In an age where there are many different options for increasing your income, Airbnb is one of the more popular sources of supplemental income. If you’ve ever considered offering up your house – or a room in your home – then there are some things you need to know.
6 Tips to Keep in Mind
Depending on where you live, what your overhead is, and how often you can rent your property out, it’s possible that you could make an extra $1,000 or more per month as an Airbnb host. But in order to be as profitable as possible, you’ll want to think about these tips:
1. Don’t Stray From the Airbnb Platform
After you’ve hosted a few people on Airbnb, there may be a desire to venture out on your own and cut Airbnb out of the loop. In doing so, you figure you could keep more of the profits. While this might work in theory, it’s not advisable.
“Airbnb has created a fairly safe system for renting empty properties if you’ll follow their guidelines,” property management company Green Residential points out. “Always have renters communicate and pay through the Airbnb system rather than through a private line. This ensures that communication and payment are secure and well-documented if there’s a problem along the way.”
2. Hide Valuables and Personal Items
Most people who go through the process of creating an Airbnb profile and making a reservation are going to respect your property, but this isn’t always the case. People are people and you’ll run into a bad seed every now and then. In order to protect yourself, never leave valuables or personal items (including financial documents and files) in the open. It’s a good idea to put a lock on a closet so that you can quickly store items before a guest arrives.
3. Establish Clear House Rules
Your guests should not be allowed to do whatever they want. By establishing clear house rules, you can prevent major issues and ensure everyone remains happy and safe.
House rules should be posted both on the Airbnb listing itself, as well as visibly in the house. Address things like noise restrictions, housekeeping expectations, check-in and check-out hours, and other important issues.
4. Use a Lock Box
One of the more time-consuming aspects of being an Airbnb host is having to distribute and collect keys at check-in and check-out. It often requires you to shift your personal schedule to accommodate guests. One way to avoid this is by using a lockbox on your door. This allows you to set the code and let people in and out without any keys ever exchanging hands.
5. Offer Plenty of Perks
If you’re in a competitive Airbnb market, perks can help you set your listing apart and charge more. Be sure that you’re going above and beyond to offer your guests a fantastic experience. Examples of possible perks you may want to offer include Wi-Fi, snacks at check-in, toiletries in the bathroom, and free parking.
6. Be a Good Communicator
The number one thing that sets great Airbnb hosts apart from average ones is good communication. The easier you are to get in touch with, the happier your guests will be. Focus on responsiveness and transparency above all else.
Make It Worth Your Time
There are a ton of positives associated with being an Airbnb host, but you need to be meticulous in your record keeping and account for the time and money it costs to host. It’s easy to get carried away and spend so much in taxes, insurance, and cleaning fees that you don’t actually make any money.
Crunch the numbers and find out what it takes to be profitable. If you can meet this goal, then you’ll have no trouble finding some extra income.