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Is Airbnb for you?

couple standing together at the front door of a residence looking inside smiling

Have you been thinking about being an Airbnb host to make a little extra cash but aren’t sure what you might be getting yourself into? If so, check out these tips to make your efforts successful:

Be honest about what you have to offer
While it might be tempting to embellish the accommodations you have to offer, it will not end up working to your advantage. If you don’t represent what you have to offer honestly, your guests will be disappointed and will let others know via the power of online reviews. Keep your descriptions and pictures true to what you really have to offer a guest.

Know your local laws
The laws about hosting guests in a residential property vary from city to city and from state to state. In addition, if you rent and are looking to sublet your space, there may be consequences with your landlord. It’s worth letting your landlord know your plans and looking up local laws.

Keep transactions and communications within Airbnb
It’s true that Airbnb does take a cut of your profit, and while it may be tempting to try to work “outside” of the platform to save money, you’ll be leaving yourself vulnerable to liabilities. By hosting your rental through Airbnb, you are insured by Airbnb for up to $1 million. You also benefit from added security because the company vets your renters.

Advocate for yourself
The majority of guests you attract are likely to be very nice and polite. However, if you have a renter that makes you uncomfortable, make sure to address it directly and/or get Airbnb involved. Contacting Airbnb using a direct message on Twitter via @Airbnb is ideal. In addition, be sure to fill out the House Rules section of your host profile so renter expectations are clear.

Consider minimum night stay requirements
If you’re letting guests book one night only, you’ll be doing a lot more clean-up. You also might miss out on a longer and more lucrative booking. Consider enforcing at least a two-night stay minimum.

View Airbnb as a business
When it comes to competing in the Airbnb space, consider what “add-ons” you can offer to make your listing more attractive. Think about offering free breakfast, complimentary snacks, a guided walk through your neighborhood or special prices for repeat bookings.

Take advantage of referral links to get bonuses
Every Airbnb gets a unique referral link that earns them Airbnb credit whenever they get another person to sign up. Typically, this averages between $25 and $35 if you refer a traveler (once they book a stay for $75 or more) and $75 if you refer someone who becomes a host (once they welcome their first guest).

Create a travelers' guide
Consider providing guests with a custom travelers’ kit, complete with local neighborhood attractions, running and bike trails, parks, restaurants, transportation tips, and coupons. This offers a new level of personalized, helpful information that guests will appreciate.

These are just a few tips to help you get started with Airbnb. Keep this list on hand should you choose to venture into the world of Airbnb hosting.


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