Faye has been a Hilton Head enthusiast since 1968. For over 50 years, she’s visited the coastal city, owning and designing many homes in the area and becoming an expert in what travelers look for in a Hilton Head vacation rental.
While Faye and her husband originally bought the one-bedroom, luxe condo near the marina for personal use, they quickly realized that by renting it out, they could make back some of the property’s costs. With the help of TurnKey, Faye and her husband successfully rented out their home and earned a steady stream of revenue every month.
Getting Started with TurnKey
Quickly after Faye and John started working with TurnKey, they had to move out of their Hilton Head condo and into a new home in North Carolina. They began packing up their belongings, including any valuables they didn’t want to leave behind. Faye packed every piece of jewelry she owned into a black box, and when they got to the new condo in North Carolina, she realized she had left the box in Hilton Head.
“I can’t even tell you…” Faye said. “It was every heirloom that I had.”
As soon as she realized the issue, she called her dedicated TurnKey representative and asked if they could check the home for her jewelry box. Even though it was after normal business hours, the local team member searched the entire home but couldn’t find it. Putting themselves in the their shoes, our team member carefully traced the homeowners’ steps in moving all their belongings from their home to their car. Finally, nearly at the end of her journey, she discovered a cart in the stairwell … holding an undisturbed black box.
“TurnKey found it, packaged it, and insured it for as much as they could. They sent it to us without sending a bill. That was just huge to me,” Faye said.
As the partnership continued, Faye was pleased with TurnKey’s local team and continued commitment to the success of her home. She was also very happy with TurnKey’s housekeeping services, and she admits that her cleanliness standards are high!
Designing a Home Travelers Love
While they did not buy their Hilton Head home specifically as a rental, Faye and John have successfully met their revenue expectations since working with TurnKey. Faye attributes this to their amazing design and working with a top-notch vacation rental management company. The rental is also located near several attractions vacationers love, like local restaurants, hiking trails, boutiques, art galleries, and water sports.
Her home sees traffic year-round, but business really picks up during the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage. Faye’s rental has been designated as a VIP unit for this event and has been rented out every single year. But ultimately, she attributes a lot of her success to her skills and experience as an interior designer.
So what’s Faye’s decor advice for other rental property owners? Focus on the little details!
Ensure the kitchens and bathrooms are equipped with everything a guest may need, and add decor that works with the rental location.
“Decor in a vacation rental should be more pertinent to the area, like our Hilton Head rental has beach artwork and a shell chandelier. Everything should be special and reflect the location,” she said.
To make spaces feel bigger, go with a white or neutral color scheme and use consistent flooring throughout. Faye also used large tiles in the bathrooms, as small ones would create more dividing lines between the tiles, making the room feel smaller. She also replaced the bathtub with a shower stall to maximize the space.
Faye went to art galleries and high-end design firms around the island to make sure her home stood out among other online vacation rental listings. She and John also took a long time to pick out the perfect mattress, which she states is extremely important for guests.
“We get comments on how great our mattress is! We did not get a ‘rental mattress.’ In fact, we got one mattress and tested it out for six weeks,” she said. “We didn’t like it, so we bought a new, better one for guests. They love it!”
Transitioning from Personal Use to Rental Home
As soon as Faye and her husband John bought their Hilton Head, South Carolina, home with a lighthouse view, they completely gutted the property to create a space that worked better for them. Being an interior designer since graduating college, Faye knew exactly which improvements would make the one-bedroom home feel bigger, like wood flooring throughout the entire home – foyer, kitchen, dining area, living room and bedroom – and a neutral color scheme.
“Having consistent flooring throughout the home maximizes the space. Then if someone wants to come out of bed and not step on the floor, we put in an area rug that extends about two and a half feet around the bed.”
After the renovations were complete, Faye and John realized they might want to start renting out their Hilton Head condo. They spoke to friends in the area and asked their Realtor for property management company recommendations. The Realtor recommended TurnKey. After hitting it off with our local team and comparing our services with others in the area, Faye knew TurnKey was the right solution for her new venture.
Finally, when it comes to property management companies, Faye recommends taking the time to find the right full-service property manager for you.
“You’ve got to invest in the management company you choose,” she said. “Tell them what you expect and make sure you follow the recommendations they give too. You have to have confidence in who you choose.”
With the help of TurnKey, Faye and her husband successfully rented out their home and earned a steady stream of revenue every month.