aNewDomain — There’s a handful of resources on how to use Airbnb, the service that lets you rent homes instead of hotels as a traveler. Yes, Airbnb is revolutionizing the shared economy and travel industries simultaneously, but there’s another side to it. You can be an Airbnb host, too. If you have an entire house, a spare bedroom or just some space on the floor, you can probably rent it out.
You’re wondering just how much you could make — AffordAnything.com is a lifestyle blog geared toward those who don’t want to live a boxed-in life, and Paula Pant wrote that she made $1,705 per month renting out a unit that would likely pull in $1,100 if it was rented out in a traditional way. An extra $605 a month is noticeable.
These six tips will help you get that spare house — or couch — up and running. After all, being the best host is the best way to make a ton of money.
1. Show off The Property
People want to rent something that looks good. Airbnb knows this — that’s why it provides a free photography service for hosts. Make sure to use it, because the photographers will make your house sparkle, which will bring you a lot more traffic. Speaking of traffic, if you do use Airbnb’s photography services your listing will appear more often in search results. Ah, algorithms.
2. Wi-Fi Is Necessary
We all love Wi-Fi. It’s an essential service for those who found your apartment online — that’s how they do everything in life. So make sure you have a strong wireless signal in whatever part of your house is being rented, and make sure to provide an easily accessible and clear password and network name. Don’t write it down fresh for each person — put it right where they are staying so they don’t have to ask. Also, put this critical amenity at the top of your apartment listing.
3. Be Realistic
Accurately listing your accommodations is important. People don’t want to be in shock upon seeing their blow-up mattress after flying around the world — especially if you led them to believe it was a queen bed. Be truthful when listing your amenities, what type of kitchen and appliances are accessible and the level of safety in your neighborhood. It’s better to be honest, because you’ll get guests who are expecting your actual situation, and they won’t be likely to leave a negative review. Provide lots of detail in these areas to be clear, and you are still bound to receive many requests.
4. Put Yourself Out There
A strong profile has a picture and a decent amount of information about you (not just your house). Things like hometown, interests and job will go a long way to make people feel comfortable about staying with a total stranger. If people like you, the bookings will take off and you will be on your way to becoming a Superhost (check tip 6). Of course this goes both ways — don’t accept people whose profiles make you feel uncomfortable. This is all about mutual understanding.
Airbnb prompts both the guests and hosts to review the experience a few days after the rental period is over. This is paramount — listing of your space is highly dependent on good reviews, and travelers use these to determine if one listing is better than another. Make sure to give positive feedback where it’s deserved, and even neutral feedback. Always be honest, too. Remember that if you review your guest they are more likely to review you, too.
6. Above And Beyond
There are easy ways to be an Airbnb Superhost — and rake in hit reviews and a host of bookings. Fresh towels and clean sheets are expected, but a welcome package for each guest says “take a load off” in a real way. You can toss in some local wine or beer, a handful of chocolates and a loaf of bread. A map of your area is helpful and thoughtful, and a simple list of local restaurants will make them feel right at home. All this will elicit a pleasant experience, and you’ll continue to book with ease.
Feature/First image: “Historic Walk 1893” by Jim Bauer via Flickr
Second image: “bedroom” by The Wu’s Photo Land via Flickr