Shampoo & Booze 53: Renovation 100% Done! Now time to make money.

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We finished the renovation. Pop the champagne (or apple cider)! Check it out. We even have a bunch of bookings already. Feels great! See below for some before and after photos. Wow, what a job that was.

We are currently traveling for 30 days in Scandinavia before a video job in Vienna. We have been able to find a couple great people in our area to clean our rental while we're gone. We simply plug in a new Data SIM (Cell Hire has worked in every country we've been in, it's great) and communicate with any guests and our cleaners. This is the dream. Hope we can maintain it with a second rental.

Our farmhouse rental has been doing great as well. We recently changed out the washer when it broke to a compact apartment sized one by Magic Chef (it holds a lot more than it seems) and we absolutely love it! We also added an Amplifi Wifi Mesh network to have the best connectivity possible. It's pricey on Amazon, but you can find a deal if you keep an eye out on eBay.

We want to know what you want to hear from this podcast if we continue making it. We took a long break doing updates while we finished the house and wanted to do an update. Is this still interesting to you? Hope your rentals are rockin!

Thinking of becoming an Airbnb host or guest? Use our referral code and get $20 off your next stay or $80 credit if you become a host!

Shampoo & Booze VIDEO: Ikea Fabrikor Hack - From Broken Key Lock to Fab Magnetic Cabinet w/ Knob

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One of our favorite pieces of furniture in our farmhouse rental is the Ikea Fabrikor metal and glass cabinet. It's the perfect solution to the antique house problem of having no closets. We store bath and beach towels in ours. However, Ikea seems to think having only a lock and key to open and close the door is a great idea. It's not, it's horribly bad design. As you can see in the video, our lock mechanism has simply snapped in half from normal use. This is the third time it's broken, so rather than try to repair the lock and key, I decided it was time to "Ikea Hack" the door to make it more stable and usable for our guests well into the future. Enjoy!

Have you had to hack a piece of furniture etc to work in your rental? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Thinking of becoming an Airbnb host or guest? Use our referral code and get $20 off your next stay or $80 credit if you become a host!

Shampoo & Booze 52: Do I Charge Friends And Family to Stay At My Rental?

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Our friends, Mikey and Wendy, just started their own Airbnb rental. We know how much work they put in to build this place from scratch. It looks awesome!

Since they're just starting, Mikey asked a good question: how do you handle friends and family who want to come stay? Can they stay for free or just a discount? Do you put a limit on the number of days they can stay? How do you have this conversation when your rental is a business?

Our family and friends know our rental is a business we depend on. So we definitely let family stay for free (because we love them!), but they know that staying for long periods of time would mean we would lose a lot of income. Friends know we give discounts but staying for free isn't possible. We sometimes barter with friends for a free stay which is fun because we get some work done.

With summer vacation starting, it's just the beginning of the height of our rental season for the Farmhouse. We're booking 20+ nights a month. Feels great. On the other hand....after a three month hiatus on our River House renovation, we're just now starting work again. Our goal is to get it done by August 1. Cross our fingers!

We were mentioned on a couple blogs recently: Fashionably Broke and Lodgify. There are some links to some other good podcasts we hadn't heard from. 

Thinking of becoming an Airbnb host or guest? Use our referral code and get $20 off your next stay or $80 credit if you become a host!

Shampoo & Booze 51: Renovation Stage 3 - 50% Complete

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It's been a while since we've posted. Why? TAXES. No big deal, but as anyone who's self-employed knows, taxes can be as surprising part of not having an employer who automatically deducts taxes out of paychecks.The great news is that we're all caught up now.

But this also meant taking a couple months off from the renovation on our second rental. We plan to pick up again in May and hopefully finish as quick as possible. As stressful as running our own businesses can be, we enjoy being able to strategize where we put our energy and money.

Spring is finally here and that means the beginning of rental season for us since we live in a vacation area. We're experimenting with our prices again this year to see what the market will bear. It's always a balance between getting a fair price for your place and keeping the calendar booked. We're also hoping guests enjoy the upgrades to the Farmhouse that we did over the winter. Always doing little improvements keeps us engaged in our place.

We also started an Instagram account to show off our places and connect and promote other local businesses. Follow us and we'll do the same!

Check out the new rental that are friends, Mikey and Wendy, just completed. We know how much work they did to make this place awesome. If you're ever in New Mexico, check out them out. 

Hope things are going well for you!
Thinking of becoming an Airbnb host or guest? Use our referral code and get $20 off your next stay or $80 credit if you become a host!

Shampoo & Booze 50: Renovation Stage 2 COMPLETE

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We can officially say stage two of our renovation is done. Now on to the final touches which include putting the floors down, painting, final electric and plumbing installation, trim/baseboards. Oh yeah we need to build the kitchen and furnish the whole place! That's the fun part though.  See photos below of the state of the house as of last weekend. We now have drywall up and mudded as of today.

Thinking of becoming an Airbnb host or guest? Use our referral code and get $20 off your next stay or $80 credit if you become a host!

Shampoo & Booze 49: What Kind of Furniture We Buy for Our Rentals

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Elizabeth asked us a great question last week: what kind of furniture should she buy for the home she's about to rent on Airbnb? Everyone will probably have a different answer but here's what we are do.

Ikea is a good option because they offer affordable, modern furniture. Need to furnish a room fast? Just plop down the credit card and spend a couple days putting it together. No one can argue with this logic for the convenience.

But when we've stayed in an "Ikea home", it can often feel like a college dorm. Add some signs on the wall that say "Live Laugh Love" and the place can feels like a cheap, cutesy hotel. It looks like someone just furnished it overnight.

Because we always have time before we put our place up for rent, we find much of our furniture at auctions and Craigslist. Why? Because we can get awesome quality furniture for cheap. We live near a big city and it's incredible that people are almost giving away high end furniture because "it doesn't work in our space anymore". Last week we bought a $2000 leather recliner for $200. What!? So instead of paying $500 for a decent new Ikea couch, we'll pay $500 for a lightly used West Elm couch that originally cost $3000. Don't believe us? Just search your local urban Craigslist. Use keywords like: West Elm, Room and Board, Design Within Reach, Crate and Barrel.

We also enjoy attending local auctions. Usually these are evenings where someone's home/estate is being sold. Furniture, appliances, kitchen, bathroom, clothes, everything must go! Sometimes we've found amazing unique pieces of furniture and rugs for cheap. This adds variety to our rentals.

What we don't suggest is going to the thrift store and loading up on whatever they have. Though we love scavenging, good furniture is difficult to find in decent shape at the local Goodwill. We've stayed in plenty of rentals that look like junk shops. Nothing matches or makes design sense. Stuff looks grimy. All the silverware and utensils don't match. What thrift stores are good for is artwork. We've found unique, colorful pieces of art that make a room look fun and thoughtful.

And here's just a short list of what we make sure to offer:
  • A king size bed. The master bedroom should always have a big bed if the room can handle it. This screams "fancy"!
  • Hooks everywhere. When we stay somewhere for a couple nights, I just want to hang up my clothes and towels. Don't make me throw my clothes on the back of chairs.
  • A full kitchen with the ability to cook full meals. We always look for places where we can cook. This is part of the Airbnb experience for us because it lets us save money on food. A good kitchen also allows us feel at home. We've stayed in plenty of places that had a kitchen without the right mix of pots, pans, utensils, and spices. Just let me cook some scrambled eggs and toast. Don't make me buy a bag of salt for a two night stay.
So are we design snobs? Maybe! But good design is also just good business. We can charge more if the place feels planned and of quality. We make more money putting in the time to arrange things just so. Our feedback reflects this.

Do you have any tips for furnishing your place? What do you look for when you rent on Airbnb?

Thinking of becoming an Airbnb host or guest? Use our referral code and get $20 off your next stay or $80 credit if you become a host!