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Setting Up a Short Term Rental

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

Are you thinking about setting up a short-term rental? We just did it, and I will tell you what we learned.

We flew to Pittsburgh on a Thursday night and returned Monday Morning & managed to find pretty much everything we needed with a few items pre-ordered at Ikea.

Short-term rentals are hot everywhere, and Pittsburgh, PA is no exception- it is a regional, national, and even international destination. Pittsburgh is a great place to visit with lovely neighborhoods to explore.

Southwestern Pennsylvania offers amazing architecture, museums, rivers, shopping (so much thrifting and antiquing), incredible libraries, exceptional medical care, top universities, great hikes, and more.

When our 1 bedroom in Troy Hill (right across from highly desirable Lawrenceville) became vacant, we made the easy decision to convert it to a short-term rental.

The decision was easy, the work, not so easy. What does it take? Well, you need furniture. Lots and lots of furniture. You need everything. We hit thrift stores, discount stores, estate sales, Craigslist, Facebook marketplace and Ikea. We wanted to limit how much furniture we had to assemble, so anything lightly used but pre-assembled or no assembly required was perfect. We found a great vintage dining hutch to house books and games. We also found a fun vintage coffee table and a leather (pleather?) sofabed, all second hand. Thrift stores are also a great source for microwaves (we found several new ones priced under $30) and coffee makers (seems like people cannot commit to a coffee maker.)

I have compiled a list below of all the things you’ll need for your short-term rental.

You have to ask yourself: what kind of short stay do you want to provide? We chose a look that is a little funkier & eclectic with character since the house has some fun architectural features including a 1950s sink and some really really old fixtures, super tall ceilings, and plenty of exposed brick.


What do you need to do in terms of upgrades?

My mom once said a room is nothing but floors, walls, and ceilings. In our case, we still have to paint and change out some of the floors. I will post photos of that once it is done. We are choosing bright bold blue floors (likely Armstrong because it holds up so well) for the entryway, kitchen, and bath). We have some bold blue wallpaper which will go behind the bed.

Who manages your short-term rental?

There are all different kinds of ways to structure the management of a short-term rental- you can do what is called “arbitrage” or you can get a co-host or just hire management. You can also choose to manage it yourself. Call me for more information or for referrals: 510-545-6390.

We will follow up with more photos when the contractor is done with the work, so be sure to check back in with us in a couple of weeks.

What you’ll need:

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