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4 Ways to Get Your Short-Term Rental Ready for Guests

Ryan and Claire Danz, a Cardiff couple starring in HGTV's new show, My House is Your House, share their pro tips


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Claire Danz in her Cardiff home | Photo courtesy Air Concierge

Get high-tech.

A keyless entry system you can control through an app—and change the code after every reservation—is paramount. “Keys go missing; people accidentally put them on their keyrings and take them home,” says Ryan.

 

Spend money on the outdoors.

“Develop your outdoor living space, small or large,” advises Ryan, who points out that a lot of tourists come from Arizona and want to sit outside in the summertime. An outdoor space is so important it’s worth rearranging the budget. Put less time and money into a bathroom or kitchen than you would a traditional remodel. “Make the bathroom great and functional, but if you had a $10,000 to $20,000 budget for a regular bathroom renovation, we would cut that in half and apply the difference to an outdoor area or a great open-space concept.”

 

Invest in a fire or water feature.

“A pool is a very valuable commodity, especially in San Diego,” says Ryan. “Even if it’s not in the most ideal location in San Diego,” says Claire, “someone will still rent the home. People want their kids to be entertained 24/7 while they’re here.” Safety is often a concern, but showing a photo with a pool fence causes it to lose value. They suggest an electronic pool cover as a workaround. As for the expense of heating the pool, they tell their clients to either build it into the price or charge a five percent resort fee. Another winner is a firepit. Spend a few thou on running a gas line to a circular outdoor concrete fireplace. “It looks amazing in photos and gives people a gathering area,” says Ryan.

 

Use durable materials.

Microtop floors lend a modern aesthetic and are easy to clean. The material looks like concrete but doesn’t crack. For countertops, opt for quartz or even porcelain, which takes any kind of spill—except you can’t drop heavy things on it. Remember, your home may welcome 40 to 50 reservations per year.

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