7 Cheap and Easy Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Vacation Rental

michaeldale (1)They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  This is so important, and especially true of for your Airbnb guests. When they roll up to your property, what do they see? A dilapidated house with peeling paint and dead grass, or a cheerful, well-manicured lawn with bright pops of colorful flowers and greenery?

People are going to pay you more and book you more often if your house has strong curb appeal.  You don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars before you see the benefits, just a few low cost and strategically managed upgrades can help you dramatically increase your Airbnb revenue.

7 Inexpensive Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Airbnb

  1. All about the door: paint, hardware, and accessorize
  2. House Numbers
  3. Front Porch
  4. Lights
  5. DIY Flower beds
  6. Clean Everything
  7. Add Flower Boxes

1. All about that Door: Paint, Hardware, and Accessorize

Paint

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Both of these are pretty cool doors, but the one painted red just pops! A little bit of unexpected goes a long way, especially when it’s a cheerful color.

Here is another example from a property we manageScreen Shot 2018-10-22 at 2.46.47 PM

Beautiful teal door, porch light turned on, and simple mulched flower beds along the side of the house.

Hardware

Updating your front door’s hardware doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming.  For a myriad of reasons, you should have a keypad lock for the main entrance of your house.  Something simple – we have heard so many horror stories about guests getting locked out due to technological malfunctions in some fancy lock.  Our old faithful is the Kwikset electronic deadbolt, like this one:

We have at least two for every property (main entrance and a backup).  And at under $70, the price is right!

Instead of replacing the main handle, consider spray paint.  This is a good option as long as the style isn’t too outdated.  Brass is currently out of style, so consider a glossy or black matte.

Accessorize

Becoming an Airbnb Superhost means paying attention to small details, like decor.  One way to give your guests a special experience is by changing out your accessories to match the season.  With the front door being the first thing a guest sees, this is the perfect time to make a good impression.  Buy a few simple door hangers and rotate them through to keep them fresh.  It makes for a great social media post every time you switch it out!  Here is an example of a simple fall door decoration we have at one of our properties:

2. House Numbers

Your house numbers should be two things: easy to find, and aesthetically pleasing.

It is important for your house numbers to be easy to find, because one of the star rating categories is Check-In/Arrival.  And if your house numbers are hard to find, guests are going to mark you down.  The numbers should be large enough to read from the street, uncluttered, and reflective or lit up for nighttime arrivals.  Consider putting a second set on your mailbox or driveway.

If you are buying a new set of house numbers anyway, pay a little extra for some stylish ones.  Consider the color scheme of your property, as well as your theme.

3. Front Porch

Even a small porch can be inviting if you do it right!

First, make sure it is clean.  Sweep what you can and power wash the stubborn stuff.  I have our cleaners sweep our porch as part of their checklist, as spiders like to hang out and spin daily webs.

Patio furniture can be pricey, so don’t let yourself get sucked in.  There are plenty of smaller patio sets designed to make the best use of your limited funds and porch space.  You can also shop patio sets on clearance in September and October for some truly great deals.

Add some more fun items like pillows, hangers, and plants.

Here is a small front porch from one of our properties.  We’ve got a bistro set ($40 Ikea clearance) pillows, sunflower sun catcher, and a plant (obviously still TBD).

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4. Lights

Thankfully, exterior lights are relatively easy to change out by yourself.  If I can figure it out by watching a few YouTube videos, so can you.

I recommend a dusk to dawn light, which means that the light turns on when it senses darkness.  You don’t have to worry about leaving the light on for guests, because it will happen automatically.

If you’re on a real tight budget, consider spray painting the fixtures instead of replacing them.  You can use the same spray paint as the door hardware to match!

5. DIY Flowerbeds

I’m not going to be able to explain this as well as Better Home and Gardens, so I suggest you look at their blog post HERE.

Basically, put down newspaper, then add mulch and/or bricks around the bottom of your windows and along any front paths.  Dig out a hole every few feet and plant some hostas or other plants native to your area.  If you want to get fancy, dig in a bit along the edges and put down some bricks.  Browse a website like Pinterest for design ideas.

What a landscaper charges thousands for, you can DIY for a fraction of the price.

6. Clean everything

Rent or buy a power washer, and scrub down everything.  The siding, sidewalk, window frames, etc.  Repaint if necessary.

7. Add flower boxes

A simple flower box can make a world of difference.  Of course the cheapest way is to DIY, but you can also find some online for under $50 that are easily mounted with some brackets and screws.

If you think flowers are too difficult to keep alive, plant something easier to care for like evergreens or succulents.

I encourage you to put your own spin on it and adapt these to your theme, like the picture below.

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With some simple, inexpensive upgrades, you can instantly increase your booking appeal, check-in rating, and overall guest satisfaction.

We’ve seen this time and time again in our own properties. Here is one house that we bought and then flipped (interior and exterior).

Here is the before –

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And the After –

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Due to the termite damage on the original wooden siding, we ended up residing the whole house in vinyl.  Everything else is the same, though, including the garage door, window frames, storm and front door.  Although we could obviously stand to do some front flower beds…it’s a pretty big transformation for a minimum investment. The siding was the biggest ticket item at $11,000, but everything else combined came in under $50.

The projects below require some more dough but are worth the investment:

Add a pergola over your driveway

Repave the driveway

Add window shutters

Hopefully this post gave you some inspiration for your own curb appeal projects!  Share your results in the comments below and share the love!

 

Thanks for visiting my Airbnb hosting blog! Hosting is a huge passion in my life.  I love showing others how to build their own hosting business and reach financially independence.  If you are enjoying the content on this blog, it would mean a lot to me if you would consider purchasing my new book, Financially Free with Airbnb.  Blog readers get a special discount – just enter the code airbnbbabes at checkout.   

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