Airbnb has over a million listings in 190 countries, and its growth over the past ten years has been unmatched by any other company in its niche. Dominating the world of home rentals, Airbnb allows anyone with a spare room, guest house, or additional property to make some extra cash. Anyone can invest in the lucrative world of the sharing economy – with the right tactics.
Images make a huge difference. Many even consider photography the most essential factor for marketing your property. Ever see those grainy, badly angled photos taken vertical-style on an iPhone? It can make the most stunning of mansions look like a dingy bachelor pad. Investing in good photography, whether that’s equipment or hiring professional help, is well worth the return. You can even offer a photographer a couple of free nights in exchange for upping your property’s value digitally.
Time is a big factor when it comes to Airbnb management; some hosts only spend two hours a week managing their properties. If you can do it yourself, be prepared to portion out a good amount of time daily, as well as being diligently attentive to details and app notifications.
If that doesn’t sound realistic, recruit a reliable and trustworthy property manager that will let you make additional income remotely, allowing your own schedule more flexibility. A lockbox or smart box is also a convenient way to offer self check in for guests with possible delays or late tendencies.
Another part of maximizing your time is automating as much as possible. This includes tasks like accepting reservations, guest check in, restocking inventory, and cleaning. Figuring out what eats up time and requires outsourcing versus what’s worth going DIY is an important management skill to hone.
Much of an Airbnb’s appeal is based off its affordable price and full-home experience versus a pricey, singular hotel room. Starting with a reasonable nightly price will encourage longer stays and increase likelihood of a positive review. Websites such as Airdna can help hosts determine how to make more money based on analytics.
Another big factor in reviews is cleanliness. Cleaning up can take up a large amount of time that could be spent on more strategic tasks or precious time off. A cleaning service is affordable and gives you the option of adding a small cleaning fee for potential guests. Employing a service means you don’t have to worry about laundry, tough nooks and crannies, or countertop strains.
Offer as many amenities as possible. This can include high-speed internet, flatscreen TVs, and Netflix or Roku access. Another hospitable touch is a gift basket. This goes a long way and makes sure guests arrive and depart with a smile on their faces. You can include chocolate, wine, champagne, or mini bags of chips.
Warm and Welcoming
Keeping essential inventory is also vital to the guest’s experience, especially for short stays. This includes detergent, soap, cleaning supplies, Kleenex, and toilet paper. Costs can add up, so ordering your supplies in bulk is time and cost efficient, as running low on supplies leads to negative reviews and is easily avoidable.
Include a thorough neighborhood and house guide in a binder near the gift basket. A guide is thoughtful for guests and combats time-consuming questions that hosts may face. The neighborhood guide can include nearby eateries and attractions, or laundromats. The house guide can outline rules, wi-fi codes, check out protocol, and other important welcome information. This lowers the chance of hiccups in a guest’s stay and lessens their need to reach out to you, keeping both parties stress-free.
Trial and error is often a tricky way to figure out what works for your lifestyle in tandem with your Airbnb property. Learning from someone with first-hand experience who has had success on the site is a goldmine of a resource in that way.
Dos and Don’ts
Get to know an an Airbnb SuperHost – they can act as a valuable mentor, teaching you how to avoid mistakes while climbing towards SuperHost status as well. SuperHosts have hosted at least 10 trips, have 80% or more five star ratings, a high response rate, and don’t cancel on guests.
Don’t interact or send information outside of Airbnb. The site does a good job of blurring out vital info to keep you secure, and knowing that you can fall back on their customer support department is a reassurance. Additionally, adding renters or homeowners insurance can help protect your valuables when you’re away.
Ultimately, if you make the effort and go above and beyond the bare minimum, guests will appreciate it and that will be reflected in your growing digital host footprint. Combine that with learning to be time and cost effective, and you’ll have an easy form of residual income that allows for an enhanced sense of personal freedom and financial security.
Special Contributing Writer, Naima Karp