How To Be An Airbnb Host: Becoming an Airbnb host allows you to earn extra income by converting your place into a guest room. Travelers and regular backpackers alike can stay in your place for days, while you charge them accordingly. It’s like running your own mini hotel – and it is a great way to not just earn extra cash, but to gain newfound friends and connections as well.
Being an Airbnb host is especially exciting if you are naturally an outgoing person. You might think that you can handle guests pretty well because of your inherent hospitable nature. However, being an Airbnb host is more than that. So if you are thinking about how to be an Airbnb host to gain extra cash, make sure you do it the proper way – and below is a beginner’s guide to help you prepare for what’s coming.
How To Be An Airbnb Host
First things first: head to airbnb.com and select sign up option in the top right corner of the homepage. You’ll be directed to a form prompting you to fill in the most general criteria of your place.
Once you create your account or log in, you will be prompted through a series of basic questions such as:
Step 1: Basic Questions
- Kind of place you have
- How many guests your place can accommodate
- How many beds/bathrooms
- Location of your place
- Amenities offered
Step 2: Set The Scene
- Post Photos, short description, title
Step 3: Get Ready For Guests
- Booking settings, calendar, price
Guidelines and Advice for Airbnb Hosts
1. Read and learn your local leasing laws/regulations
If you are currently leasing an apartment, studio, or condo, you might want to check your local laws first before renting out your extra room via Airbnb. In some places, landlords and real estate developers disallow “subletting” – the term used when you rent out a part of your place while you are also leasing the whole unit at the same time. The best thing to do first is to approach your landlord and inform them of your plan to rent out part of your space.
2. Prepare your home/apartment and set a reasonable rental rate
What do you usually do when guests are coming over? You tidy up the place – especially if they are paying patrons! Aside from that, you may also need to check for dysfunctional showers, drains, faulty wirings, wall cracks and crevices and any other part of your house that needs a few touch-ups. Some Airbnb guests are not as hard-to-please as actual hotel guests, but making sure they are comfortable during their stay could go a long way.
3. Be honest on your listing
If your place is quite old and some aspects are indeed torn and worn-out (broken hot showers, slow-draining tubs, etc), you don’t have to try hard to cover everything up. Just be honest about it on your listing, and if your rental rates are reasonable, guests who choose to book your place won’t be coming over with high expectations because they were already informed beforehand. Covering up your home’s defects and possible inconveniences might disappoint guests, and would even reflect badly on your reviews.Host on Airbnb - Create Your Listing For Free
4. Establish your own house rules and stick to them
The house rules you establish could also determine the kind of guests that would be attracted to your listing. It is important to be clear about this so you would not end up with more house problems after their stay. Don’t assume that your would-be guests already know what these rules should be – you have to write them down and impose penalties to rule breakers. You can start by prohibiting smoking (cigarettes and drugs), loud parties, bringing over third-persons not included in the booking, etc.
Writing rules is one thing though – implementing it is the hardest challenge. At this point, if a guest did broke a rule, you have to be firm and ask them to leave if necessary.
5. Don’t forget security measures
Although you can practically trace the identity of your guests through Airbnb’s system, it does not mean that you should be lax about your privacy and safety. If you are about to leave the premises with some guests still staying, lock your own space and keep your valuables hidden. Although Airbnb gives you an insurance that is worth over $1 million, don’t also hesitate to avail yourself of additional insurance policies that can cover movable valuables such as laptops, cellphones, cameras and other gadgets.
As an added measure, consider installing a CCTV system in the common areas of your house and have it connected to your phone, so you can still check your house from time to time even when you are far away.
6. It’s okay to be slightly picky when it comes to potential guests
Even if you placed a very thorough listing, you might be surprised that some people will not read it all the way to the bottom. Chances are, they might be asking obvious questions – and you have to be patient.
Interested guests might be annoying when they ask too much questions, but this is a chance for you to vet them. If they come across as the type of people who love to party loud (which is against your house rules), just decline them politely and move on to another potential guest.
7. Establish a minimum and maximum-stay requirement
Most Airbnb guests are not really the long-staying type, but you never know how some people could take advantage of your place if you don’t establish minimum or maximum-stay requirements. The period is more like a personal choice really, and it would largely depend on the amount of time you need to clean up and prepare your place for another set of guests. The longer they stay, the more time you may need to prep up your place for yourself and new guests (this includes throwing away trash, changing and washing the mattresses/beddings, etc).
Maximum stay might also be dictated by your local law. Some states don’t allow more than 30-day renters, so you might need to be careful about such regulations.
8. Do mind your neighbors
Even though you may opt to be a “cool” Airbnb host by allowing parties and chill sessions in your place, your neighbors might not be too happy about that. Your rules should be created with them in mind too – most especially if you are living in a building or apartment-style area.
Another thing to remember about being an Airbnb host is that you also have a huge task of marketing yourself. Depending on your location, you might have several competitors who might be offering better rates and amenities from yours. In the end, you need to be a little creative about what you have – add an edge (like say you have a free mini library, a work space nook, etc.), but don’t resort to lying or over-promising either.Host on Airbnb - Create Your Listing For Free
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