If you own a holiday home, finding a way to make it pay for itself is very wise. Hosting on Airbnb can be pretty lucrative, if you know what you’re doing. Earning good money from Airbnb takes some skill, but it can be done, with top tips like these. You’ll be an Airbnb Superhost in no time.
Location And Amenities
It’s always going to be easier to earn good money on Airbnb if your property is somewhere popular with tourists, and if the place has good access to the sort of amenities that people want while they’re on holiday. For example, an apartment in a luxury community like the Perth Hub is close to the city of Perth and has lots of great amenities nearby like restaurants, gyms and bars.
If the area your property is in attracts a lot of tourists or is near something like a college or a large concert venue, you should have no problem renting out the place. How would the area appeal to tourists? Can they walk to restaurants nearby? Is there somewhere to park, or good public transport links from the airport?
Write A Great Listing
To get guests to stay, you need an attractive listing on the site to lure them in. Start with a great headline. You need one line to sums up what your property offers. Think about the main selling points of the property, and go for something like, “Modern loft apartment with sea views” or “Stylish 3 bedroom with city centre location.”
You will need a detailed description that entices would-be guests. Make sure it’s honest too. Clearly list what is available for any staying guests. Include details like the number of bedrooms and what kind of beds are in there. Add information about kitchen access, bathrooms and any other features like a garden or a balcony. Is there parking, decent WiFi, air conditioning or cable TV? Be careful not to over promise, however. If you advertise something and it’s not there, your guest can easily complain an expect some money back.
Be honest about potential problems too, to avoid complaints. For example, if you city centre apartment can be noisy on a Saturday night, note it. This way, guests who will be put off by it won’t book and then ask for refunds. If you’ve warned them and they still book, they can’t complain about it.
Take great pictures. Take lots of photos from all over the property to show it off to its best advantage. In some areas, Airbnb will send you a professional photographer for free to take your pictures, so take advantage if they will do this for you. Take pictures that show off any great advantages of the apartment, like a private garden or a great view.
Create a great host profile. Airbnb keeps important details like your full name and contact details hidden until a guest completes a booking, but you should have a full profile ready, with a good photo of you, ID verifications and a bio that tells your guest why you’re a great host.
Set clear house rules. Include things like cancellation policies and a price structure. Set rules on things like smoking in the property, overnight guests or parties. With clear rules, you have some protection if the rules are broken.
Get The Timing Right
If you’re getting an Airbnb ready to add to the site, try and time your opening around a big event in the local area, such as a festival, parade or large concert. They’ll be a lot of people looking for somewhere to stay for a big event, so even as a new host with no reviews, you should be able to find a tenant. This means you can get that all important first review to attract business at quieter times.
As a new host, Airbnb will give you a boost in the search results to help you get your first visitors. Use this time to get some happy visitors who leave reviews, as when you’re no longer new, your ranking is decided by reviews, price and location.
Set A Price
You can charge whatever you want for your property and can set different prices for weekends or for more popular seasons. It’s important to set a fair price.
Take a look at the prices of other similar listings nearby. If you’re new, undercut their prices a little until you rack up some positive reviews. After that, you can raise your prices to match the others in the area, when you have the reviews to justify what you’re going to charge. Look at the prices of hotels in your area too. If someone can rent a whole apartment for the price of a hotel room, they’re going to be more tempted to book.
Remember too that while it is free to list on Airbnb, they will take a small percentage of each transaction, both from the guest and from you. Remember to factor in that percentage to what you charge so you’re still making a decent profit.
Put In The Legwork To Stand Out
If you’re going to make good money on Airbnb, you’re going to need to put in the work to be a good host.
You’ll need to communicate with your guests properly. As a host, you’ll be getting booking requests and inquiries. Respond to these requests promptly, ideally within 24 hours to stay high on Airbnb’s rankings. Make sure you communicate effectively and give people plenty of information on where to park, how to find the property and where they will find the keys. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions, on everything from how to work the heating to where they might find somewhere nice to eat.
Keep your calendar up to date. It will be automatically updated when a booking is made, but it’s your responsibility to keep your personal availability updated. If the property won’t be available for a few days, make sure you block it off in the calendar to make sure someone can’t book, making you have to cancel their bookings.
Guests will be expecting the property to be clean and tidy for them when they arrive. At the absolute minimum, you need a clean bathroom and fresh bed sheets. Make sure the property lives up to the expectation set by the pictures on your listing.
As a host, you can charge a cleaning fee, charged on a per stay basis, which rewards longer term stays. Work out how long a clean between guests takes and charge accordingly. You’ll also need to factor in who does the cleaning. If you do it yourself, you only need to charge for supplies used and your time. If you use a cleaning company, you’ll need to cover their fee as well. Even if you decide to do the between guests cleans yourself, it can be worth bringing in a company for a deep clean occasionally.
Make Sure You’re A Good Host
Airbnb guests have a lot of properties to choose between, so it’s important that you stand out. Be a good host to lock in guests and secure good reviews to help you get the next guests in.
Communication is important. When guests contact you, be quick to respond and be friendly. You can send and receive messages via email, text or the app, so it’s easy to stay in touch wherever you are. There’s no excuse for taking a long time to respond and guests won’t wait for you. They’ll just go elsewhere.
Keep your property spotless as an easy to avoid bad reviews. Make sure the bathroom is very clean, with no signs of the last guest left behind. Put out fresh towels and linen. Tidy up, empty the bins and clear the fridge of any spoiled produce. Check inside cupboards and drawers for anything the last guests might have left behind.
Consider adding some personal touches. If your property is going to stand out, some personal touches can go a long way. For example, you could do something thoughtful like leave a welcome basket for new guests. Pop a pint of milk in the fridge and pack the basket with something like cereal or bagels for the morning, so your guests can enjoy breakfast on their first morning without having to go out and find a supermarket. You could include things like local snacks or a bottle of wine too. These baskets are always well received by guests.
Going a little above the usual service makes a great impression on guests. Happy guests means good reviews, which are very important for ranking well on the site and attracting more guests. Happy guests might return as well, or recommend you to their friends, bringing you more business. If you get bad reviews, try not to take it personally, and instead use the feedback to improve your property and your service. Bad reviews are an opportunity to find any issues, so use them wisely.
This is a collaborative post.