Interior Design For Your Short-Term Rental
The Financial & Emotional Return On My Investment
A Success Story

By Ashley K. – Thefoxaframe.com @thefoxaframe
Hydaway/Effortless Rental Group Homeowner & Host

A couple years ago, my partner and I found ourselves with new job opportunities and the possibility of a new life adventure in Denver. After more than half a decade in the mountains, we were ready to make the move from Breckenridge, except for one sticking point – our home. We had purchased our A-frame a few years back, and maybe it wasn’t quite our dream home yet, but the last thing we wanted was to sell our one and only real estate investment. Still, we weren’t going to be able to pay Denver rent, let alone buy a home in Denver someday, without selling. Right?

Wrong. This is where the idea of Airbnb started to come into focus in a whole new way. Sure it was on our radar as slowly but surely over the years, Airbnbs had become our preferred way to travel, and we knew some local friends who had tried hosting with varying degrees of success. But could we become hosts ourselves? Could inviting guests into our own home seriously generate enough short-term rental income that we could pay our mortgage and hold onto our home? All while renting, living and working in another city? We decided it was worth a chance, why not find out. Let’s do this!

But wait, who was going to want to stay in our space? Now it had been working fine for us, but it was far from guest-ready. The thought of re-thinking the space so it was dreamy and desirable was, quite frankly, paralyzing. Where would I start? We had been living on hand-me-down furniture. It needed a fresh coat of paint and a deep clean. The kitchen needed to be updated and so did the bathrooms. The dollar signs started to flash before my eyes and I couldn’t imagine transforming our home into a self-sustaining business on my own. In a near panic, we brought in our friend Erin Deeley, founder of Hydaway, to take a look at the space. As a career creative director and stylist, she’s intuitive and thoughtful, but also a hard-hitter and we knew she would give it to us straight. We braced ourselves for her assessment and what she came back with was shocking. Yes, we needed to clean and paint, but with new furnishings and some creative styling, she thought we could be a competitive, standout short-term rental, in a matter of months. The construction and full remodel projects could wait (thankfully!); pragmatic staging, intentional styling and thoughtfully shot photography would be the solution.

Truthfully, we didn’t have the money saved to make this upfront investment in furnishing our whole house. But as a proud homeowner and strategic business woman, I know that sometimes it takes money to make money. And in an increasingly crowded, competitive Airbnb marketplace, I wanted to give my new business the best chance at sustainable profitability and long-term success.

So Erin got to work. She was super sensitive to our tight budget and timeline, bringing in a mix of high and low-end furnishings, old and new. Erin worked to make sure the home had optimal flow and function for guests, while still reflecting our tastes and who we are. She artfully highlighted the best attributes of our space, while quietly drawing attention away from what wasn’t so great – no reno work or major construction needed. She transformed our tired, hand-me-down interior into this playful mix of clean modern lines, cozy bohemian touches and a hint of nostalgia that nods to the 1960’s architecture. She also worked with us to professionally photograph the space, another crucial piece of the puzzle as these photos are literally the first impression we make on every potential guest. She helped me start to think about this home as not only a potentially profitable business, but a potentially powerful brand that I’d get to share with the world.

And I’m happy to report back, this was 100% the right move. We made our money back in less than six months, and that initial investment continues to pay dividends in every way. We engaged with Effortless Rental Group to manage the property, keep it sparkling clean, well maintained, occupied and priced right – and we’ve never looked back. Almost two years later, @TheFoxAFrame is a successful business and brand with occupancy rates and annual revenue that have consistently exceeded our expectations. And back in Denver, we’re in the process of purchasing our second home, a dream that would have never been possible without the success of this short-term rental. Oh, and I think it goes without saying, but I’m a total interior design convert. This value add in my life is an appreciating asset I’m holding onto.

 

My Takeaways

The Financial
When your space has that Instagrammable, share-worthy style, your listing will stand out, it will get you noticed. Period. It will generate more impressions, more interest and more clicks. That equals guests in the door and ultimately higher occupancy, nightly rates and total revenue. Invest in interior design and photography. In a matter of months, you can see the return on your financial investment. When you invest in your space, your guests will too.

The Emotional
This is the one I never saw coming. But I have to tell you, when I’m able to spend time at my house, it is a completely transformed space. The design changes the energy of the space, how you feel and how you live in it. Now it’s this magical escape that’s our very own. The fact that we get to share that feeling with guests, day after day, makes our investment totally worth it. And not to make it financial again, but honestly the value of that emotional connection regularly surfaces in better reviews, higher ratings, recommendations and even repeat stays. When you care about your space, your guests will too.

Build a Brand, Not Just a Business.
The modern guest audience in today’s connected world is looking for more than just a place to stay. Attention to the experience and brand you’re creating might take a little more time and effort, but it will inevitably translate to better engagement, overall guest satisfaction, customer trust and affinity. This is all crucial to lifting customer lifetime value and creating sustainable When you believe in your space, your guests will too.


The Fox A-Frame – Property Performance (May 2020 – May 2021)


Nights Booked – 292
Total Bookings – 80
Occupancy – 80%
Annual Gross Revenue – $78,679.68

 

The Fox A-Frame

Named one of Colorado’s best Airbnbs in 2020 by Conde Nast Traveler, The Fox is a charming retreat nestled in the mountains of Breckenridge, Colorado – a breath of fresh air, a world away. Ready to book your stay?

Thefoxaframe.com @thefoxaframe Ashley Kujawski, Host

Hydaway

Hydaway offers interior styling and brand marketing services to help the aspiring short-term rental owner build a profitable business, powerful brand and lasting success for their new or existing Airbnb. Ready to transform your space?

Letshydaway.com @letshydaway Erin Deeley, Founder

Effortless Rental Group

Providing homeowners in Colorado with the most trusted, comprehensive set of property management services while maximizing revenue. Stop stressing over managing a short-term rental by yourself. Get the services, resources, and support you need to succeed in this constantly changing world of short-term rentals.

Interested in a FREE property evaluation? CLICK HERE to fill out an inquiry form or call sales directly at 720.297.5905.

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