If you have a short term rental (STR) in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, or the Smoky Mountains, and you’re getting it ready for visitors, it’s important to have a checklist you can follow. When you work from a checklist you’re much less likely to miss something your renters might need.

Even though they’re only there for a few days, most visitors expect a short term rental cabin to have at least most of what they need. Since it’s not like a hotel room, visitors to cabins often cook meals in the cabin they rent.

No matter the size or specific amenities of the cabin it needs to work well for the majority of people who rent it. By creating and following an AirBNB set up checklist, you’ll be ahead of your competition when it comes to offering value that’s easy to manage.

What Should You Add to an STR Set Up Checklist?

You might be surprised how many things you really need to add to your checklist, but once you’ve gotten everything in order you can use the same checklist every time. That makes preparation faster in the future, and can be well worth the initial set up effort.

The first thing to consider is what categories you want on your checklist. Trying to remember everything you want to include for each of the cabins you rent out isn’t realistic, especially if you don’t break them down into categories by room or other designations.

For example, consider having a category for:

  • Accessories
  • Living Room
  • Kitchen (Major Appliances)
  • Kitchen (Small Items)
  • Dining Room
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Technology
  • Fun Stuff (Indoor Games)
  • Fun Stuff (Outdoor Games)
  • Amenities
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Indoor Furniture

Especially for individual cabins you need to have everything available to your guests. They might not be able to easily run to the store and get something, due to the secluded location. Or maybe they’re using a service like Uber and don’t have a car.

The goal is to give your visitors the best possible experience, and that means a cabin that has what they need. If they don’t have clean towels or a way to wash the ones they used, they’re going to be uncomfortable. There also needs to be good Wi-Fi in most places, because even people looking for a more secluded experience usually still want to be connected.

How Much Does a Short Term Rental Need?

A short term rental cabin in a popular tourist location like the Smoky Mountains should have everything your visitors need to live there comfortably for the few days they’re spending in the area. That means things like dishes in the kitchen and a hair dryer in the bathroom, but it’s also good to include options like board games and outdoor amenities.

Not every cabin will come with all of those things, of course, but putting them on your STR set up checklist can make remembering to include them easier. You can provide the bare minimum, but you’re not as likely to get good reviews or repeat visitors when you do that. Going above and beyond will make your rental cabins a more attractive option for visitors no matter the time of year.

Consider the size of the cabin and how many people it accommodates. You don’t need a 10-piece dish service for a cabin that sleeps two, but it’s still a good idea to have more than two plates, bowls, and glasses, along with plenty of silverware. By paying attention to how you use items you can get a better idea of what’s common for others.

Does the Location Make a Difference for Items?

Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the Smoky Mountains are great tourist destinations all throughout the year. People love the local charm and the warm weather in the summer months, and in the wintertime they like to come and experience the snow. Whether they want a hot tub or a big TV, you want to make sure your cabin rental options offer what they’re looking for.

Naturally, it’s not possible to provide everything that every guest might want. Some people are more particular than others about their needs, and some visitors may make use of amenities that don’t matter to other visitors. But the goal is to please the largest number of people as often as possible.

Location can matter when trying to do that, since guests may have come to your cabins with a certain experience in mind. The Smoky Mountains is a special, unique place. Making sure you understand the reasons why most people visit them can help you create an AirBNB set up checklist that’s right for your visitors.

How Can You Make Sure Your AirBNB Set Up Checklist is Complete?

The right STR set-up checklist can make everything easier. Getting a short term rental checklist that’s complete and comprehensive is the goal, because you can keep using that checklist once it’s created. Your first draft will be a good start, but expect to revise it over time.

One of the best ways to find out if the checklist you’re using is a good one is to focus on the feedback you get from your visitors. If they like their experience but wish they had a certain item, you can consider including that item in the cabin. Especially if more than one visitor has mentioned a particular need, it could be something you should add to your checklist.

Another way to make sure that your checklist is complete is to work with a local real estate firm to get ideas and inspiration. By comparing what you’re offering to what others are offering, you can get a good idea of how well your cabin is stocked for visitors. You want to provide a better-than-the-competitor experience, and that’s easier to do when you know what competitors have. Overall, the best thing you can do is listen to your visitors. Ask them for their feedback and take their concerns seriously. If you can accommodate them, they’ll remember that and be more likely to come back in the future.

Download our FREE STR Checklist below!