Unlock The WOW Factor From Your Short Stay Let: Increased Yields, Higher Ratings
As more investors seek to leverage higher returns from short stay lets, Marty Wright from MadeComfy's interior design and styling team says standing out from the crowd and achieving great results isn't as easy as it looks.
very investor wants to rent their property fast, maximise occupancy and unlock higher yields. Careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce your short stay let can help turn your property into an irresistible and marketable commodity. We sat down with Marty Wright from MadeComfy’s interior design and styling team to discover how you can unlock the WOW factor, stand out from the crowd and achieve great results.
""Unlike other companies that do what we do, we design and source furniture per property.""
API: First up Marty can you tell us why it’s so essential to have a well-styled property to stand out in the short stay market?
MW: At the end of the day, the market is quite competitive. Airbnb is growing so quickly and there are so many properties online, especially in Sydney, where we’re based, but obviously also throughout the world. We’re seeing a lot of times now that there might be multiple apartments in the same apartment block, and there’s definitely dozens if not hundreds of properties within the same suburb. A well-styled property with well-executed photography will jump off the page or website, making people want to click on it and follow through with a booking. People want to document their stays these days on Instagram or Snapchat or Facebook and a beautiful property will add to their story, giving them something to be excited about, which is where guests can really benefit too.
API: Getting the styling right must be pretty important then when you’re looking at getting those maximum bookings and higher ratings on short stay platforms. What are the common mistakes property investors make when it comes to interior design and how can they be avoided?
MW: Many owners like to do it themselves, but they might not have a design background or creative eye and they may choose furniture that clashes with the style of their property. They might also choose furniture that actually clashes with other pieces of furniture within their property. Obviously as an investor you’re trying to minimise the amount of outlay for furniture, so the hard part is where you have a beautiful or very expensive property, and finish it off with very cheap furniture. People are expecting - when they’re paying quite a lot per night or week - that they’re going to have a beautiful property that’s furnished very nicely too. Cheap furniture can bring down the experience that the guest has, plus it can be less durable and less comfortable too.
Another thing people often get wrong is the scale of furniture. I normally see this mainly in the living and dining rooms as well as in the choices of artwork. Oversized furniture can make a space feel smaller, whilst undersized furniture and artwork can seem lost within a space, all that affecting the harmony of a room.
API: And what about basics, like getting a good night’s sleep? How else can skimping on furnishings affect their guests’ experiences?
MW: At the end of the day you’re providing a service and trying to compete with other forms of accommodation. You don’t want to provide an uncomfortable sleeping experience for a guest. Generally if they have a good night’s sleep it leads to a better review, but if they have a terrible night’s sleep they’re not going to be in a good frame of mind at the end of their stay. You have to spend money on good quality bedding and mattresses to help achieve that, it’s essential. Also when it comes to the team at MadeComfy and our skills as designers, even though we style and furnish numbers of properties, each one is individualised for the property and for the owner themselves. Unlike other companies that do what we do,our design approach is bespoke, and source furniture per property. We will never have furniture in a warehouse ready to go or buy multiple pieces of furniture ready to fit out multiple properties in exactly the same way.
API: How can MadeComfy help investors to stand out in the market, get those good reviews and guarantee minimum vacancy rates?
MW: We offer an end-to-end furnishing and interior styling service for all investors who use MadeComfy as a management platform for their short-stay properties. This includes onsite visits in advance of planning (where possible), the design work with mood boards and schedules individualised for each property, all the furniture, whitegoods and appliances (laundry and bathroom packs), cutlery, crockery, glassware, pots, pans, cooking utensils, delivery and assembly fees, rubbish removal costs and the final styling process. Additionally, we get professional photographers to come in and shoot the property because there’s no point styling a fantastic apartment and using a cheap camera or an iPhone to take the photos.
API: What’s an average budget for an interior styling and furniture package, or does it depend on the property’s size?
MW: A budget for a one bedroom apartment will be a lot different to a five bedroom house, so it comes down to the individual property and the location as well. So if you have a beautiful property on the beach that’s worth several million dollars then the budget will normally be a little bit higher because you have to do the property justice. Whereas if you have a studio apartment in parts of the city that probably are less desirable or where vacancy rates are lower, you probably won’t want to over capitalise and spend too much money on the furniture package. We tailor the costs and offer various package options, with a one bedroom apartment starting at about the $9k mark (depending on where it’s located in the state). One thing to add, is that we have a payment option for investors who want to be strategic with upfront cost of furnishing. Our partnership with zipMoney and Brighte allows our customers to take advantage of up to 24 month interest-free payment option.
API: What about investors who have no choice but to DIY their short-stay furnishing and styling? What tips have you got to help them achieve their goals?
MW: You have to take into consideration the enormous amount of time involved to not only design the property, but source every individual item from scratch, then the time that it takes to organise all the deliveries. Depending on the furniture that’s chosen there may be an assembly time, plus there’s the time and cost of removing all the rubbish. It can be quite challenging and it’s not normally something that can be done in a day. You also want to furnish your property to maximise your returns, e.g. through the highest nightly rate or lowest vacancy rates, so it’s essential to work out a budget that will help you achieve that goal. Check higher rated properties on the short let platforms to see what’s been produced. You’re competing with every other property within your suburb - and possibly within your city - so how can you make your property stand out above all the others? It’s about trying to create your own style because that will stand out more than a trend everyone’s following now, with a dozen or more properties online where everything is exactly the same.