Travelers today are looking for new experiences. Instead of staying at a hotel, they opt to rent an Airbnb home to experience the location better. Though Airbnb has been around for a decade, the concept is only just picking up in India. For homeowners, Airbnb can unlock doors to opportunities that haven’t been utilized before.
The concept is simple: If you have an unused home, you can rent it out to travelers for as low as a day or even a month. The charge is per night. The ones who occupy the space will know exactly what you will be offering them for that price. There’s no need to provide a hotel-like service, but you do need to bear the cost of maintaining the place and also be a host for them or appoint one if you’re not in town.
Homes located in or around tourist spots or in prime city areas tend to get a premium pricing. If managed well, you can very well earn a lot more through Airbnb-ing your home than just simply renting it out.
Checklist for AirBnb your home
Have a complete profile
The Airbnb business works on mutual understanding and trust. Just as you would not trust a traveler who hides information, people are wary about choosing homes where they don’t have enough information about the host.
The way to improve your trust and likability is to have a complete profile by filling all the information. This includes verifying your profile by uploading an ID (which isn’t made public), linking your account to social media sites, adding your contact number. These help people identify that you’re a genuine host and not a scammer.
Show a part of your personality so that travelers can figure out something about you. Most importantly, add a clear image of yourself.
List your property
Once you’ve made an account, you need to list your place. If you thought that you need to only list out full homes on Airbnb, you’ve got it wrong. Airbnb is all about the sharing economy. There are many different types of homes available on Airbnb, such as:
A room in your house: People let out one or more rooms in their homes to single or couple travelers. In this case, they have access to the kitchen, as well.
An apartment: This is located in a building, and the building amenities such as the swimming pool may not be accessible to guests.
An entire home: The whole house is rented out to a certain amount of guests. They have access to everything in the house, as well as the backyard, front yard, etc.
Studio homes: These are tiny one-room apartments that are meant for solo travelers. It has minimal amenities
It’s important to let people know what kind of a home it is. Some travelers prefer sharing a room with other travelers or the host, while some prefer entire homes to themselves. The more accurate you are in your listing, the better it can be found on the search engine.
After this, you need to mention the total number of people who can live in your home. Additionally, mention the number of beds available as well. You wouldn’t want to find a party of 20 people in a home meant for just four.
Getting the pricing right
The next to-do on the list is to price your space. That’s a question that bothers many. How do you decide on the amount per night? Airbnb will give you a suggested price, which depends on factors such as your location, number of rooms, amenities, tourist season, average prices in the neighborhood, etc. You can take that into account and decide your final price, which can be higher or lower than it. You can even change the rates for the weekends. Additionally, if you want to rent out only on certain days, you can do that as well. There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to Airbnb-ing your home.
Airbnb gives you the option to provide discounts for longer stays, such as a week or a month. When you’re pricing, remember to factor in other costs such as cleaning and maintenance. If you want to make the most of your house, price it similar to what others in your location are charging. Or else you’ll end up making a huge investment in the house and losing visitors to other homes.
What’s your special offering?
People want to live in places that are located in good areas. So ensure you write a good description of your place and neighborhood to attract more people. Are you a fun person? Is the neighborhood fun or strict? What are the facilities available nearby? Is there a supermarket or a 24X7 pharmacy? How far is the metro or a station from your place? These are just some of the questions that travelers consider.
Be as accurate as you can be, and don’t lie. Airbnb works on ratings, and you don’t want your rating to suffer because of inaccurate descriptions. If there are some issues such as a noisy neighborhood, small living space, or any other turn-offs, be sure to mention that. To make up for this, highlight other amenities that you provide.
One of the reasons why people prefer Airbnb over hotels is the home-like amenities that they can get. So, imagine you are the traveler. What would you want if you chose your home? Common amenities include clean sheets, shampoo, soap, spare towels, and toilet paper. If you want to decorate it, you can add scented candles or some board games. Another way to show your traveler you care about them is to keep an adaptor for those with straight-pin chargers.
Remember, those viewing your profile are looking at ten others and comparing what they can get. Your amenities are what will make you stand out.
Clear the Clutter
Unused homes or rooms tend to turn into dumping grounds for items. But if you want to rent, you need to ensure there’s maximum space available and no unnecessary items. Guests wouldn’t want to open the closet and find your clothes hanging there or your used towel in the bathroom. It needs to be clean and tidy and free from anything that won’t benefit them.
It can get difficult to figure out how to reorganize your items, especially if you have furniture or boxes or other space-taking items. Take out all items from your closets, drawers, shelves that are yours and keep them in another room or storage area.
If you don’t have space in your home to keep them, you can pack them off to a self storage unit nearby. Self Storage India has storing options in various sizes. Instead of renting an expensive place to store, Self Storage India’s units can help you save a lot of cash.
The home should be clean and clutter-free before the guest arrives. Last-minute hurry may reflect badly on your review. After all, your guests may have traveled a lot only to find they need to wait longer to get their room.
Get the right furniture
It may so happen that your furniture is worn out or has lost its spring, but it doesn’t bother you. However, if you’re renting out, you can’t keep these. If your home is unfurnished, you will have to add some furniture to make it more inviting.
The kind of furniture you get depends on your home size. Studio rooms require a good bed and desk while homes with a huge living room and many rooms will require different kinds of furniture.
When you go furniture shopping look for durability. The more you rent, the more it will be used. The last thing you want is for your bed to break when your guest is sleeping. Also, keep in mind that you or someone you hire will have to clean the place before every new guest arrives. Don’t buy furniture that will require a lot of cleaning.
Photographs make all the difference
Even the best of homes can look dull and boring if clicked under inadequate light and wrong angles. Take pictures in the day time, especially when there’s good light flowing in the rooms. Click the room from different angles so that guests can imagine how they would navigate the place.
Make sure that there are no undesirable objects that have been captured on pictures. Take a good look at the photos after you’ve clicked. Highlight the most beautiful aspects of the room, such as a beautiful balcony, a scenic view, or a huge TV screen with a game on.
Don’t restrict photos to just your home. Click your corridor, apartment, and neighborhood too. The idea is to help them envision the place.
For rooms that are tiny or don’t look good in pictures, add a beautiful vase or a bright painting. Make up for it with a description that gives it a positive spin.
Set house rules
You can consider setting house rules, especially if you’re living in a building with others. Rules ensure that guests do not create issues for your neighbors or others in the area. You can mention your house rules on your profile so that travelers can see them while they browse. Additionally, print and keep a pamphlet at home as well.
When you’re creating rules, be reasonable. Your guests are mostly traveling for fun, and the last thing they want is a book full of rules to go through. Common rules include no smoking in the house, no partying or loud noises after 10 pm, etc.
As a caring host, make sure to provide information about whom to contact in case of an emergency or security issue. This can be a fellow host in case your number is unavailable. It could be local emergency numbers such as the police or the building head or the security guard at the entrance.
How to be an Airbnb Superhost
The next level of having a complete profile is to be a Superhost. They get an extra badge of honor that vouches for their exceptional service. This, in turn, leads to more sales. Working towards getting a Superhost badge will mean you are a trustworthy host.
Here are four simple steps to become one:
High Rating – Keep your rating high, above 4.8. For this, you need to ensure you provide accurate descriptions, good amenities, and not lie about anything.
High Response Rate – Hosts that quickly respond to queries are desirable. A response rate of 90 percent or higher can put you on the path to being a Superhost.
Active User – If you’ve had ten or more bookings in a year, it shows that you are an active host. Though you may get many queries, it’s necessary for them to convert into a booking.
Reliable – This is a tough one. You need to have zero cancellations from your end. If you accept a booking and, for some reason, are unable to go through with it, it will reflect poorly on your profile.
Airbnb reviews its Superhost status every three months, so you need to be consistent.
Leave a review for your guest as well. The language of your review will reflect on you as a person. People viewing your listing can see your reviews on traveler profiles as well as reviews of those whom you hosted.