If you have the space, why not, right? This is the thought process behind many people who join the Airbnb arena because they have a room or property they’re not using themselves. And then the problems start.
The truth? If you don’t have your ducks in a row and consider everything from Airbnb insurance to cleaning up once the guests leave, this dream business idea may turn into a nightmare.
To help you plan well, start well and maintain success, here are our top 5 tips.
1. Have Insurance in Place – No Compromise
You’re using a very valuable asset – a property – for this business venture. Unfortunately, it will be at the mercy of guests you know nothing about. They could sneak in pets that ruin your bedding or they can throw wild parties and break all your plates in the kitchen. Or they could simply not know how the pizza oven works and ruin it in the process.
For these scenarios and more, insurance specifically related to the risks of an Airbnb business is essential. You can rest easy at night knowing that even though you’re not on-site, problems ranging from tsunamis to a tenant turning into a TV thief won’t harm your pocket.
2. House Rules – Be Clear
Now, some of the problems covered by insurance can be prevented if you inform your tenants well from the start. You do have the right to set ground rules and it’s a helpful tool to keep individuals accountable and avoid conflict.
For example, you need to keep your neighbours happy or they may complain about your business and ruin your reputation. This means your guests shouldn’t anger the people living around that property. So, communicate rules that ensure neighbours’ preferences are respected. Examples:
- Don’t park on a neighbour’s driveway
- Say until what time loud music is acceptable at night
- Instead of bothering neighbours for directions to attractions, give them a number to reach you instead
Other topics you can provide rules for are:
- Smoking in the house
- Whether pets are allowed
- If you expect guests to clean dishes
- Whether they are allowed to eat in bedrooms
Clearly, rules protect you and your asset but many guests will also welcome house rules. It helps them understand what is acceptable and they won’t be charged a penalty fee without them even knowing they did something wrong.
3. Offer Features that Impress – Make Sure They Want to Come Again
Your wishes matter but so do the guests’. The way you benefit from word of mouth and return clients is by providing visitors with elements that set your listing apart and ensure a comfortable, effortless stay.
Experienced Airbnb hosts know the value of the following:
- Internet access—high speed is best
- State of the art appliances, especially a large TV in the lounge
- Streaming options, such as Netflix
- Detailed information about the area, such as restaurants and attractions
- Contact numbers of vendors they can trust, from eateries to taxis to doctors
- Easy access with controlled access via a keypad—no need for them to wait for someone to deliver a key if they arrive late at night
- Welcome baskets with snacks (and the house rules)
These small details help create a 5-star experience that people will wish to enjoy again.
4. Managing the Site – Use the Best in the Business
Having an Airbnb sounds like a romantic notion, but it takes a lot of work to keep a place clean and in top condition.
Do you really have the time to handle it all yourself?
To maintain the quality of what you offer guests—even if your own life is hectic at times—it’s best to ask experts to assist. The industry has become so popular that there are many service providers who offer exactly what an Airbnb owner needs:
- Advertising your listing with the right audience, for example travelling businessmen if you cater for this niche.
- Cleaning before and after guests arrive.
- Managing the property and meeting guests to drop off keys if necessary.
- Properly cleaning all bedding.
Delivering top quality at all times can take more time than you anticipate. And since this is a business, you can’t risk disappointing a client simply because you didn’t have time to deep clean the bathroom this week. Rather have a contract with the pros, so it’s taken care of.
5. It’s a Business – Manage it That Way
You can see certain aspects of Airbnb management requires discipline, tough decision making and the right partnerships. It’s no different than any other business you may have. So, why not talk to experts in the field or even a business coach to help you upgrade your offerings.
Also, just as cash flow is important for any business, you may need some money before the next guest makes a payment. This explains the value of having a source of cash in places, such as an establishment offering a small loan or a cash advance should you need it.
You’ve Got This!
Nervous now? Don’t be! The millions of Airbnb hosts prove this is a smart industry to get into. And now you know how to blow your audience away with what you offer.