Choosing white and neutral colours helps make the property attractive to a larger market Image Credit: Supplied

People often ask me if it’s a good idea to transform their Dubai property into a holiday home. I say it is absolutely the smartest option for those who wish to maximise their returns, while having access to their properties. Whether you live in your home and travel frequently or have a secondary property as an investment, short-term rental is the way to go!

The benefits are many. If you often travel for business, renting out your home is the ideal solution. Every day you are away can be earning you serious money. For a second home, it is equally amazing, especially for people who would like to use their home from time to time — for friends, relatives or themselves. International investors benefit as well as they can use their Dubai property as their own personal holiday home for one or two months per year. There is full flexibility to sell the property as there are no long-term tenants to kick out.

What sets holiday homes apart is how they don’t look like standard hotels

When setting up your property as a holiday home, there are plenty of factors to consider to maximise your revenue. How do you make your property “guest ready”? Where should you market it? How do you price? How do you furnish a holiday home?

With Airbnb growing in Dubai, it’s no longer an option to get a few Ikea basics and hope for the best. Stylish homes make more money. Travellers choose a holiday home based on design, feel and functionality.

Guest is first

If you want to earn more money, you need to keep in mind the needs of your guests. For example, make sure the apartment is painted white or a neutral colour. You may love your pinks walls, but chances are more than a few guests will not. White will always make your home look cleaner, lighter and more attractive in photographs.

Your home needs to feel homey. A large part of what sets holiday homes apart is how they don’t look like standard hotels. Interesting art, books on the shelves, flowers, cushions, throws and decorative items all bring character to your home. Make sure the beds have bedside tables and lamps. Well-placed carpets in the living room will bring a room together. Plants add warmth. For the bedrooms, make sure the sheets are white or neutral. Always keep extra sets of sheets and towels for the guests.

Functionality

Functionality is also key to earning more. When travellers stay at a holiday home, there are certain things they expect. For example, the kitchen needs to have the essentials such as pots and pans, cutlery, plates, cups, etc. Kettle, coffee maker, toaster and microwave are also important. Some basic cleaning equipment is also necessary, especially for people staying longer than a few days. The internet needs to work perfectly to attract business travellers. The TV needs to have at least the basic channels. While not required, additions like AppleTV and Netflix will boost your property as well.

If you live in your home, make sure that the guests have enough space for their things. Clutter is not attractive and can lead to negative reviews in the long-run. When furnishing, always remember durability; go with solid wood or metal materials, which will last through many guest stays. Crystal chandeliers are nice, but who will clean them? White suede couches are stylish, until the first stain. Glass tables are lovely, but very soon will look worn and scratched. For couches, choose washable material.

When photographing your home, first make certain your home is clean and organised. Don’t put yourself in the photos. Take wide shots from all angels, allowing your guests to imagine what your home looks like. Take pictures of your surroundings, so guests can get familiar with your area. Take pictures during the day for maximum light.

Anna Skigin is CEO of Frank Porter. She has managed her own apartments as holiday homes in London, Miami and the South of France. The views expressed here are her own.