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Furnishing Cost for an Airbnb Property: What to Expect

Furnishing an Airbnb can be done on a budget, but great furnishings can be key for high return on investment. Learn what to expect for every room when you furnish an Airbnb.

Buying an Airbnb property is the first step in the investor journey; the next one is furnishing the property before listing it for rent. Furnishing an Airbnb property is important as the style and type of furniture and appliances that you offer will have a major impact on the kind of guests that you attract, your bookings, reviews, rankings, occupancy rates, and ultimately return on investment.

However, instead of going for the most expensive and luxurious furniture on the market in hopes of boosting the ROI on your Airbnb rental, you should conduct careful analysis to see how your choice of furniture will affect your bottom line. You should consider factors like your target guests, what furniture competitors in the area are offering, and your budget.

Existing Airbnb hosts report a wide span of Airbnb furnishing costs, ranging from as little as $1,000-$2,000 for a modest property to $50,000 and even $100,000 for a luxurious vacation rental home.

In this article we will take a look at why furnishing matters, what factors to consider when choosing furniture for your Airbnb, what items you need to provide in each room and their average price, and the total price you can expect. We will focus on strategies that will help you maximize bookings as one of the most significant components of return in real estate. 

Awning offers vacation rental furnishing services. Investors work with the Head of Design for Furnishing Services to select the best furniture for a specific space. The goal of the furnishing program is to help an Airbnb stand out, select durable furniture, and increase the revenue and occupancy of the Airbnb investment. For an Airbnb fully designed, furnished, and installed using Awning's furnishing program costs between $15,000 and $40,000 based on the size and desired finish of the home.

Total Cost of Furnishing an Airbnb

The total cost of furnishing an Airbnb rental is as widely ranging as the price of homes across the US real estate market.

Hosts on a low budget who own small and simple properties are able to furnish them for $1,000 to $2,000. This entails using second-hand, refurbished items and assumes that the house has kitchen cabinets available as this is usually the most pricey upgrade in a home.

When facing a medium budget, a short term rental investor ends up spending around $20,000-$50,000 on furniture. This budget gives you a comfortable range with which you obtain all the items you need in order to provide a pleasant, cozy experience to your guests without going lavish.

Finally, there are hosts who have unlimited budgets and whose only concern is offering a unique Airbnb experience. Such hosts end up spending up to $100,000 on creating a luxurious vacation rental worthy for the celebrities.

Furnishing an Airbnb property for the total cost of $1,000 or less is rather extreme, and you will most likely miss on important items and appliances that have the potential to increase your booking rates and positive reviews. But being fully honest, spending anything more than $50,000 on a single rental property is not a smart investment decision either. 

Remember that the total cost of investment is one of the major factors that determine your return. Thus, the higher the cost of your Airbnb furniture, the lower your return, unless you have a reasonable cause to believe that the extra cost will result in more occupancy and a higher daily rate.

Choosing Furniture for an Airbnb

While choosing the furniture for your rental, there are a few more factors that you should consider in addition to your budget.

First of all, you should look at the overall style of your property. Take a moment and think about your location and the guests you want to cater to. Is your property close to the beach or on the mountain? Do you want to attract business travelers or vacationing families? The answers to these questions should dictate the style of the finishings and the furnishing of your short-term rental. Keep in mind that Airbnb is not only about offering a rental space but also about providing an experience.

Second, prioritize the durability of the furniture that you buy. Look for stores and brands that offer 10-year warranty. If the furniture of your vacation rental breaks too often and doesn’t get fixed or replaced for free, this will raise your expenses and eat directly into your profit.

Meanwhile, the brand names that you go for should not be a leading factor. After all, no Airbnb listing has the brands of the fridge and the sofa, and no guest will go from room to room to check the furniture brands. In this sense, rely on brands that are known for cost-efficiency, durability, and comfort - not for the latest trend in the luxurious lifestyle of celebrities. Unless you want to cater to this specific audience, of course.

In the table below we’ve summarized the main types of furniture that you will need by room or type. For each, we’ve listed the most important items and pieces and the average price that you can expect to pay as an Airbnb host.

Airbnb Furniture Costs by Room

Why Airbnb Furnishing Matters

A savvy investor knows that there are a few factors that affect the success of their Airbnb business: the location, the type of property, the local attractions, the pricing, and the furnishing and amenities.

The first way in which furnishing impacts the performance of your property is through the bookings it will be able to generate. We all know that professional-quality photos are key to getting your property rented on Airbnb, Vrbo, and other similar platforms. Whereas potential guests will most likely not look at furniture detail, they will definitely pay attention to the general style of your property. That’s why it should fit the spirit of the location and be consistent throughout the property. For example, if you go for a classic living room, you cannot do an ultramodern bedroom.

Moreover, photos are expected to depict furniture pieces that are clean and well-maintained even if not brand new. Overall, the furniture should convey a sense of comfort and convenience in order to maximize bookings.

The second way in which the furniture of your Airbnb affects its return is through the reviews and rankings of guests. In most cases guests don’t comment on things like furniture, unless they have a strongly negative comment. Having said that though, if there is a major mismatch between the furnishing shown on your listing photos and the actual furniture present during their stay, have no doubts that guests will give you a negative review and a low ranking.

Mostly likely, your listing includes pictures from right after you bought the property and furnished it. This means that you should take good care of maintaining the furniture and keeping it in a good shape for the years to come to avoid disappointed renters and bad reviews. If your Airbnb gets a low average ranking, it will become really hard to attract guests, which means that your rental business will be doomed to failure.

A third factor that is directly impacted by furnishing is the daily rates that you can charge for your Airbnb property. Relatively new, cozy-looking furniture makes the entire short-term rental look better, which means that you can ask for a higher nightly rate. While there isn’t a formula showing how much more you can charge per day if your furniture costs X amount of dollars more, better style will definitely result in a higher rate. However, note that the emphasis is on the style of the furniture and the atmosphere that it creates rather than on the price.

So, overall, how you go about furnishing an Airbnb property is expected to have a major impact on the return on investment. ROI is a function of the rental income - determined by the occupancy rate and the daily rental rate - and the expenses. Since the furniture affects both the Airbnb income and the Airbnb expenses, you should keep the total cost at bay to avoid overspending and diminishing returns.

Furnishing An Airbnb Bedroom

The bedroom is arguably the most important room in a short-term rental property. Regardless of whether you host leisure or business travelers, they will definitely spend at least part of their time sleeping. This means that it is important to create a comfortable experience without breaking the bank.

Unlike other rooms such as a living room and a kitchen, the options for furnishing a bedroom are relatively standard, at least in an Airbnb property.

The most important items that you should provide include a bed frame, a mattress, a dresser, end tables, and ceiling lights. If you want to provide a cozy feeling which will help you get more bookings and make your guests more comfortable, you can also buy table lamps, book shelves, and a rug.

When furnishing an Airbnb bedroom, remember not to overdo it. You should strike the right balance between leaving the space too empty and overstuffing it. Don’t get more items than you personally use and need in your everyday life.

While good-quality bedroom furniture is rather durable with an average lifespan of 15-20 years, you should change the mattress, the rugs, and the curtains every 6-8 years. This will prevent the spread of any bugs or diseases and, together with a new coat of paint, it will give your property a fresh sense.

The cost of furnishing for the bedroom can range from under $1,000 to well over $20,000, depending on the style and the brand. A reasonable price to pay for this room in an Airbnb rental property averages around $4,000.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, you could buy a refurbished bedroom set which will cost a few hundred dollars. What we don’t recommend though is buying a used mattress. It is always a smart choice to buy a brand new mattress as used ones might come with different pests and insects. And the last thing you want as an Airbnb host is a review saying that one of your guests got bitten by bedbugs.

Furnishing An Airbnb Living Room

While the furnishing of a bedroom is rather conventional in terms of the items that you need to provide, this does not hold true for the living room. How to furnish the living room of your Airbnb property should be dictated by the type of guests that you are hoping to attract.

If you invest in an Airbnb location that is a busy business hub, naturally you will want to cater to the needs of business travelers. In this case you want to set up a home office where your guests can work during the day along with a small sitting area where they can rest in the evening. Alternatively, if you buy a short-term rental in a popular tourist destination, you will be able to optimize your daily rate and return if you host people on vacation. In this case the living room should offer an opportunity to relax while enjoying the local culture and atmosphere. Under this scenario furnishing an Airbnb property in the local style is important.

The average cost of furnishing an Airbnb living room falls within the range $1,500-$20,000. However, for a beginner host it doesn’t make financial sense to pay more than about $7,500-$8,000.

If you target business travelers, you should furnish the living room of your short term rental with a desk, an office chair, and potentially a printer if you really want to stand out from the rest of the Airbnb properties in your market. Furthermore, you need to provide an armchair and a sofa as well as a coffee table, ceiling lights, a standing lamp, and window shades.

On the other hand, if you plan to host couples or families on vacation, the must-have living room furniture items for maximizing bookings and positive reviews include a comfortable living room set and coffee table. To give the place a homey feeling, we’d recommend buying a rug and curtains.

The average life of coaches is 7-15 years, while the average life of tables is 5-20 years, depending on the quality. One piece of living room furnishing that you should change more frequently is the rug. You don’t want unpleasant smells around your Airbnb property when you can avoid this for less than $100. Remember, by deep-cleaning the furniture, changing the rug and the curtains, and repainting the room, you can make it look new, and this is something that your Airbnb guests will appreciate and acknowledge.

Furnishing An Airbnb Kitchen

The kitchen is the trickiest room when you are deciding how to furnish an Airbnb rental. You can go for the absolute basics, or you can provide tons of appliances, utensils, and other extras.

When you prepare for vacation rental property, it’s important to think about it as an investment and not as your own home. This means that you have to choose furniture which will attract the most guests and generate the highest number of positive reviews as opposed to furniture which you yourself would like to have access to.

The cost of furnishing an Airbnb kitchen can vary widely, and the most important factor is whether your property comes with kitchen cabinets. If the rental does not have kitchen cabinets, the national average cost of them is around $5,000, which will add a significant amount of money to your startup costs.

When choosing kitchen cabinets for a short term rental, it’s crucial to focus on durability and not brand. Choose cabinets that will be able to sustain a relatively careless attitude from your guests. Also, go for light, neutral colors that will make the kitchen look spacious, modern, and new.

Furthemore, you have to supply the kitchen with a dining table and at least six chairs to host a family.

While the total cost can be anything from less than $1,000 (if you bought a rental property with kitchen cabinets) to $30,000 and more, expect to pay around $10,000 to provide your Airbnb guests with a comfortable experience.

Replenishable Supplies

The major difference between renting out a long-term furnished apartment and an Airbnb property is that you don’t need to provide replenishable supplies in the former case. When you have a short-term rental property, you have to supply your guests with all essential items to make their stay convenient.

Replenishable supplies Airbnb checklist:

Bedroom

  • Bed sheets
  • Tissues

Bathroom

  • Shower towels
  • Face towels
  • Hand towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Shampoo
  • Shower gel
  • Hand soap
  • Ear picks

Living Room

  • Tissues

Kitchen

  • Hand towels
  • Kitchen towels
  • Sponges
  • Cooking pots and pans
  • Baking trays
  • Dishes
  • Bowls
  • Cups
  • Glasses
  • Silverware
  • Cutlery
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Hand soap
  • Coffee and tea
  • Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

The initial cost of buying all the necessary sheets, towels, and kitchen supplies should not exceed $1,000. You will need around $20 to restock between guests.

Unlike actual furniture, supplies are less durable. Depending on the quality that you get and the occupancy rate of your rental, expect to need to change things like bed sheets and towels every 1-2 years to avoid a shaggy look of your Airbnb property. The kitchen utensils, on the other hand, might last for a very long time if your guests prefer to eat out and spend no time cooking.

Appliances for an Airbnb

While the appliances that you furnish your short term rental depend on your target guests, there are certain items that you need to provide in order to attack guests easily and make them like your place and recommend it to friends and family.

An Airbnb bedroom does not require appliances other than a hairdryer. You should be able to get a good one for about $50.

In the living room, you need to have a TV and potentially a printer if you plan to target business travelers. You can buy a good TV for less than $500, and a home printer should not cost you more than $200.

Meanwhile, you need to furnish the kitchen with a fridge, an oven, hot plates, a microwave, and a coffee machine. Do not fall in the trap that many new investors fall in and overspend on big brand names. Instead, choose brands based on durability and the length of the warranty. No guest will care if your fridge is GE or Whirlpool, but they will definitely be angry if the fridge is not working and will make sure to mention it in their review of your short term rental. You should aim for a budget of up to $5,000 for kitchen appliances.

Invest money in additional kitchen appliances like toasters, mixers, blenders, and others. In most cases Airbnb guests spend time at the property in general and in the kitchen in specific. They usually want an experience that can be had at the property, since they may not know many places around the area.

The only other appliances that your Airbnb property might need are a laundry machine, a dryer, and a dishwasher. These are important if you want to cater to long-term Airbnb guests. These are traveling professionals like nurses, visiting professors, or professionals working remotely looking for a change in scenery. If you want to host such guests in order to push your occupancy rates, then plan a budget of about $5,000.

The average lifespan of most appliances is ten years. The key is to shop from stores that offer long warranty. In general, we don’t recommend buying second-hand appliances as they have a relatively short life and do not come with a warranty.

Security Costs for an Airbnb

When preparing your Airbnb property to host guests,it is crucial to provide enough security for your renters to feel safe and comfortable. However, you should be careful not to do anything that might feel like infringing on their privacy.

The two security devices that will help make your guests’ stay more comfortable and safe without compromising their privacy are keyless entry and a smart doorbell. The total cost of these two is about $1,000 on average. This will help you give access to guests to your property without the need for an exchange of physical keys at the beginning and the end of their stay and will help you control who can enter your Airbnb. These devices provide both the host and the guests with a sense of security and some extra convenience.

Remember that if you have security cameras or other recording devices on your short term rental property, you need to disclose them in your listing as per Airbnb’s terms and regulations.

Amenity Costs for an Airbnb

The amenities with which you will need to furnish your Airbnb depend heavily on the property that you purchase, the surroundings, and the local rental market. If your property comes with a huge garden, a swimming pool, or a place for a hot tub, this will push up your startup costs significantly.

The average price of a patio is about $3,500, while the average cost of a hot tub is $5,000-$8,000, reaching up to $16,000.

When you decide what amenities to offer as an Airbnb host, you should consider the additional rental income that you will be able to generate with each additional amenity. If you conduct careful investment analysis, you will realize that things like installing a new hot tub usually leads to a large return on investment. This means that the extra income that you will produce will compensate for the extra cost, increasing your ROI.

If your property comes with a nice garden or backyard, you should capitalize on the opportunity. Set up a barbeque area, a patio, and/or a children’s playground. Try to keep the cost within the $5,000 limit.

In terms of durability, because of the impact of weather conditions, external amenities tend to have a relatively short lifespan. So make sure to go for sturdiness and long warranty periods rather than brand and luxury.

Setup Logistics & Costs for an Airbnb

If you are a first-time Airbnb host on a relatively low budget, the good news for you is that you can get most of the furniture logistics and setup for free. Most furniture stores and appliances brands offer a free delivery when you spend above $999. Even if individual items cost less than that, you can purchase a few different things from the same store to qualify for a free delivery. This will help you save a significant amount of money when furnishing an Airbnb property.

When time is of the essence you’ll want to use a single company for all of your purchases. These companies can coordinate delivery and installation to take place at the same time. Allowing you, the host, to open your doors and start receiving guests much sooner. The price of this service can range from $5,000 to $10,000 but it is well worth it if you are investing remotely or want to get the property listed as soon as possible. 

A piece of advice: Inspect carefully any items that get delivered and installed. Make sure there are no defects or problems that compromise the quality of the furniture. In case of any issues, report them to the seller upon delivery.

Airbnb Maintenance Costs

As a smart Airbnb host, you should make sure to maintain the furnishing of your property on a regular basis. If the furniture looks fresh and good, your guests are much more likely to enjoy their stay and reward you with a positive review. Moreover, it is easier and cheaper to fix small tears than to have to replace furniture items too frequently because of poor maintenance.

The total cost of maintenance should be negligible at the beginning when all items are new. The cost will start rising slowly as the furniture starts aging but should not exceed a few hundred dollars per year. It depends on the durability and the initial price. More expensive items cost more to repair.

Takeaway

How you furnish an Airbnb property is a major determinant of its return on investment. The main factors that should drive your decisions in this regard include the target guests, the local vacation rental market, and your budget. When buying furniture for your short term rental, remember to value durability and comfort over brand name and luxury. In conclusion, while the total cost can range a lot, expect to pay $20,000-$50,000 on a medium budget.

Awning offers vacation rental furnishing services. Investors work with the Head of Design for Furnishing Services to select the best furniture for a specific space. The goal of the furnishing program is to help an Airbnb stand out, select durable furniture, and increase the revenue and occupancy of the Airbnb investment. For an Airbnb fully designed, furnished, and installed using Awning's furnishing program costs between $15,000 and $40,000 based on the size and desired finish of the home.

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