If you haven’t skipped out on a stark hotel room and opted for the cozy, home-team advantage of an Airbnb, you might want to reconsider your on-the-road rituals. After all, Airbnb has gone above and beyond to solidify their network of eager hosts as a great way for anyone to see cities near and far as a local –– and in the comfort of a home, rather than beneath scratchy hotel sheets and fluorescent lighting. So often, we think about where to go when you’re escaping your home, but what about how you can put your house to work for you?
If you have been an airbnber, you’ll recognize that not all airbnbs were made equal. Some you feel compelled to leave a rave review for, swearing to other internet trolls, that this is a “hidden treasure” that they should definitely visit, but not tell too many people about because…well, quite frankly, you want to be able to book this place again whenever you damn well please. Some, you feel compelled to leave an okay review and slide some helpful tips to the host via direct messages ( Ex: Great place! Towels only covered half of my (admittedly large) bottom, though!). Some are just downright a disappoint –– though admittedly, in my experience, the bad apples have been thankfully few and far between.
If you have a home in a hot spot though (or even a corner of your home that you’re willing to share) , AirBNB can be a great way to make pretty passive income. Before you create a listing and subject yourself to the reviews and direct messages, though, here are some tips to make sure your airBNB is a 5-star find:
Snap good pics!
First impressions are everything, and that goes for impressions made over the Internet, too. While the space you’re working with is important, there are also little things you can do to make it shine when you showcase it to the world. First off, photograph in natural light – and if your space is lacking in light, up the exposure and contrast when you’re editing your photos. Also, try to show your space from as many different angles as possible (when it’s looking its neatest, of course!).
Communicate, communicate, communicate
When people are searching for a place to lay their head, they aren’t going to give your place the benefit of the doubt. You need to clearly list what your place offers – and that means accurately checking the boxes for any amenities guests will have available to them ( wireless internet, kitchen essentials, shampoo & conditioner, Hulu., etc). Also, if an interested party reaches out to you with a question, be sure to be friendly and timely in your response. A cute space loses its charm quick if you’re not around to sell it.
Also, be honest about your pad’s shortcoming – but in a clever way. “Steps from the action of downtown” can clue guests in to the fact that they might be in for noisy nights, or “historic touches” can tip off potential customers to the fact that things won’t be brand new. The best complaints are ones that aren’t warranted – let your guests know what they’re in for so they have less room for whining when the dust settles on the other end of their stay.
Go the extra mile
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been debating between two airbnbs, and one review mentioning snacks sways me one way or the other. Some hosts put out a few snacks, or a bottle of wine for their guests – and while it might seem like a bit of effort (ugh, effort), in reality you can do something seemingly special for $10 dollars or so, and potentially make more bookings happen as a result. If you’re one of those above and beyond people, though, some other things you can do are create a binder with local tips and suggestions, offer booking services for local tours, or make it a real BNB experience with breakfast included. Food, in snack, breakfast – or truly any form – can work wonders for any business venture.
Make sure the price is right
What to charge, what to charge? Getting the price just right is a key part of making sure your place is booked as often as possible. The best way to estimate how much guests are willing to pay is to peruse other similar, nearby listings and see what they charge. Consider offerings discounted rates during weeknights or for extended stays as well.
Turn your mortgage into more moola. Go on now…