Hosting Hotline: Five-Star Patio Amenities to Differentiate Your STR (Episode 366)

Would My STR Guests Enjoy an Outdoor Movie Screen & Projector?

Welcome back to the Hosting Hotline! This is an Ask Me Anything where each week we’ll answer your questions on Airbnb, STRs, real estate, and everything in between.

Patrick called into our Hosting Hotline and asked:

It’s Patrick with Farmhouse805 on the beautiful central coast of California. I have a big question for you… We’ve been having a lot of success with our STR. We’ve got a nice patio with a gas fire pit and a commercial grade barbecue, but we just don’t have the budget to do a swimming pool. And I’m not a big fan of the spas for the patio. 

We’re thinking about adding a movie screen and maybe a digital projector that guests can use to watch movies outside. We’re just trying to figure out if that’s something that would be attractive to guests. I would love to hear your feedback. We love everything about your show – keep it up! 

Airbnb Patio Ideas to Make Your Property Stand Out

Adding a Movie Projector: An outdoor movie projector and screen is always an attractive amenity for rental property guests, especially when paired with seating and ambiance considerations like blankets and outdoor-safe glassware. Make sure the patio furniture you purchase is quality so it stands the test of time. Ask yourself operational questions when adding outdoor furniture – how will you protect it year after year? If your rental is in an area that gets a lot of snow and rain, where will you store the furniture during those seasons?

Considering Noise and Neighbors: It’s important to consider outdoor noise and its impact on neighbors, especially with outdoor amenities that might create more sound (like movie projectors). If curbing excessive noise would be a nearly impossible task, then don’t tempt your guests. However, if your property is in a more rural area, outdoor entertainment could be a perfect fit!

Alternative to Pools and Spas: For hosts not interested in high-maintenance amenities like pools, alternative features such as saunas or cold plunges are engaging, lower-cost options that your guests will love. Remember to always keep safety at the forefront and make sure these amenities are child-proof. 

Utilizing Unique Features: Emphasizing unique property features (like farm activities or special local events) can enhance guest experience and potentially provide additional revenue streams.

Market Research and Competitor Analysis: We recommend using tools like ChatGPT to analyze competitors’ reviews for insights on guest preferences and gaps in the market, which can inform decisions on adding or enhancing amenities.

Patio/Outdoor Amenities for Your Short-Term Rental Property: Episode Timestamps

(00:01:40) Patrick Asks About an Outdoor Movie Projector 

(00:02:58) Building Out a Unique Vacation Rental Experience  

(00:05:31) Borrow Tips & Effective Ideas from Local Competitors

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions. To hear your voice on the show and send a question to Sarah and Annette, submit your burning hosting questions at:

Download a transcript of this episode.


Together, Annette & Sarah are the dynamic duo behind the wildly popular podcast Thanks For Visiting, co-creators of the Hosting Business Mastery Method, & seasoned short-term-rental hosts.

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