The 15 Essential Items Every Short Term Rental MUST HAVE
Whether you're listing your space on Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway, or with a professional property manager, you will need a whole bunch of items that guests expect to see and make your life as a host easier and more profitable. Here's a list of the 15 things we've identified that every STR needs.
1 - An extremely detailed HOUSE MANUAL to make it easy for guests to follow the rules and enjoy themselves. This goes for in-house signage too. Don’t assume anybody knows anything about anything
2 - A CLEANING PLAN!! You have options! But whatever you decide (professional maid service, hire someone specifically and train them, your spouse, your nephew, assistant) make sure whoever is cleaning knows EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT THE PLACE TO LOOK LIKE WHEN THEY ARE DONE. I CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH. Use a meticulous Housekeeper Checklist to make in-between-guest-cleanings easier and faster...even if it is YOU doing the cleaning.
3 - A very detailed, stern, honest, fair, gracious, and welcoming HOST who has the capability to run a tight ship through any storm. A lot of your STR success will depend on you, your systems, your rules, and your common sense. You are awesome for even wanting to do this in the first place. Don’t let one bad review or one picky guest rock your boat.
4 - A WHOLE BUNCH OF CLEANING SUPPLIES and to make sure your guest know where they are! When humans get together and embark on activities there is no predicting what strange messes will occur! Puke! Baby poop! “Service Animal” Accidents! Muddy Boots! Pizza Sauce! Red Wine! YOU WANT TO GIVE YOUR GUEST THE EASIEST AND FIRST OPPORTUNITY TO CLEAN UP MAJOR MESSES AND SPILLS AS THEY HAPPEN. Have carpet cleaner, clorox wipes, rags, sponges, paper towels! everything!
5 - Entertainment! Something to do! Whether it’s TV’s a whole bunch of magazines, board games, decks of cards, Frommer's books about the area, whatever, have something for your guests to do while they’re stuck indoors on a rainy day.
6 - Rules about NOISE. You must make it very clear to your guest that they must not disturb the neighbors. See our House Rules in the Saved Responses Section of the Airbnb Paperwork System for our wording on how we charge a fee if the neighbors complain to us about guests’ noise.
7 - Coffee Machine. Drip, Keurig, whatever...just have one.
8 - Cooking supplies...you will NEED at least a few pots and pans of various sizes. Nothing special, stirring spoons, tongs, ladles, a cutting board, mixing bowls, all the normal stuff you’d see in a kitchen - the guests expect it. A lot of guests will go grocery shopping on the way to your home.
9 - Enough Place Settings (plates, bowls, silverware, glassware, cups, mugs, etc) for everyone that you have room for. If your listing says you can sleep 12 people, you better have more than 6 place settings.
10 - Vacation Rental Insurance. VERY IMPORTANT. If you have a major insurance claim or a fire or something, and your insurance company finds out you were renting out rooms or the whole house and you never told them, you and I both know that insurance company will do everything in their power not to pay.
11 - Fire Extinguisher. The Application for Vacation Rental Insurance from CBIZ specifically asked if the home has a fire extinguisher in the home.
12 - First Aid Kit. Accidents happen!
13 - A very clear, detailed, easy-to-read, RENTAL LISTING with lots of Pictures. The more info you can give to your guests and the more transparent you can be about all the different and unique aspects of your property or hosting style will pay you dividends.
14 - Dishwasher! Not negotiable.
15 - A sense of humor. You are embarking on a really cool and really fun journey. You are going to have some amazing guests who will touch your heart, and they will be immediately followed by some finicky frugal Freddie who will steal your salt and pepper shakers. You’re about to have all kinds of “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” kind of stories. You must have thick skin and the ability to laugh when things seem like they’ve gone wrong.
We know there are more than 15 things you need in the home, so comment below of there's anything you would add to the list.
WE CAN HELP with a a few of these items too! For a detailed House Manual, Cleaning Checklist, and MORE, see our whole Airbnb system HERE: https://www.associatedhousing.com/airbnb-system