Hosting On AirBnB

Renting an extra room or investment property on AirBnB is a great way to make extra money. In fact, according to Priceonomics, AirBnB hosts earn far more than those in other sectors of the gig economy, averaging $924 per month. That’s nearly three times as much as TaskRabbit, Lyft, and Uber users earn. Still, when you consider the top earners – as well as just how much a property costs for a single night – these AirBnB owners aren’t really renting very frequently and there are a lot of changes they could make to perform better.

If you’re considering renting your property on AirBnB, it’s important to know how to promote your property and make it stand out from local competitors. From becoming a superhost to addressing some of the bad press AirBnB has gotten recently, these three strategies can make your property a hotspot for guests.

Become A Superhost

A superhost isn’t just an idea – it’s an actual status that AirBnB gives to its top hosts. In order to achieve the superhost ranking, you need to meet four criteria:

  • Responsiveness: Answer your messages and do so promptly. You have to have at least a 90% response rate to be a superhost, even if you’re not booking based on those inquiries. The simplest way to achieve this is by answering all your messages, even if you don’t plan to take the booking.
  • Book Regularly: It takes time to become a superhost; you need to book at least ten stays in the prior calendar year. That’s not actually very many bookings, since most are only a few days long.
  • Don’t Cancel: Once you take a booking, do everything possible to avoid canceling it. Even if it’s inconvenient for you, keeping that booking will allow you to keep your superhost status, and that’s what helps ensure you’ll make a steady profit.
  • Peak Performance: Finally, your ratings obviously play a significant role in your status as a host. Superhosts need at least 80% 5-star ratings, so give your guests top-notch treatment. Offering little extras can help you get a ratings boost, whether that’s providing key pantry items, a guide to the town, or even an especially effusive greeting.

The fact is, less than a quarter of AirBnB hosts qualify for the superhost program, but with a little effort, you can be one of them.

Know Your Location

How well you’ll do in the AirBnB game is largely contingent on where you’re located and what you can offer to your guests. For example, rental experts agree that short-term rentals like AirBnB provide substantial flexibility for owners, how much – and when – depends on your location. A beachfront location likely won’t do well in the winter months, which means you may not be able to vacation during the summer. On the other hand, if you have an urban apartment, you’ll be able to head out of town any time you want. People come to big cities like New York and LA year round and they’re always looking for places to stay.

Additionally, many cities have strict short term rental policies that impact AirBnBs, so be upfront about these policies and any associated fees. From New York City to South Africa, the rise of AirBnB has inspired a particular kind of vigilance. Let your guests know what they are and how they impact the cost or conditions of their stay.

Address The Elephants

AirBnB has faced some scandals recently, particularly surrounding hidden cameras in rental properties, and if you’re a host it will behoove you to address the elephant in the room. For example, if you have a camera in a public area, which is permitted by AirBnB policy, be upfront about that in your listing. Obviously you wouldn’t hide cameras in private spaces like bedrooms to spy on your tenants, but by being clear about any security measures you do take, you provide tenants with a measure of security and trust.

You might also consider discussing with guests any special insurance or safety steps you take as an AirBnB owner. It’s understandable that you would want to protect your property when hosting people you don’t know, but proper insurance can also protect your guests and shows that you’re invested in their well-being during the visit.

Being an AirBnB host can be profitable, fun, and rewarding and it’s a great way to meet people from all around the world without ever leaving home. If you’re interested in pursuing this exciting side gig, take it seriously. Your rentals could become a successful business, or at least a steady income stream.