If you’re a homeowner who loves to meet new people from around the world and likes to earn extra income, then become a host by listing your property for rent on Airbnb. The San Francisco-based company connects leisure and business travelers to short-term apartment, house and room rentals in more than 190 countries. Here are seven tips to becoming a winning host.
First Impressions Count
Get some great shots of your place to make your property stand out. Not experienced at photography? Airbnb will connect you with professional photographers in your area and even help with uploading the photos to your listing. When guests arrive, have a binder available with info on the house rules, Wi-Fi password, local restaurants and attractions. Provide extra linens, toilet paper and trash bags for a comfortable stay, and include items such as a hair dryer, iron, coffee maker, microwave, dishes, utensils, pots and pans.
Set an Appropriate Price
Airbnb provides a suggested price based on the details of your listing and local rental pricing. For first-timers, Airbnb recommends starting below the suggested rate so you can attract guests and build up positive reviews.
Clean Sweep Reviews
Unless you’re ready to give your home the white-glove test on a regular basis, hire a professional cleaning service to stay on top of this task. Keeping your home spotless and linens freshly laundered will help you get rave reviews and outshine the competition – anything less may derail your Airbnb biz.
Play It Safe
Go keyless with digital locks, allowing you to create a personalized code for each guest. This also translates to a faster check-in/checkout process, no lost keys, plus remote host access and rental options. And secure the proper home insurance, or check out Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance program.
Get to know your guests by reading reviews of them on the Airbnb site and messaging them via the platform. Although there have been stories about renters damaging apartments or homes, most are respectful houseguests.
Always Be Prepared
You never know when foul weather or emergencies will make an unexpected appearance, so take precautions and place a fire extinguisher in an easy-to-find spot, install fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor and include a first-aid kit in the bathroom. If you’re located in a cold-weather region, have shovels and ice melt ready. Keep a flashlight, weather radio and nonperishable food in stock. Then rest easy.
Anticipate your guests’ needs. If you live near the beach, provide beach chairs, boogie boards and a cooler. For a lakeside home, offer outdoor seating, lighting and a firepit. Leave a welcoming touch, whether that’s a bottle of wine or a basket of crackers, cheese and chocolates – a thoughtful gift will be appreciated.
If Airbnb is in your plans, follow these steps to be better prepared and become a five-star host right from the start.