6 Steps to Make Your Home Birmingham’s Next Best Airbnb
Notice to residents of the city center – Do you have extra space? Need money? You could be sitting on Birmingham’s next hospitality cash cow – your guest room.
Townspeople, you’re in a potentially glorious place to put a little extra jingle in your pocket. Between the influx of new attractions, the giant expansion of the BJCC, and the impending construction of Highway 59/20, more people are heading downtown and fewer people want to leave after having fun. (Let’s face it – nobody, and I mean NOBODY wants to navigate construction detours after a night out.)
The number of guests flocking to Birmingham Airbnbs continues to rise every year – a sign that people are looking for cheaper alternatives to traditional hotel rooms. In 2018, Jefferson County Airbnb hosts raked in $2.7 million in revenue, making Birmingham the second most searched Airbnb destination in Alabama.
Airbnb in Alabama
According to Airbnb, the average host in Alabama made a profit of $6,100 last year. That, my friends, is the kind of easy extra money that could earn you extra guac on your Chipotle EVERY TIME.
Local resident Kelsey Sizemore has run an Airbnb in Avondale with her husband since April 2018. Just ten months into their journey, the Sizemores have already claimed their place as one of Birmingham’s top hosts by Birmingham Magazine. She attributes their success to two things: increased interest in Airbnb in Birmingham and customer satisfaction.
“We’ve seen demand for Airbnb in Birmingham is high,” she said. “There are a lot of people who come for work, meetings, weddings and just to see the city. It encouraged us so much! »
To attract tenants, she said good reviews are key. “It has been very helpful to accumulate good reviews over time – do your best to create your space in a place you would want to stay if you were traveling.”
Interested? Here are six steps to get you started on your hosting journey:
First step: analyze your situation.
Could you move that forgotten dusty treadmill in your guest bedroom (existing only to hang your laundry to dry) and create a guest suite? Is your house empty on weekends while you travel the world? Airbnb gives you the flexibility to rent out any additional space, from a spare bedroom to an entire home. Camper? Tree house? It is also legitimate to rent through Airbnb.
Step two: Calculate the expenses against the potential benefits.
Stay with me here.
Upfront investments, insurance, and the cost of cleaning and maintaining your space can add up quickly if left unchecked. There is a lot of Online resources and blogs to help you maximize the effectiveness of your home-sharing budget. Airbnb also hosts a Smart Price Estimator online to help you find the most competitive price for your rental based on similar listings in your area.
It is also important to note that many of your expenses – domestic utilities, use of cleaning services, home repairs and property taxes are tax deductible as long as you rent your space for more than 14 days of the year. (Uncle Sam requires renting your space at least 14 non-consecutive days out of the year to consider it an official side gig. But again, if you rent it less than that, you can avoid paying tax on the come back all together.)
Be sure to include these factors in your profitability calculation. Look at you, grown up like an entrepreneurship pro now!
Fortunately, Airbnb recently began collecting and paying city (6.5% in Birmingham) and state (4% in Alabama) lodging taxes from guests on behalf of hosts, making the seamless process.
Step 3: Tread through the boring part
This is a good time to make sure you are following the law and have insurance coverage. The City of Birmingham suggests obtaining a business permit to operate your Airbnb. You can expect it to cost between $100 and $150, depending on how much you bring in the first three months.
You will also need to check zoning laws —there are a few neighborhoods in town, such as Homewood and Mountain Brook, which prohibit or restrict home sharing. Also, make sure you’re in your rental, HOA, timeshare, or whatever contract you’ve signed for your home.
Airbnb automatically includes $1 million host liability insurance for each booking to protect against liability claims and structural damage to your accommodation. However, it’s not a bad idea to check your landlord’s or renter’s insurance to see if they offer additional coverage for things like damaged personal property in case your guests decide to rage during their stay. .
Step 4: Channel your inner Marie Kondo
Take inventory of your home to make sure the space is comfortable, clean, and clutter-free. Airbnb provides a practical checklist for hospitality to help. Your goal will ultimately be to have happy customers, as customer reviews will be a huge factor in your success.
Step Five: Place Your Ad Here
Step Five: Take photos and write an engaging (and accurate!) description of what you have to offer. Be your own hype man and really focus on the best attributes your home has to offer. Don’t be afraid to add those special quirks, either. Is your cat cool? Do you live next to a house full of single firefighters? Extra points for adding your favorite local bars and restaurants for out-of-towners.
Take INCREDIBLE photos — potential tenants opt for the most visually appealing spaces. If you are not able to take high quality photos, you can assign the task to a Airbnb professional photographer, who will deduct their fees from your first rentals.
Step Six: Sign up through Airbnb
Answer a few questions about your home, upload these great photos and plan your availability. Hit the publish button, and you’re set! This last step takes about five minutes. All you have to do now is sit back and wait for reservations to arrive.
Now is your time, Downtown Ham-ers. Go ahead. Buy some new blankets, maybe a few scented candles and claim your place in Birmingham’s golden age of flatsharing.