Flying On The Air…Bnb?
We’re living in an age where it’s commonplace to turn your home into a workplace. Multitudes of individuals are setting up office in their homes. Some are even developing companies from the comfort of their four walls. For some us, it’s the dream career choice. Some can imagine nothing better than trundling to the office wearing pajamas and no makeup.
But, for some of us, the lack of routine which comes from home working sounds like a nightmare. Individuals who like set plans and a boss to guide them just couldn’t imagine making money that way. Besides which, many individuals doubt that they would have the discipline it takes to make a go of it. But, there’s no reason that such people can’t still cash in on the business potential of their homes.
In truth, a home office isn’t the only way to make money from your space. The invention of Airbnb in 2007 has seen many of us turning over outhouses or spare rooms to travellers. While it’s difficult to cite exact numbers due to duplicate listings, it’s thought that around 650,000 people are giving it a go.
So, what’s the secret behind Airbnb success? Done well, this is a sure way to see a decent increase in your earnings. Of course, it’s important to note that this move can also backfire. The chances are that you’ll need to spend some money making your spare space suitable. If you then fail to get off the ground, you could operate at a loss for quite a while. Equally, damage to property and so forth could see you out of pocket. The good news is, there are some surefire steps to take you towards money. And, we’re going to look at a few of them here.
Get good reviews
From the start of your Airbnb journey, you need to be getting good reviews. The site operates on a rating system, and a few bad ratings are sure to do real damage to your prospects. But, if you’re consistently receiving top marks, bookings are sure to come your way.
There’s no real secret to getting good ratings on Airbnb. But, a good starting point would be to kit the space with quality furniture and pay attention to decor. You may want to cut costs when starting out, but it won’t pay off in the long run. A cheap mattress is sure to be uncomfortable, and guests will state that in their feedback. That’s not to say you can’t save at all. You could always wait until a mattress is in the sale. Buying at the right time of year could see you saving significant amounts, and Mattress-Guides.net has info on when those times might be. Equally, you could head out to the shops and take note of when prices drop. The same can be said for everything you buy in your room, including duvets, towels, and side tables.
As for decor, do a little research on the Airbnb site. Take note of the decor choices others have made, and find ways to apply them to your space. It may be best to keep things neutral so that you appeal to a broader audience. Small art pieces or inspirational quotes also go down well in this Insta age.
A final way to seal good reviews is to leave small additions which make a big difference. Including a bottle of wine, or a little snack hamper could well tip guests in your favor. It doesn’t cost much, but it could see you making a lot more money.
The right price
Before you list your property, you need to make sure you’re charging the right price. Charge too little, and you’ll miss out. Charge too much, and you won’t get any bookings. A little research of other Airbnb listings in your area should point you in the right direction. You can also get a valuation from sites like portico.com.
Things to take into account when considering your pricing system are –
- The type of rental (apartment, room, outhouse)
- Number of rooms available
- Location (how close to amenities, transport options, etc.?)
- Access to wifi (a must for any Airbnb)
Each of these increases the price in a small way. Study properties with similar perks to gain the best idea possible of what you should charge.
Be picky about your guests
If you were renting out a long-term property, you would go through all sorts of screening processes. While Airbnb guests don’t require such thorough checks, it’s still worth doing some research. If you accept any old application, you could end up with a disaster on your hands. Your guests could trash the space and damage furniture. Or, you could find yourself falling foul to one of the many other Airbnb horror stories. In California, for example, Airbnb guests have taken advantage of rental laws to squat properties. Don’t let it happen to you.
You don’t need to go all out and spend hours screening guests. But, it pays to do some brief checks. The good news, the review system on Airbnb works both ways. If your guests have used the service before, you can also check the reviews they’ve received. You can also check out their online profile, and get an idea of what type of person they are. Plus, you’re well within your rights to ask about the purpose of their stay.
Always take a deposit
Deposits are always important where rentals are concerned. They provide a financial incentive to keep the property in top condition. Without it, there’s nothing to stop guests from ruining furniture with no consequence. Everything you do needs to be through Airbnb, so make sure to follow procedure on their site. While they don’t allow you to collect a security deposit, you can request deposit bank details. If you then want to make a claim, you’ll need to do so within 14 days of your guest’s checking out. To ensure you’re compensated, take photographic evidence the moment your guests leave.