Four Tips on Updating Your Topsail Vacation Rental

In the competitive world of vacation rentals, we get questions all the time about how a homeowner can keep their home competitive, increase the possibility of rental income, and stay up to date with current guest expectations. At Topsail Realty we are constantly researching industry trends, staying on top of the latest home technology, and surveying our guests to make sure our homeowner clients have all the information possible to make the best decisions for them and their Topsail Island Vacation Rentals.

Recently we found some great advice from Kimberly White, an interior designer and Senior Director of Operations at Vacasa on the VRMA Blog.

Below are four tips she suggests for “Revitalizing Your Vacation Rental” for today’s traveler.

Tune up the bedroom.

Your vacation home provides a long-awaited escape for guests, so creating a luxurious bedroom environment is essential.

Fresh bedding goes a long way toward ensuring guest satisfaction. Plan on replacing bedding — including pillows — annually. Spend a little more on firm, high-quality pillows, and pile them on! A bed with more pillows photographs better, and a beautifully made bed will catch the eye as guests scroll through your listing. I suggest two standard pillows per person: four for most beds, and two for twins; one or two decorative pillows completes the look.

Pillow top mattresses tend to wear out quickly, so steer clear of these. I also recommend against bed-in-a-bag options, no matter how tempting they may seem. They look contrived, and they become dated very quickly. Instead, opt for a basic duvet/sham set with an understated pattern and add character with decorative pillows in varying colors and textures. Swapping out pillows is a cheap, easy way to freshen the look of a room.

Don’t forget nightstands and lamps. Hotels always offer guests a place to set their glasses, books, and other bedside necessities — your home should be no different.

Finally, don’t leave your walls bare! Add some color and character to your bedroom by hanging artwork.

Choose amenities that will add value for your guests.

Investing in the little things sets your home apart from the competition. Think small-scale amenities that allow friends and families to relax together, like hot tubs, fire pits, and ping pong tables. If you’re on a tight budget, even items like books, board games, bicycles, and Frisbees can make a big difference.

Many people choose vacation rentals over hotels because they want to bring their furry friends along. Making your rental pet-friendly will help you attract more business. It’s also smart to include some kid- and pet-friendly dishes — like plastic plates, cups, and bowls — alongside your fancier flatware.

Don’t turn your vacation rental into a secondhand store.

Resist the temptation to turn your vacation rental into a repository for furniture, linens, and rugs that have seen better days. Many people use worn-out mattresses, tattered furniture and stained or frayed linens in their vacation rentals because they want to keep the best pieces in their own homes. But think about the last time you stayed in a good hotel — the linens were crisp and free of stains; the furniture was pristine, and everything looked new. Giving your guests the same experience makes them feel taken care of and justifies higher nightly rates. It’s particularly important that your most-used items — like beds, couches and dining room tables — be in excellent shape.

Establish a reasonable budget.

Your furniture, textiles, dishes and décor don’t have to be fancy, but it’s a good idea to invest in pieces that you won’t have to replace constantly when they break or wear out. I recommend mid-range stores like West Elm and Crate & Barrel. Online stores in the Wayfair family, including Birch Lane, Joss & Main, and AllModern also offer great variety for reasonable prices. Don’t forget local furniture companies!

There’s a range of quality at mid-range stores like these, so read the reviews and note durability. Don’t skimp on big pieces that will see a lot of use. Instead, hunt for bargains on décor and accessories. A great vintage lamp saves you money and adds unique character to your home.

People love vacation rentals because they offer local character, homey surroundings and plenty of room for everyone. But they also crave the high-end touches they’ve come to expect from hotels and resorts. With these tips, you can give your vacation home the best of both worlds.

If you are interested in learning more about our thoughts on improving and maximizing your Topsail Vacation Rental home’s potential, please give us a call at (910) 328-5241, ext. 101 or shoot us an email at

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