Have you ever stayed in an Airbnb? If you have, has it ever crossed your mind that you may be able to tap into the cashflow of owning a place to rent out to vacationers? It’s entirely possible to make money by adding your extra space for rental, or even your own home if you don’t mind someone staying there while you are gone, however, there are certainly some tricks to providing a listing that is enticing enough to draw people to yours instead of someone else in the area.
First things first, it’s important to know what Airbnb is and how it functions. This is a fantastic website that allows people to open up a spare room, home, or apartment in order to make a bit of cash while allowing another person or group of people to enjoy their vacations in a space other than a hotel. Sometimes, this means that the vacationer can save money that they would be spending on a hotel room, while benefitting someone who has the extra space and would like to make some extra cash. Staying in an Airbnb can be a huge benefit because there is a homier feel that one can get that staying in a motel or hotel, and sometimes it is in a better location or opens up opportunities to stay when all other options are full.
Using the website as a customer is fairly simple- type in a destination and dates that you’d like to stay, then search for a place that suits the needs of the trip. The final step is contacting the owner to figure out details. On the flip side, becoming a “host”, someone who is looking to rent space, has a few extra steps to ensure that you can find people who are interested in your property. Your listing is important as it’s what will ultimately draw in the people looking to stay in your area. Here is where you can outline several things: house rules, maximum occupancy, availability, pricing, and a brief description. Airbnb wants to help you succeed, so they are willing to help answer any questions specific to your property that may be out of the ordinary for other houses and listings. This includes helping to understand local laws regarding renting out your space and other such regulations.
Once someone has booked your space, you will be sent a message with confirmation of reservation and can start messaging your future guests to assist them with specific details and answer questions. This can also be a great way to ease your mind regarding who will be staying in your Airbnb because you will be able to message them. You’ll also be able to let the guest(s) know how they will be able to get in, where they can park, check-in and check-out times, and other pertinent information.
If this sounds like a cool program you’d like to use, there are a few things to take into account. How will the location be cleaned prior to arrival and after check-out? Some owners decide to pay for a professional service to come in and clean the space, such as a maid service or even just an individual. Others clean the property themselves. Another option is to have the guests assist you as much as possible in keeping the space as clean as when they found it- this includes throwing bedding and towels in the washer and starting a load, running the dishwasher, vacuuming, etc. These are all different avenues that are valid for you to choose from to keep your space clean.
Make sure to keep the place fully stocked with things that company may need. No one wants to run out of toilet paper in a strange town. Other things to keep on hand for guests depend on what types of rooms you have available. If you are allowing people to use the whole house, make sure to have the pots, pans, and various utensils to allow guests to make food. If you are allowing them to use the laundry room, leave a bottle of laundry detergent and a few dryer sheets available for use. An extra set of clean towels may be a good idea, as well as extra pillows and a fresh set of sheets. If you’d really like to go above and beyond, travel-sized versions of your favorite shampoo and conditioner and other toiletries could do the trick. Any other special touches and small items will do just that much more to help to elevate the experience of your guests.
Also important is remembering that many people will be coming from out of town and may need suggestions for local restaurants, directions to the nearest public transportation and the costs, locations of grocery stores and gas stations, and many other helpful tips. Often, the guests using Airbnb would like to experience what it may be like to live in the area. It is up to you if you’d like to include a booklet or pamphlets with this sort of information, but it can help guests to settle in more and experience the area more fully without having to spend time looking for the information themselves.
Overall, using Airbnb can be a lucrative endeavor if done correctly. Making sure to do the most for your guests will leave them with a good taste in their mouth and will hopefully encourage them to leave positive reviews on the site about your place, thus bringing other guests to your place as their first choice. As always, be safe and enjoy the chance to share your city with the people coming to visit!