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I was once in Paris and engaged a street artist to sketch my then fiancée, now bride. In perhaps 10 strokes of charcoal he captured her essence. I was indeed more amazed with the process than the image, it struck me as quintessentially, yet, unconsciously competent artistry.

Our business is tasked with overseeing roughly $100M of vacation rentals in Charleston and Palmetto Bluff. Over the years our team have settled in to the easy ways of unconscious competence. We see what an owner may not, we suggest improvements where others may see problems or indeed, nothing at all.  It’s our version of that Parisian encounter so many years ago. It’s this trait that helps us stand apart from the crowd.

Our role in this is to aid them in exploring every avenue that might exist for increasing their revenue, whether it be simple updates to the interior decor, a renovation that modernizes the kitchen or baths, adding a pool, or increasing the size of the property to add additional bedrooms. Understanding the market data and the expected returns that come with the different enhancement scenarios allows us to develop a cost/benefit analysis and help to determine what is a valuable use of their money to maximize ROI.

Now words are easily crafted and certainly not costly to do so but how about a real-world example of what we can do and how it worked out?  This exact scenario played out recently when we worked with owners interested in adding a bedroom to what had been a single-bedroom carriage house rental.

A 1-Bedroom/1-Bath Becomes a 2-Bedroom/1-Bath:

We have a one bedroom carriage house in our Palmetto Bluff portfolio. It rents well but based on feedback that we had received over time from guests, there would be high value to adding a second bedroom to this property to act as additional office space and somewhere for children to stay over, as previously there were only pull-outs in the living room. This being a 1-bedroom, 1-bath carriage house configured over a 5-bay garage, with no ability to add an additional bathroom, the expectation was a modest increase in rental return for a modest outlay and minimal disruption along the way. We sent our construction team over to look at the building and make suggestions. Now we can all do the math on this, i.e. cost of construction, potential increased rental rates, potential increased occupancy … but in this case, that’s not the whole story, please read on.

The Carriage House Interiors “BEFORE”

Bedroom was added where interior glass window overlooked the vintage car collection that was on display in the garage below.

Interior View of the Carriage House before bedroom was added

This was to be a quick project for the owners as the loft space already existed. It could be easily enclosed and the new garage ceiling made suitably fire-resistant. A total of $15,500 was spent on the work, saving a few dollars by using building materials leftover from another recent project, plus the added benefit of an owner in the building industry. Seeing the opportunity that exists here is easy, and in this case, a seemingly straightforward update to be made, but important nevertheless to note that in any scenario, a market analysis is vital to understanding whether the addition will garner the expected returns.

The Carriage House interior “AFTER” new bedroom addition:

Interior view of new bedroom of 2-bedroom Carriage House Palmetto Bluff

Interior of renovated 2 bedroom carriage house Palmetto Bluff SC

How we calculated potential ROI with increased rental rates for a 2-Bedroom/1-bath Carriage House:

$ 2,800 Project design and prep work
$15,500 Materials and labor  (some work was done by the owner and reused building materials from previous project)


$21,600  Additional rental income @ $120 per night/projected 180 night occupancy per year.  The project should be cash flow positive year one.  Note:  The carriage house was previously renting well with a nearly full calendar and a steady stream of return guests.

Potential ROI gained in overall property value:

As with any home renovation that increases the overall square footage of the house additionally, outside of the extra rental revenue, the owners will realize:

$156,000 Additional value to the house at 260 sq. ft. added @ $600/ft

That is a 700% return the minute the paint is dry, and before the next guests check-in!

Our Luxury Simplified Retreats team is a top 3 company in South Carolina for Average Daily Rate and Occupancy (AirDNA November 2020). With some of the top Revenue Managers in the coastal areas in and around Charleston, we aim to maximize our owner return and our renter experience, and our team is skilled at achieving both. Why not ask how we could help your own property achieve the same results? Contact our team and find out what we can do for you.


Owning a vacation rental property can be an incredible investment, but managing it requires a lot of time, money, and effort. As an asset in your financial portfolio, it’s important to protect its value, and part of doing that means maintaining day-to-day upkeep, performing major repairs when needed, collecting and managing rental income, remitting state & local business taxes, fielding inquiries and managing reviews. While handling it all on your own is certainly possible, if your rental property is in a location away from your full-time residence, or you simply want to ensure that your property is consistently delivering on your revenue goals, then partnering with a rental management firm is in your best interest.

If your rental home is in a popular vacation destination and receives a sizable amount of bookings, it’s vital to understand that not every rental management company is the same, and to understand what sets a top rental management firm apart. Here at Luxury Simplified Retreats we’re a luxury property management company in Charleston that goes above and beyond to provide exceptional care for your home, maximize your revenue, and offer incredible high touch service to your guests.  But what makes us different?


3 Reasons Luxury Simplified Retreats Is the Best Luxury Property Management Company in Charleston 


1. Don’t just take our word for it.  

Luxury Simplified Retreats is a Charleston based white-glove property management firm with over 25 years in revenue management, property management, property maintenance, and guest services management. We became a property management firm for the simplest of reasons – because we’re owners too and as such, we understand what matters to owners. And frankly, it’s everything.

When we set out to create a dedicated property management team we set our sights pretty high. From the top down, we have amassed a group of  expert managers, marketers, designers, landscapers, cleaners, property inspectors and guest service staff, each with an impressive background from industries that include real estate, hoteliers, hospitality, tourism and interior design. With a team that manage a $75M portfolio of luxury properties throughout the Lowcountry in locations from the Charleston peninsula and the surrounding barrier islands to, most recently, an expansion into Palmetto Bluff, SC, it’s no surprise that we were named among “The Best Airbnb Property Management Companies in the US” by AirDNA, November 2020.   

2. A qualitative approach reduces the guesswork of what’s really working.  

Data is everywhere in the vacation rental industry and we’re here to harness it. As Certified Revenue Managers we know the value comes from measuring more than once. Our team of certified Revenue Managers are trained to analyze key data metrics that can greatly impact the success of your rental and ultimately impact your bottom line. Tracking data points that make a difference include available competing inventory in the market overall, Average Daily Rate (ADR),  Occupancy, RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Rental), and the power of price flexing.

So what does that mean for you? Transparent monitoring, tracking, and reporting. You should expect a management firm to provide transparent revenue tracking and reporting so that you can be fully aware of what’s really working to deliver revenue, plus future revenue-driving strategies that best suit your needs. Your monthly owner statements should reflect a full accounting of the monthly bookings, revenue, accommodations taxes, fees collected, maintenance tickets opened and resolved and any additional expenses that were accrued on your behalf – all without compromising on the care & upkeep of your property. 


3. Because the “telephone game” is still around. Now it’s called Google Reviews 

In the vacation rental industry, 5-star ratings are king.  It’s like the modern-day version of the “telephone game” but with real monetary value at stake. Rental properties that consistently receive 5-star reviews get shared more often on social media, receive preferential placement on the OTAs and deliver more repeat bookings from guests + their family and friends. Many of our guests are repeat customers and for a good reason. We have spent years developing a reputation as an elite vacation rental company that provides luxury vacation homes, unparalleled amenities, and best-in-class guest services. So you can rest assured that guests staying in your property will be well provided for when your home is in our care – and we know they’ll still be talking about it after their stay.

Our in-house maintenance team provides assurance that should anything go wrong, someone will be there to fix it immediately. This ensures that guests will not be bothered by minor inconveniences during their visit. We also offer natural disaster preparation and support should that ever be necessary.  

Let Us Help You Manage Your Property  

Where to begin? Head to our blog to read: “Seven Questions to Ask Yourself While Researching Property Management Firms.” Luxury Simplified Retreats is one of the top options for luxury property management companies in Charleston, SC and we don’t say that lightly.  We even have numerous case studies that demonstrate the quality care you will receive when working with us. If you’re ready to take the next step,  reach out to us for a free property income analysis

Learn more about what makes us the best luxury property management company in the Holy City. And, when you’re ready to take the plunge, we’re here to help.


With a name like the Holy City, what better place to celebrate Easter weekend than in Charleston SC? Whether you’re looking for activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family or just you and a few friends, we’ve rounded up an itinerary to make the most out of your Easter weekend. So break out the pastel-colored dresses and colorful hats, have the kids grab their baskets, and check out these activities that will have you wanting to plan a springtime trip to Charleston SC for Easter!


Many years ago, I was sitting at a reception in the UK. I was idly watching two young girls playing together. One was pretty, the other, I’d say, destined to be beautiful. That begged the question of, “what was the difference?” They were both of similar stature and had the glow of beauty that comes with the onset of adulthood. It was not their fashion sense or, indeed, really their looks. It was maybe more their confidence, their poise, and the way they carried themselves. It was, in essence, a myriad of subtleties that worked together all at once. I remember the moment even after so many years. Beauty is subtle, the details and the balance of a vista, and less so in the obvious.

People are visual by nature.  Some 70% of what we understand is derived from what we see. What we “visualize.” So it’s not off the mark to suggest that we are indeed moved by what we are presented visually. Pay attention to the visual impact of your investment and reap the rewards for your work. OK, so that’s the easy part out of the way. Let us now become a bit more granular.

Why Good Design Matters

Before we get to the nub of the issue, let us pose the question, “Why bother?” That’s an easy one to answer. Within  the realm of the luxury vacation rental business, many of our guest’s first encounter with a rental home is via the photos presented online. In this industry, the top 10% of vacation rentals in a given area generally command a rental income in excess of 20% compared to Joe average. That income is a mixture of improved rental rates and higher occupancy. It gets better, though. That additional income goes directly to the bottom line. Thus a little effort up front and your net income could potentially double for a given property. How is that for return on investment?

Our Recent Experience in Palmetto Bluff

We recently bought a well-presented property in Palmetto Bluff, the gated, resort community in Bluffton SC, where we currently own other rentals in our portfolio. This property is located within Wilson Village and zoned for Short Term Rental use. The property had been newly renovated and very well maintained, so we considered it a good investment and paid above the asking price for the privilege. If it suffered from anything, it was a tendency to blandness. Everything was a pastel sea of sameness, muted almost to the point of silence.  To be fair, the sellers had nicely appointed it, but with no plans to use it as a short term rental investment, it was decidedly to their own taste. While it would offend no one, by the same measure, it would hide amongst every similar rental in the area, and our standard for return on investment (ROI) is to well exceed the average. For us, returning to the point made earlier, bookings are all about the visuals, reviews are all about the experience once the guest arrives.

The Design Plan

So with a budget of $16,000 we set our team on to the task of creating a rental experience designed to deliver visually interesting and comfortable interiors that would resonate with our rather discerning clientele.  With the tools that already exist in their considerable toolbox of talents here were the goals for the team:

Look at the “before and afters” to illustrate the effect of what can be achieved.

Before & Afters:

view of renovated exterior of Drayton Daydreaming


view of interior dining room of Drayton Daydreaming


view of interior of Drayton Daydreaming after renovation


interior view of bedroom at Drayton Daydreaming after renovation


before and after view of Bunk Room in Drayton Daydreaming

And the end result? Drayton Daydreaming went on to the market as a rental on 16th December 2021. It immediately booked guests for the Christmas and New Year holidays, is nearly fully booked through to mid-Feb 2022, and we have taken multiple spring & summer bookings.

Our Luxury Simplified Retreats team is a top 3 company in South Carolina for Average Daily Rate and Occupancy (AirDNA November 2020). We aim to maximize our owner return and our renter experience, and our team is skilled at achieving exactly this. Why not ask how we could help your own property achieve the same results? Click below to learn more.

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