If you’ve not yet stayed in Airbnb accommodation, chances are you’ve at least heard of the brand. A global sensation, Airbnb developed out of the crowd surfing culture of travellers who used the internet to find more unique places to stay on their travels. Stepping things up a little from sofa surfing, the website has come to be known as a place to find modern apartments for city breaks or quirky accommodation of all kinds.
Now operating in 191 countries there are over 2,000,000 Airbnb listings worldwide including 1,400 castles you can choose to stay in! And, while you opt to stay in 34,000 different cities using accommodation on the site, you don’t have to live in a city or even own a castle to rent it out on Airbnb. In fact, you don’t even have to have a whole flat, apartment or house available for rent. Many people are now using Airbnb as a way to raise extra cash and fund their own travel plans or to afford a few more treats for the family. Is Airbnb something you think you could get on board with? Read on for tips on how to get started!
The pros and cons of being an Airbnb host
If you’re a friendly, sociable type of person with at least one bedroom in your home that is free, being an Airbnb host is a great way to meet people. How much you’re able to charge will depend on the level of demand in your area along with how special your home is but thanks to generous government tax breaks it could earn you more than you think. And, if you’re particularly proud of your Pinterest worthy abode, it can be a good way to show off (and get compliments for) you flair for interior design. What’s the point of having a beautiful home if you can’t share it and show it off, ay?
Some of the less great things about Airbnb hosting are the security issues that are often reported in the press whereby guests show complete disregard for your precious property and do things like hold massive parties. These tend to apply more when people rent out their whole homes but it’s important to be aware of the risks and you’ll find lots of hints and tips on how to protect you, your home and your family on the Airbnb website.
If you do intend to let out a room, even infrequently, you’ll need to notify your home insurer and this may result in an increase to your premiums. From time to time, you might get some guests who make odd requests or have strange habits that they ask you to accommodate. You may need to crank the heating up to keep them happy or need to be on hand for a late arrival. You’ll find the experience is what you make of it and it could well prove to be a learning curve!
Making your listing stand out
With so many listings to choose from, your home may need to have a few extra selling points to make it stand out. Aside from the perfect location – in the middle of a city centre or perhaps in a coastal tourist town – there are a few other attributes that travellers tend to look out for. If the room you’re renting out has a beautiful view or your home or garden is picture perfect, make sure you photograph and emphasise these selling points as well as posting photos of your interior. There are all sorts of properties on the site – from vast loft apartments to tiny bedrooms in windmills and the name of the game is to show off what made you fall in love with the property.
For those travelling in groups and even couples, being able to demonstrate the relaxation and entertainment potential of the place is also important. Whether you’re renting out the whole place or just a room make sure to mention whether you have a garden or somewhere to unwind. If you have a patio with a barbecue, go the extra mile and fit bi-fold doors for the perfect finish and dress the area for photos with fairy lights or festoon lights. The trick is to try and help travellers to imagine what it would be like to stay in your home.
How to be a good host
Whenever you make holiday arrangements you want to be put at ease and made to feel you’ve made the right decision with your booking, so good communications are key to being a great Airbnb host. Be clear, honest and prompt in replying. When your guests arrive, think about thoughtful gestures you could make such as providing a freshly baked or locally sourced snack along with a drink – you don’t need to spend a lot of money but it can help you make a good impression, which should help you gain good reviews. As mentioned, you may need to accommodate their heating preferences too. It’s also good practice to have extra linen and pillows on hand to ensure guests are comfortable.
Airbnb hosts tend to be naturally proud of their surroundings and have great knowledge, so be prepared to share your tips and recommendations for local attractions and eateries and how to travel to them. Some hosts like to compile a folder that visitors can refer to.
Have you ever thought about being an Airbnb host? Perhaps you have done some hosting already? If you’ve stayed in Airbnb accommodation, what has made particular trips stand out for reasons good or bad?
Please note, this is a sponsored post either written by myself or provided for me. All sponsored posts are carefully selected to appear on my blog if I feel they are of interest to myself and my followers. I hope you find it interesting and useful!