A person browses airbnb on their tablet, with a cup of coffee in the background.

How To Maximize Your Vacation Property’s Appeal For Short-Term Rentals

So you’ve decided to make the most of your vacation home and turn it into a short-term rental property. But there’s more to renting out your place than putting up a property listing on Airbnb. Not only do you need to make sure your property is ready for visitors, but it’s a must to find ways to make your property stand out from the competition to potential guests.

So how do you get started? Here are our tips on how to create a short-term rental property that people love to book:

Make Sure You Have The Necessities…

People book short-term rentals because they want all the convenience of home that they can’t find in a hotel or hostel. So be sure you offer that convenience in your property! Just a few things that your guests will appreciate include:

  • Dishware & silverware
  • Pots, pans, and other cooking utensils
  • Wifi
  • Washer/dryer
  • TV (either with cable or streaming options)
  • Bed linens & towels
  • Toilet paper & soap
  • Cleaning supplies

By adding all these necessities, your guests will be able to make themselves at home without having to rush out to the store or think about bringing things like pillows and towels from home.

…And Then Add Some Special Touches

While the essentials are a great starting point, you’ll want to consider adding a few more elements that you can highlight in your social media listings. Added amenities can be an excellent marketing strategy against similar listings.

The extras you can include range from small things, like basic spices in the cabinets or new travel-size toiletries in the bathroom, to more intensive additions, like a cleaning service that comes after your guests leave–meaning they don’t have to worry about tidying up.

While the latter option may seem a little pricey, in the long run, offering your guests extra will result in more bookings, and you’ll be able to make up the difference–and then some!

Know Your Audience And Your Area

Most people looking to book a short-term rental are looking for a place to call home base while on vacation, whether that’s for a weekend getaway or a two week holiday. Look at the area your property is located in and consider who’s most likely to rent out your place.

Are you renting out a hip studio apartment in a popular tourist city? Then you’re probably looking at a younger demographic, and more international guests. Maybe you’re renting out a small cabin near a popular forest with a hiking trail, or a small house next to a golf course in a desert town popular with the 55+ crowd. Whatever your rental looks like, offer items relevant to their interests–hiking poles, a guide to the best nearby restaurants, the list goes on.

By offering a place specifically designed for a certain audience, you’ll have much better luck getting that audience to book your property for their vacation.

Work With The Seasons

While it may be tempting to treat your rental as a “set it and forget it” source of passive income, putting in some effort through the year to keep it seasonal can make a big difference in the long term. Some ways you can change things up are with:


Update your decor based on the season. With bright summer colors, springtime pastels, spooky Halloween decorations, and festive holiday decor, you can liven up your space and ensure your guests can fully enjoy the season while they visit.


Take advantage of the differentiating weather by offering equipment for your guests to enjoy during each season–think toboggans for snowy winter, inflatable tubes and beach balls for poolside summer fun, even kites for windy spring days and cocoa and cider packets for chilly autumn nights.


A guidebook is a great way to introduce your guests to the area, along with laying out the house rules for your property. Make it even more helpful by creating one to be switched out each season. You can even include seasonal local events and activities for your guests to check out.

Call In The Pros

Still feeling unsure of how to really make your property pop to potential guests/ Then it might be time to call in a property management company like Doorstep. Finding a property management team that specializes in short-term rentals can make all the difference for vacation rental owners. 

A property manager will know how to best furnish and decorate your home, how to market and price your property listing on Airbnb, VRBO, and other rental sites, and manage everything from cleaning services to emergencies to collecting payment. By signing on with a property management service, they’ll be able to take care of all of the above and more to make your property as appealing as possible to guests.

Having a property to rent out is truly only half the battle when it comes to getting a steady stream of short-term renters. But by following these tips, you’ll be able to outshine the competition and create a rental that people can’t wait to rent. And trust us, it’s well-worth a little investment and elbow grease to see those bookings roll in!