How Much Money are You Leaving on the Table?

How Much Money are You Leaving on the Table- Increasing your Bed and Breakfast Income with Home Staging.

How much money are you leaving on the table? Your Bed and Breakfast table in particular. Probably a lot more than you think!

In a previous article, I talked about how Home Staging Boosts Demand for Rental Properties. Whether you have a vacation rental like a Bed and Breakfast, or a longer term rental such as an apartment or home, home staging can help you get a higher rental price, increase your business, attract a higher quality renter and generate great photos for online advertising,  How much money are you leaving on the table without doing it? Why not up your game at your vacation rental for more money and better customers.

Are You Attracting Your Ideal Customers Now?

Let’s say you have a Bed and Breakfast. Your potential customers first stop is your website.  Do you have high quality photos that highlight why your Bed and Breakfast is unique, wonderful and the perfect place to stay? Does each room look inviting, comfortable and vacation worthy? Does it draw in your ideal customer and make an emotional connection? If not, you have lost them within a few seconds!

I did a little market research on how my customers selected my Bed and Breakfast. My research (I asked them) showed that most picked my place based on the lower price. My target market was couples that were interested in wildlife viewing, and wanted a little luxury and were willing to pay more for a  mid-high end Bed and Breakfast. My ideal customers were not the bargain hunters.  I decided I needed to make a change!

My goal was to make my place unique and beautiful, raise my prices, increase my bookings and attract guests with interests similar to mine so I could provide them with great customer service.

I knew home staging worked to sell houses fast and for more and to attract a particular target market  by using decorating to make an emotional connection with those buyers.

So, I transformed my Bed and Breakfast inside and out!

What do your Ideal Customers Want?

Ultimately, they are paying for you. Your establishment is a reflection of you and your unique and amazing self:) Yup, it is really not about your bedding and art and your price. But your decor reflects “you”, and having a beautiful establishment brings higher prices.

What did I have to offer that made me unique? I had been working as a wildlife biologist specializing in birds for many years, so my expertise was in wildlife viewing. Also, I was an artist, musician and dance instructor so could offer unique art in the room as well as private  lessons. And as a designer, I wanted my decor to reflect all this and be colorful, happy and artistic. I decorated the room using lots of color so that it was happy but relaxing, wildlife art, my personal art and interesting accents with a wildlife theme.

Decorating for Your Ideal Customer

I decorated the room using lots of color, wildlife art, my art and interesting accents with a wildlife theme. I replaced the bedding, pillows, art, table and chairs, slighting and painted the dresser. I also added an electric fireplace for ambience and heat.

I used colorful pottery, my own stained glassware and wildlife accents such as this woodpecker door knocker and bear drawer handles.

In the bathroom, I selected had this beautiful shower curtain made based on a famous painting about hummingbirds as my inspiration piece. I then remodeled the bathroom to harmonize with it.  I removed the wallpaper, put in vinyl laminate flooring, new baseboard molding, replaced the outdated vanity, installed a new light and faucet, painted the walls a beautiful green.


I had the exterior painted a cheery color that harmonized with the coastal landscape, and continued the bird theme by adding outdoor bird metal art at the eaves.

How Much Money was I leaving on the Table?

So was I able to increase my Bed and Breakfast income with home staging?  Yes I was!

I took great photos and updated my website. I raised my prices by $40 per night, my bookings increased by 200% and I was fully booked the entire season. The increased prices paid for all my costs for the Interior updates the first season, and my increases the second year paid for the exterior paint job. The home staging and design work increased my income by about $10,000 per year for the one room that I rent. For an establishment with more rooms, you could increase your profit.


Just as Important as Money

Just as important, I was able to attract the types of guests that I want.  I used the new photos to promote my website using social media advertising on Facebook and bookings are increasing every year!  Having guests that I enjoy in my home that enjoy me and what I offer make a huge difference in the experience.

Stop Leaving Money on Your Table

Are you ready to update your vacation rental for increased profits and to attract the guests you want?  Contact me for a home staging or color consultation today. I can also assist you with social media advertising or a website review after it is looking great!

Why work with Northern Lights Home Staging and Design

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By Mary Ann Benoit

President- Northern Lights Home Staging and Design Owner- Arctic Paradise Bed and Breakfast Artist- Stained Glass, Jewelry and Alcohol Ink Art Wildlife Biologist Director- Kaleido World Percussion and Dance Company Director- Tavus Dance Company of Alaska Lover of music, art, dance and animals.


  1. I love your idea of applying home staging tricks of the trade to your bed and breakfast! Great blog post!

    1. Thanks so much Amy! I would never have thought of it for my Bed and Breakfast until I became a home stager and designer and realized how all the things that work to sell a house can work to “rent” a house too:)

  2. This is a service offering ALL bed and breakfast owners should take advantage of! Great insights, Mary Ann!

  3. So great to know with a plan for good decor, advertising and better photos you can actually increase your ROI on a vacation rental.

  4. Your ideas are perfect! So much more inviting for a relaxing stay.

    1. Thank you Suzi! It is important to find that balance between interesting and exciting enough to attract your ideal customer and relaxing once they arrive:)

  5. Staging is worth every penny and more!! Makes such a huge difference!

  6. I love your before & after pictures, Mary Ann- what a difference!

    And I also appreciate knowing the real financial difference it made in your business.

    1. Thanks Leslie! I only have 1 room at my B&B so imagine what a difference it could make to a business with multiple rooms!

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