Airbnb has shot to the top of the rental world in the last few years, prompting many property owners to consider listing their properties on the famous site to create additional revenue streams.
If you have been thinking about this and want to learn how to set up Airbnb and become an Airbnb host, there are steps within the process that you will need to understand in order to be successful.
That is why our team at Topkey have brought the entire process into one place so that you can better understand what setting up an Airbnb will require from you. Take a look at our new Airbnb Starter Pack that takes care of the entire process for you if you wish to skip all of the hard work required for setting up your Airbnb. Keep reading to know more about what goes into setting up and listing an Airbnb.
Before You Begin the Listing Process
Before beginning the listing process, there are a few considerations that you will need to make that will help determine if setting up a short-term rental is a practical option and whether you are going to have the time for the entire application process.
Evaluate Your Goals
Understanding and defining your desired outcomes from the beginning allows you to decide on how much capital you are willing to put towards the Airbnb venture, like purchasing furniture or deciding how much to upgrade the property and put towards general maintenance. Consider whether this is something that you just want to earn casual income from every now and again, or whether it will be your full-time venture and your primary form of income.
Understand That You Are Inviting Strangers into Your Home
It is important to adjust to this idea if you haven’t already, because as well as letting strangers into your home or property, you will also need to have effective communication skills for dealing with a wide range of customers.
Based on whether you want to casually rent your home or want to make it a full time venture will also help you understand how much risk you will be taking. Occasionally renting your property has less risk of damage simply because there will be less people coming and going, so a full time Airbnb will inherently have more risk that you will need to be prepared for.
Generally speaking, your existing home insurance plan is not going to cover you for damages when the property is being rented. Check out Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance to see if it provides enough protection for your needs, and make sure to think about the range of additional insurance options for better coverage.
Research Your Local Laws In Case You Have to Register with the Local Government
Your local city, county, and state tax authorities will likely require that you register your Airbnb property with them, and your listing will also need to be listed with the state tax authority as a business. In some cities, it is also necessary to acquire a permit or license before setting up a short-term rental property.
At the moment, Airbnb does help property owners to calculate, collect, and remit the occupancy tax of a particular area, however they don’t always do this so it is good to know the specific requirements for your area.
Consider How Much Time You Have to Invest
After you set up your listing and are ready to go, it is important to understand that money won’t simply start coming in without additional time and effort from you. It will take some time to talk with potential guests before they confirm a booking, and it will also take a bit of your time to check guests in and out as well as working hard to generate great reviews.
Some parts of this process can be automated to save you time, but just know that your rental is going to require a consistent time commitment to ensure that each guest has a great experience.
Think of How You Will Position Your Property
While quality photos taken by a professional photographer are a must, they are not the only thing you need to think about when marketing your property. Consider what qualities your property and the surrounding area have that set it apart from other listings, and use these unique qualities to target your preferred market. A property that is unique and offers something different from others will stand out and attract a more specific group of customers.
Will Your Neighbors Accept Airbnb?
An angry neighbor can disrupt or even kill your Airbnb listing, so if the property is within a gated community with shared space, or if your neighbors are sensitive to noise disturbances, then you will need to keep them in mind and manage your relationship with your neighbors to keep them happy while also communicating the specific noise-related rules to your guests.
With all of that considered, it’s time to move on to creating and running your listing on Airbnb.
Sign in and Start the Listing Process
Go to the Airbnb website and click on the “Become a Host” button where you can log in if you already have an account, or sign up and fill out the form to begin the process. It is common for Airbnb to use your IP address to find your location so that they can show you average weekly earnings in your area for additional motivation. If your Airbnb property is in another location, then you can change your “default” city in the settings to get the relevant data.
When you start listing your property, Airbnb will ask you what type of property (home, hotel etc.) you will be listing, whether the guests will have the entire place for themselves or just a private/shared room, how many guests can you accommodate, how many beds are available and what type of beds are they, how many bathrooms, and the property’s location.
You will need to distinguish between shared rooms, private rooms, and entire homes/apartments. A shared room is where guests do not have their own room and must share with other people, like the host, while a private room is where they have their own room but need to share the rest of the house with others. If you want to rent out multiple rooms, it is best to list each room individually.
In most areas, the law will require that your property also has the correct amount of safety amenities, like a smoke and carbon monoxide detector, first aid kit, safety card, fire extinguisher, and bedroom locks.
You will also need to list exactly what spaces within the house guests can use and what amenities are offered. This includes things such as:
- Hot tub
And anything else that your property has to offer guests. Note however that if your description of the property is inaccurate and still attracts a guest who books in, you won’t be able to change the listing information without first sending a request to the guest which may lose that booking. That is why it is important to be truthful and accurate in this stage of the process.
Once you have added all of this along with the other relevant information for the Airbnb listing process, it is time to move onto the advertising stage.
Create Your Advertising Content
Your advertising is what really presents your Airbnb experience to guests and should be taken seriously. This is going to comprise a series of high-quality photos, your property description, and most importantly, the name of your listing.
For your property photos, it is important to capture each of the rooms and spaces available for guests so that they can better imagine what the space looks like and has to offer. You can just add 1 image to start with and come back to this stage later, but it is generally recommended to upload around 20 images before listing.
Because of how important first impressions are, while you can take these photos yourself, it is generally recommended to get the help of a professional photographer who can make use of lighting, camera angles, and high-quality equipment that will drive guests your way.
You will also need to have a profile photo for your listing which needs to capture the unique and special vibe of the property, which a professional will be able to help with.
For the name of your listing, you will have a total of 50 characters so make sure that you use them wisely and imbue the name with the character of the property.
The property description itself will need to include a general summary that describes the décor, lighting, and nearby amenities that will instantly highlight to guests what they are in for followed by a detailed description of the space, what areas guests can access, whether you will be available to help during their stay, information about the neighborhood, and any other useful information. It also helps to outline if your property is perfect for families, large groups of people, or if it is pet friendly.
Preparing Everything for Guests
After covering all of the property information for your listing, the next stage is going to revolve around preparing for your guests.
At this stage, Airbnb will help you to set a number of house rules for your guests by presenting you with a list of yes/no questions, such as is your property suitable for pets? Children aged 2-12? Is smoking allowed? From these questions you will build your house rules that will guide your guests.
You will also have the opportunity here to list out important details about the property that guests will need to know, such as if they will need to climb stairs, if you already have pets there, whether there is potential for noise outside, and more.
You will need to note though that if you say your listing is safe for children, you will have to ensure that every sleeping area and floor has a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector, removable safety gates for stairs, a gate and fence for any pool areas, and more which you can learn about on the Airbnb website here.
From this information, Airbnb users can be filtered so that the qualified users can locate your listing and book with you. You will also be able to make the most of the Airbnb calendar where you can choose the dates for when the property will be available for renters and when it will not.
Setting the Right Price
When it comes to the rental price, you can start off by comparing your listing with other similar ones in the same area to see what the general going rate is. Airbnb offers two methods for you to set your price. The first one is a fixed price where you set it and it stays there, although you can set different prices for weekends if you wish. The other is Airbnb Smart Pricing, which automatically adjusts your price based on demand. You can set the price range yourself for this one, and there is also the option of adding in weekly or monthly discounts for customers.
Once you have completed all of the above, your listing will be ready to hit Airbnb and start bringing in guests, and some additional income for you.
If, however, the entire process seems like a little too much, or you are unsure of the local laws you have to abide by, then you can hand over the hard work to the professionals at Topkey who will get you started on Airbnb in an instant without any hassle. The Topkey Airbnb Starter Pack ensures that your property is captured through the lens of a professional photographer and that the entire listing registration and profile setup process is taken care of to the highest degree, all for a small and very affordable fee.