10 Airbnb Tips and Ideas for New Hosts – You Must Do These!
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You’ve decided you want to make some extra cash each month by being an Airbnb host but you don’t know where to start. The market has become over-saturated with everyone and their mother renting out a spare bedroom or couch. You’re trying to make some real income and not be another listing that gets passed by. Well, don’t worry! I have a great list of Airbnb tips and ideas for new hosts.
Here are 10 Airbnb tips and ideas for new hosts:
1) Have a great listing
3) Clean Clean Clean
4) Pre-write most of your communications
5) Have basic food and drinks
6) Give your guests ideas for things to do
7) Always ask for the review
8) Be extra
9) Go with the flow
10) Be friendly
When I became a host in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, I wish I would have known half of these tips and ideas. At the time, we were just winging it and taking bits and pieces from online blog articles like this one.
If you read my article, 5 Passive Income Examples You Can Start Tomorrow, then you know I’m a HUGE fan of Airbnb and being a host. My roommate and I rented out an air mattress we bought off of Amazon for $100 at $45-$70 a night. What’s even crazier is we were booked probably 2/3rds of the month.
If we can accomplish that, then surely you can rent out almost anything. Enough on my story as an Airbnb host, let’s jump into the 10 Airbnb tips and ideas for new hosts.
1) Have A Great Listing
First impressions are everything. Most people who book an Airbnb do so through the app. This means you have a split second, or as fast as their thumb can scroll, to make a good impression.
Have you ever seen a clickbait YouTube video? A title and picture combo that sounds so ridiculous that it stops you and gets your attention? That’s the same tactic you need to employ when listing your place on Airbnb.
When we listed our air mattress (yes, the air mattress pictured above) we absolutely DID NOT use that as our cover picture. Instead, we used a picture of the rooftop pool that our complex had. This isn’t false advertising since we still included pictures of what people will be renting but we needed to stand out.
Look at these two listings in New York:
It’s pretty obvious which one you’re going to stop and look at first. Skyline view, the word private in the listing, and it’s close to Times Square? Sign me up!
Let’s say you have a killer listing and you’re starting to get requests from potential renters. First off, congratulations. Y
When a new guest requests to book your place, you have a set time period to either accept or reject them. This is your time to do due diligence on this person because they are still a stranger. I talk about screening questions a little later but know that you don’t have to accept everyone.
What you do have to do is communicate. As far as this person knows, they are good to go. They are going to show up on the dates they booked and that’s that. If you want to give this person a great experience, then you must initiate communication beforehand that is outside your screening questions.
You run the risk of annoying people here but when I see a host reaching out to me to make sure my experience is going to be the best it can be, I appreciate it and so do most others.
3) Clean Clean Clean
The trend of setting a good impression doesn’t stop in my third tip either. Having an extra clean place is essential to being successful as a new Airbnb host. Nothing will ruin tenants stay faster than walking into a dirty unit.
Being a new Airbnb host has much more to it than just getting paid. It takes work. It means you’re going to have to clean the bathroom between each guest. The bedding needs changed, toiletries re-stocked, and everything else tidied up.
Let’s be real here, cleaning sucks. If I could afford to hire a maid to do my dishes, wash my clothes, and vacuum my house I would.
Luckily for you, as a new Airbnb host, you can hire a maid if you’re willing to give up some of the profits. You see, you aren’t just a person renting out a spare bedroom. No, you’re a business and you can deduct expenses like cleaning done by a maid.
No matter which route you go you must make sure the job gets done and done right. You can do everything right but if you have a dirty listing, you will fail.
4) Pre-Write Most Of Your Communications
Many Airbnb new hosts don’t realize the work that goes into being successful. If you have a great listing then be prepared to be contacted constantly. To be honest my roommate did most of the back and forth with our tenants and he was great at it. He asked the right screening questions and was quick to answer any concerns.
What set him apart was that he had most of his responses are written. Most guests are going to ask the same thing so he typed out the most typical answers and saved them. The best part is all of this can be done and saved in t
In addition to answering questions, having things like your welcome message, house rules, and directions are all great things to pre-write and save.
By doing this, you’re going to become a much faster communicator which will make your guests feel important and save you time.
5) Have Basic Food and Drinks
You aren’t a hotel, you’re an Airbnb, so guests don’t really expect much besides a place to sleep and shower. This is where you can take advantage of the opportunity and fill that gap. The
This isn’t going to break the bank but it will make their experience better and in turn, lead to a better review. Let them know they are welcome to the water bottles in the fridge or the bananas and apples on the counter. Nothing crazy here, just an extra touch.
When I stayed in Cocoa Beach, Florida the host offered to make breakfast for us. I’m not saying you have to go that far, but being more than a place to sleep will help your business in the long run.
6) Give Your Guests Ideas For Things To Do
When Airbnb first started, it was geared more towards people that were traveling. People that didn’t want to pay for an expensive hotel but didn’t want to go the route of couch surfing. Since then, there has been a shift and renting through Airbnb has become more mainstream.
When I was a host we would have a high percentage of our renters be people that were traveling for business. They would get a set amount from
This tip isn’t geared towards those people. Rather, towards the people who are traveling and exploring a new location. When you’re a new host, you have the opportunity to be a tour guide. You can show off your city and send people to the little known spots that only the locals know.
You can take it a step further and create a guide that sits on your coffee table. I have been a guest before where they had a notebook with laminated pages. Restaurants, shows, and free attractions were a part of it.
7) Always Ask For Reviews
To keep your listing popping up on potential renters feeds, you need to be getting great reviews. If you are the best host in the world that has the cleanest place and the best snacks then people need to know.
I would argue that reviews are most commonly the second thing people look at on a listing after your pictures. They want to know what you are all about and what other people experienced. Who would you rather book with? Someone who has 0 reviews or someone who has dozens of 4-5 star reviews?
When it comes to reviews, my top tip for new Airbnb hosts is to actually ask for them.
Yes, as soon as your renters check out ask them through a pre-written note in the app. We did this but took a step even further by asking them for a 5-star review specifically. We made a complete circle with our communication and wanted to make sure their stay was the best it could possibly be.
At first, this felt pushy but we noticed people wouldn’t do it unless you asked. Moreover, if you ask specifically for 5-stars, the chances of you actually receiving them go up exponentially.
8) Be Extra
People think that being extra is a bad idea. Most of the time this is true, but when it comes to being a new host on Airbnb you MUST be extra. You’re new to the scene and trying to compete against hundreds, if not thousands, of other listings in your area.
You’ve already taken the steps I talked about above and have a perfect listing with a ton of reviews. These are just the bare minimum. It’s time to take it to the next level and be extra.
Now when I say extra I don’t mean be outrageous or crazy. Really, all I’m talking about here is doing something a little beyond what you think you need to do. For example, my roommate and I would lay mints and a fresh pair of earplugs on the bed for our guests. A simple gesture that cost next to nothing but people really appreciated it.
If you want to take it a step further and actually be extra, then act like you’re running a 5-star resort. I would fold the towels for our guests into animals. Yes, I realize this sounds dumb but it took me a 5-minute YouTube video to learn and it got a ton of laughs. Guests loved it. Here’s my attempt at a swan.
9) Go With The Flow
The best tip I can give to any new Airbnb host is that you need to learn to go with the flow. Whether you know it or not, you are starting a business and there will
I’ve had towels ruined, things stolen and used band-aids left in my shower. You’ll have people blasting music late in the night and making a racket early in the morning.
It is going to be frustrating and downright gross at times but it’s part of it. In the end, it’s all worth it.
There are two ways you can ease the pain that a tenant may cause. The first is by having a set of house rules (which I mentioned in number four) that should go out before their stay. In the end, it’s still your place and you make the rules. If you need some ideas on how to make this document read How To Set Airbnb House Rules.
The second way to make this easier is by leveraging Airbnb’s customer service. Airbnb has a great system for filing complaints against renters. Their process is fast and effective. When a renter lost the key, we charged them $10 and were paid almost immediately.
Even with these two safeguards in place, things will still go wrong. Just remember at the end of the day, you’re going to have more money in your pocket.
10) Be Friendly
While number 9 was my best tip, I think being friendly is my favorite out of all the Airbnb tips and ideas for new hosts. You just can’t beat friendly and when you show that positive attitude towards a guest, they will 100% have a better stay.
If you have the opportunity to get to know your guests, do it! With our situation and the air mattress, we were somewhat forced to interact with our guests. This was a blessing in disguise as I got to meet a ton of amazing different people. We had a guest in town for a conference from Microsoft, people exploring America from China, and others that just flew in for a concert.
Speaking of that concert, I went to it with them. Have you ever heard of the Disco Biscuits? Yeah, me neither until I went and saw them on New Years Eve. It was an amazing experience that came about because we were friendly towards our guest.
It’s true, we became hosts on Airbnb to make some side cash and we did. But the side e
How do I become an Airbnb host?
Chances are if you’re reading this article then you’ve already started the process of becoming a host. If you haven’t though, then welcome! Hopefully, this article has opened your eyes to the possibilities of being a great new Airbnb host and hasn’t scared you away.
If you’re looking to sign up then visit Airbnb’s site here.
To qualify as a host, you have to fulfill these items per the Airbnb website:
- Provide essential amenities
- Be responsive
- Accept reservation requests
- Avoid cancellations
- Maintain a high overall rating
Seems simple enough right?
Is hosting on Airbnb worth it?
This is a question that no one can answer but yourself. I’ll be honest, having the extra income each month was great but it could be quite annoying at times. Since we hosted in our living room that meant it was basically off limits to us. If I wanted to go out on the weekends I would have to go somewhere else and bed time was usually quite early.
Most won’t be hosting out of their living room though so it may be more feasible. Overall, I’d say it was 100% worth it.
How much can I expect to make as an Airbnb host?
This will be heavily dependent on your market and the prices it has set from supply/demand.
The study went on to say this is 3x more than the average side hustle. Not too shabby.
The Bottom Line
Becoming a host can be quite scary. Hopefully, after reading this list, you’ve become more comfortable with the tips and ideas to make you the best new Airbnb host possible.
The truth is anyone can do the basics but it’ll reflect directly in how much money they make. If you go above and beyond you will be overbooked before you know it and will have built a great source of second income.
Who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it so much you want to expand and start buying other pieces of property to list on Airbnb like condos or homes. The sky is the limit.
Ps. if you’re completely new to Airbnb and want to try it out as a guest first then click the button below to get a $55 towards your first trip!
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