We recently closed on our first short-term rental in Norfolk, Virginia. We love the mid-Atlantic area, and hope to retire here in the future. There are many suggested tips for providing a great experience for guests found on the web; however, what would you say are the non-negotiables for providing comfort? Perhaps this is too broad of a question. I understand that Internet/Wifi is a must, but what about TV. Many tell me that they hardly use TV much, just Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.
I think it depends on the type of short-term tenant that will rent from you. For example, if you're renting to someone that is traveling and only going to stay one to three nights, and is going to be busy during the day, then TV may not be necessary. If you're trying to rent to someone for a longer term, it may be wise to provide them with the same type of minimal amenities they would have at home. This would be a good idea for people that are coming here for medical treatment at Sentara that aren't staying in the hospital and don't want to stay in a hotel, or a DoD contractor that is here for a long-term contract. I think TV is good to have either way, people enjoy having the choice of whether or not to use it. And if it's in Norfolk, people aren't looking for a "retreat away from technology if visiting a city." I don't think Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming service is necessary for you to purchase, but a means to access their own streaming accounts is a good idea, like an Amazon Fire Box, Apple TV, or Roku. A way to make coffee is also a must, whether it be a Keurig or a $20 coffee pot from Walmart. Keep in mind, if you're asking a premium price, then people expect premium product. Just think to yourself, if you were staying there, what is the minimum you would you want.
Thanks greatly! We received furniture this past weekend and will now pursue TV/Internet. Coffee is taken care of too. We just received our first booking this morning for a couple of weeks out. We’re very excited. Thanks again!
@Joshua S. it the nail on the head with "if you were staying there, what is the minimum you would you want." this is a great approach to what should guide you. The quality of unit and level of service you provide will dictate both the quality of visitor you attract and premium you can collect. This logic is the same we use on our long term properties, the quality and finish of our units dictate the quality of tenant we attract and thus the premium we collect, it is the difference between $675 monthly and $900 for units in the same building and ultimately how we increase the value of the property, i approach each of our units from the standpoint of would i move my family here, if the answer is no then I start working out how to get to the yes, then figure out if the cost of that yes is worth the reward.
In the STR world, ask yourself if you were visiting the area would you stay here, and more importantly would you come back? If the answer is no then figure out how to get to the yes, is the cable bill, and coffee pot expense worth the rewrd that it will bring? Will it help attract visitors that will pay the premium you are asking and will those visitors likely return due to the quality of unit and level of service?