Airbnb has taken the travel and tourism industry by a storm, and if you’re not already using the popular home sharing website to earn a passive income, you’re missing out.
Research carried out by respected economist Gene Sperling shows that the extra money middle class families are earning through Airbnb can be compared to a salary increase of 14%. According to the report, a typical host with one listing earns around US$7,500 through Airbnb each year, and this supplemental income is used for everything from traveling and vacationing to bills and mortgages or unexpected medical expenses.
If you’re thinking of hosting on Airbnb or are already using it to rent out a spare room or entire property while you’re away, there might be small changes you can make to increase your listing’s popularity. Airbnb’s 2015 award winners recently shared some advice on how to be a better host and boost your earnings, so here are a few tips based on their insights.
Be a good communicator
One thing the Airbnb ‘Super Hosts’ all agree on is that communicating clearly and efficiently is very important if you want to keep guests happy, get good reviews and build up a good reputation.
For starters, make sure your property description on Airbnb is as clear and detailed as possible and include plenty of photos so guests know exactly what they can expect. Highlight what makes your property special and describe its amenities as well as how far it is from nearby attractions, shops or public transportation.
Secondly, make sure you respond to any messages as soon as possible and try to have a brief exchange with guests before they book to ensure that your property will be a good fit for them.
Pay attention to the details
It’s often little details like a welcome note or fresh flowers that can make people feel welcome and at home, so look for ways to make your guests’ arrival special and help them settle in.
For example, it could be helpful to provide a list of any emergency numbers, your personal contact information, relevant passwords and phone numbers for local restaurants, taxis or other useful services.
You can also think about including inexpensive extras to make a good impression, such as travel adapters, toiletries and kitchen basics such as oil, salt, pepper, tea and coffee. Some hosts even like to leave little welcome gifts like a bottle of wine or locally produced snacks and delicacies of the region.
Home improvements can add value
Although you don’t have to do a home makeover before listing your property on Airbnb, there are certain renovations or home improvements that can help you increase your asking price and make more money in the long run.
For instance, simply giving your home a fresh coat of paint can make it seem a lot more welcoming. Bigger changes that would enable you charge more per night might include ensuite bathrooms and kitchenettes or outdoor spaces like decks, patios and gazebos.
You should also make sure that everything in and around your home is in good working order by checking for issues like clogged drains, leaky pipes and broken switches or light bulbs.
Let some personality shine through
It should go without saying that your property needs to be immaculately clean and tidy before you welcome any guests, and it’s always best to put away any personal effects or photos that might make your guests feel uncomfortable.
But, since one big reason people choose Airbnb over traditional hotels is that they’re looking for a unique experience, your home shouldn’t become sterile or boring either. Find little ways to let your personality shine through in your home’s décor, whether it’s bold colors and designs, iconic photographs of your city or artistic collages and paintings.
It’s also important to consider your target audience when decorating, because certain styles may appeal more to a particular group of people, such as families with kids, couples or budget travelers.
Featured photo credit: Bench Accounting via unsplash.com