I won’t go into details here because the idea of talking about cleaning bores me to tears. Just keep all surfaces spick and span, vacuum and mop the floors regularly, wash up after yourself, don’t leave crap lying around, make sure all communal spaces are orderly and ensure your guest room is immaculate. This goes without saying but ALWAYS have clean bed linen and towels for your guests.
If you don’t think you can do this, then outsource. Pay somebody else your cleaning fee.
8. Be quick with your communication + keep all payments through Airbnb
As a host, a big part of your ratings comes through keeping a prompt, clear and open line of communication. Don’t leave it too long to respond to your guest enquiries and as mentioned previously, make sure you are super-duper honest about everything. For example, don’t say you’re close to transport when you have to walk 10km to find the nearest train station or bus. Naturally, this is going to reflect poorly in your reviews.
Another thing is, while it’s tempting to take cash from your guests, for instance if they want to stay an extra night or they want to include another guest, you’ll be leaving yourself vulnerable. While Airbnb do take a small cut, you are protected by them to up to $1 million, in case anything untoward happens. There is also the added security of knowing that Airbnb has run checks on your guests before they enter your home.
One other thing you might want to consider is, looking into extra cover for the rare case of theft or intentional damage to your property. There may be an option to update your home and contents insurance to include a renter’s policy. Some insurance companies may even have something specifically for Airbnb. Call them up and ask.
9. Turn off automatic bookings and consider your minimum night stay requirements
Now Airbnb will try to convince you that by having the automatic bookings feature on, will make you more attractive to guests and therefore will bring you in more money. To be honest, it’s a real pain in the buttocks. One, you don’t get to vet who is coming to stay, and two, you have to make sure your calendar is up to date. For instance, if you forget to block off time in your calendar for your cousin’s wedding and somebody books in, Airbnb will penalize you when you go to cancel that booking. They don’t take money from you, but it may spoil your chances of becoming a Superhost, which gives your profile more visibility.
Honestly, I have had so much success by switching this feature off. It really is no biggie for someone to send you a quick message asking you if they can stay. It also helps you get a clear idea of the person and why they are travelling to your area.
I also changed my minimum night stay requirements to three nights. I was finding that by allowing for the one-night stay, I was missing out on longer bookings and I was forever washing bed linen.
10. Adopt a business mindset + use referral links to grow your travel fund
I mentioned this previously, but I think it’s worth saying again – “adopt a business mindset” and be professional. This doesn’t mean that you have to be constantly “on” in your own home. In fact, some guests may not want you engaging with them all the time and may give off the vibe that they want their own space. A Superhost is good at reading people and this is definitely a skill that can be learned.
Adopting a business mindset simply means having a presentable space that someone would like to stay in and making it your business to ensure your guest feels safe and comfortable. You could also look at offering discounts on longer bookings, or extras such as free milk and coffee or breakfast after the first night, to make your profile more attractive. You could even offer free walking tours around the neighbourhood.
If you are not sure on what to charge per night, you can turn on the Smart Pricing feature. This allows you to set your prices to automatically go up or down based on changes in demand for listings like yours. These are controlled by settings that you can adjust at any time.
Another thing is to take advantage of Airbnb’s generous referral program. Let this money bank up and you can put this towards your own travel or anything for that matter. For instance, when you sign up to Airbnb you get your own unique referral links that you can use to encourage people to use Airbnb as guests or become hosts. You get paid around $30 if you refer a traveller who books into a place worth $75 or more, and its $75 if you refer someone who becomes a host and takes their first booking. Once you become a Superhost, this amount increases.
Anyhow – I sincerely hope this article was useful to you and if you were thinking of becoming a host, this has inspired you to do so. I can’t stress enough how Airbnb hosting has changed my life in a positive way. As mentioned previously, my world is so much bigger. I am connected to some of the most interesting, loveliest people from all corners of the earth. Now that I am financially secure, the money I make through Airbnb is helping me save up for an around the world trip, which I’m excited to share more about in future posts.
So, if you are ready to host, I am here to help you. I am offering to help 25 people get set up and ready to start hosting and on their way to becoming a Superhost.
All you need to do is sign up for an account using my *referral link below and I will give you:
A 1hr Coaching Session over Skype or FaceTime: In this session we will set up your profile so that you are ready to take your first booking. While I can’t take your pictures for you, I can give you advice on how to take good ones.
Access to an exclusive Facebook group for continued support
So are you ready to jump in? Click here to get started. Once you have signed up for your account, let me know. I will then be in contact to help you finish setting up your profile and get you ready to host your first guest.