People all over the world list their properties on Airbnb and accept travelers looking for a unique local experience and stay. The popular booking platform has enabled the monetization of recreational properties, spare bedrooms, or unused basement suites globally and has been a fantastic opportunity for those entrepreneurial enough to try.
Have you thought about listing your own space(s) on Airbnb? While success is never guaranteed, if you provide an excellent experience in a great location, you could be well on your way to becoming a Superhost!
The 5 major steps to getting started on Airbnb
Half of the fun of Airbnb is the ability to rent out practically anything. If you can dream of it, it's likely already being rented on Airbnb. Knowing what type of space you intend on renting on Airbnb is the first step to starting your journey as an Airbnb host.
The most common place to start on Airbnb is a spare room or suite in your personal home. But for those without a home to rent, there are a few strategies available to list spaces on Airbnb, such as rental arbitrage, co-hosting, and/or property management. All three strategies allow you to rent out spaces that you don’t own, but it’s important to educate yourself on the legality and pros and cons of each.
If you’re really bold, perhaps you can try renting out a truly unique space.
6 Unique Spaces to Rent Out on Airbnb
Once you have the location secured, it's time to start creating the perfect atmosphere for your guests. Try to pick a theme and stick to it. Your theme does not need to be over-the-top; keep the design elements tasteful and playful.
Here are few ideas to get you started on your theme:
- Boho-chic Think hanging hammock chairs, warm tones, and modern art that feels cozy and comfortable.
- Chicago Style This theme has modern finishes and pops of color with exposed brick walls. Finding the perfect balance between classic and modern will be sure to set your Airbnb apart.
- Beachside Bring the outside in! Furnish your home with wicker furniture and driftwood accents with a bright and airy living room.
- Family Friendly Comfy couches, board games, and cozy spaces! Create a space that is great for families looking to spend time together. Make it pet-friendly for an extra bonus.
- Budget-Friendly Providing a budget-friendly option can be a great strategy. Look for great deals at Ikea, thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist. Just remember, budget-friendly doesn’t mean it has to look bland.
Now that you’ve found your space and determined your theme, your next step is to build your Airbnb team.
Think to yourself, what work will I do? What work will I contract out? Consider what you are excited to do, what you are good at, and what you are weak at. Having a strong team will be key to your success on Airbnb.
Team members and roles to consider are:
While many hosts choose to do all of the above, it can be a smart strategy to stick to your strengths and of course, consider your time. If you're only able to host part-time it may be necessary to find some help in the form of a co-host and/or cleaner. If you’re unable to provide any time to hosting, consider hiring a property manager to help you.
Once you’ve got your space, set up your unit, and built your team, the next step is getting your listing live on Airbnb. There are a number of decisions you’ll need to make in order to list effectively on the site, such as:
What will you title your property?
How do you want to market your property?
What type of guests do you want to attract?
What’s the best order of photos? What will be your hero image?
How will you price your property? Will you use a dynamic pricing tool and if so, which one will you pick? How will you determine your rate ceilings?
What should your fees be (cleaning, deposit, etc)? Will you include your cleaning fee separately or will you add it to your rate
Will you allow guests to book instantly?
What should your cancellation policy be?
Take your time and consider these questions carefully. Look at other Airbnb units in your market and Airbnbs that you really love. What are they doing that’s great? What would you do to improve?
Get a second pair of eyes to help in developing your listing. Ask a trusted friend or family member to look through your listing and provide honest feedback.
Setting up your listing and property is far from a make-it-and-forget-it process. Once you’ve got started, you should continue to review your performance on Airbnb, use guest feedback, and optimize your unit.
Consider the SEO of your Airbnb property. How can you get your property to rank higher in Airbnb search results?
Look into the performance metrics of your unit such as search to view and view to book. Can you impact these ratios by making edits to your title, descriptions, and photos?
Ask for reviews and feedback from guests. Use that feedback to improve and provide a better experience and stay.
Stay in your unit yourself from time to time. It can be very enlightening to find out what the true experience is like. Perhaps you’ll notice it’s too warm, the coffeemaker is hard to use, the bed is uncomfortable, or there is no good place to charge your phone. You’ll never know what it’s like to be a guest until you live it.
Starting an Airbnb venture involves finding your unique space, setting up a welcoming atmosphere, building an efficient team, crafting an appealing listing, and constantly improving based on guest feedback. By carefully curating your property and offering an exceptional guest journey, you can transform your space into a successful Airbnb listing, providing travelers with unforgettable stays while reaping the rewards of your hospitality.