When it comes to packaging your vacation home online, don’t underestimate the power of staging. Just like you would with a home you are about to sell, you need to convey the message of neutral sophistication with smartly chosen decor. Folks need to be able to believe they could live there, too, without reminders of the owners.
1. Spend money on better linens.
People notice scratchy towels and 200-threadcount sheets, two preferences that may wind up in negative user reviews if the renters happen to be passionate about such things. Don’t risk the bad press. Going to sleep in a stranger’s bed is enough of an adjustment. Make it an easy night with silky linens and they’ll thank you for it.
2. Eliminate tchotchkes.
You may have thought that singing fish trophy was cool as a gag gift in 1993, but trust me, it was never cool. The same goes for neon Budweiser signs, poems printed on plaques and anything else that would qualify for a garage sale.
It’s off-putting to see piles anywhere–especially in a vacation home. How’s a renter supposed to relax with articles strewn about?
4. Keep it neutral.
Customers will expect a nautical theme in a Cape Cod beach cottage, but there’s no need to overdo it. Just being at the coast will set the tone for the vacation itself. Don’t hang an anchor or starfish in every room.
Maybe you do stay in the home a few weeks at a time. Good for you. You worked hard for this place and this vacation. Still, do your clients need to see photos of you at every turn? Some may find that charming, but others could be creeped out a little. If you insist on adding your personal touches, do that with art or a handwritten note accompanying a welcome basket. Those are signatures they’ll appreciate.
Valerie Moloney is your resident blogger and the Expansion Markets Editor for Citysearch.com, who oddly enough, feels panicked when asked, "What's the best place to eat in Chicago?" or her favorite, "It's my birthday. Where should we go with a party of six?" No stranger to travel--and traveling with kids--she is a young mom who ODs on the Internet when it comes to planning family trips or buying clothes. Here's hoping she finds you the vacation you deserve.