airbnb host

The Process of Becoming an Airbnb Host

Do you have an extra room or guest house that you'd 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 OK with Your Landlord, City, and Neighbors to Become an Airbnb

If you are a renter, ask your landlord beforehand if you can become an Airbnb host.  Also ask 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.  Also, make sure to tell your neighbors that you will be becoming 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 throwing out fireworks, no parking in their driveway, etc), make sure to let your guests know.

Set Up Your Listing

Once you get the OK from your landlord, city, and/or neighbors, it is time to set up your 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’ll also need to answer whether this is a dedicated guest space, meaning it’s 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’ve been confirmed), features (Wi-Fi, TV, fireplace, etc.), and spaces guests have access to (parking, pool, laundry, kitchen, etc.).

Once you have completed answering 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, set up a title.  Make sure your title is exciting and will catch people's attention.  Also 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'd like to stay at your place.  In this step Airbnb lets you know you’re covered with a $1,000,000 host guarantee as well as penalty-free cancellations if you’re uncomfortable with a reservation.  Once you have completed that, 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’ll set a minimum and maximum price.

Be Honest

While it may be tempting to Photoshop your home so that small damages are removed, it is important that you are honest to your guests.  Let them know the condition of your home.  You would be surprised at how many people are looking for a simple, clean room to stay in despite the small damages you have.  

Get Paid

Usually, within 24 hours of your guest’s scheduled check-in time you’ll get paid.  If your guest is staying for more than 28 days, you’ll 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 guestroom 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 live in, don't hesitate to put up a big price tag.  Most Airbnb hosts charge about $30 per night.  However, you can decide if you want to offer discounts if they stay for a long 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 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 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, go deep into the details.  Don't simply say how many rooms you are renting.  Tell them specially what each room features, the view they will see out their window, and stuff like that.  Better yet, upload detailed pictures.
  • Keep It Up To Date - If you are stating something in the title or description, such as that your home is near a local concert that is going on, 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.
  • Interesting and Informative Titles - The title of your listing will catch people's attention.  Don't just say "House by the river".  Instead, make a title such as "Three-roomed guest house overlooking a river".
  • Features - Don't forget to add photos of cool features you have at your place.  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 1 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 captain saying that guests won't have to walk down the hallway in order to get to the bathroom.
  • Good Price - Most travelers do not want to spend a lot of money on a small cluttered room.  If your home has damages and if there are no special events going on, 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 somebody clicks on your listing, they will want to see if you have good reviews.  While you can't control what people say about your home, you can try to improve your place.  Also, make sure to respond back to bad feedback.  After improving the problem at your home, respond to the guest saying that you fixed that problem. Make sure you are positive about it, saying that you appreciate the feedback.  Future guests will like how you handle the bad feedback, and will be grateful to know that the problem was fixed.

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.  Here are some tips for cleaning your home, as well as places 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, that will most likely be the first thing your guests notice.  And it is important to make a good first impression, right?  So that means scrubbing the bathtub, shower walls, sink, floor, and the toilet.  Once you are done cleaning, make sure to keep the cleaning tools hidden but in reach.  Also, 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.

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 good to keep it clean.  After all, that is where the 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.  Keep the sink nice and tidy, and of course don't forget to clean the dishes.

Clean the Bedroom

The bedroom is where your guests will be staying, so it is important to keep that 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.  Remember, the bedroom will be where your guests spend most of their time.   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.

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 a while, 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 it is many people's dream and goal to make money.  But everybody has a slightly different goal.  There are mainly three types of hosts out there:  those who are wanting 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 for them.  Whatever way you will be hosting your guests, make sure you plan out how much space you have for them.

Do You Have Enough Time to Be an Airbnb?

Being an Airbnb takes time.  You will need to spend a lot of time cleaning your home, cooking dinners, 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 a lot of time.  Are you ready to spend all that time 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 do other things like that.  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.

Image Source: Clean My Space

Final Thoughts

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 went over some 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 place in the listing.  Travelers are most attracted to listings with clear photos, informative descriptions, and interesting titles.  Make sure you have listed your home for a good price so that you receive the amount of money that your home is worth.

Just like with anything else, first go over some considerations before you get started.  In this article I went over some considerations that you should think about.  But remember:  As difficult as an Airbnb may seem, it is actually not that hard.  It is a great way to make more money as well as use space that you aren't using at the moment.  So go set up your listing.  You'll be glad that you did.

Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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