How to be an Airbnb host

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How to be an Airbnb host

Becoming an Airbnb host is just another way in which you can make money through your spare room, flat or home living space. You open your doors (under your terms) and welcome travellers from all over the world. If you’ve ever done any travelling yourself, nationally or internationally, you’re aware of the ridiculous rates many hotels and B&Bs charge for a couple of nights.

The idea behind Airbnb is to offer more of a local and no-fuss experience for people who just need a bed to sleep in in the evenings. It’s been running since 2008 and it’s been working for both guests and hosts alike. It’s about time to embrace the business and modern way of doing things, so here’s what you need to know to be an Airbnb host.


Register your space

It all starts with adding your listing to the Airbnb database. Take some good-looking photos of the space you want to offer, write a fair description of what the room is like as well as the area, let them know how many people you can accommodate and set your price. There is a recommended price tool that works off competitive rates, but you still have the option to set your own rates.

Put it all together and you have your Airbnb listing ready to go.


Work with a business mindset

As an Airbnb host, you need to adopt the experience with a business mindset. How are you going to make the guest experience one people will remember and appreciate? Consider adding meals to your offering or other incentives that will encourage them to book your space. Welcoming gifts, cleaning services, local insights to the best in the area – all of which will warrant a great review at the end of the trip.

To make sure you make enough out of this venture, consider setting a minimum number of stays per booking. Especially if you’re doing this for the extra money, you need to make it worth your while.

You also need to take a look at the rest of the competition in your area. How many other Airbnbs are there around you and what are they offering that you, possibly, aren’t? Once you’ve done that, you should take another look at your listing and see what more you can do or offer to make it more attractive to travellers.


Lay down the law for guests

Obviously, because it’s your space, you’ll need to lay down the law for your guests. And, of course, you’re allowed to decline bookings based on the who the guest is and what their agenda entails. For example, should you have a guest book your accommodation but they go out every night only to get home in the early hours of the morning with a random stranger at their side, your safety and the safety at your home is at stake and you’re allowed to ask them to leave.

Your guests should be respectful of your space, especially if you choose to share your home with a guest (which four out of five Airbnb hosts do). The bottom line is you have the final say and on your listing, you can state what your house rules are for the duration of their stay.

But it’s also good to know that Airbnb offers their hosts a $1 000 000 insurance coverage in the event of property damage. They also have a 24/7 support team who can help you with difficult guests or any other problems you may have during a guest’s stay.


And make sure you’re within the laws as well

Not only do you set the ground rules for your guests, but there are institutions that set ground rules for you as a host. Such as your landlord, for example. Or what about tax services when you start generating another source of income on a regular basis?

You’ll need to run your Airbnb hosting dreams passed a few people before you get the legal thumbs-up. Just don’t cut corners. You'll risk going to court and have to shutdown your “business” or never even have the chance to get started in the first place.


Do what you can to attract guests

With all the necessities out of the way, you can start making your Airbnb space attractive to travellers eyes. When it comes to advertising your space, you need to be honest about anything that’s maybe not up to par. If there are hacks to getting the hot water in the shower to work, a special way to close the doors so they don’t rattle in the wind or no way to cover the half-renovated hole in the wall or floor, don’t try to hide it. You need to be upfront and you’ll find people will stay at your place anyway.

But there will be certain things you can do to attract guests. Such as offering them a clean space, having fresh bedding sets on the beds with spares in the cupboard they can use, maybe some towels and a welcoming chocolate on the end of the bed or even by providing basic amenities for them to use while they stay over.

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