I work at SummitCove Vacation Lodging as a Vacation Planner. That means I get to talk to guests who are excited to plan their escape to the mountains. Some guests are planning a big winter trip with the extended family to experience skiing, snowboarding, and everything Keystone has to offer. This may be the first time they go skiing and they want it to be perfect. Other guests are looking for a quick summer weekend close enough to Denver that they can leave after work on Friday and be there in an hour. It doesn't matter why guests come to Keystone, they all want comfortable accommodations and to feel that they have found the best property within their budget.
During the last four years that I have worked with guests, nobody has ever asked if I can find a property with an old tube style TV or a full sized bed in lieu of a king bed. If you are a Keystone vacation rental or second homeowner looking to maximize your revenue and rental occupancy, I have the following suggestions based on the hundreds of conversations I have had with potential guests:
Styles change and the floral bedding that came with River Run condos when they were first built are a hint that they property has not been upgraded. Everytime I show property pictures with the floral bedding, the guest responds with a comment such as, "do you have anything newer?" The hotel style bedspreads do not photograph well and they don't convey comfort or luxury. If a guest is spending holiday dollars, they certainly want to feel pampered. New bedding is one of the most affordable and easiest ways to make a big change in the look and feel of your bedrooms.
Do you have a green plaid sofa? It may be perfectly good still, but the photos tell guests that the property is out of date. Consider replacing with something more current. Leather is a great option because it holds up well. Make sure it has a sofa bed in order to maximize sleeping capacity and upgrade the sleeper mattress for optimal comfort. Many families utilize sofa sleepers when renting a vacation property.
A few well placed accessories really make a property! Tasteful artwork and other novelty items give your property character and that 'homey' feeling. Avoid filling your property with greenery like fake plants. Although it can look great in your home, it can overpower a small property and make it feel cluttered. If you would be heartbroken if you lose an accessory, take it home. I have had a guest call crying because they broke a ceramic vase inscripted with the owner's anniversary. Please keep the important things locked in your owner's closet if they must remain in your property. We love ski themed artwork, especially if it is Keystone specific!
Has your carpet seen better days? Carpets that are more than 10 years old often show wear in a ski resort much sooner than in a home. If you can see stains that return after cleaning the carpet, consider replacing with hardwood or a new carpet. Guests often see worn carpet and feel that they were not shown a true representation in the photos. A multi-colored speckled carpet is wonderful in a rental property as it tends to hide spots and stains.
In 2016, no guest wants to arrive for their dream vacation to watch a tube TV, or worse, a projection TV. I know it might be just in the bedroom, but nothing makes a potential guest stop listening quicker than when I show them photos of the property and a tube TV pops up. If you have a friend or neighbor who enjoys the nostalgia of watching an old TV, please donate it as quickly as you possibly can! When you do get a flatscreen, have our Maintenance Team install it for you and they can take care of hiding the wires in the wall for a professional and clean look.
We love making guests happy by finding the right property fit for their trip to Keystone. If you can keep the 5 tips above in mind this fall when you are making upgrades, it makes our job that much easier and it will put more money in your pocket in the long run as a property owner in Keystone. It will also be that much more enjoyable for you when you bring your family out to visit!