. make sure there are no loose cords on blinds, large windows without safety latches etc. Check there is a fire alarm, extinguisher and carbon monoxide tester where relevant and don’t put anything in the property that poses a fire risk i.e. candles (you can purchase real effect LED alternatives should you wish). Use rug grips under any loose floor coverings and keep any potential trip hazards to a minimum.


Scale and balance – the size of the furniture should work with the size of the property. Use minimal pieces that do not clutter the space and clever multi-functional fold away pieces for smaller spaces. Shelves are good for additional storage. Don’t forget to factor in room for the guest’s / tenant’s stuff and where possible try to allow for 92cm walk space between items (high traffic areas such as hallways 122cm).


Define a focal point for each room, keep the walls neutral and add some pops of color for interest. Any colours used should look fresh and clean and try to stick to a maximum of 4 colours throughout the property. Avoid gender-specific decor like flowered wallpaper and pink and blue bedding and towels.

Style with items to reflect local interest / culture / events , i.e if your property is in a coastal location include relevant furnishings, accessories, artwork or books, but keep it simple and don’t clutter the space. Using a mix of new and up-cycled items can also be a good way of adding interest.

Try and show personality rather than personal items, however adding a quirky item or two can add an element of fun whilst allowing your property to stand out from the crowd!

Add mirrors for a feeling of space and light and use additional lighting to create depth and ambiance. Quality faux plants and flowers are also good for adding interest and colour whilst being low maintenance and OK for potential allergy sufferers!


Besides the bed, a couple of side tables, wardrobe and drawers, if you have the space consider adding a small seating area as this provides a feeling of luxury and can make the room appear more spacious! It also provides an additional way of using the space i.e. a chair and a side table in a corner, or an upholstered bench at the end of the bed or under the window. Using a bench that also offers storage underneath serves 2 purposes!


Clean, crisp bathrooms with a spa type feel ooze appeal and bring a touch of luxury. Ensure the bathroom has adequate lighting and mirrors. Keep the surfaces free from clutter but dress with a few relevant nicely packaged accessories. Provide small baskets to store accessories, add rolled towels, faux plants, LED candles and a reed diffuser for effect.

Greet guests with a little note or treat – Holiday Lets / Airbnbs

Leaving a few treats or items for your guests adds a nice touch and shows that you have considered additional needs they may have.

Some handy things to leave may include a few basic toiletry items such as toothpaste or shower gel, extension cords, cell phone chargers, hair dryers, iron and a basic first aid kit. Treats could include light refreshments such as bottled water, biscuits, chocolates etc. If you are offering family-friendly accommodation, keeping items like a high chair / booster seat or baby wipes in the property could be helpful. Small touches can make a big difference to the guest’s feedback and experience. In terms of Airbnb these extra touches can result in Superhost status!

Good photos

Quality photos of your property are essential in terms of marketing and to show your property in its best light. We always recommend using the services of a professional photographer. Having the property professionally dressed and styled prior to the photo shoot can make a huge difference too.

Photos should show the key spaces (both inside and out) and any focal points whilst highlighting the property’s features.

It can be a good idea to take pictures of the property both during the day and night. If your property gets a lot of natural light open window dressings and take pictures of each room lit up during the day. Use ambient lighting for evening pictures to give your home a cosy look. Add a couple of photos of local areas of interest too.

Adding a few lifestyle accessories such as coffee cups and small food items or magazines when taking your photos can also add a more personal touch and welcoming feel to the property.

Good description

Regardless of the type of property, giving a good, informative description is really important. Highlighting all of its key benefits and features as well as information about the local area and any places of interest or large events helps to let guests and tenants know what is potentially available to them. Make sure to include any unique elements or additions that they may not find elsewhere. Let them know if there is parking or where the nearest car park or transport links are. Tell them how far you are from the beach or park and maybe recommend some local places to eat and drink. The better the description, the more likely you are to secure bookings / tenants.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of tips, but hopefully you’ve found it helpful! Preparing property can be very time consuming, costly and a little overwhelming first off, but done correctly it can save you time and money in the long run as well as being financially rewarding!

Our services are flexible and aimed at helping people to achieve their property goals, however big or small!

As always, if we can be of any assistance with Staging or Styling your space or property please do not hesitate to get in touch, details can be found on our contact us page

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