In the past decade, Airbnb has drastically risen to popularity and is currently a three-billion-dollar firm. By the end of 2021, there will be 2.1 million hosts on Airbnb globally!
Renting out apartments and hosting guests is now a common side hustle for many.
While sites like Airbnb allow you to list your apartment or rooms for free, they do take a small cut from your booking fee. Don’t let this hold you back! Many still choose to become Airbnb hosts and make a profit.
Get started on your apartment transformation with these 5 steps!
Starting an Airbnb business and renting out your room or apartment can seem daunting. That’s why we’re here to simplify the steps you need to take to make your dream come true.
There are various aspects such as location, legal issues, specific amenities, and much more to keep in mind. Some guests may value high-speed internet, while others may want a no-phone weekend to relax.
What makes your space special? Do you offer a cozy cabin outside of the nearest city? Maybe the opposite, you provide a modern and sleek space ideal for business travelers. More importantly, how do you translate your vision into real life while maintaining a strong business mindset?
Let’s take a look!
Yes, this might seem obvious, but the location of your apartment or home is crucial. Start with some basic research and identify if your apartment is located in an Airbnb hotspot. While you’re at it, make sure your state/country regulations allow you to rent and host! Once you get this out of the way, make a note of the advantages and disadvantages of your location. Your earning potential is positively correlated to the demand for Airbnbs in your area!
Look at your location from the customer’s perspective, what does your space have to offer? Is it in the center of the city, close to tourist attractions, and public transport? Or maybe you’re located slightly away from the city center, but you’re closer to the beach and other outdoor activities.
If you’re located away from public transport, offer your transportation services. Your location sheds light on your potential customer base. They could be customers traveling for leisure, or business.
To stand out from competing hosts, try to incorporate location-specific amenities. Focus on comfort and functionality, but to add the extra ‘wow-factor,’ throw in a welcome basket or bottle of wine if you can afford it! Take advantage of your location and translate that to your space to create the experiences your customers want!
While this might be your passion project, this is also a business. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the challenges of being an Airbnb host before you dive in. This will require money and much of your time. As a host, you’ll have to be available for your guests during their stay. This could refer to being virtually available, or tending to their needs in person.
Making sure space gets cleaned in between stays, replenishing items in your apartment from toiletries to fresh towels, and much more are tasks you need to be on top of.
This might seem daunting to manage along with actively communicating with customers, managing finances, and whatnot. You want to stand out amongst the competition, but also minimize costs.
Airbnb’s property management software is your best solution to increase your return on investment without increasing your costs. Few of the many benefits of this software include:
- Boosting your ranking
- Increasing your guest reviews
- Overseeing multiple Airbnb accounts
- Reducing your time spent on routine tasks
- Impeccable guest communication
These are just some of the valuable benefits of using Airbnb’s property management software to amplify the rewards of being a host.
Investing your time and money in a business plan will provide your business the best chance for success, focus on effectiveness, and identify potential weaknesses. Stay updated on your competitors and keep in mind their charges, the unique services they offer, and the type of standard accommodation.
You want to be the top choice for the guests in your niche, so optimize your time and money and stay ahead!
Are you wondering if you need insurance for your Airbnb? The answer is yes, you do.
While insurance policies differ across countries, home insurance policies may cover damages done during your rental term. However, this may not include short-term rentals to other guests through Airbnb as it falls under business purposes.
While Airbnb horror stories of disruptive guests are minority cases, they definitely should not be ignored. Surely you’ve come across stories of guests breaking furniture, leaving the space in a mess, hosting parties so loud the police are called, and so on. It might be impossible to prevent this from ever occurring with you, but there are some ways to reduce the likelihood.
When investing your time and money into this business, make sure to acquire good insurance. Big companies like Airbnb offer automatic liability insurance, but the requirements can be very specific. This can make it challenging, but not impossible to submit a claim.
Another way of protecting yourself is by thoroughly screening your guests before you accept their bookings. Make sure to read reviews other hosts have left on your potential guest’s profile to see their history with renting.
The bottom line, make sure your insurance covers costs relating to your business. Oh, and read the fine print.
Whether your rental is a studio apartment or cabin, decorating or remodeling your space is important. Your refurbishing should focus on attracting guests and addressing the needs of your ideal customer base. You might like how your space is at the moment, but remember that you are the host, not the guest.
Investing in new furniture and new bed mattresses is highly recommended. After all, you are competing with other hosts in your area. You want to offer the best you can afford!
Let’s say your ideal guests are business travelers, your apartment should reflect a space made for them. Consider investing in high-speed internet, sleek and spacious desks, and maybe a printer.
Soft, neutral walls are pleasing to the eye, and make a great background for virtual meetings. Apart from these amenities, adding personalized accents such as an indoor plant, or a statement piece of art can reflect a less hotel-style space. This could be artwork native to your location.
If your rental is located near the hills, a classy but cozy cabin-style space could be ideal. Adding a few hammocks if your space allows could be great. Or even offering space and equipment for a barbeque!
Refurbishing your space can be exciting, but remember not to buy the most expensive items as you may end up spending more on repairs or damages. Most importantly, have fun remodeling your space!
We cannot emphasize this enough: invest in a professional photographer! Photographing your rental is the easiest and most effective way to attract customers. Invest in a photographer with real estate experience to highlight the unique aspects of your rental. This could mean the glamorous jacuzzi in your bathroom or the modern furnishing in the living room! Don’t forget to photograph the basics such as the bedrooms, closet space, kitchen area if any, bathrooms, etc.
Another method to effectively advertise your rental is to use a catchy title on your listing site. Instead of trying to appeal to all the customers, focus on appealing to your ideal customer base. For example, if you want to attract couples, words such as “romantic getaway,” “secluded,” “oasis,” could spice up your title while describing your space!
Sites like Airbnb have a 50 character limit. Use it all, but make the most of it. If needed, use abbreviations such as “w/” or “DT” to state the words ‘with’ or ‘downtown.’ Lastly, avoid generic terms such as “great” or “nice” when describing your rental.
These terms are boring and very common. Instead substitute them with adjectives like “urban,” “sleek,” “glamourous,” “rustic,” or “luxurious.” Using adjectives help your title stand out from your competitors, while also describing the experience they will get if they choose your space.
Another way to promote your Airbnb is to list your space on tourism websites in your location. Creating special offers for guests such as seasonal offers, or referrals are a great way to attract customers.
Surely you’re excited to dive into this project now! While there is plenty of competition out there, you also have plenty to offer. Take advantage of your Airbnb features that make your space unmatchable and find ways to improve on the remaining aspects. Having the ability to identify your strengths and weaknesses is a great way to start planning your project!
As mentioned above, if you find yourself struggling with being business-oriented, use the help of software available.
Now that you’ve set yourself up for success, dive in!