Everything you need to know to start renting your home on Airbnb

This article is reproduced with permission from The escape house, a newsletter for secondary owners and those who want to be. Subscribe here. © 2021. All rights reserved.

Shunning mass tourist spots, travelers are turning more frequently to small towns, rural communities and national parks. This has big and broad implications for the future of travel and could survive the pandemic itself.

Suddenly everything – from a vacant room in your McMansion to a patch of grass by the pond – can be an ABNB Airbnb,
-0.17%.

This presents an opportunity for many people to earn additional income by renting out properties in newly popular areas. From March 2020 to March 2021, new hosts with a single registration earned more than $ 1.2 billion, Airbnb estimates. The Escape Home spoke with Airbnb, as well as some of the platform’s Superhosts, for advice on how best to turn your property into an Airbnb.

Owned by Lauren and Michael Goesele in the Catskills.

Airbnb / Natalie Chitwood

Treat your guests.

Lauren Spear and her partner Michael Goesele now have the manual to be Airbnb superhosts. They have two listings, one in the Catskills in upstate New York and one in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, NY Since the Covid-19 hit, their properties have become more popular, especially the Highland Bungalow, one completely renovated 1950s cabin.

“We realized there was a desire for what we built,” Spear said. “And Covid struck and there was a market for it. … We found a sweet spot. People want to get out of town.

Inspired by advice from Airbnb, their ad for the Catskills bungalow emphasizes its’ views of the lake, its fireplace and the summer barbecue life you crave, or the cozy nights filled with hot cider around the stove. “.

They offer all the modern conveniences that guests can expect. The homes are equipped with enhanced high-speed Internet connection, workstations and a monitor for “a reliable and peaceful work experience away from home”.

“Our homes are self-sufficient,” Spear said. “We provide everything. It’s all inclusive.

Their guests also receive water, wine and individually wrapped snacks.

“It’s more than just getting away from it all. It’s really decompressing, ”she said. “It’s more of a model of hospitality.

The interior of one of Sarah Slomovic’s Airbnb units.

Airbnb

Look at the short term benefits.

Sarah Slomovic, who has two Airbnbs in Houston, echoed the sentiment. She (nervously) switched from long-term rental to Airbnb about four years ago, finding that the former was causing her property to depreciate; people just weren’t taking care of it. Now she said she can’t imagine life without the platform.

“Really, I am only singing the praises of Airbnb, not only for the fact that it gives me the opportunity to be able to do something I love and earn a good income doing it too, and the joy of doing it is so much fun, “said Slomovic, who lives near a hospital and takes in many patients and their families.” It gave me the opportunity to take care of people who really needed from a home away from home …

One of Heidi Lamar’s properties in Arizona.

Airbnb

You could become a 24/7 concierge service

Heidi Lamar owns two properties in Scottsdale, Arizona, and one in Toronto. Because she had lived in one of the houses, there is luxury furniture, fixtures and finishes instead of generic – something that guests appreciate. But all are furnished. Lamar said his properties are well equipped, but guests generally have requests. Sometimes it’s someone’s husband’s birthday and the spouse wants a recommendation for a place to celebrate. She owns Spa Lamar, so sometimes clients ask if they can get a discounted treatment. One house is pet-friendly, so guests inquire about the best dog park nearby.

“The answer is almost always ‘yes and yes’,” she said. “My goal was simple, I always try to think like the guest.”

At least once a year, she and her husband visit each of the properties to see what they can improve.

“We always find little details that make the experience even better,” she said. “I worked hard to earn my Superhost badge, and I’ve worked even harder every year since to keep it.”

Second house, beware

Accommodation is not for everyone.

“You have to be a good communicator,” Slomovic said. And you have to be prepared to answer questions before they happen because people don’t feel safe in the world right now. ”

If you think you can handle this she says go for it.

“It really is the most rewarding thing I have done in my entire life,” added Slomovic. “Not only is it financially beneficial, but it’s so mentally beneficial, it’s just like great karma, being able to take care of people and give them a safe place and exceed their expectations.”

Also note that Airbnb laws vary widely by location. We have written in the past about these often changing laws, getting to know your neighbors and staying in compliance.

We’ve asked Airbnb for the step-by-step process to get you started:

Create your ad. Include the basics like the location of the property, what type of property it is, and how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has. Accept your flaws (retro appliances, limited parking) and remember that mattresses are important, feel free to display a good brand, as well as other quality items – think eucalyptus linens, fluffy towels, to a sophisticated hair dryer.

Take attractive photos. Photos are important to potential customers, so take plenty of them. Natural light trumps Photoshop, according to Slomovic, who added that it’s important the photos look lifelike, otherwise guests will really expect everything to be perfect.

Think carefully about the title and description of your ad. Consider what makes the property unique, such as a great view or a swimming pool.

Organize logistics. It is important to review local laws (we told you that) as some cities have rules regarding house sharing, such as special taxes and the number of nights you can rent your property.

Select a rate per night. The host has the discretion to offer any rate. Look for comparable listings in your city or neighborhood to get an idea of ​​what others are charging. Additionally, Airbnb offers pricing tools to help you choose the rate. When it comes to setting a price for your ad, Slomovic said the key is not to undervalue yourself, but to give your guests more. “If you don’t charge anything, then maybe a space isn’t being treated as well as it should,” she said. “I provide breakfast, I take requests. I make sure everything is ready for them when they get here, and there is no excuse not to. Amazon Prime delivers, it’s so easy for me to make it easy for customers, so I try to give them great value.

Prepare the property. Clean every room that customers can enter. Make sure you have enough essential supplies such as soap, shampoo, toilet paper, sheets, and towels. Going above and beyond – think of a chic coffee station or luxury goods like facials – can make all the difference.

Put away your valuables. Store your jewelry, passports, and other important items in a safe place or leave them with family and friends. Owner’s cupboards or sections without access can help.

Give your guests an extra touch with a smart design. Airbnb offers resources to help hosts design their spaces with comfort and ease in mind “to balance a space’s unique personality with the practical needs of guests.” Other hosts and superhosts, the most experienced and top rated hosts, share their design picks through Airbnb.

Configure your schedule. Decide if you want to host all year round or just occasionally, such as when you are on vacation. Beyond that, Slomovic said it’s important to configure your booking settings accordingly: “Don’t let people come in just on a Saturday night if you have a big house because what you’re going to get are the 500 high school kids who book for one person and you’re going to have a lot of trouble that way. Its listings have a four-night minimum for stays that fall on weekends and a one-night minimum for weekday visits.

This article is reproduced with permission from The escape house, a newsletter for secondary owners and those who want to be. Subscribe here. © 2021. All rights reserved.

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