The Process of Becoming an Airbnb Host
Do you have an extra room or guest house that you would like to rent out? Why not try becoming an Airbnb host? Today I will be going over the process of becoming an Airbnb host, the proper price to charge, what people look for when booking for an Airbnb, tips for keeping your home clean, and considerations to make before becoming a host. I hope that this Airbnb guide helps you get started on renting out some of your space. Becoming an Airbnb host is definitely a great way to make some extra money. Let's take a look at the process of becoming an Airbnb host.
The Process of Becoming a Host
Make sure it is cleared with your landlord, city, and neighbors to become an Airbnb by following local laws in your area. If you are a renter, ask your landlord beforehand if you can become an Airbnb host. Also check with authorities in your city. In some cities, you have to either buy a permit, register, or get a license in order for you to become an Airbnb host. Don't forget to check out your city's website for rules and local laws. Consider taxes in your area. Also, make sure to tell your neighbors that your property will become an Airbnb. Let them know how many people will be staying each time and how long you will be renting out your space. Some neighbors may be bothered by the additional noise and people, while others may not care. If your neighbor does request something of you and your guests (no late night parties, no fireworks, no parking in their driveway, etc), make sure to let your guests know.
Set Up Your Listing
Once you get the okay from your landlord, city, and/or neighbors, it is time to set up your short-term rental listing. Start by going to airbnb.com. The Airbnb sign up process does not take long. Airbnb will start by asking you simple questions, such as what type of listing you have (home, hotel, or something else) and the type of property (apartment, etc.). You will also need to answer whether this is a dedicated guest space, meaning it is set up for guests, or whether you keep your personal belongings there. You will also need to answer questions on the sleeping arrangements, the bathroom situation, your address (which is only shared with guests after they have been confirmed), features (Wi-Fi, TV, fireplace, etc.), and spaces guests have access to (parking, pool, laundry, kitchen, etc.).
After you have completely answered these questions, it is time to add photos. Airbnb offers photo tips, as well as a photography service which allows you to hire a professional photographer through the platform. Once your photos are up, provide a brief description of your place. You will have 500 characters to use. If you are not sure what to write, take a look at what people near you have written for their description. Then, give your place a title. Make sure your title is exciting and will catch people's attention. In addition, make sure that you change your title regularly. If an event is going on, you could change your title to "Walking distance from *event*."
Next, review the Airbnb’s guest requirement. This is where you can set the house rules. You can also mention if you would like to review each request so that you can pick who you would like to stay at your place. In this step, Airbnb assures you that you are covered with a $1,000,000 host guarantee as well as penalty-free cancellations if you are uncomfortable with a reservation. Once you have completed the guest requirement, let Airbnb users know how often you want to have guests. You can also mention a minimum or maximum number of nights you want your guests to stay. Now, the final step is to set the price. You can ask Airbnb to adjust your price based on demand. For example, if a large festival is coming up, Airbnb will increase the price of your place. If you decide to click on the “Smart Pricing” feature, you can set a minimum and maximum price.
While it may be tempting to photoshop your home so that small damages are removed, it is important that you are honest with your guests. Let them know the condition of your home. You will be surprised at how many people are looking for a simple, clean room to stay in despite any minor damages you have in your home.
Usually, within 24 hours of your guest’s scheduled check-in time, you will receive full payment. If your guest is staying for more than 28 days, you will get paid each month. You can choose how you would like to get paid, either through direct deposit, international wire, or PayPal, or other options.
Proper Prices to Charge
Consider how much space you are renting out for guests. Is is a small guest room that is in your apartment? Or is it a large guest house? Once you know how much space your guests will have, you will know what to charge. If it is a simple room, you may want to charge a little less. However, if it is a large home that your guests will stay in, don't hesitate to advertise a higher price tag. Most Airbnb hosts charge about $30 per night for a single room. However, you can decide if you want to offer discounts if guests stay for an extended period of time. For more information on how much money you could make, check out an Airbnb calculator.
What Travelers Look for When Booking an Airbnb
It is important to keep your Airbnb looking nice, as well as to keep your listing up to date. Here are some tips for attracting travelers to your listing.
- Clear Photos - Make sure your photos are clear. If you have to you can edit them, but make sure not to photoshop them so that you are being honest.
- Cleanliness - Travelers are looking for a nice, clean home to stay in. Don't take a picture of a cluttered room. Clean it first, and then post your listing. Make sure you keep your home clean the entire time your guests stay.
- Informative Description - When talking about your home, describe the details. Don't simply say how many rooms you are renting. Tell potential guests specifically what each room features, the view they will see from windows, and storage, and the size of the bed, among other items. Better yet, upload detailed pictures.
- Keep It up to Date - If you are stating something in the title or description, like your home is near a local concert that is taking place, for instance, make sure to change the title once the concert is over. If another large event comes up, change the title to say how far it is from that concert.
- Features - Don't forget to add photos of cool features you have at your listing. For example, if you live next to a beautiful park, take a picture of what it looks like from your deck. You are allowed to add captions, so feel free to add something like, "This park is located only one mile away from the house." Also, make sure to include special features you have in your home. If there is a shower attached to the guest room, take a picture of it. Write a caption saying that guests have their own private on-suite bathroom. Establish smoking rules clearly so that guests know ahead of time your policy. Will you allow pets in your property? Whatever you decide, you may want to list all house rules on your listing.
- Good Price - Most travelers will not want to spend a lot of money on a small, cluttered room. If your home has a few minor damages and if there are no special events taking place nearby, make sure you are not overcharging guests. In the same way, make sure you put a high enough price on a home that is large and spacious. Guests won't mind spending extra money as long as the room/house is worth the price.
- Good Reviews - Once someone clicks on your listing, they will want to see if you have good reviews from other guests. While you can't control what people say about your home, you can try to improve your place so that feedback is positive. Also, make sure to respond back to negative feedback. After improving the problem at your home, respond to the guest saying that you fixed that particular problem. Make sure you are positive about it, saying that you appreciate the feedback. Future guests will like how you handle the negative feedback and will be grateful to know that the problem was fixed.
- Safety - Make sure you keep your guests safe. Keep smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors working properly and that they meet the safety guidelines in your area. Provide emergency numbers and proper instructions of how to exit the building in case of emergency. Make sure exits are clearly marked. Provide a first aid kit and fire extinguisher at all times. Child proof the area if you will have small children staying in your guest accommodations. Provide and protect your guests' privacy by letting them know if there are security cameras in the property. Establish safe occupancy limits by checking your city guidelines. Provide proper ventilation and heat/and or cooling options. Knowing that your guests are safe is not only protection for you, but is a comfort that guests looks for when booking a property.
Tips for Keeping Your Home Clean for Guests
Keeping your house clean is a chore that sometimes can get ignored. But when you are an Airbnb host, it is important that you keep your home spick and span. You may even want to consider charging a non-refundable cleaning fee. Here are some tips for cleaning your home, as well as specific ideas of things to clean:
Clean the Bathroom
The bathroom is a place where mold and bacteria can build up quickly. While you may not notice the stains on the bathtub and walls, it will most likely be the first thing your guests notice. And it is important to make a good first impression. That means scrubbing the bathtub, shower walls, sink, floor, and the toilet. Once you are finished cleaning, make sure to keep the cleaning materials hidden but within reach. Another helpful tip to know is that each time one of your guests leaves your Airbnb, you should scrub down the entire bathroom. Why? Because, any germs lurking around in the bathroom left by your guests should be scrubbed down immediately so that it is fresh and ready for the next guests. Replace towels with fresh, clean ones and empty the garbage. Shines mirrors and replace toilet paper, tissues, or other supplies that need to be replaced.
Clean the Kitchen
After every check-out, you should give your kitchen a good cleaning. Although some guests won't be spending too much time in the kitchen, it is still a good idea to keep it clean. After all, that is where food is prepared and people eat. It should be nice and clean. Counter tops should be streak-free and spotless. Cabinets and cupboard doors should be wiped down every month or two to remove fingerprints and grease. Make sure you sweep around corners and under cabinets to remove small crumbs that may have fallen. Mop the floor and empty garbage after guests leave. Sanitize the sink and don't forget to clean and put away the dishes. Clean out the microwave, spot clean the oven top, and clean and wipe out the refrigerator.
Clean the Bedroom
The bedroom is where your guests will be staying, so it is important to keep the area clean. After each check-out, go into the bedroom and tidy up. Change the sheets on the bed and ensure the bed is made nicely. Fluff the pillows and remove any wrinkles in the sheets. Vacuum or sweep the floor, and try to sweep under the bed if possible. Dust and polish furniture and make sure nothing has been left behind. Remember, the bedroom is where your guests will spend most of their time when at your property. It is your job to keep it welcoming and clean for guests.
Clean Common Spaces
The living room, dining room, and any other common space should be cleaned just like all the other rooms. Keep the floor swept well and keep the cushions and pillows fluffed. Make sure all light bulbs are working properly. If they are not working properly, make sure to change the bulbs. Keep all furniture free of dust and windows clean.
Keep the Outside Tidy Too
Besides spending time cleaning the inside of your house, you should keep the outside of your house looking nice too. For example, you could sweep your deck and rearrange the furniture on your patio. If you have a rock garden or potted plants, make sure to keep them well watered and looking nice.
Considerations to Make
Becoming an Airbnb host is not a simple choice to make. Becoming an Airbnb host means hosting strangers and preparing your home for them. Because the process of becoming an Airbnb host can take time, you will need to make a few considerations. Here are some things to keep in mind:
How Much Money Do You Want to Make?
Of course, the end goal is to make money. But everyone has a slightly different approach to meeting the goal. There are mainly three types of Airbnb hosts: those who want to earn a few extra dollars, those who want a stable secondary source of income, and those who want to build an Airbnb business that will eventually become their main source of income. It is important to know beforehand what type of Airbnb you want to become. That way you will know how to promote your business, what tools you'll need to get started, and where the best location would be for your business.
How Much Room Do You Have?
If you have a small amount of land, you will have to consider where you want your guests to stay. Perhaps you will want to have your guests stay in a casita or a different small guest house. Or maybe you are planning on having your guests stay inside your home. If so, make sure you have a room planned out specifically for guests. Whatever way you will be hosting your guests, make sure you plan out how much space you have available.
Do You Have Enough Time to Be an Airbnb Host?
Being an Airbnb host takes time. You will need to spend a lot of time cleaning your home, cooking dinners if that is how you wish to handle food, and doing other small chores such as taking out the trash. Besides cleaning, you will also need to handle bookings and be on call for emergencies. Owning an Airbnb takes time. Are you ready to spend time necessary for keeping your home ready for guests?
Will You Need to Hire Help?
There is nothing wrong with hiring help. By hiring help, you will have more free time to make your Airbnb even more special. Perhaps you want to hire a cleaning crew. A cleaning crew can take out the trash, wash dishes, sweep the floors, dust furniture, and handle all chores to ready your property for the next guests. Or maybe you need to hire a cooking crew that will help cook dinners. Whichever route you choose to do, you may find that hiring help is a good option for you.
I hope this article has helped you understand more about the process of becoming an Airbnb host. If you are considering becoming a host, make sure your home is prepared for guests. In this article I discussed several tips for cleaning your home and how to attract guests to your Airbnb. Of course, make sure you get the go-ahead from your landlord, city, and/or neighbors before you begin welcoming guests to your home. Also make sure that you go into detail about your property in the listing. Travelers are most attracted to listings with clear photos, honest, informative descriptions, and interesting titles. Make sure you have listed your home for a fair price so that you receive the amount of money that your home is worth.
As with anything else, go over all the above considerations before you get started. But remember, although it may seem difficult at first, once you get started, it is a great way to earn some extra money as well as to use space that you aren't using at the moment. So go set up your Airbnb listing! You'll be glad you did.