How do I get started with Airbnb hosting?

How do I get started with Airbnb hosting?

Become Wealth Editor

At some point, hopefully in the near future, this pandemic will end. International travel will re-open and return to somewhat ‘normal’, events will re-open, and tourism will pick up.

People cannot wait to travel again. With New Zealand being one of the top travel destinations for many around the world, there will be opportunities to make some extra money.

If you have an unused property or a free room, you may consider being part of the Airbnb community as a host.

Airbnb is a digital marketplace that enables the short-term rental of accommodations which can range from a single room to an entire house or even an island. It has grown in popularity over the years, with over 150 million users worldwide and listings in over 191 countries.

If you don’t know where to start? Below are the basic steps you can follow to begin your journey as a host on Airbnb.

1. Manage your goals and expectations

It is important that you set your goals and expectations before you start hosting.

Do you want to earn extra income from being an Airbnb host or do you want it to be your primary source of income? What kind of home-sharing set-up do you want to establish? What kind of experiences do you want to give to your guests?

The answers to these questions would help determine how much time and effort, as well as investment, you will need to put into this.

2. Set up your host profile

The first step to officially becoming an Airbnb host is by creating your host profile. A good host profile can determine if your Airbnb guests will choose your accommodation or not.

Host profiles can help you establish a personal connection with your potential guest and lead to a higher chance that they will book your space. You can share your interests, your occupation, or other random facts to make yourself relatable to them.

Remember to be natural and honest in your host profile. Adding a picture in your profile may also help guests put a face to their potential host.

3. Create your Airbnb listing

After creating your host profile, you may proceed to set up your Airbnb listing.

Creating an accurate and well-detailed listing can help increase return rates, lower searching time, and boost your reputation as a host. By doing so, you can attract more potential customers and secure bookings.

Here are some tips for creating a good listing for your Airbnb space:

Create a good headline for your listing

Create a headline for your listing that is unique and inviting.

Provide complete details about the space

Add important details about your space. You will need to specify the set-up your accommodation has. This includes the number of bedrooms or beds you are offering to guests, how beds are arranged, the number of bathrooms and how many guests can be accommodated in the space, amenities, etc.

Choose good photos

Photos have a big impact on an Airbnb app user’s experience. Your primary image can encourage potential guests to check the full details of your accommodation. Make sure that your photos will highlight the good qualities of your space and that the primary image is eye-catching.

Customize your booking setting

Before finalising your listing, you must provide specifications on how guests can book your property.

Set the price of your listing

Setting a competitive price for your listing is one of the main things to consider when becoming a host. Posting the same price for your space for every day of the year is not advisable. Hosts who don’t update prices tend to lose money in the long run.

Airbnb’s Smart pricing tool sets the price of your listing depending on the changes in demand in your area, the seasons, and other factors. You may also use other Airbnb pricing tools that will work with your strategy.

When deciding the price, you should also factor in additional costs such as utilities, taxes or service cleaning. Airbnb gives you options to include these rates in your prices.

Set a minimum and maximum price and state the preferred currency in which you would like guests to pay with.

List requirements for your guests

Airbnb has basic requirements for guests who are looking to book accommodations. Airbnb’s requirements include their full name, phone number, email address, etc.

As a host, you can ask for additional requirements. Some hosts ask guests to provide government-issued IDs or add a picture to their profiles.

Set house rules for your listing

Create a set of house rules your guests must agree to before they can rent the property.

In the event of damage or injury during a booking, Airbnb offers the Host Guarantee and Host Protection Insurance program.

The Host Guarantee provides coverage of up to US$1,000,000 to a host for any damages caused by guests to a listing.

Meanwhile, the Host Protection Insurance program is insurance made to cover costs if a third-party claims for incurring bodily injury or property damage. It is provided to hosts even if they have other insurance policies.

Customise your calendar

Choose how often your property will be available for booking. You can block out specific dates or months when your property cannot be reserved in Airbnb’s calendar. Remember to regularly update your calendar after listing.

You can also choose how many updates you will need before your guests arrive. Aside from this, you can set how far in advance they will be able to make a reservation request and how long they can stay at your property.

4. Finalise your listing

Ensure that all details are filled in before publishing your listing. If you have missed any field or have forgotten any additional detail, you can still edit the information after the listing is created.

However, if your property was booked but identified to have an inaccurate listing, you will not be able to change the incorrect section without first sending a request to alter the faulty information to the involved guest. This may result in cancellation. It can also affect your reputation as a host as inaccurate listings can trigger bad reviews from guests. So, it is important to provide honest and complete details about what your space has to offer.

The bottom line – do your homework and put in the effort

Starting anything can be a bit stressful and may require some groundwork. However, if you are well prepared and have the time, it could be a great way to make extra money.

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