With Charleston SC topping destination travel lists year after year, purchasing a vacation home to use as income property can be an excellent investment. And, while owning a vacation property can offer years of enjoyment and provide a fun place for family and friends to gather, there are a lot of things that go into operating and maintaining it as a successful vacation rental that are often overlooked – bookings, guest communication, cleaning, emergency maintenance, etc. are just a few of the items that need to be managed.  But even beyond the monthly and quarterly upkeep checklists, it’s also vitally important to maintain the furnishings as well, in order to maximize the profits from your investment. A well-kept vacation home garners 5-star reviews and often means repeat bookings from happy guests.

Each year a popular and well-booked vacation home can see hundreds of visitors of all ages. That’s hundreds of bottoms on chairs, heads on pillows, thousands of feet on rugs and countless cups of coffee morning coffee. That much use will inevitably lead to wear and tear. Kids can be especially hard on a house, making spills and messes on furniture, floors, and even walls. Keep your home feeling comfortable and luxurious by replacing damaged or ruined furnishings as soon as necessary. Couches, chairs, and rugs can be given new life with a simple professional cleaning. Stained or torn linens should be thrown out promptly and replaced.

When it comes time to shop for new furnishings for your vacation home it’s important to remember, furnishings are in investment in your property’s success so be mindful of style and quality.  A few of our favorite places to shop for chic, lowcountry interior decor locally are GDC Home and Steven Shell Living. We also recommend shopping online at Wayfair, which offers stylish, affordable, reliable furnishings and for household essentials such as kitchenware, it’s best to check out your local Target or online at Amazon.

As the busy summer season winds down, fall can be the best time to take a “wear & tear” inventory. While damaged or destroyed furnishings are often reported by guests or cleaning vendors throughout the season, things like a stain on the rug or a tear in the bedskirt may go unreported. It’s best practice to have a check list and routinely perform quarterly inspection and inventory assessments of all furnishings. Don’t forget to check blinds and curtains!  This doesn’t have to be as arduous as it sounds, a simple list of all the rooms in the home will be fine, inspect the furnishings in each room and determine if anything could benefit from being replaced. Just ask yourself: Would I want to sit on this?

Clean, functional and updated furniture plays a major role in the success of your property. As the first representation of your home in the professional pictures on your online listing, it can be a deciding factor for guests choosing between your property and another. Often the first thing guests see when they step through the door and the last thing they see when they leave, it can set the tone of the overall guest experience. Will they book again? Will they refer a friend? The bottom line:  Maintaining overall quality maximizes revenue … but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. Here are some other key things to keep in mind when staging your vacation rental property.