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April 28, 2021

Listing Setup and Design

Listing setup may be the most challenging and fulfilling task for your short-term rental business. There is a precise level of detail of which to pay attention, from the pots and pans to the perfect bedding, you must set up with the guest in mind. Design goes hand in hand with listing setup as an essential component of the business, a well thought out space will enhance revenue and reviews. In this post we will ask and answer the following questions; Why is proper listing setup and design crucial for listing success? Who does it? What is the lead time required from inception to being listed?

Why is proper listing setup and design crucial for listing success?

There are a wide array of listings in the short-term rental (STR) market. Guests can choose from high-end luxury homes in rural vacation destinations to value apartment listings in urban destinations and everything in between. All of these listings must be properly set up in order to achieve maximum revenue. A properly setup listing contains proper signage throughout the space and unexpected amenities, this helps guests navigate with ease and delights them by exceeding expectations. As well, having an informative digital listing will drastically cut down on unnecessary guest communication which in turn makes the hosts operations easier to run and improves guests experience. Always keep in mind the guest is in a new place with unfamiliar surroundings; they are looking for clarity and direction from their host. This also pertains to check-in and check-out instructions, they should be clear, easy to execute and sent in a timely fashion such as a few hours before check-in time and the night before check-out day. This proactive and clear communication will serve as a great 5 star review driver. Focus on the unexpected amenity which provides a vital need for the guest, for example we have 5 gallon water coolers and bidets in all of our listings, we dont market the water coolers or bidets so it serves as a pleasant surprise upon arrival and it fulfills a vital need. When you exceed expectations your listing will likely receive a five star review. When it comes to design being unique and useful is a winning strategy, there are an abundant supply of generic listings in the market so best to keep yourself above the fray with vivid colors which photograph well and a story or theme for your space. Unique spaces which offer smart utility will always get booked for higher prices than generic listings. The bottom line is revenue will be boosted by a smart unique space which can differentiate itself.

Who does it?

Many smaller hosts take on all the listing setup and design tasks, the best advice for listing setup is to use empathy and logical reasoning to set up a space which optimizes guest experience. Constantly put yourself in the guests position. The thing is to get down to the minute detail as to how a guest will experience your space from first digital contact to post check out communication it must be seamless, delightful and convenient. In regards to design, from a smaller host perspective it’s best to use your own creativity and resourcefulness to put together a well designed and functional place. Be creative and take chances with design, odds are there are many potential guests who would appreciate original concept design from an independent smaller host. Bigger hosts launching multiple listings will usually opt to go with a team to set up and design the space. A well put together team will consist of a listing manager, interior designer, handyman and cleaner. It’s the managers responsibility to coordinate and communicate with the whole team in order to achieve an efficient listing setup process. There should be cohesion amongst the team and clarity as to who is responsible for particular tasks, the timing is particularly important when it comes to vendor deliveries, miscommunication can lead to wasted time and depleted synergy.

What is the lead time required from inception to being listed?

Lead time is very much dependent on the vendor supply time but a good rule of thumb is two weeks. Initially you want to come up with the bed and headcount. The amount of people who can stay in a listing is less dependent on square footage but rather more dependent on how many bathrooms there are in the space. Then you must decide the layout of the space inclusive of furniture, bedding, media center and decor. Next, it’s best to place the orders for furniture, decor and smallwares for kitchen and bathroom. Once deliveries come in, have the handyman scheduled ready to go for furniture assembly and any last minute items which may need fixing. The cleaner should be prepared to do multiple cleanings from initial rough clean to unboxing deliveries and smallware setup to photo ready. While the rule of thumb for lead time may be two weeks, if planned and coordinated with efficiency a space can be listed in three days.

Key Takeaways;

A properly set up and well designed listing will make more revenue.

Be empathetic, think from a guests perspective.

The listing design should be unique and provide utility.

You can set up one or multiple listings within two weeks.

Thanks for your time and attention.

Your Co-Host,
AD1 Management
Anuj Datta


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