There is a lot of money to be made on AirBnB if you play your cards right. As the travel industry bounces back from the pandemic, more people are looking to travel, and they don’t always want to go to the same hotels and resorts. They want to have an individualized experience, with more space, more comfort, and better amenities. With good reason, people often feel like they are getting a better deal when they book an AirBnB rather than choosing traditional accommodations. If you have a property or even a private room in your home that is going unused, you can potentially turn that into additional income. Furthermore, that income could potentially be quite passive, depending on how you run your AirBnB.
But you’re not the only one who knows about AirBnB. Its space is competitive; even if you live in an area where AirBnBs are not common, you will almost definitely have someone to compete with. If you want to maximize your profits and become a top host on AirBnB — ideally a Superhost — you need to make an effort. Let’s explore some of the things you should do in order to maximize your income on AirBnB.
1. Have Your Property Inspected
Before you even begin advertising your property or space on AirBnB, you should have it inspected professionally. This way, you can be made aware of any issues that you might not know about right now. The last thing you want is for a guest to uncover a problem at your property, and for that to negatively impact your rating and reviews. If the problems that they encounter are potentially hazardous, you could even get into legal trouble. Imagine an AirBnB guest encountering mold in your home, and not only inform you that you need to pay for mold damage restoration, but that you put their health in jeopardy as well.
A professional home inspector can ensure that your property is not only safe but aesthetically appealing. If you’re missing issues in your house that occurred due to water damage, an inspector certainly won’t. Furthermore, you may find that it’s easier to have fixes like water damage restoration implemented if you’re able to get references from an inspector. You can even include in your listing the date at which your property was last inspected and given a clean bill of health. This may enhance the property’s appeal.
2. Consider Renovations
If you’ve been considering having your home improved upon, now is the time to implement those improvements. When your space is listed on AirBnB, you’ll want to include as many photos as possible. Those photos will essentially be your first impression to potential travelers and offer you the ability to appeal to them as much as possible before they even read your description. Begin with the exterior of your home. Now is the time for you to talk about roofing contractors if you were considering replacing or enhancing your roof, for example.
Once you move into the interior, think about not only what you want out of your renovations and repairs, but what would please guests most. If you’re listing your entire home, as you begin a kitchen remodeling project you’ll want to consider what would best impress those staying in your home. You may prefer a look that is more eclectic, and while ultimately you can do whatever you want to with your project, you’ll still want your home to be as accessible as possible for potential guests. Consider the types of amenities that would make your home easier for a guest to use, and consider how much they might improve your home.
3. Look At Your Outdoor Space
People don’t just rent AirBnBs with the indoor space in mind. They might also want to spend time outdoors. Having outdoor space is actually a major advantage of renting an AirBnB, rather than utilizing a hotel or resort. The first thing that you should do is evaluate how much outdoor space you have, and how that space can be utilized. If you have only a deck or a balcony, evaluate that space and how you can make the most of it for your guests. If you have a larger backyard, you may want to get in touch with landscaping contractors. They could not only help you improve your outdoor space, but give you ideas that you never even considered before.
As you begin preparing your outdoor space for guests, keep in mind that they will likely want a bit of privacy; as will your neighbors, for that matter. You could potentially emphasize that privacy further if you look into residential fences. Once that is done, you may want to add a patio space, or even simply a table and chairs for guests to enjoy outside. Further aesthetic amenities, like beautiful flowers or a water feature, can make your outdoor space exactly what it needs to be for an AirBnB guest.
4. Check The Rules
While most people are able to become AirBnB hosts without worry, you’ll want to make sure that your specific area doesn’t have rules against AirBnBs. Some neighborhood communities and HOAs do require that homeowners are prohibited from hosting AirBnB guests. You don’t want to violate these rules; they could result in you being fined. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to sneak guests onto your property, either; everyone from your neighbors to those operating your local waste removal services will likely notice that somebody who isn’t you is staying on your property. With that being said, if you think this is unfair or infringing on your rights as a homeowner, you may be able to challenge those rules. Speak with AirBnB support about your options on this front, as they might be able to advise you on how to make arguments on this level.
Additionally, your area may have specific regulations and ordinances regarding AirBnB listings. While they may allow you to list your property on AirBnB, they could require that you collect and pay taxes in a certain way. Furthermore, they may have different safety regulations for properties that are being listed on AirBnB. This is yet another reason why you should speak with professionals, from roofers to window contractors, to ensure that your home is as safe as possible.
5. Consider Property Management Companies
Some homeowners choose to outsource the management of their AirBnB listings. Rather than speaking to guests in person or even through AirBnB’s messaging platform, they work with property management companies, which will handle the practicalities of the listings on their own. The property managers will answer questions from guests, be present in order to hand off keys or security codes, and sometimes even create listings for their clients. This can equal a lot of weight being taken off your shoulders, especially when it comes to breaking into AirBnB in the beginning. Some property managers are more established on AirBnB, and can ensure that your property receives the attention it deserves.
Property managers can also help maintain your property. They would be responsible for ensuring that it is properly cleaned before guests arrive and after they leave, which is especially important in the age of COVID-19. Additionally, they will be able to monitor the property and make sure that all is running as it should. For example, if you need to have an HVAC system installation taken care of, your property managers can be present for this task rather than you. If your property is far away from your primary residence, this can be extremely useful. While you do have to pay your property managers, if you fold this into the general costs of running your AirBnB and price your property accordingly, it can be well worth it.
6. Pay Attention to Your Listing
Your listing is what potential travelers will see of your property before anything else. Additionally, AirBnB has grown over the years, with travelers now being able to filter through listings based on specific amenities featured in the listings. If you aren’t featuring every amenity in your property on your listing, you’re potentially missing out on countless travelers. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure that your listing description is written with a friendly and professional tone. Insert some of your personality into the listing; people love how personal AirBnB is!
As you’re working on your listing, consider how you can best show off your property. You can do this by having the property professionally staged and photographed. High-quality, well-staged photos will appeal to guests far more than personally taken pictures. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have an opinion regarding the depiction of your home. It just means that you might want to be a bit more collaborative in the process, and take advantage of the services professional photographers can provide. Yes, you’ll want to take care of all of the practicalities first; but if you’re trying to get your listing out there, professional photographers are just as important as plumbers and contractors.
7. Work Within AirBnB’s Guidelines
AirBnB, as a company, wants you to succeed. They benefit if you benefit. However, many AirBnB hosts do not work with AirBnB to get the most out of it. They don’t pay attention to the emails that AirBnB sends to update them on changes in policies or functionality, which can not only result in them missing out on profits but potentially having their listings deactivated in the long term. You should keep your correspondence with AirBnB, whether the emails were sent out to owners en masse or specifically meant for you, in a separate folder or maybe even an inbox entirely separate from your personal email.
Furthermore, if you feel like you’re doing everything right and your listing still isn’t getting the attention it deserves, think about reaching out to AirBnB’s support to have your listing evaluated. They may be able to advise you as to what you can do to improve your listing. There are also paid programs that allow you to receive more exposure and assistance from AirBnB.
8. Listen to Reviews
We know that reviews can be awkward and hard to listen to at times. But reviews from your guests are extremely valuable, and you should take full advantage of them. Your guests may have valuable feedback that could help you boost your AirBnB’s overall performance. And if you don’t have enough reviews in the first place, you may very well get overlooked by potential guests. Ask your guests to review your property in a timely manner; perhaps you should offer a discount on a future stay in exchange for a review. Certainly, you want the reviews to be honest. But firstly, they need to be present.
Another thing that you may want to consider is speaking to AirBnB employees and those managing your account about reviews that may be unfair. Every now and then, reviews are incorrect, and in those cases, you do have recourse through AirBnB. You are able to offer rebuttals for reviews, though you of course want to do so politely and professionally.
There is much that needs to be done on a professional level when you’re first starting an AirBnB listing. Many people find themselves bringing a great deal of income in through AirBnB properties; some people even have multiple listings on the platform. What you do regarding your listings will be individualized on many levels, depending on the amenities that your property offers, among other things. Think about what will best serve your property, in terms of adding descriptions, managing your property, and showing it off to its best advantage. Furthermore, you may want to see how you can improve your property and make it even more impressive as you make improvements for your guests. Listing your property on AirBnB could ultimately make the beginning of an exciting new chapter!