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Where to scrimp and where to save when decorating your Airbnb rental property

Where to scrimp and where to save when decorating your rental property / air bnb

Interiors are everything in the short-term Airbnb rental market. You can have a property in a mediocre building with fabulous interiors which outperforms a property in a high-end building with basic interiors. That's because people buy first with their eyes. What they see online is like a shop window and you have to be able to entice people in with your design and staging. Then, you have to live up to it when they arrive at the property and experience it for themselves.

Anna Skigin, co-founder and CEO of Frank Porter, a leading property management company for short-term rentals across Dubai, shares her top tips on how to impress your customers without breaking the bank.


1.     Design your property with your target customer in mind

My biggest piece of advice for clients decorating their homes for short term lets is don't think about what you like, think about what is most durable and what is generally liked by all. That gorgeous white statement sofa may be beautiful, but is it practical? Probably not. If your ideal tenant is likely to be travelling on business, there will be things that are more pertinent to them than if it’s a young family you’re trying to attract. Think about what your target audience wants and needs, and add in thoughtful touches that will appeal to them. This will also help dictate your furniture choices.


2.     Simple changes make a big impact

You don’t have to spend thousands and make vast changes to transform your short-term let. Sometimes just repainting a property alters it massively. When you swap dark colours for white or lighter shades, for example, it can uplift a small space and makes the area look clean and bright.


3.     Decorative touches are everything

You can have basic furniture but adding artwork, carpets, flowers, greenery, mirrors, cushions, magazines and lights, elevates everything and creates an atmosphere which turns a basic property into a cosy 'home away from home'.


4.     Photography is incredibly important

Properties must be beautiful in photos, yet functional by design and I have a whole philosophy about this which I share with our clients to make sure they are at the forefront of the market in Dubai. Hiring a professional to take your photographs is a must and getting the right advice about how to stage your property, and the overall look and feel, is the best way of maximising your revenue.


5.     Know where to spend money

If I was to advise a client what to splurge on it would be a comfortable and solid sofa and a high quality bed and mattress. It’s all about durability as these are the items that are highly used. Everyone remembers what kind of night’s sleep they had or how relaxing lying on the couch was.


6.     Know where to save money

Decorative items such as artwork or lighting can be where you can save a bit of money, and on pieces which are not used as often such as a decorative chair in a bedroom.


7.     Don’t forget guest essentials

My top guest essentials are a coffee machine and coffee capsules, a Smart TV and good internet. Each of these are major pain points if you don’t get them right. Think about how many times you’ve seen complaints about poor wi-fi in online travel reviews. Owners also need to think about providing a good quality hair dryer, vacuum cleaner and of course nice bedding and linen.  

Anna Skigin is the co-founder and CEO of Frank Porter,


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