Learn the ins and outs of making $$ with Airbnb using our 7 helpful tips!
Airbnb has become the iconoclast of the recently exploded sharing economy, with rooms around the world offered up as personable alternatives to hotels for travelers. The site allowed hosts to accommodate more than 6 million guests in 2013 alone, enticing individuals with a spare room in their house or apartment to take on this exciting and profitable venture in their own homes. Setting up an Airbnb hosting account is easy, but managing it and keeping your guests happy requires effort, motivation and the desire to offer a unique experience. Read our tips on how to make money with Airbnb and climb your way to the top of the host list!
1. Clear Communication
How you communicate the information about your listing is your most important selling point. Some customers may be wary of using a platform that leaves so many factors to trust, so offer them the benefit of the doubt by including every piece of information that is relevant to their stay. Describe the type of bed, what the bathroom situation is, whether or not parking is provided (especially if you are in a city), how close you are to various modes of transport and what kind of cultural scene your local neighborhood offers. Don’t forget to mention things like whether or not there are a washer and dryer in your apartment, whether or not you’ll be offering breakfast (is it complimentary or an added cost?) and what to do if a guest would like to bring a pet. The more honest you and clear you are, the more likely both parties will have a pleasant experience.
Take great, in fact, amazing pictures of your place. Include a picture of every room in the listing, alongside any perks like a nice patio area, backyard, hot tub, workout room that your place may include. Use natural lighting and make the place look clean, but not sterile. If you are not photographically inclined, Airbnb offers an awesome service whereby a photographer will come and take pictures of your place for free, and even help you set up some of the shots!
3. Cleanliness is Key
What do you expect of a hotel room in terms of cleanliness? You pretty much expect it to be spotless and tidy, with fresh sheets and towels and a clean scent in the air. So this is exactly what you should aim to provide for your guests as a host. Bathrooms are especially important, so make sure to do the detail work in them, ensuring that all sinks, fixtures, mirrors and the toilet are completely free of any residue from previous guests. If you are offering up your kitchen for use as part of the stay, make sure that you keep your refrigerator clean with room for guests goodies and that there are clean dishes and cookware for your guests to use. If cleaning is not your thing or you are stretched for time, hire a reliable cleaning service and factor the costs into the nightly price of your room(s).
4. Answer Promptly
Airbnb actually rates you as a host depending on how quickly you respond to guest inquiries and bookings. The better your ratings are , the more likely guests are to feel comfortable booking a room with you. Airbnb also has a reviewing system set up between guests and hosts to offer insight to other users – make sure to review your guests soon after their stay with you as this will up your chances of receiving a good review from them.
5. Keep Your Quirks
Part of the beauty of using Airbnb is staying in a place that is actually someone’s home, and not just another hotel room. Keep the quirks of your place apparent, and let your personality show through your decor and cultural tastes. Guests will choose according to the pictures they see and the description they choose, so you likely won’t end up having a minimalist type in a colorful, rainbow-inspired hippie house. This also goes back to communicating all the details of your place clearly in your listing. You’ll also learn how to read your guests and understand which ones want to engage in conversation, and which ones are more likely to prefer keeping to themselves.
6. Provide Ample Information
Once you start booking rooms and people enter your home for a stay, you will want to make sure you’ve provided them with the information they need to make their stay comfortable. This will also keep you from having to inconveniently answer every single question a guest might have. Provide a sheet with you WiFi login and password, mention cool restaurants and shops to visit nearby, offer info and tips on public transport if applicable, and make sure you’ve included information on getting to the nearest airport or transportation hub. Include anything that makes your locale unique, whether you are in a setting surrounded by wineries, in a part of town known for its coffee shops, or have the city’s best live music venue just around the corner.
7. Offer Something Extra
What do you want to offer guests that will make their stay a unique and unforgettable experience? Different hosts choose differently, some providing complimentary toiletries, a DIY breakfast bar, a guided tour of their city, etc. This is not necessary, but will likely boost your reviews and ratings. Also make sure your guests understand the situation with meals and whether or not they have use of your kitchen to prepare their own food. Airbnb has left this completely up to the hosts, so you can choose to offer breakfast or other meals depending on how it works for your situation.
Related on EcoSalon