The Alpaca Cottage
 

On a recent trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado, I had the chance to stay in the most adorable Airbnb. Every detail has been thought through, and the home is so warm and inviting... I definitely wish my stay there could have been longer! I mean, just look at this charming cottage!

Celina, the host, also owns an incredible alpaca boutique, and tastefully decorated her Airbnb with beautiful alpaca pieces. There are cozy blankets, pillows, and decor items throughout the house, tying everything together with a simple, understated theme. 

The house has been beautifully renovated. It's light and airy, and the furnishings create a warm and cozy atmosphere. The kitchen is fully stocked with everything one could need during their stay (including a selection of grab-and-go breakfast options and, of course, coffee). 

That barn door is probably my favorite part of the cottage! It's such a unique touch that adds so much character! The bathroom is on the other side of the sliding barn door... Hello, gorgeous subway tile!

Both bedrooms are right off the living room, which features a one-of-a-kind petrified wood fireplace, some Colorado touches, and art from local artisans. 

The cottage is downtown Colorado Springs, with trails, parks, shopping, and restaurants all within walking distance. If you are heading that way, don't miss your chance to stay at the cozy and stunning Alpaca Cottage

While you're at it, visit Shabby Alpaca to see their gorgeous alpaca goods sourced from around the U.S. and the world.

 
Alece RonzinoComment
Supporting STRs in Nashville by Loving Thy Neighbor
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In a recent post, we talked about a few myths and fears about Airbnbs and other short-term rentals (STRs) in Nashville. One of the city’s residents’ biggest concerns is that STRs can bring a certain amount of unrest to otherwise peaceful neighborhoods. Residents picture their nice, quiet streets overrun with bachelor and bachelorette parties. It is our job as Airbnb hosts to change this perception over time.

Being community-minded is still vital, even if you own a property that functions as a business for you.

First, after neighbors have signed your paperwork acknowledging that they understand they’ll be living near an STR property, make sure to follow up. Consider popping some chocolate into mailboxes with your business card (or that of your property manager) tucked into a handwritten note about your constant availability for concerns or questions that arise.

Make sure neighbors know that guests are screened and will respect the neighborhood.

In your note, be sure to mention that measures are being taken to ensure that safety and good behavior are priorities. You may even consider giving them an idea of the types of rules you intend to enforce, keeping the neighborhood a safe and happy place to be.

Make your guests aware of their responsibilities by creating a clear list of house rules.

Be clear with guests in the listing that your house and your neighborhood are to be respected. Be open about the fact that they’re staying in a residential neighborhood. Remind them that you love your neighbors and if they are loud or inappropriate in any way that disturbs the neighbors, they will be evicted immediately. Consider house rules that will still offer good guest experiences while safeguarding neighbors. For example, no smoking (even outside); enforced quiet hours; no additional guests besides those in the reservation; and absolutely no parties on the property.

Celebrate your neighbors and go the extra mile just like you would if you lived in the home.

Be intentional about putting small gifts (like candy or even just cards) into mailboxes during the holidays. If there are block parties thrown, be sure to attend and interact with neighbors. If you happen to know any of them personally, hear of a baby being born, or a wedding taking place, acknowledge the event any way you see fit.

In 2016, Nashville was voted the friendliest city in America by Travel + Leisure, and featured on Huffington Post for the same reason. In the end, this is about preserving Nashville’s core values of kindness and respect for others—the people who live here and our guests.


Still have questions about making your neighbors happy with their relationship with you as an STR owner or struggling with other things that have popped up? Don't hesitate to contact us now. We'll work together to see how we can solve any issues stemming from managing your STR! 

Making Your Airbnb Feel Like Home
 
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One of the top reasons travelers choose Airbnbs over hotels is that short-term rentals come with a sense of comfort.

When you walk into a well-curated Airbnb, there’s the soft smell of scented candles and fresh linen, comfy couches to sink into, and a feeling similar to the one you get when you come home after a long day. There’s no lingering cologne, no questionable stains on gritty carpet, or mass-produced art. Just a home waiting to welcome you for however long you happen to be in town.

So how do you achieve this feeling in your short-term rental?  

My favorite way to create this irresistible feeling is through well-thought-out design, giving the place a comforting, yet unique vibe worthy of another stay and, of course, a great review. Here are my top 5 tips for creating an aesthetic all guests will love.

1. Give the place personality.

First and foremost, you want your Airbnb to have personality. But you have to be careful—too many eclectic pieces can make the space feel cluttered and uncoordinated. I suggest choosing a simple color pallet (maybe 3-5 colors, using neutrals and one pop of color). Then choose sheets, pillows, and other textiles that go along with that pallet, without exception. Patterns are fine, just limit them and make sure they coordinate. Pinterest is a great tool to use to stay organized and on-task as you develop your home’s aesthetic.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Designing a space can be tough and intimidating. If you don’t feel like it comes naturally to you and is causing you stress, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Enlist a friend who has a good eye or invest in a design service. Check out Houzz for great Nashville recommendations. Just make sure the designer is able to achieve the aesthetic you’re going for and has a good track record of staying within budget. Ask for references and be sure to contact them.  

3. When it comes to art, shop local.

Nashville has a ton of great art and supporting local artists is something you could even mention in your listing. You might consider going to the Art Crawl on the first Saturday of each month and seeing what original work you can score. Or, you can visit Anderson Design Group, DCXV, or Hatch Show Print if you have something specific in mind and don’t want to hunt. Just make sure you invest in a nice frame consistent with the space’s aesthetic if you purchase a print.

4. Choose items wisely.

Whether you handle the design yourself or someone is choosing them for you and getting your approval, be sure you go for things that are unique, engaging, and functional. Aside from a television with cable or a streaming device (like a Roku), I love to include board games, short books around 128 pages that can be read in a weekend, and, as mentioned in a previous post, a Nashville guide so guests can chill out, flip through it, and decide what spots to visit. Remember, you’re welcome to use ours!

5. Envision a stay in your Airbnb, pretending it doesn’t belong to you.

Walk in the front door and try to pretend you’re seeing the space for the first time. Think of what you would like to have access to when staying somewhere. From sturdy coat hooks and an umbrella stand by the front door to easy access to a plug by the bed to charge your phone, every amenity is important. I like to include an extension cord and even a flashlight just in case a storm knocks the power out.

Just remember, each little choice you make adds up, eventually leading to an unforgettable guest experience. Those who stay in your short-term rental will be thankful to have a tranquil, well-curated space to stay in. If you do a good enough job, the experience may turn them off of hotels forever—now THAT we can get behind.


Still feeling a little lost on what to have on-hand in your Airbnb? Don't forget to check out the checklist in our ebook! Haven't downloaded it yet? Let's fix that! You can get it free here