I have a duplex in a great part of south Austin - 78704. When the tenants moved out of one units the month before SXSW, Perry suggested I spiff it up, furnish it, and rent it for short term guests. It was quite an undertaking, probably because we had to do it so quickly to take advantage of the big crowd coming for SXSW.
It wasn't in bad shape, but it had to look great. Walls were patched, textured and painted. To get top dollar, the carppet had to go and I found a flooring guy with a great vinyl laminate that looks like wood flooring, but will be more durable and muffle the noise for those living below. New countertops and fixtures, and we were ready for furniture shopping.
I think I bought most of IKEA one day as we pushed 2 overflowing carts and 2 flatbeds to the register. Besides just figuring out what furniture is needed, it is quite a task to remember everything that would be needed for the kitchen, linens and duvets for the beds, towlels, rugs and shower curtans for the baths. Flat panel TVs, lamps, artwork were all purchased or brought from home. Friends donated some kitchenware and small appliances. The place has 3 bedrooms, so we got 2 queen and 2 twin beds - good thing there were sales for Presidents' Day.
Much of the furniture had to be assembled. That was quite a task. I'm glad I had experienced friends to show us how to do it. It was so nice of friends to volunteer to help.One secret to assembling a lot of furniture is to make an assembly line with each person performing a different step. I probably put together 2 dozen drawers for dressers and nightstands - that IKEA stuff can be tricky.
Besides dishwasher soap, laundry detergent, trash bags, TP, etc, it is nice to provide little soaps, shampoos, lotion, and coffee. I made a list of recommended spots in the area for eating and entertainment.
It took about 3 weeks to do everything including dealing with cable TV and internet.
I got someone to manage it for me. I knew if people wanted to rent for a week or weekend, it would just be too much for me to handle all the details. This was a very wise decision. Catherine handles all the advertising, paperwork, keys, payment, and cleaning crew.
Places to advertise include HomeAway, Air B&B, and Corporate Housing by Owner. We used a couple of these and then I also put it on the MLS. As a Realtor, I am often asked for short term housing by people relocating - it's hard to find.
I know you didn't see it before the transformation, but here is a wobbly video I took before
the first guests arrived. Since then we have added a bit more
furniture and artwork.