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Airbnb tips can be tough to come by, as hosts don’t want to give their competitors any ideas. Hosting an Airbnb is one of the best ways to make a secondary income, but it’s also a big responsibility. Here are the top ten Airbnb tips every new host must know to make their listings successful and keep their properties secure.
1. Establish a Target Market
Your property might be able to accommodate a wide range of guests, but you should still establish a primary target market and form a solid renter base. Your location is the most important factor. Answering these questions about your location will help you determine the most appropriate target audience:
- What amenities and activities are available on your property?
- What are your neighbors like?
- What landmarks, attractions and other towns are nearby?
- What are the local public transportation options?
Your audience will probably fall into one of two demographics: families and groups of young travelers. These groups make up a majority of Airbnb renters. If you have family-friendly activities and attractions, the choice is obvious. Young renters aren’t as picky, but they don’t want to be near uptight neighbors. They want to cut loose and have a good time.
Segmenting your market will help you simplify your promotional efforts and build a following online. You’ll also be able to anticipate your guests’ needs more easily, since most of your renters will have the same priorities.
2. Watch Out for Bad Guests
Uncourteous guests are the biggest risks of hosting an Airbnb. They could leave behind a mess, damage your property or cause trouble with neighbors or local authorities. To weed out these bad apples, you need to set some ground rules. Most listings include these rules, at a bare minimum:
- No loud noise after midnight
- No parties exceeding X amount of people
- No food or drinks in bedrooms
- No smoking indoors
- No pets allowed
Many hosts also block off certain parts of the house, such as closets and garages, to keep valuable items safe. If you’re not sure about your next group of renters, look at their Airbnb profiles to see past reviews from other hosts. Reviews are your best friends in the hospitality industry.
3. Invest in Security Features
Most renters are trustworthy people, but you should still invest in security features to keep your property safe. Get cameras, floodlights, motion sensors, alarms and any other devices that you feel are necessary. You’ll be able to supervise the place from another location without bothering the guests.
4. Hire a Cleaning Service
Cleaning the house after guests leave is the worst part of hosting an Airbnb. They might leave a mess in the kitchen and bathrooms or fail to follow your waste disposal rules. Instead of dealing with these problems yourself, you should strongly consider hiring a professional cleaning service. It will make your house look more presentable and hospitable – especially on online listings – which will lead to more rentals.
5. Post Your Listing Everywhere
Speaking of online listings, you need to post your property everywhere. This is one of the most important Airbnb tips of all. Show off your property on prominent booking sites like Vrbo, Booking.com, and any other relevant platform you can find. Start social media accounts dedicated to your listing so guests can follow and interact with you. The more online engagement, the better.
6. Connect Your Calendars
When listing on multiple booking platforms, it can be difficult to keep your schedule organized. That’s why you need to connect your calendars to avoid double bookings. A property management system is a must-have tool for all Airbnb hosts. It will take care of all the reservation information, including pricing, availability, night requirements and other important details.
7. Keep Your Communication Lines Open
When your guests are enjoying themselves at your property, you have to stay on the loop. They might have questions or concerns that you need to address. Keep your phone on you at all times and check your email regularly in case something comes up. Being helpful and informative will also lead to more positive online reviews.
8. Take Advantage of Pricing Tools
Figuring out the best pricing for your listing can be difficult, especially in this volatile economy. Start by looking at the prices of comparable Airbnb listings in your area – places with similar square footage, amenities and other key features. This research will give you a ballpark range to aim for. Once you establish your price range, use an advanced pricing tool to narrow it down.
9. Get Help From a Co-Host
Most of these Airbnb tips revolve around improving the guest experience, but this one is all about you. Managing a rental property all by yourself is hard work. You can only be in so many places at once. Try to get your significant other, a relative or close friend to co-host the property with you. Many hands make light work!
10. Consider Long-Term Rentals
Long-term rentals are the keys to maximizing your revenue. You can start off with weekends and holidays, but once your renter base starts to grow, you can drastically increase your income by extending your rental times. The wider range of rental times you offer, the more business opportunities you will have.