It is no wonder that people have started traveling for experiences rather than just to mark a place on the globe. What makes these experiences so unique is getting a chance to stay with locals or even just have a point of contact in that area who can guide you to the most amazing locations in the vicinity, and Airbnb ticks both the boxes.
Here are some tips for you aspiring hosts:
1. CONSIDER IT YOUR BUSINESS:
It is imperative that you think of your listing on Airbnb as a business because you need to plan it well in order to make money out of it. For instance, planning how many days in the week your accommodations will be available, how much you will charge, who’s going to clean it and when are just some of the questions you need to have answers to. You need to realize that it is a Bread and Breakfast!
2. LOCAL LAWS AND GUIDELINES:
Since Airbnb has become such a household name, sometimes we just assume that it is probably there in every city. But a lot of city regulations do not allow commercializing residential accommodations. Hence, it is important that you check the rules before considering listing your accommodation. One way to quickly do that is to go to Airbnb’s website and see if there are other listings in your area. If yes, then most likely it is allowed. But it has often been noticed that Tech giants like Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb prefer asking for forgiveness over seeking permission. But you, my friend, need to be careful!
3. BE FORTHRIGHT AND HONEST:
As a host, you may feel tempted to offer a lot of services to make your place stand out, however, it is important to ensure that you can deliver all of them, every time. Hence, when you create a profile for your accommodation, think about situations where one batch of guests leave at 12 PM and the next batch is coming at 1 PM on the same day. Now in that 1 hour, you need to do everything that ensures the delivery of your offerings. All the things that you can manage to do in that window is what you should be selling.
4. CONSIDER MINIMUM-NIGHT STAY REQUIREMENTS:
If you’re letting people book one night only, you’ll be doing a lot of laundry. You also might miss out on a longer and more lucrative booking simply because a one-night stay overlaps with it, so listing your place with minimum-night stay requirements might work out better for you. I have noticed some listings offering a discount to people who book it for the minimum-night durations.
5. USING AIRBNB FOR ALL COMMUNICATION AND PAYMENTS:
Even though you may be doing everything with the right intentions, a lot of things could go wrong. In times like these, if you want to reach out to Airbnb and report the issue, it always comes in handy to have all the communication with your guest via the Airbnb Portal. Additionally, I have read cases where guests have offered to pay via cash for an additional day of stay. Unless you stay in the same accommodation and can ensure collection of payment, it is advisable to ask them to book the place through Airbnb.
6. AUTOMATIC BOOKING – ARE YOU SURE?
A feature of Airbnb which leads to more bookings is called Automatic booking and what this basically does is it stops asking you for permission before confirming the booking to the guest. Hence, you cannot decide anymore whether you want to list it to somebody or not. This affects you more if you rent out a place in the accommodation where you stay. The reason I don’t suggest using this feature is that it removes the second level of control which can be important. You will be asked by Airbnb to put a schedule of dates when your accommodation will be available for rent, and a lot of times people put dates for months in advance. There could be a week when you decided to leave the city but forgot to remove the dates.
7. OFFER SUGGESTIONS:
One thing that makes people happy when staying at an Airbnb is when the hosts prepare some suggestion documents/booklets which give a great sense of the places that can be visited. Often times, hosts will print out maps of the locality and mark the closest supermarkets and laundry stations. These are things that you would have to do just once but will provide a lot of value to your place.
8. REPORTING ISSUES:
I think we all agree that most people are nice, and this rule also applies to the guests that will be coming to stay at your place. However, there might be occasions where you would not be happy with your hosts. At such times, it is important that you can get in touch with Airbnb representatives to report the issue and take an action based on that.