Starting an Airbnb business is becoming an increasingly popular way to earn income across the country. Whether you have a single extra room in your rental property or are seeking to rent out your entire house for a short time, it’s important to first understand the basics of how the Airbnb industry works. Read on to learn more about how to become an Airbnb host, including helpful host tips for attracting more clients and building a positive reputation.
Learning how to start an Airbnb begins with understanding all local laws and regulations that govern home sharing or subletting. Each city has unique compliance standards for short-term rentals, so it’s important to do some research before diving into the Airbnb business.
For instance, to become a host with Airbnb in New York City, you must register with the city before renting out rooms for less than 30 days. In addition, the host must be living in the property for the duration of a short-term rental period. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City requires potential hosts to acquire a home-sharing license, which they must renew on an annual basis, and renting out a home that is not the host’s primary residence comes with an additional exemption fee.
Laws and regulations vary widely from city to city, so be sure to check with the appropriate local office before listing on Airbnb.
Renting out one or more properties on Airbnb can quickly become a full-time job, so it’s a good idea to utilize a property management system to keep things organized. This software will make it easier to track guest check-ins, invoices, Airbnb hosting fees, and service requests. With TIDY, you can easily streamline the scheduling of professional cleaning services for your properties, monitor work orders, and simplify invoicing. Best of all, TIDY integrates easily with Airbnb or any property management system you’re using.
Learning how to list on Airbnb in a way that attracts potential guests is essential. Start with taking high-quality photos of your house or apartment to showcase what your rental has to offer. If needed, consider hiring a professional photographer to do the work for you. Be sure to also create a comprehensive description of your property that includes the amenities you’re offering, such as Wi-Fi, fresh linens, complimentary toiletries, and free parking.
Airbnb offers a smart feature called smart pricing that uses a sophisticated algorithm to determine an appropriate nightly rate based on demand. The desirability of your property will depend on its location, the time of the year, and any local events in the area that could draw in more visitors. If, for instance, a large music festival is coming to your area soon, you can expect the price per night of your rental to increase. By taking advantage of this dynamic pricing feature, you can maximize your potential revenue from Airbnb rentals all year long.
Those who manage multiple Airbnb properties quickly discover how difficult it can be to be everywhere at once. To ensure guests can always gain immediate access to their rental, it’s a good idea to invest in keyless entry solutions. One option is to secure a key inside a lockbox that the tenant can open after you provide them with a passcode. Alternatively, you can install electronic keyless entries on your properties, which you can activate remotely from any location.
Just as in any establishment in the hospitality industry, maintaining effective guest communications in the Airbnb business is a must. Be sure to touch base with guests when they arrive and midway through their visit to ensure they have everything they need. Be sure to have your phone handy throughout the rental period so you can quickly respond within the Airbnb app in case there’s an emergency, maintenance request, or other issue with the property. After guests depart, consider asking how they felt about their stay, and encourage them to leave a review for your listing.
While Airbnb performs its own anti-fraud guest checks and offers a host guarantee to protect against property damage, it’s a good idea to develop your own guest screening process as well. Before accepting a tenant, be sure to verify their ID and take a few moments to review their Airbnb profile for additional information. Look for reviews from previous hosts to get an idea of the guest’s track record.
Don’t be afraid to also set a few house rules around things like smoking, where to park, and restrictions on unauthorized guests during the stay. If you ever feel a little reticent about renting out a room, apartment, or house to a guest, it may be a good idea to request a security deposit.
Guests prefer to rent from Airbnb hosts who have plenty of experience and numerous positive reviews on the platform. By providing excellent customer service consistently, it’s possible to earn Airbnb’s Superhost designation, which provides exclusive rewards, referral bonuses, and potentially being promoted through Airbnb marketing emails.
To achieve a strong reputation and Superhost status, hosts must maintain a rating of 4.8 or higher and have provided lodging to at least 10 guests. Additional requirements include a cancellation rate of less than 1% and a response rate of 90% or more.
Keeping your properties in good shape is one of the cornerstones of running a successful Airbnb business. It's helpful to devise a consistent housekeeping routine for all your properties through a local company that provides reliable cleaning services. Remember to adjust your cleaning fee depending on the amount of work that needs to be done following a stay. For example, if a guest brings a pet along, it may be a good idea to charge a pet cleaning fee. However, if a guest is only staying for a night or two, it may be appropriate to offer a substantial discount on cleaning services or waive cleaning fees altogether.
At TIDY, we make it easy for Airbnb hosts to manage every aspect of their housekeeping, from creating to-do lists and automating the scheduling of cleaning services to managing active work orders across all your properties. To learn more about how TIDY can save you time and money on housekeeping, visit us online to sign up today.
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