Airbnb is a lucrative option for many entrepreneurs looking to enter the hospitality arena. Airbnb hosting can be done across different properties, and you can provide travelers with a new and exciting experience while traveling. If you’re unsure how to be an Airbnb host, this article will go through the fundamentals of Airbnb hosting so you can start welcoming potential guests.
What are Airbnb Hosts?
Airbnb hosts are essentially the people who provide apartments for short-term rentals and medium-term rentals. This could be renting out the entire apartment or a spare room for guests visiting. As a host, the responsibility is to provide a place for guests to stay, help them enter the flat, facilitate check-in, get them settled, and help them make the most of their stay.
- READ MORE: How to Start an Airbnb Business
The Benefits of Airbnb hosting
There are many benefits to becoming an Airbnb host, which is why so many hosts have started offering listings on the platform. Some of the benefits of becoming an Airbnb host include the following:
- Revenue stream: The main reason for becoming an Airbnb host is that it can be a solid stream of income for many throughout the year
- Meet new people: If you’re putting up a spare room or portion of your apartment on Airbnb, you’ll get the opportunity to meet lots of new people and share experiences.
- Demand: Many cities don’t have the infrastructure or capacity for travelers, which can often pose issues for those looking for a reasonable place to stay – but your Airbnb could help meet that demand!
- Flexibility: Airbnb hosting enables you to have flexibility. Offer your room or property whenever you want, and take it down when it’s unavailable. It’s easy to make an Airbnb business work for you.
- Income diversification: Having a stream of income you can control, such as hosting on Airbnb, is a way for you to diversify your income streams.
How to Become an Airbnb Host
If you’re ready to start your Airbnb business and welcome your first guest, here’s how to get started and get bookings in!
1. Get any permissions needed
Before starting your Airbnb business, it’s important to have the research done first. That means checking if you can use your property in this fashion, as there may be local laws surrounding Airbnb hosting. Additionally, you should check with your homeowners’ association and other local bodies to ensure you can host travelers through Airbnb before renting your property or spare room.
2. Hire a professional cleaning service
Having your property cleaned professionally is the first step in ensuring that your home is a welcoming space for travelers. That means a professional deep clean to have the place ready for hosting. Save time by using a cleaning service, as you won’t have to buy cleaning supplies either. Make sure to keep amenities like clean sheets, towels, and toilet paper handy for your guest! You can charge a cleaning fee to cover the cost.
3. Research and set your Airbnb price
Depending on your area and demand how you price your Airbnb will be key, depending on your location and demand. Most hosts do a lot of research on Airbnb prior to listing to ensure they have a competitive rate in place. You’ll need to factor in elements like whether it’s a single room or the whole house, as that will help you compare pricing. Also, look at how close you are to major attractions and monuments (e.g., within walking distance, accessible public transport options) as that influences pricing too.
4. List your Airbnb space
Once you know what your pricing needs to look like, you can create your Airbnb account to get your listing up. Creating an Airbnb listing is relatively simple once you have your account. You’ll need to upload photos and enter information about the room in the listing. Think about what future guests should know about your property, including:
- Whether it’s the entire home or an extra room
- How close it is to attractions and transport options
- Check-in time and check-out time
- Any part of the property that is off-limits, such as the kitchen or other areas of the house
- Any interesting details or facts about the home (e.g., historical building, modern development)
5. Enlist help from a cohost
If you can have a cohost in your listing, that will help with managing your Airbnb business. A cohost can look after your listings, respond to inquiries, and determine prices. The usual structure is to offer cohosts a percentage of the rental income, but you can discuss that as needed. There is an option to find a co-host through the Airbnb platform in your area, or you can enlist a trusted friend or family member.
6. Host Airbnb experiences
To build credibility on the platform and get some positive reviews, you can begin by hosting Airbnb experiences. These are one-day events held at a specific time and date and tend to follow a theme. For example, you could craft an experience showing off your city, a cultural activity, a food tour, or a cooking class.
7. Respond to inquiries and bookings promptly
If you want guests to feel comfortable booking with you and confident, responding quickly is key. Try to respond to questions about the listing and reservation requests within 24 hours to ensure your response rate stays up, and you’re getting bookings in, as it’s essential for building great reviews.
- READ MORE: Check Out These Unique Airbnb Rentals for Your Next Vacation Spot
What You Need to Know Before Starting Airbnb Hosting
Before you begin hosting, there are a few things you should bear in mind for Airbnb rentals
3% of the booking subtotal is charged as a host fee, so that should be factored into your overall listing process
Host Support from the Airbnb website
In case of property damage, unacceptable guest behavior, and other issues, Airbnb’s host guarantee does protect you in certain circumstances. Before listing, go through the guarantee to understand what’s covered and what isn’t. There are even options to collect a refundable security deposit from guests during booking as part of the host support.
Hosts set their own cancellation policy, including when travelers are entitled to a full or partial refund. When setting your cancellation rules, check what other hosts offer.
To stay as a host on Airbnb, certain requirements include response rates, accepting trip requests, and setting the right expectations about the stay from the start. Airbnb makes it easy to stay on the platform if you can fit their requirements.
To cover any liabilities or issues, having a good property insurance policy will be immensely beneficial, especially if you’re planning to host long-term guests.
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Airbnb Host Tips
With so many travelers using the platform, there is real potential to drive more bookings on Airbnb and earn money. Here are some tips to make your listings stand out from the rest:
- Hire a professional photographer to take great photos of the space and showcase how great it is
- Be flexible on guest checks, check-in times, and more to make it a smooth plan for travelers coming in
- Check-in with travelers before they arrive to confirm travel plans; Airbnb offers tools to help you keep in touch with them and be proactive
- Give them information and helpful tips about the area to make them feel comfortable
How Much Does an Airbnb Host Make?
Airbnb hosts can use the platform as a side income. Airbnb income can range from a few hundred dollars a month to several thousand. However, this will depend on other factors, such as listing price, volume, and frequency of guests renting your space.
Do You Need a Business License to Host an Airbnb?
Depending on the type of business you set up and the laws and regulations in your area, you may need a license. However, it will depend on whether you’re renting a spare room in your property or the entire house as a short-term vacation rental. It’s always better to check local municipality rules before setting up your Airbnb listing.
This article, "How to Be an Airbnb Host" was first published on Small Business Trends