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Furnishing Services


Has anyone used furnishing services for their AirBnB? Or provided those services?

A friend and I are getting started with a new AirBnB and she is footing all of the costs and I"ll be the Property Manager. I’ll be charging 20% of bookings and doing basically everything other than pay the bills- finding cleaning staff, managing the web presence, interacting with guests, etc.

I’m also going to be choosing all of the furnishings, transporting them, building and arranging, etc. All with an emphasis on saving start-up costs by purchasing whatever I can from consignment and thrift stores, craigslist, etc. Ill also be DIYing some of the furnishing and art.

What I don’t know is what I should be charging for the work of getting the place set up. I know Property Management companies will offer this service but the only way to get a price quote for comparison is to submit a request.

Does anyone have ideas for what I should charge? I’ve run some numbers and estimated that I’ll be saving
her about $4,000 based on the cost of furnishings if I were to walk into a traditional furniture store and buy everything, and that’s with using conservative estimates of what the furnishings would cost.
I thought about charging $30 and hour bc that’s what I make at my full time work? But maybe a flat fee makes more sense?


I would charge for my time.

I don’t think what you make in your day job is relevant.

Have you checked it wouldn’t be cheaper for her to buy it all in somewhere like IKEA and get it delivered and a handy-person to build.


We want more charm than most IKEA furniture would allow for, though I am planning on getting a few items there. A handyman would charge at least $30 an hour.

But even if I were to get it all at IKEA I’d still need to figure out what my fee should be for the time to choose the furnishing and the staging.


You would indeed @wonderwillow

Think of it this way you are starting a business as a property manager. You are fortunate in that your friend is letting you use her property aa a guinea pig.

Part of starting up a business is to do your market research to see what your competitors charge and how they structure the services they offer.

We can’t really help you with these sort of questions as we are hosts, not property managers,


There are very few co-hosts or property managers in this forum. We are mostly hosts who own our properties.


In my opinion, the whole venture is a bad idea. It will take a LONG time for your friend to recoup her investment and start turning a profit, if ever. With new laws, regulations and taxes being implemented everyday, it is a risky investment. It’s one thing if you have a place already and it’s furnished but to start from scratch sounds like a losing proposition. It’s hard enough with an existing furnished place on your own without paying someone 20% of bookings and all the start-up costs.


And yet, in my market people make their money back in less than a year.


I don’t know why you are saving her $4,000. She could also run around to thrift stores and buy the same furniture. You are saving her time and headache. A per hour amount is fine. If your friend is the type to nit pick, maybe a flat fee is better. (It took your 8 hours to drive to ikea and back???)

I don’t agree with the post about it being a bad venture. Furniture is an asset. It’s not like it is worthless if she decides to stop hosting. It will be not worth as much, but not a lost cause.

Millions of people and businesses, furnish rental units. Last time I checked HIlton still makes money.


She has no desire to shop for furniture (she abhors shopping) and does not have the time either. So the quickest and easiest way would be for me to walk into a furniture store and have everything delivered, but this would be much more expensive than using quality used furniture and using items repurposed or DIYed by me.
She could also hire Interior Designers, but again as a premium.

There are businesses that offer interior design and staging services for AirBnBs but I’m not sure what they charge so I’m wondering if anyone has experience using these services.


For now. Not necessarily in the future. As I recall, you are in Boston, MA area. Things will be changing soon.


Most of our governor’s best donors own property in Massachusetts that they rent out during summers to pay the property taxes. There is a long history of renting second properties in this state. There is a long history of short term rentals to accommodate doctors, researchers, artists… things will change, but there will always be short term rentals in Boston. Too many people want to come here for them to all disappear. They might become more regulated, but I don’t believe that they are going to go away. Not when a hotel room can’t be had for less than $550. a night from May until November.


How large is this rental? Furnishing a 1 BR 1 BA unit is very different from furnishing a 5 BR 4 BA unit with wrap around porch & pool.

A decorator would charge either for his/her time by the hour or an estimated flat fee based upon experience.

Just as the owner is an entrepreneur with a financial risk at stake, it seems you should be too. Consider an amount per room furnished not to exceed a pre-determined amount with a time invested accounting. If it takes you more than 5 hours to furnish a room, depending on where you are it may be less expensive to to buy new.

If you are within a reasonable commute (many people travel to this area for a 3-4 day buying trip because including shipping, you can get some great deals) of the Greensboro, High Point, Winston Salem, Hickory area, market samples are a great way to go. Last year I purchased a mahogany queen bed (retail $2600) for $450 as a market sample. Using Market Samples, I furnished my fathers 2BR 2BA condo with market samples for less than $5000 (retail >$14,000).

If you don’t have time for a seek bargain & buy trip, I like the Hickory furniture mart. It is a massive facility with multiple retailers offering amazing discounts. Most retailers offer shipping options.

While there a friend purchased a desk for the husband’s home office for $2000 that retails for over $6000. (Too rich for my budget but I’m happy for them)


If you can’t travel to High Point, NC, another great internet sales resource is Furniture Land South. http://www.furniturelandsouth.com/

Their scratch & ding final clearance center is about 30 minutes from my home. It is go see & buy site, no internet presence. I purchased two original, signed pieces of art (original price $400 each) for $40 each (minor water damage on one). I left the $400 price tags on the back in case I ever sell them in a yard sell!!!

I’ve pontificated enough…I just love a good deal.


I didn’t say STR’s were going away. I’m saying it’s not as lucrative as some people think it is. I think there are better ways to get a return on your investment money than buying a property, furnishing it, paying all the bills and paying someone to manage it.


What return is she going to get on her STR?


I did this sort of. ( I Bought a place and furnished it, not paid someone to do it for me). Our house is 640 square ft 3 bed 1 bath, it took me about a month and a half to do the furnishings but I was hampered by having a life at the same time and the fact that I bought almost everything online. If you are doing it after work expect to take way more time than you think. Even just building furniture takes a while, and then there is always one more thing you forgot, etc etc. I would do it for someone else for $2k( for a house under 1000 square ft) abd probably could do it in 2 weeks of 4 hour days if I was more on top of it.


Is your square footage really 640? Or was that a typo?


I thought the same at first, but she mentioned it being 640 sf in another post also. I guess it’s like a tiny house.

My small one-bedrm condo is 600 sf and I sure can’t imagine it with 3 bedrms!



My one bedroom condo is 600-650 sq ft. Like you I can’t imagine fitting a 3 Bedrooms in.

However I used to live on a 34ft Sportfisher with a v-berth, head with shower, full galley, salon, & dining area that converted to a double bed in about 300 sq ft. I lived comfortably for about 4 months.

Tiny house architects are very clever in getting the most out of every inch.


Exactly my thoughts…architects = amazing skills. I was also thinking of all the homes we’ve had, not one was designed by a woman architect and not one had the ideal functional and efficient kitchen for me.One kitchen came close with all the pullouts but that was it.

It was always my pet peeve to note once again that the kitchen was obviously designed by a non-cook and I would have to “make-do”. :sleepy::weary:

BTW, we had a friend who lived on his 32-ft. boat for 2 yrs., and also was happy as a clam.


Older homes the kitchen and living room can be much smaller compared to today’s open concept layouts. Usually where they save on SF.

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