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Blame it on low mortgage rates giving people the urge to buy, buy, buy. Or the chance to work from anywhere (or simply escape our own four walls). Or some combination of the above, mixed with the desire to earn a little extra cash. Whatever it is, interest in Airbnbs is soaring. Seriously—people who started listing a home on the site after the pandemic started have collectively earned $1 billion this past year, according to the brand’s New Hosts Earnings Report.

Naturally, this made us curious: What do the top-booked Airbnbs have in common? And is that any different than what it was pre-pandemic (which shall henceforth be known as the Before Times)? We dug through Airbnb data to uncover some common threads, so you can get your rental in tip-top shape (or, you know, upgrade your home for your own personal enjoyment). Here are the most sought-after Airbnb amenities we’ve found.

RELATED: The 27 Quaintest Airbnbs in the Northeast

best airbnb amenities yard
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1. A Tricked-Out Backyard

The biggest difference between Airbnbs booked pre-pandemic and ones booked now is that people are looking to the house as the getaway, in and of itself. It has to offer more than a place to sleep, and for many, that means a few bells and whistles in the backyard they can’t find at home. A grill for cookouts, a fire pit and lounge area (bonus points if you offer a welcome basket with everything needed to make s’mores), and a few outdoor games can make a huge difference.

best airbnb amenities pool
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2. A Private Pool

Typically, this is the number one home upgrade experts tell you to avoid, because it doesn’t do much to boost your resale value. However, searches for “Airbnb with private pool” have climbed 750 percent in the past year, according to Google. (Similarly, “Airbnb with pool near me” is up 500 percent, underscoring Airbnb’s finding that many people are interested in road tripping, just to get a change of scenery.) Like the saying goes, if you’ve got it, flaunt it—on your listing.

best airbnb amenities desk
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3. A Work-from-Airbnb Space

In the past, Airbnb guests talked about booking to get away from it all, and Wi-Fi speeds weren’t so important. Not anymore. Two in five Americans are able to work or study remotely some of the time (if not full time), and a September 2020 survey found that one in three people will want to travel to new places to take advantage of the ability to “work from anywhere” post-pandemic. For those reasons—and based on guest feedback—Airbnb recommends upgrading to faster Wi-Fi and adding a desk and ergonomic chair, if you have the space. Might we suggest creating a Pinterest-friendly coffee bar, while you’re at it?

SimpliSafe

4. Self Check-In

As we continue to practice social distancing, the ability to offer self check-in (as in, they can enter the house without you or someone else needing to be there to hand over the keys) is crucial—and really convenient for everyone involved. That can be as simple as investing in a keyless smart lock, where you provide guests with a code to punch in to get into the house—no keys needed. (Bonus: You can change the code after their stay.)

Our Pick: SimpliSafe Smart Lock & Pin Pad

BUY IT ($99)

best airbnb amenities art
Joyce McCown/Unsplash

5. Local Art—and Snacks

“An experiential home is more important than ever. Since folks can’t go to museums right now, your art tells a story,” Alex and Max, the hosts behind California-based rental West & Wild, told Airbnb. (They should know—these superhosts command $586 a night for their space and have a 4.92-star rating.) They combine art from David Black throughout the home with a coffee table book about his work, so guests can get a more in-depth experience during their stay.

Similarly, you could showcase work from local artists, or offer a basket of snacks—or chilled bottle of wine—from local restaurants, with a one-sheeter providing the backstory to each brand. Those little touches can go a long way in getting five-star reviews, which in turn can help you secure more bookings.

RELATED: The 10 Coolest Cities with the Lowest Cost of Living in the U.S.

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