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5 Easy Steps to Starting an Airbnb Vacation Rental

5 Easy Steps to Starting an Airbnb Vacation Rental

Have you thought about listing your own short-term rental space 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.

There are 5 major steps to getting started on Airbnb:

  1. Find an Airbnb space to rent
  2. Set up & furnish your Airbnb property
  3. Build your Airbnb team
  4. Create your Airbnb listing
  5. Optimize your Airbnb listing and property

5 Steps to Starting an Airbnb

Step 1: Find an Airbnb space

Half of the fun of Airbnb vacation rentals is the ability to rent out practically anything. Knowing what type of space you intend on renting is the first step to starting your journey as an Airbnb host.

You can start with a spare room or suite in your personal home, or if you own it, rent out an entire home.

Rental arbitrage, co-hosting and property management are other starting points. They allow you to rent out spaces that you don’t own, but make sure you’re on top of the legal grounds of each.

Step 2: Set up & furnish your Airbnb property

Once you’ve secured the location, start creating the perfect atmosphere for your guests.

Pick a theme and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top. Keep the design elements of your vacation rental tasteful and playful.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • 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 short-term rental 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 will create a space that is great for families looking to spend time together. Make it pet-friendly for an extra bonus.

  • Budget-friendly

Look for great deals at Ikea, thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Remember that budget-friendly doesn’t mean it has to look bland.

Step 3: Assemble your team

Consider what tasks you will take on and which ones you will contract out. Take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses as well as which property management tasks excite you and which don’t.

Having a strong team will be key to your success on Airbnb.

Team members and roles to consider:

● Cleaning staff


● Property manager

● Accountant

● Co-hosts

● Emergency contacts

Step 4: Create your Airbnb listing

There are a number of decisions you’ll need to make to create an compelling listing:

● 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?

Consider these questions carefully. Look at what your local competitors and favorite listings are doing well. What would you do to improve?

Get a second pair of eyes to help. Ask a trusted friend or family member to look through your listing and provide honest feedback.

Step 5: Optimize your Airbnb

Optimizing your Airbnb listing and property is far from a make-it-and-forget-it process. Once you’ve got started, continue to review your performance on the booking platform.

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.

Setting Up for Airbnb Success

Set your vacation rental up for success from the start.

Make strategic decisions based on research and keep tinkering based on learnings and market trends. Take advantage of property management software like Hostaway so you can not only manage your first property outstandingly but keep growing into greater success.

Ready to find out how Hostaway can transform your business?

Hostaway is proud to support thousands of Property Managers and Airbnb Hosts Around the world. We take pride in being Top Ranked in Vacation Rental Software Review Sites: Capterra, G2, Software Advice, Trust Pilot, to name just a few! Check out our reviews and read the Hostaway Case Studies from real successful and growing Short-Term Rental Managers!