Few of us believe in instant success in any new venture, so making money on Airbnb should be no different, right. Well actually, “wrong” is the correct answer because you can make money as an Airbnb host provided of course that you have what it takes. Stretching it further, you can even do very well if you manage to attain the giddy heights of SuperHost Status. Like any other new business venture, becoming an Airbnb host requires proper planning and a good deal of research too. Here, we take a closer look at how to go about getting started and then ramping things up once you get going.
1. Try Before You Buy In
Few people would buy a new car without first taking a test drive and then following up with a million questions before placing their order. The same logic applies to Airbnb – try it out as a consumer. Take a break and find yourself an Airbnb in a place you have always intended to visit, but remember to research your chosen abode carefully and do the comparisons. First-hand experience provides the opportunity to see how it works and you get to having fun while you go about it – perhaps you can even make it a paying business trip. Here is what you need to analyse:
- If you have chosen wisely, your Airbnb accommodation should work out much cheaper than even a modest hotel – a 50% saving should be achievable.
- The Airbnb experience should leave you feeling part of the family as opposed to being a vulnerable tourist.
- If they are tuned-in, your host will treat you like family and advise you on where to eat out, what to see and the entertainment on offer – sure beats those pathetic online reviews.
So, now you have “been there and done that” and you should be in a position to answer your own questions: is there a gap in the market…and is there a market in the gap?
2. Yes, It’s A Runner!
If you are sold on the experience and believe you can make money on Airbnb, set your plans in motion and start converting the space you plan to use for Airbnb rental. It could be a single bedroom or your whole house, except consider where you and your family will move to if it is the latter. Now it’s sanity check time before you launch your Airbnb:
Step 1: Check the legality of Airbnb in your Town or City. It is imperative that you do research this, before hosting because in some cities the laws around Airbnb and bed and breakfast places are unclear. You may even find other Airbnb hosts in your city but that does not necessarily make it legal. In most cases, you will be fine if you are the homeowner.
Step 2: Creating your Airbnb space is a “no brainer”. You can convert the entire space, a room or a shared room. The most important thing is to make the space attractive and appealing. If you own a double-storey home, you could consider an upstairs/downstairs split.
Step 3: Register online as an Airbnb user. This will connect you instantly to travellers looking for a good home when they visit your area. Make sure you have completed all the conversion work tastefully and then upload some great images to catch the eye. Ensure that your description includes a short overview paragraph that captures the essence of the Airbnb space. The first 6-lines of the review paragraph will appear on the room’s Airbnb page.
3.Price It Right
The options are to set daily, weekend, weekly, and monthly pricings for your Airbnb space. The best way to figure out a good price is to look at “comps” in your neighbourhood just as agents do when selling homes. What are the other comparable spaces going for within a 5-mile radius of you? When starting out, aim to begin lower than similar rooms and over time you can increase the price once you have accumulated enough good reviews.
4. Hosting Your Airbnb Guests
This is another “no brainer” because if you do not like people and socialising, then stay away from Airbnb. Before signing up as Airbnb hosts, be sure that you enjoy hosting. Have you enjoyed entertaining friends and family in your home overnight? If that proved difficult, imagine how tricky a room full of foreign strangers could seem. An entire “rule book” covers the range of protocols that you should adhere to when hosting, but for this article, we will keep to four broad headings:
- The important booking phase
- Things to remember before your guest arrives
- What to do when they arrive
- What to do when it is time to go
5. Review Time
The stars your guests award you through Airbnb and the words they write about you matter hugely to future guests. Although guests are not required to write reviews, Airbnb makes it their business to encourage feedback because it helps future guests make informed decisions. Consistently good reviews mean good returns from your Airbnb hosting, which loops back to the starting title – SuperHost Status here we come!