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Editors Pick / Vacation Rental Styling

Is Your Airbnb or Vacation Rental on the Right Side of this Crucial 20%?

We are often asked by subscribers and clients this question:

“Approximately how much will my vacation rental revenue increase if I invest in interior design?”

are vacation rentals profitable

We know interior design heavily impacts vacation rental ROI, but by how much? Scroll down for the scoop on the hard data and you’ll be amazed! Bedroom by 1 Chic Retreat

It’s a tough question. Anecdotally we know bookings and rates increase – sometimes even double – because our clients tell us so, but we don’t have price modeling, statistics, algorithms, and real estate analytics at hand to prove just how much.

After all, we are not data specialists. We are designers.

Because we want to answer this question definitively, we reached out to a company that specializes in short-term rental data.

And wow did they have precise numbers at their disposal!

If you haven’t heard of Beyond Pricing, they offer software that links all your short-term listings to one dashboard allowing you to dynamically price your rental or rentals in real time, based on such factors as desirability, seasonality, neighborhood, local demand and more.

Besides pricing, they specialize in helping owners and managers maximize the performance of their vacation rental properties.

We asked Sergey Mann, Growth & Customer Success Manager at Beyond Pricing, to give us the scoop on the impact of design on pricing and occupancy rates.

Sergey not only gave us the numbers we were looking for, but he offered to write an article on the subject. He feels that strongly about the link between interior design and ROI.


“Design is a factor that few owners take into account and consequently, they are missing out on a lot of revenue,” he stressed. “I’d love the opportunity to prove it.”

So without further ado, let’s see what Sergey has to teach us.

Investing In Your Listing’s Interior Design Can Increase Revenue 20% or More

Competition in the vacation rental industry is rapidly increasing.

In some markets, there has been a year over year increase in the number of Airbnb listings of over 100%. With such fierce competition, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve.

Improving the quality of your listing is one way to do so. At Beyond Pricing, we currently price over 120,000 listings all over the world and are carefully analyzing just how much hosts can charge for their short-term rentals. 

We’ve seen that an increase in demand for your listing will have a significant impact on how much you can charge and hence your total revenue.

Home design is one critical factor that contributes considerably to listing demand. And we can’t stress it enough!

How exactly does interior design impact demand for your listing? In two crucial ways:

1. Reviews

For one, the aesthetics of your vacation rental or Airbnb have a direct impact on the reviews you get.

Getting better reviews can massively increase demand, which means you can raise prices and still maintain the same occupancy.

For example, we’ve seen that when hosts go from an average of 4-star reviews to 4.5-star reviews, they’ve been able to raise prices by at least 20%, while at the same time, maintaining their normal occupancy.

2. Listing Attractiveness

Good vacation rental design leads to more appealing photographs and overall greater listing attractiveness. This not only increases the number of clicks you get in Airbnb or VRBO search results, but also the number of people who ultimately end up booking your rental. Consequently, those extra clicks generate yet more demand, thereby allowing you to potentially increase prices even further.

It’s a fantastic cycle!

Let’s examine a real world example. Here’s a listing in Los Angeles, CA:

airbnb design tips

This modern and newly designed Westside LA Home on Airbnb has a 4.5 guest review average and it’s killing its competition.

It’s a two-bedroom house that is modern and nicely designed. It typically goes for about $222 per night.

beyond pricing guest post to 1 chic retreat

The average nightly rate is $222 of this newly designed LA house.

In the area right around it, some owners are charging as low as $184 per night for similar listings.

The design of a nearby competitor is merely ordinary (the enemy of steller revenue) and hence doesn’t stand out. Consequently, this house commands almost $40 less a night!

Comparing the first property to the second, you see they are similar – they’re very close to each other, have 4.5+ star ratings, are two-bedrooms, have similar occupancy rates, and are generally roughly comparable.

beyond pricing on 1 chic retreat

Side by side comparison shots tells us the first rental is clearly better designed than the second.

Nevertheless, visual design allows the first host to charge over 20% more!

Here’s another example in San Francisco:

airbnb 1 chic retreat

This sunny, open concept house in San Francisco outpaces its competitors handily.

two airbnb listing in san francisco

The listing on the left commands 27% more than the one on the right. The power of design cannot be underestimated on ROI.

Both listings are one-bedrooms with 5-star reviews and run by Superhosts. Yet, the newly renovated, nicely designed one-bedroom is charging an average of $270 per night, while the comparison listing is charging only $212. That’s a difference of 27%!

Assuming a 50% occupancy, that’s comparing $40,500 to $31,800 per year!

For our third and last example let’s take a look at a couple of three-bedrooms in Chicago:

airbnb chicago

Bookings and rates in this Airbnb are significantly higher than its neighborhood competition.

 chicago airbnb comparison

The listing on the left is more compelling than the one on the right and consequently, commands 20% more.

In all three of the preceding examples, the listing with the better home design is able to charge at least 20% more and still stay occupied at the same rate.

If your nicely designed short-term rental commands an average of $30 per night more than its competitors, that results in nearly $10,000 more per year! Clearly, investing in your vacation rental’s design can have a substantial impact on how much you can make.

To Sum it Up…

Ask yourself, are you maximizing your short-term rental’s design to attract the best rates? How about your guest reviews?

I recommend spending some time and researching your competitors. If they are similar in every way and charging less, congratulations, you are doing something right; on the other hand, if you are getting less, take a hard look at how you could visually improve your rental.

If you’re interested in maximizing how much more you can make off your short-rental, reach out to us at! We’d love to help!


The post Is Your Airbnb or Vacation Rental on the Right Side of this Crucial 20%? appeared first on 1 Chic Retreat.

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