Here on Kiawah Island—against the odds—we’re fortunate to be having a booming summer for tourism in 2020. 

Why such luck?

First, South Carolina has a more “hands-off” state government, so we opened sooner than many other places in the US following the COVID-19 shutdowns. 

In addition to this, many of our Southern neighbors (and beyond) are seeking drive-to destinations for their summer vacations. They’re also looking for that coveted away from it all feeling. With its island vibes, 10-mile long beach, and slow pace of living, Kiawah effortlessly fits the bill. 

What’s more, vacation rentals on Kiawah Island are in high demand thanks to benefits like full kitchens for cooking at home, digital door locks for easy check-in, and totally private accommodations. 

In other words, vacation rentals are the perfect antidote to the stressful times we live in. 

For these reasons, Kiawah Island Getaways has started to get more inquiries about purchasing real estate on Kiawah Island—not only to have a place to come to on a peaceful Southern island, but also to potentially cash in on the post-pandemic tourism boom. 

Even more enticing? Interest rates are at an all-time low, making a property investment even more sound. 

With that in mind, here are some of our tips for investing in real estate on Kiawah Island. 


What Guests Want 

When purchasing your investment property on Kiawah Island, you should first get into the heads of your potential guests to anticipate their wants and needs. 

Since we’ve been hosting guests at Kiawah Island Getaways for decades, we have some insights into the guest mindset! 

Their “wants” include:

  1. Something special. Guests on Kiawah are pretty picky. The good news is, with some upgrades, you can easily stand out. Professional interior design, tasteful decor + furnishings and neutral color palettes all photograph well and make guests feel instantly relaxed. Other design features to keep in mind include:
    • Hardwood floors throughout
    • Clean, contemporary lines for furnishings & decor
    • Large area rugs for common areas and foyers 
    • Smooth ceilings
    • Great lighting, including recessed lighting 
    • Granite or quartzite countertops
    • High-end stainless steel appliances
    • High-quality wood cabinets
    • Quality dishes, pots, pans and silverware
    • Large flat-screen TVs (50”+ in Bedrooms, 60”+ in Living Room)
    • Art/décor that is well thought-out and appropriate (no prints or cheap framed art!) 
    • Throw pillows with feather inserts
    • Memory Foam mattresses with Memory Foam toppers
    • Duvets on all beds
    • Custom closets (wood shelves, not wire)
  2. Feels like home—but better. This includes spaces that are exceptionally well-maintained, smoke- and pet-free, uncluttered, and that strike the ideal balance between functional and comfortable.
  3. Location, location, location. This old real estate adage is especially true for vacation rental purchases. Guests want to be within a 5-minute walk of the beach, at the very most.
  4. Outdoor spaces. Kiawah Island is one of the most naturally beautiful places on the East Coast. And the weather is great, too! Your vacation rental investment should make the most of it with balconies, porches, and other outdoor spaces with comfy, quality furniture (no rust!). Properties with views of the ocean or marsh obviously perform best. If there’s room for outdoor dining and potted plants – do it! 


What Property Managers Want 

If you would rather have someone else take on the tough work of marketing, maintaining, and managing your vacation rental investment, you will want to look for a property manager on Kiawah Island.

Skilled property managers (like us!) are on the lookout for properties that will bring success to everyone involved! Our favorite collaborators are owners who: 

  • Look to us for recommendations on what needs to be updated, replaced, and added to the property.
  • Are fun and easy to work with (as we always strive to be ourselves!). 
  • Like to use their property just a few times a year, preferably in the off-season, or are flexible and can pop down at the last minute when the property isn’t rented.
  • Want their property to be well-maintained and cared for.


Real Estate Agents on Kiawah Island 

 To get started, tour some MLS properties with Claire and Joe–they are the real estate section of Kiawah Island Getaways and they’re a blast to work and tour with—both informative and fun. A perfect combination! 

 You can see all of what is available on the MLS market here. 

 Please feel free to call, text or email with any questions. We are here to help!


Jeanette Lawson
Kiawah Island Getaways
Rentals and Real Estate


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