According to Statista, the total revenue of the vacation rental industry in the United States is estimated to reach $13.3 billion in 2021. With the vacation rental market growing at approximately 10 percent annually, the industry will approach $20 billion in 2025, and this hospitality category is closed. Already on this number. Revenue is expected to reach $17.66 billion this year alone. Currently, the number of people expected to book vacation rentals outside the hotel industry is expected to reach 62.9 million by 2026, and 80 percent of this revenue is generated through online sales.
The post-COVID rise and rapid growth in vacation rentals is opening up opportunities at this end of the design and home furnishings ecosystem. Designers and home furnishings retailers can deliver accessories and furnishings designed to add the right appeal that attracts people to the rentals they wish to book over and over again. Given that one in five people is expected to remain in vacation rentals by 2025 – in 2021 that number was one in eight – it can be profitable to design or promote home furnishing for these spaces.
Why vacation rentals?
According to an Airbnb study, the main reason people book vacation rentals is to get to the kitchen, 64 percent of respondents say. Privacy comes as a second reason for choosing vacation rentals, with 49 percent of respondents feeling this type of rental is more private than a hotel room.
In many cases, extra space or a unique experience is also a top reason to book a vacation rental rather than a hotel reservation. The average hotel room is about 325 square feet, while average vacation rentals span over 1,300 square feet. It provides an opportunity to spread out and unwind on vacation as well as offer an option to include more people at a lower cost.
Where better to implement business practices than places designed to cater to different tastes and fast turnaround? The key to a successful approach to the rental space is to create a clean and dramatic design while offering places where vacationers can visualize themselves at home, and not feel like visitors in someone else’s home. Choosing high-performance colours, furnishings and surfaces, as well as accessories, art, and more can create the perfect vacation rental space. While being able to offer design may not be an easy task for a rental owner because they may not realize what constitutes good design or the personal touches they might incorporate into their space, designers are better equipped to offer an approach that checks all the boxes.
To generate excitement, especially since potential holders do most of their research online, it is wise to provide a décor that matches a particular region or type of consumer, if this is a prerequisite for the rental owner. Some owners, for example, may prefer to cater to older clients while others may be eager to offer a space that will appeal to the millennial consumer. Taking the target guest even further, if you are designing for guests who will work while visiting, they may appreciate a comfortable work desk, while travelers with pets and children will appreciate a well-organized outdoor area more, as well as performance surfaces that will keep the space clean.
Considering regionalism—a coastal design in a lake or oceanfront property, for example—would make sense, as a rental in a city or mountainous area might benefit from a modern or rustic style, respectively. For the design industry, this type of staging can be a lucrative career path or a side hustle, as it doesn’t usually require movable walls or larger transitions, such as kitchen renovations that can take months. It can also provide a sense of creative freedom because designing a space to create a mood will not integrate the personality of the customer.
While the neutral rule may be a safe bet to accommodate a wide variety of vacation tastes as well, it’s important to remember that first impressions of a vacation rental happen online. Bold accents or well-presented décor items can make all the difference for those looking for a space to call home for a few days, a week, or more.
design is considered
According to IGMS, modern travelers are becoming more discerning and spoiled by choice. An unattractive and unwieldy indoor rental design can affect occupancy rates and, in turn, the return on investment for hosts. Alternately, a well-thought-out attractive design can lead to more bookings. In addition to defining the target guest and sticking to the regional area of the vacation rental, there are a few key areas to pay attention to when designing for this segment.
See if the host you’re working with wants to turn their property into something extraordinary, allowing you to choose a relevant design. This approach can also work well in a saturated market to help highlight that rental. Even if a particular market is not crowded, the host may want to opt for this interior design approach as the demand for unique properties is growing. According to Airbnb, unique stays tend to go so far as to override traditional options in searches.
Concerned that your contracted Airbnb host will have a limited budget? Consider affordable ways to create beautiful interiors, because even properties that don’t offer the best location can feel like a first-class rental simply by implementing smart design strategies. Explain to them, however, how better quality parts can extend the life of your rental design.
get to know you. With a host’s personal life kept out of a rental property, personal touches that tell a story about that host and location tend to be more popular with guests, according to IGMS. You can achieve this effect by adding a few fun items like a figurine or local ceramics that spark interest and intrigue without making guests feel like they’re living in that host’s home. However, keep clutter to a minimum to make the rental feel more spacious and avoid breaking accessories.
Choose durable, high-quality furniture. Hosts often forget that what suits them well in the house will not impress the guests. And since rent will attract significantly more traffic, durable and high-performance furniture will be more economical in the long run. It will look better over time and save the host a good amount of money since they won’t have to constantly replace the furnishings.
selective selection. To create an interesting menu, choose a mix of premium furniture pieces and unique second-hand pieces. A furniture suit, for example, may lack creativity that provides an experience or a design that tells an interesting story.
Add those bold accents. Adding bold accents – from wall color to wallpaper and more – can enhance the look of a property. Paint the front door a saturated blue or red, for example. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to make a property stand out (plus, it makes it easy to find). If a door isn’t an option, paint one of the interior walls an accent color or paint an unexpected color around the window frames. You can also include large pieces of art or install unique lighting. Bold accents will help online listings attract more views.
Adhering to the principles of good design can turn a vacation rental from boring to extraordinary, especially when that space resonates with the desired target guest. If finding clients in this category is a challenge, there are other options available for both designers and retailers looking to gain a foothold in this lucrative market segment. Consider offering good design courses to hosts who can use your help in creating an environment that will keep them fully booked all year round.