tips & tricks

Three Data-Backed Design Insights For Your Short-Term Rental

July 19,2023 | Published by Barr Balamuth

Location-specific touches like beach bags give your property a sense of local character.


In an industry where the number of Airbnb listings has reached a staggering seven million worldwide (with two million in the U.S. alone), it’s not breaking news that it can be hard to make your property stand out. Airbnb itself has placed an increasing emphasis on unique stays, even going so far as to create the OMG! Fund, offering a $10 million to fund the 100 most extraordinary and unique listing ideas. However, creating a memorable Airbnb experience doesn't necessarily require extravagant features like a six-ton potato or a UFO House (both recipients of the OMG! fund). Rather, consider the impact of thoughtful, affordable design choices, backed by data analytics and hospitality surveys, that can drive an amazing guest experience.

“Creating a memorable Airbnb experience doesn't necessarily require extravagant features like a six-ton potato or a UFO House”

Using existing research from key industry sources, the InHouse tea collected a number of data points and corresponding best practices to help hosts optimize their listings.

89% of guests want a localized experience

Guests are opting for short-term rentals that feature a unique sense of character, by a wide margin. A survey conducted by GuestRevu, a prominent hospitality feedback platform, revealed that 89% of short-term rental guests want their stay to feel localized with personal touches. Intuitively, this makes sense: a key differentiator for short-term rentals has always been their specificity - anonymously generic hotel rooms they are not. Here are a a few ways to add some local character to your property:

  • Nature shots and vintage postcards depicting local landmarks
  • Stocking beans from a local coffee roaster
  • Guidebook with your local recommendations for fun nearby activities (have you met Frontdesk?)

72% of guests prefer clean, uncluttered environments in their short-term rentals, according to Guesty

  • Consider implementing the "two-thirds rule" when photographing your listing: Photograph the space with approximately two-thirds of the furnishings you would normally have in it.
  • Less cluttered presentations allows potential guests to envision their belongings in the space while appreciating the thoughtfully curated elements you provide.
  • Provide ample storage and organizational solutions so guests can maintain the uncluttered appearance post-arrival 

According to a study conducted by, 67% of travelers express a preference for eco-friendly accommodations.

Incorporating sustainable design elements into your Airbnb can have a significant impact on attracting environmentally conscious travelers.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) found that 51% of business travelers are more likely to consider booking an accommodation if they know it’s sustainable.

A commitment to sustainable design can enhance your property's appeal, particularly among younger guests who place a higher value on low-impact travel experiences. Some easy ways to exhibit your commitment to sustainability:

  • Make recycling easy - add guidelines in your House Guide and create signage near your bin. Every municipality has different waste regulations, so guests are often unsure of how to best minimize their environmental impact.
  • Invest in higher quality linens - microfiber sheets  may seem like a great option as they tout it as being wrinkle free but it’s basically made of plastic. Bad for the environment and less durable, meaning you'll need to replace them sooner than linen or cotton sheets.
  • Bike rentals - one of the most impactful amenities you can offer, bike rentals offer a fun, zero-emission transportation option to your guests (plus they help you earn additional income). One of the easiest ways to add bike rentals to your property is through InHouse's Frontdesk feature. 

    In Summary

    Tactical upgrades and presentation strategies such as localizing your experience to promoting eco-friendly amenities  can meaningfully enhance your listing's appeal. Data-driven design and sustainability offerings go beyond trendy additions - they are proven keys to enhancing your property's appeal, driving more bookings, garnering positive reviews, and building a successful hosting future in the increasingly competitive vacation rental marketplace.

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