Airbnb has come a long way since 2008 when they rented air mattresses. Now the short-term rental platform has more than 6 million listings worldwide.
It’s no surprise why. Listing your extra space on the platform can be a lucrative gig. The average Airbnb host makes $924 per month.
But that doesn’t mean becoming a successful host is easy. It still takes effort and planning.
If you’re looking for tools to help you analyze the profitability of your Airbnb investment and optimize your rental strategy, you can check out tools like the airbnb rental income calculator that provides real estate data and analytics for investors. It can help you make informed decisions about your property and maximize your earnings.
Tips for Becoming a Successful Airbnb Host
Here is a list of things you can start doing to become a more successful Airbnb host.
1. Check short-term rental regulations.
Before you list your property on Airbnb, make sure you comply with local housing regulations.
Some jurisdictions levy occupancy taxes, a.k.a. hotel or lodging taxes. Some prohibit short-term rentals altogether.
2. Furnish and decorate with style.
This ought to go without saying, but your Airbnb should look nice. You don’t necessarily have to buy new furniture, but the interior design should make sense.
Each room should have a color scheme. Avoid decorating with anything too “out there.” You don’t want your place to look tacky or weird.
3. Take high-quality listing photos.
Your online listing is the first impression your prospective guests experience, so make it count.
Unless you’re a professional photographer, seriously consider hiring a pro to shoot your listing photos. If you do, this will pay for itself many times over in elevated bookings. Just be careful not to make your Airbnb look larger or finer than it is. Your listing photos should accurately reflect what you have.
4. Include amenities.
Guests love amenities. One of the reasons people prefer Airbnbs over hotels is they often include amenities the guests wouldn’t otherwise enjoy.
Examples include a fully stocked kitchen, washer and dryer, and work desks. In fact, Airbnb promotes a checklist of amenities guests want. Even little extras can make a big difference. Think games, books, movies, coffee, and shampoo. Anything that helps a guest have a pleasant stay may go a long way.
5. Provide a unique experience.
On top of offering a nice place to stay, you should give guests a unique experience by highlighting what’s unique about your quarters.
Are there any nearby landmarks? Or will guests be far from civilization where they may enjoy some relaxing quiet? Whatever you do, try to anticipate what guests would like. Put yourself in their shoes so you can give them an experience they won’t forget.
6. Optimize the price.
Setting the right price for your Airbnb can be tricky. You don’t want to set it so high that nobody books, but you also don’t want to set it so low that you can’t cover your overhead.
To find the optimum price point, consult analytics software such as AirDNA. Those will help you maximize your revenue based on market data.
You could always check what similar listings are going for nearby and run the numbers to arrive at what would make a profit. If the price is fair, you’ll get more guests to leave positive reviews that boost your bookings. Treat your Airbnb like a business and do what makes sense.
7. Be flexible about stay requirements.
Airbnb lets you set minimum and maximum stay requirements. This means you can set a two-night minimum to limit how often you have to clean between guests.
Not everyone wants to stay multiple days, though, so you might get fewer bookings that way. Try to remain flexible about stay requirements if you can.
8. Respond quickly.
Response time is everything. If you leave potential guests hanging, they’ll have a bad experience or move on to the next opening. So stay on call as much as possible to respond to guests when they have questions—from the time they book until after they leave.
This not only helps you get more bookings but will earn positive reviews afterward. Plus, Airbnb displays your response rate and response time on your host profile so anyone may see them.
The response rate is the percentage of guests you answer within 24 hours, and the response time is the average amount of time you take to get back to people. If your scores are low, that may discourage potential guests from booking.
9. Vet guests.
That being said, you needn’t host just anyone. Some guests could disturb neighbors or even damage your property.
Make sure to vet them by checking their past reviews, requesting ID verification, and asking questions about the nature of their trip. Otherwise, you might host someone who will hurt your business, not help it.
10. Communicate clearly.
A huge part of being a successful host is communicating well. This reduces misunderstandings and sets appropriate expectations.
Prepare automated emails that give guests all the information they need to have a pleasant experience. That includes check-in and check-out times, the Airbnb address with explicit directions (sometimes GPS is unreliable), the keypad code, house rules, the WiFi name and password, and your contact information.
If you anticipate guests’ questions, you’ll create a smoother experience for both sides. Send reminders as the booking date gets nearer, and remember to be friendly always—whether by email or text or in person.
11. Leave a welcome guide.
Add a nice touch to your Airbnb by leaving a welcome guide. This might repeat the information in the previous point, plus offer ideas for things to do in the area.
Your guests probably won’t know the area as well as you do. They may look stuff up online, but it’s nice to get personal recommendations from a local.
12. Offer self-check-in.
Greeting your guests at the door when they arrive can be lovely, but many people these days prefer to check themselves in.
It relieves the pressure of interacting with people after a long trip when you just want to relax. Just set up a keypad or a lockbox with the key and let your visitors know the code before they arrive. Then you won’t have to wait up for them.
If you have multiple Airbnb listings, it might be time to outsource the routine tasks.
You could hire cleaners, handymen, or even a property manager to take care of running your rentals. Then you can focus your time and energy on higher-level matters instead. This will also help you scale faster if you wish to build a larger real estate portfolio.
14. Exceed expectations.
Underpromise and overdeliver. That’s the recipe for making guests happy.
So try to go above and beyond by sticking a complimentary bottle of wine in the fridge, leaving a handwritten note, or offering early check-in or late check-out times when you don’t have back-to-back bookings.
15. Ask for feedback.
To improve your Airbnb business, request your guests’ feedback after each stay.
Ask them what you can do better and have them leave a positive review if they had a good experience. As a result, this will give your Airbnb listing greater social proof and make you more competitive on the platform. Satisfied guests might even refer family and friends.
16. Create a brand offsite.
Even though Airbnb gives you all the tools you need to get started with a short-term rental, you should create a brand that’s separate from their website, as well.
You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket because that limits your business. If Airbnb doesn’t work out, you’ll still have gathered a loyal following elsewhere (or be ready to do so).
Plus, having your own business website and social media following can help you increase bookings on Airbnb by increasing your exposure. This is your business, so you should do everything you can to make it succeed over the long term.
In conclusion, start implementing these tips today and you’ll become a top Airbnb host.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll turn your business into an impressive short-term rental portfolio that generates passive income for years to come.