Home Improvements To Increase Profits

Hello all, Dennis here.

I’ve been an Airbnb host in London, UK for over three years (3 listings) and I want to supercharge my profit for August.

I just took over a 1 BDR property at Soho, London, that is need of modernisation.
Target guest profile: young professionals, couples, students.
Area: the space is right in the heart of the soho hustle and bustle with bars, clubs, restaurants, and shops only a stone’s toss away. Conclusion: the place is noisy.
Target price: £150- £175 per night

I’ve listed some projects I am considering pursuing to increase/justify my nightly price and occupancy:

Buy an upgraded mattress and sofa bed
Provide better guest amenities such as a small bedroom TV
Buy funky non-ikea artwork
Buy a microwave/oven
Repaint kitchen
Replace all windows with double glazing

I would love to hear people’s thoughts on the most effective high ROI home improvements they’ve carried out on their own city flats.

Also any advice on financing solutions, to help invest back into your listing for higher future payouts, that people would recommend in the UK would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and cheers,

so the 90 day limit for short term rental won’t be affecting you?

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Yes it will of course. So my plan is to maximise profits on Airbnb for 90 days, and then switch to mid stay and corporate bookings. I’ve thankfully built up a network of relocation agents that have been helping me fill my other flats.

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Sorry - I thought the 90 days was it…not just airbnb - but all short term lettings?

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It is. Following that the minimum would be 6 month bookings. I suspect @AirbnbHost-Dennis knows this, though I have no idea what a mid stay is.

@Zandra Yes I Do. @Debthecat do you have any advice in regards to my question above? I do not want this topic thread to get side tracked into regulation :slight_smile:

@AirbnbHost-Dennis my feeling is that there’s a lot of hosts that think the best way to maximise income is to improve facilities. Have you done a bit of market research? It may be that the gap in the market is actually mid range for example …

I appreciate you don’t want to do talk about regulation. However after the 90 days you need to take lets of a minimum of six months so your strategy needs to look at how you appeal to long term as well as shorter term guests.

In your situation, I would get a local estate agent around and ask their advice. They will understand the local market and what you need to do to appeal to it.

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@Zandra Thanks for the feedback. I’ve scouted the competitive landscape in Soho. It’s a bit hard to see one obvious gap in the market, and £150 - £175 a night seems mid range in soho. I think going with a comfy large sofa bed seems to offer the highest ROI.

@Helsi I agree. I also believe the closer the space looks like a boutique hotel the better. I feel people want a home that has character and is comfortable with all the convieneces you would expect from a hotel. This I believe especially appeal to my target audience’s needs: young professionals.

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It’s difficult to give advice without seeing photos, since we can’t know the current state of affairs to identify any weak spots. Generally speaking I have found the most effective improvements were those that increased sleeping capacity above 2 people or improved the “look” of my listing in the photos. By far the best ROI was when I hired a professional real estate photographer and did some basic staging, so your place might benefit most from a new paint job or some cheap non-ikea art on the walls and some professional HDR photography.

How noisy are we talking about? Background daytime ambient noisy, or wake you up in the middle of the night noisy? Windows are obviously a major investment, and since most Airbnb guests will be there for just a few days it’s hard to justify the improvement for that alone. Same with the mattress; if it’s really terrible people will complain but a basic IKEA spring mattress is fine for Airbnb. However for longer term stays (especially relocations) you will want to consider these more expensive upgrades, as business professionals will expect to be able to get a quiet and comfortable night’s sleep and care less about being part of the “hustle and bustle” that tourists might want.


Soho is very noisy as it’s the centre of nightlife in London. Clubs and bars are open until the wee hours. It’s also one of my absolute favourite places in London and if I could afford it I would choose Soho/Covent Garden over anywhere else.

Any money that can be spent soundproofing would be worthwhile.

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Boutique hotel and home are different things. Would a boutique hotel appeal to your long term rentals?

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@zandra a boutique hotel and home are different things but, I’ve observed hotels seeing great successes with expanding their residence arms. Hotel residences bring you all the service benefits of the hotel but supply guests with a modern boutique apartment to stay in (similar to serviced apartments)

@cooperjto many thanks for your detailed response. It is much appreciated!

I agree that increasing the sleeping capacity (sofa bed in my case) or improving the “look” of the listing in photos should bring in the highest ROI. So I will pursue a new paint job, some cheap non-ikea art on the walls, and some professional HDR photography.

The question I’m left thinking about is sound proofing. And @Zandra is right Soho is very noisy. I feel like I will need to invest into glazing the windows but it will be expensive but, I need to appeal to business professionals or young couples for longer stays.

Where is the bedroom located related to the noise? A noisy living area is fine, but a noisy bedroom can be untenable.

@cooperjto the bedroom is located at the back of the apartment. Its not absolutely silent but, I don’t have a problem sleeping. However, A light sleeper will have a problem.

The living room is a different story as it is on the first floor and points direct to one of soho’s busiest streets.

I will have to be very transparent with the space’s marketing. I’m also thinking as a courtesy to buy ear buds for all guests .

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I was just going to suggest this - I bought silk lined sleeping masks and air plugs in bulk from Costco. I’ve been thinking about getting a white noise machine as well, except the air conditioner in the window works pretty well for that in the summer.

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That sounds like a good plan to me. As a perfectionist myself, I tend to underestimate how easygoing most guests are about things that would bother me or I think would bother them. I wouldn’t immediately change out the windows, but would mention that the living room faces a busy street and has “antique windows” or something similar.

I would advise Bansky. :rofl::rofl::sunglasses:

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