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Airbnb hosts have a little more to think about when considering home improvement projects. Investing time and money into your space may increase your property value, and also better serve your guests—hopefully boosting your ratings too.

So how do you plan home improvements with hosting in mind? We’ve gathered a few tips and stories from hosts about which projects they’re planning and why.

Get personalized

Home improvement doesn’t always have to involve knocking down walls or tearing up flooring. Consider starting small with painting projects, reupholstering, or simple decor changes. Guests come to Airbnb looking for something unique and home-like, so don’t be afraid to add some personal flair to your space, such as displaying objects from your travels, stocking books you recommend, or painting an accent wall in your absolute favorite color.

Adding personality to a space can be tricky, (What is my personality? Am I exciting enough?) so don’t overthink it. Go with what you like and incorporate elements from across your life, such as your work, hobbies, family history, or anything at all.  

There is always painting to do (of furniture as well as walls) but I am also planning on going wallpaper crazy. I LOVE statement wallpapers and because of the set designing I do as part of my job, I have a stack of lovely ones sitting around.

Huma, England

Be your own guest

Experiencing your space as a guest can help you identify worthwhile areas of improvement. Sleep in your guest beds, take a shower and try out the bathroom towels. If a space is dedicated exclusively to guests, try cooking a meal in the kitchen to make sure everything works and that you have all the right tools. Taking your space for a trial run, or having a friend or family member do it for you, can help you find potential fixes you might not otherwise see as a host.

Guest feedback is also a great source of info. Your guests may have stayed in a lot of other listings and can provide objective feedback to help identify needed repairs or worthwhile investments.

What I would like to do this year, taking into consideration also some of my guests feedback, is to spend some time and money redesigning and remaking the bathrooms of my Acropolis house. Since it is a neoclassical property (it’s been there since the ‘20s) I will need to get a special permit from the Ministry of Culture, but it is certainly worth it.

Panos & Mary, Greece

When considering fix-it projects for your space, keep these guest-focused principles in mind:

  • Are practical items conveniently placed? For example, are towel racks within easy reach of the shower? Is the showerhead high enough for tall guests? Do you have an area near the front door to leave things like keys, handbags, or jackets?
  • Are basic resources accessible, such as power outlets for charging mobile devices? (Without having to crawl under a table or heave aside a couch, for example?) Are light switches easily found?
  • Are standard features like doors and windows functional and easy to use? Quirks like having to jiggle a door key for the lock to work or having to use a nearby object to prop open a window can diminish a guest’s experience, and it can knock a star off your host review.

Use hosting as leverage for home improvement

For some hosts, the potential income can be a strong motivator for planning improvements. Been dreaming about building a backyard gazebo but can’t quite justify the effort yet? Or maybe you know you need to upgrade your plumbing but want to save up money first. Hosting on Airbnb may help fund your next home improvement effort.

I would really like to do a soundproofing and design project to convert my detached garage to a music room/studio to house my guitars and drum set. As it is, I hate to play my instruments in the house for fear of disturbing my guests so it will provide a nice getaway room for me without disturbing others!

Valerie, United States

Aside from practical considerations of cost and time, any projects you take on should improve the way you feel about your own space. If it’s making your dreams come true, it’s probably worth it. If you do embark on a home improvement project, don’t forget to take pictures and update your listing!