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  • Writer's pictureLeon Cook

The ROI of Amenities: What Investments Truly Matter to Guests

In the highly competitive landscape of short-term rentals, property managers are constantly seeking ways to maximize their Return on Investment (ROI). While various factors can influence ROI—location, marketing, customer service—one often overlooked aspect is the role of amenities. Amenities are not just 'nice-to-haves'; they are an investment in enhancing your property's appeal, and consequently, its earning potential.

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But not all amenities are created equal. How do you decide which amenities to offer? How do you measure their impact? This comprehensive guide aims to delve deep into the ROI of amenities in short-term rentals, helping property managers make informed decisions that resonate with guests and bolster the bottom line.

Why Amenities Matter

In a marketplace flooded with options, guests are no longer just looking for a place to stay; they're looking for an experience. Amenities are a pivotal component of that experience and play a crucial role in not only attracting guests but also ensuring their satisfaction and encouraging repeat bookings.

Guest Satisfaction and Reviews

Positive guest reviews are the lifeblood of any short-term rental business. A well-chosen selection of amenities can significantly enhance the guest experience, translating into glowing reviews. For instance, providing high-speed Wi-Fi, a fully equipped kitchen, or a hot tub can make your property a standout choice, elevating guest satisfaction.

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Repeat Bookings

It's well-documented that acquiring a new customer costs more than retaining an existing one. Amenities can serve as a powerful retention tool. A guest who has enjoyed the unique offerings of your property is more likely to return, cutting down on your marketing expenses in attracting new bookings.

Differentiating Your Property

In a sea of listings that offer the basics—comfortable beds, clean bathrooms, basic kitchen appliances—amenities act as differentiators. A well-curated list of amenities can set your property apart, allowing you to command higher nightly rates and, consequently, improving your ROI.

Word-of-Mouth and Social Sharing

Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth in the digital age. Guests who are thrilled by the amenities you offer are likely to share their experiences on social media, attracting attention and potentially leading to more bookings. This form of organic marketing can be invaluable for your business.

The Most Sought-After Amenities

The amenities that guests value most can vary depending on a multitude of factors—location, type of stay, or even the current season. However, some amenities universally resonate with travelers and can significantly impact your property's appeal.

High-Speed Wi-Fi

In our digital age, reliable and fast Wi-Fi is not just a convenience—it's a necessity. Whether for business travelers needing to stay connected or vacationers wanting to stream their favorite shows, high-speed Wi-Fi is often at the top of must-have lists.

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Comfort Features

Never underestimate the allure of a comfortable bed outfitted with high-quality linens. Add to that a selection of pillows and you've got an amenity that speaks volumes about your attention to detail and commitment to guest comfort.

Kitchen Essentials

A well-equipped kitchen can be a game-changer, especially for families or longer-term stays. Providing basics like coffee makers, microwaves, and even some spices can make guests feel at home and reduce their overall vacation costs.

Outdoor Amenities

Especially in a location like San Diego, outdoor amenities can set your property apart. Think BBQ grills, patio seating, or even beach gear like umbrellas and towels. These amenities not only elevate the guest experience but also allow you to market your property as the perfect destination for a sun-soaked getaway.

Smart Home Features

From smart locks for seamless check-ins to voice-activated climate control, smart home features are increasingly becoming a standard expectation. They not only add a futuristic feel to your property but also enhance operational efficiency.

Health and Safety

In today's world, health and safety amenities such as hand sanitizers, contactless check-ins, and enhanced cleaning protocols have moved from being optional to essential.

Local Touches

Adding local touches like a guidebook of nearby attractions or locally sourced snacks can make your guests feel a deeper connection to the destination, enhancing their overall experience.

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The Cost vs. Benefit Analysis

Investing in amenities is not about indiscriminately adding features to your property; it's a strategic decision that requires careful consideration of costs against potential returns. Here's how to approach this critical assessment.

Initial Investment

The upfront costs of some amenities can be significant. For example, installing a hot tub or an advanced home automation system involves not just the purchase price but also installation and maintenance. However, these amenities can also allow you to command higher nightly rates, thus justifying the initial outlay.

Ongoing Expenses

Some amenities, such as high-speed Wi-Fi or streaming services, come with recurring monthly costs. It's essential to factor these into your ROI calculations. The good news is that these are often amenities that guests are willing to pay a premium for, helping to offset ongoing expenses.

Seasonal Variability

In locations like San Diego, where the weather can play a significant role in a guest's choice of property, certain amenities may yield higher returns during specific seasons. For instance, air conditioning is a much-valued amenity during the summer months, whereas a fireplace might be more attractive in the winter.

Long-Term Value

Some amenities, such as a state-of-the-art kitchen or a luxurious bathroom, may require a hefty initial investment but can significantly boost your property’s long-term value. These are particularly worthwhile if you plan to stay in the short-term rental business for an extended period.

Guest Preferences and Feedback

Always keep an ear to the ground. Guest feedback can provide invaluable insights into which amenities are most appreciated and which might not be worth the investment.


Take time to study competitors in your location, especially those who are performing well. This can give you insights into what amenities are considered standard in your area and what you can offer to set your property apart.

pop art San Diego

Localizing Amenities: The San Diego Perspective

While amenities in general can significantly impact your ROI, it's crucial to consider the geographic context in which your property operates. For property managers in San Diego, this localization of amenities can be particularly impactful.

Beach-Related Amenities

Given San Diego's reputation as a beach paradise, amenities like beach towels, umbrellas, or even surfboards can add immense value to your property. These simple yet thoughtful touches can make your listing highly attractive to beach-goers.

Local Cuisine and Beverages

San Diego is known for its vibrant food scene. Consider offering a complimentary bottle of local wine or a selection of craft beers from San Diego breweries. This not only enhances the guest experience but also helps promote local businesses.

Family-Friendly Features

San Diego is a popular destination for family vacations, thanks in part to attractions like the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld. Amenities such as board games, a selection of DVDs, or even a small library of children's books can make your property more appealing to families.

Outdoor Living Spaces

The temperate climate of San Diego makes outdoor living spaces an attractive amenity. Patios, balconies, or even small gardens can serve as an extension of your living space and are especially appealing to guests looking to enjoy the region's abundant sunshine.

Eco-Friendly Amenities

San Diego's culture has a strong focus on sustainability. Eco-friendly amenities like reusable water bottles, solar-powered lighting, or a composting system can resonate with environmentally conscious travelers and set your property apart.

Transportation Amenities

Given San Diego's sprawling layout, guests often appreciate amenities that ease transportation woes. Offering bicycles for guest use or providing detailed public transport guides can go a long way in enhancing the guest experience.

By tailoring your amenities to fit the local context, you not only enhance the guest experience but also create a unique selling proposition that sets your property apart in the competitive San Diego market.

Case Study: Above and Abroad’s Approach

Above and Abroad has consistently outperformed competitors in the San Diego short-term rental market, and one of the key factors behind this success is our strategic approach to amenities. Here's an inside look at how we've maximized ROI through well-curated amenities.

High-Value Amenities

We focus on offering high-value amenities that resonate with our target demographic. For instance, we provide high-speed Wi-Fi with dedicated workspaces, catering to the growing number of remote workers and business travelers.

Guest-Centric Approach

We actively seek guest feedback to continually refine our amenity offerings. This guest-centric approach has resulted in a high level of satisfaction and repeat bookings, significantly boosting our ROI.

Technology-Driven Amenities

Above and Abroad has embraced smart home technology to enhance the guest experience. From keyless entries to smart thermostats, our tech-friendly amenities not only add convenience for guests but also streamline our operational processes.

Brand Alignment

Every amenity we offer is carefully chosen to align with our brand values of luxury, convenience, and authenticity. Above and Abroad’s amenity strategy serves as a real-world example of how a well-thought-out approach to amenities can significantly impact ROI. Our success in this area offers actionable insights for other property managers looking to enhance their ROI through smart amenity investments.

Technology and Amenities

As we navigate an ever-evolving digital landscape, the integration of technology into the amenity offerings of short-term rentals is not just a trend—it's an imperative. Here's how technology can significantly impact your ROI through amenities.

Smart Locks and Keyless Entry

The convenience of keyless entry through smart locks can't be overstated. It streamlines the check-in process, reducing friction for guests and operational hassles for property managers. The result is a smoother guest experience that can positively impact reviews and repeat bookings.

Streaming Services and Smart TVs

In a world where streaming services ave become the norm, offering a Smart TV with pre-installed streaming apps like Netflix or Hulu can be a significant draw. It's a small investment that can make your property feel like a home away from home for guests.

Energy Management Systems

Smart thermostats and lighting systems not only offer guests more control over their environment but also allow property managers to monitor and manage energy usage remotely. This can result in substantial long-term cost savings, positively affecting your ROI.

Security Features

Smart security cameras and doorbell cameras can offer guests an added layer of security without intruding on their privacy. This can be particularly appealing for families or solo travelers and can be a unique selling point for your property.

Mobile Apps for Guest Experience

Some property managers are going the extra mile by offering a custom mobile app that guests can use to control various aspects of their stay, from adjusting the thermostat to requesting additional amenities or services. This enhances the guest experience and allows for upselling opportunities.

By thoughtfully integrating technology into your amenity offerings, you not only meet the rising expectations of today's tech-savvy travelers but also create operational efficiencies that can boost your ROI.

Measuring ROI on Amenities

Understanding the return on investment (ROI) for your amenities is crucial for making informed decisions and optimizing your property’s performance. Here are some key metrics and methods to gauge the ROI of your amenity investments effectively.

Occupancy Rates

A higher occupancy rate often correlates with a well-curated selection of amenities. Monitor your occupancy rates before and after implementing new amenities to assess their impact.

Average Daily Rate (ADR)

Amenities can allow you to command higher nightly rates. Keep an eye on your Average Daily Rate (ADR) as you introduce new amenities, as a significant increase can be an indicator of high ROI.

Guest Reviews and Ratings

The quality and frequency of guest reviews can offer valuable insights into how your amenities are being received. High ratings and mentions of specific amenities in reviews can be a strong signal of their value.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Regularly compare the ongoing costs of maintaining certain amenities against the incremental revenue they generate. This will help you determine which amenities are cost-effective and which might need reconsideration.

Repeat Bookings

An uptick in repeat bookings can be an indirect indicator of the effectiveness of your amenities. Guests who enjoyed the added touches and conveniences are more likely to return, reducing your customer acquisition costs.

Social Media Mentions

Don't underestimate the power of social media in assessing ROI. Amenities that guests rave about on platforms like Instagram or Twitter not only serve as free marketing but also validate their appeal and potential ROI.

Surveys and Guest Feedback

Post-stay surveys can be a goldmine of information. Ask specific questions about the amenities to gauge guest satisfaction and gather insights that can inform future investment decisions.

By systematically measuring the ROI of your amenities through these metrics and methods, you can make data-driven decisions that enhance guest satisfaction and ultimately, your bottom line.

The ROI of Amenities—A Strategic Investment in Guest Satisfaction and Revenue Growth

In the competitive arena of short-term rentals, every decision counts, and when it comes to amenities, the stakes are even higher. As we've explored, amenities are not just add-ons or luxuries; they are strategic investments that can significantly impact your ROI.

From high-speed Wi-Fi that caters to the modern traveler's need to stay connected, to localized amenities that make your property a unique destination in markets like San Diego, the right amenities can set you apart in a crowded marketplace. They can boost your occupancy rates, allow you to command higher prices, and most importantly, turn one-time guests into loyal patrons.

The key to maximizing ROI on amenities lies in a strategic, data-driven approach. By understanding the costs involved, the benefits accrued, and the metrics that matter, property managers can make informed decisions that align with both guest expectations and business objectives.

Above and Abroad’s own approach to amenities serves as a case study in how thoughtful investment in amenities can pay dividends, both in terms of guest satisfaction and bottom-line results.

So, as you consider the future of your short-term rental business, remember that your amenities are not just features; they are valuable assets that can make or break your guest experience and, consequently, your ROI.

Ready to take your amenity game to the next level and see measurable results? Contact Above and Abroad today for a comprehensive consultation on optimizing your property’s amenities for maximum ROI. Your guests will thank you, and so will your bottom line.

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