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How to Theme Your Space (EP 305)

Between HomeAway and Airbnb, there are 3,155 cabins in Pigeon Forge, a popular Tennessee tourist destination near Dollywood. To book up, you have to STAND OUT. But how? How do you create a pattern interrupt among all the rustic spaces decked out with plaid comforters and bear figurines? One strategy is to theme your space, surprising potential guests with something they’ve never seen before.

Jeff MacIntyre is an Emmy-winning television producer, long-time real estate investor and creator of Theme My Space, a platform designed to help short-term rental (STR) hosts transform their vacation rental into a unique experience guests will love—and share on social media. Jeff is also the only Airbnb host in Pigeon Forge with a pirate-themed cabin, complete with wall-mounted cannons and a figurehead from the bow of an old ship!

On this episode of Get Paid for Your Pad, Jeff joins me to explain how learning about the Pigeon Forge market drew him to the STR space. He discusses why he chose the pirate theme for one of his cabins, sharing where he got his aargh-infused artifacts and how he incorporates pirate slang in his listing. Listen in for Jeff’s insight on branding your Airbnb and learn the top five benefits of theming a STR space.

Topics Covered

How Jeff got into the STR space

  • Learned about Pigeon Forge through Rhonda Blue
  • Big profit potential in hot family travel market

Jeff’s first STR property in Pidgeon Forge

  • Traditional cabin positioned as honeymoon spot
  • Returns blow away long-term rental properties

Why Jeff chose the pirate theme for his second STR

  • Popular pirate-themed shows for tourists
  • Aargh-infused cabin to stand out in market

Why Jeff is a fan of smaller 1BR + 2BR properties

  • Fewer problems with guests
  • Easier to test out theming theory

Where Jeff got his pirate-themed artifacts

  • Swap meets, eBay, Craigslist and Facebook
  • Scroll Pinterest for ideas re: fabrics for bedroom

Jeff’s insight around branding your STR

  • Create sharable custom experience
  • See yourself as dealer of DELIGHT

Jeff’s familiarity with pirate slang

  • Learned for Tipsy Captain YouTube channel
  • Include in listing captions, cabin manual

The other benefits of theming your STR space

  • Increase attention and bookings
  • Opportunities for local partnerships
  • Targeted marketing (e.g.: Facebook ads)
  • Work with social media influencers
  • Earn more by selling merchandise

Jeff’s advice for promoting a themed listing

  • #PirateRidge decals by photo-worthy décor
  • Selfie basket + frame with cabin name

Connect with Jeff

Theme My Space

Pirate Ridge on Airbnb

Alpine Dreams on Airbnb



Rhonda Blue






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