Since it launched in 2017, Airbnb has continuously become more popular for hosts and renters alike. In many cases, it offers higher investment returns than long-term occupancy for hosts. For travellers, it provides a safer, platform-brokered search for the perfect overnight accommodations in foreign cities, without the fear of getting tricked by unscrupulous hosts.
Indeed, you’ve thought about putting up your own Airbnb rental business, except you don’t know where or how to start. Well, treat this as your guide on how to launch a successful and profitable listing business on Airbnb.
Find a good location
When it comes to tourism-based businesses, finding a suitable location is paramount. Even if you list a beautiful, affordable, ‘gram-worthy room, loft, house, it won’t receive much attention if it’s in the middle of nowhere.
You can narrow down your search on highly touristic areas, and those locations that offer unique experiences to guests, such as a rare view of the Northern lights, or something to that effect. Afterwards, utilize platforms that can determine profitability of Airbnb locations to refine your shortlist further.
Pick your first property
Once you’ve decided on a location, you can now pick out your flagship listing. When choosing a property to invest in, look for one that already has features that will impress any guest, so that you don’t have to spend much on jazzing it up.
You have to think like an Airbnb guest at this point to get to the bottom of what travellers usually look for when booking accommodations. Think back on all your great Airbnb experiences and what it is about those listings that made you happy, comfortable, and satisfied during your stay.
If you don’t have a lot of starting capital for this venture, you can also invest in a fixer-upper, especially if you have the time to DIY repairs and upgrades so you can still make the place beautiful and worth the price you have in mind for it.
You can also keep it super simple, some host put up glamping tents, camping spaces, so in the beginning, maybe start small.
Acclimate yourself with Airbnb’s rules
Once you’ve got your eyes and heart set on a location and a specific property within that area, it’s time to seriously sit down and thoroughly read through the rules and requirements for Airbnb hosts.
Furthermore, you have to check the specific laws and rules concerning short-term renting in the area where you want to manage a listing. Secure all permits and licenses that might be required of you.
Getting in touch with a lawyer that specializes in real estate might be a good idea at this point, to make sure that all is in order for your business.
Lay down rules for prospective guests
Airbnb’s rules can serve as your guide in creating a separate set of policies for your guests to follow. You are not obliged to do so, but as an entrepreneur in the accommodations industry, it’s necessary to set some ground rules that will allow you to take in better clients.
For example, you should also have a policy for guest cancellations and observation of cleanliness in the area. Some landlords charge extra for the obligatory clean up after every guest, but that doesn’t mean your guests should trash the place! You should also be guided by the property regulations, especially if your Airbnb site is a condo unit or an apartment that of course is grouped in one community. Some considerations could include smoking inside the premises, illegal activities, and sometimes even excessive noise.
Name your price
As a new Airbnb host, perhaps the most daunting task you have to do before starting your rental business is pricing your property. Of course, the price tag you put on your place could either make or break your business altogether. Pick a high price; then your prospective guests might get turned off by the impossible cost of renting your place. But picking a low rate, then it’s better just to run a hostel. Either way, you’d be losing money.
So the key here is to find the right balance between making profits and satisfying your clients. My advice? Compare prices of other similar Airbnb listing nearby so you can get a glimpse of the market value of your property. Adjust as you go along. Conduct a trial month and see if your price is too high or too low. Just be sure it’s a reasonable amount at first so you can attract clients.
Make a kickass listing
Speaking of attracting clients, the best way to get clients on board is to make a listing that will stand out. This is achieved by taking excellent but preferably non-retouched photos of your place. Ask yourself, if you were a client, what details would you want to know right from the get-go and put that in your listing. And please, please, please do not forget to put your contact details so that prospective clients can reach you when they need to know more.
Collect good reviews
Collecting good reviews comes naturally for an Airbnb host who has an outstanding property and has delivered a good experience for his clients. So to get good reviews, you need to be able to keep your rental property in good condition plus you should also be a gracious host. Your duties as a host do not end once your clients have safely arrived in your property, but it involves constant communication when necessary. Pro-tip, if you’re just starting out, ask your friends to rent your Airbnb even for a discounted rate (almost nothing) to collect those first good reviews.
Keep in mind; it’s your job to offer a guest place and be a super host, that being said, you are never going to please everyone, so just focus on the ones you can and did!
Scale the business
Once you’re pretty confident with your operations, it’s probably time to scale your business either in the same area or look for a more profitable place to set up another rental home. Just be sure that it’s a place you could regularly visit to inspect your property and make sure it’s presentable enough for guests.
Having your own Airbnb is much like becoming a landlord in every sense of the word. However, the best part about it is that the site itself gives you a platform that secures your profits and markets your business even from the comforts of your own home. So there isn’t any reason for you to fail, especially if you followed the steps outlined above, stay focused and enjoy being a great host.