From weekend ‘staycations’ just a few hours from home to business trips and far-flung European getaways, Airbnb has transformed the way the world travels. But beyond being a guest, Airbnb also opens up a world of opportunities for hosts and homeowners.
Essentially, Airbnb empowers you with the chance to travel the world, simply by welcoming guests into your home. An ‘armchair traveller’ if you will. And of course, make a little income in the process. So if you have a spare room, why not consider becoming an Airbnb host? There are so many amazing reasons to join the hosting community, and we’ve outlined some of our favourites below:
- Airbnb loves seniors!
Not only are over 60s one of Airbnb’s fastest growing demographics, but they’re also one of its best reviewed.
- Lovely ladies are safe, and welcome
In fact, Airbnb just released new data revealing that women over 60 are one of its biggest up and coming host demographics.
- You can earn an extra income from renting out a spare room
To be specific, Airbnb estimates that the average senior host makes around US$8,350 annually via home-sharing. The website features a great income estimate function which should give you a good idea of how much you could earn.
- The art of hosting is a hobby in itself
Feeling lonely? Craving a little excitement in your life? With Airbnb, you can meet new people, make new friends and become the host with the most.
- Total control
Unlike hotels, Airbnb offers hosts total control over who they welcome into their home. Simply opt out of ‘Instant Book’ and give potential guests a once over before you accept their request.
Now we’ve covered why Airbnb rocks, let’s explore how can you get on the Airbnb bandwagon.
Step 1 – Getting Started
First things first, head over to Airbnb and familiarise yourself with the site. When you’ve had a look around, click on the ‘Become a Host’ option at the top of the page. Click on ‘List Your Space’ and follow the prompts.
Step 2 – The Details
You’ll now be at the beginning of the registration process, where you’re prompted to enter all the juicy details about your fabulous property. Start off with your exact address, so guests know where they’ll be bunking down. You’ll then need to specify what kind of property you’re listing, and your maximum guest capacity. You can also add details about the bed itself, the bathroom and a string of extras like Wi-Fi, pool access, parking etc.
Then comes the fun stuff. You’ll need to create a title, which acts as a hook.
There’s only so many characters you can use, so make every word count. Draw on descriptive and appealing adjectives, like cosy, sunny, spacious, stylish and so on. Write how you talk, and remember that Airbnb guests love a casual, chatty tone.
“Beautiful sunny double room in a lovingly restored heritage home”
Need inspiration? Airbnb has some great tips on writing property descriptions here!
Step 3 – Set the Scene
Now it’s time to set the scene and start enticing guests. Make sure you’ve got some great photos, not just of the room but of the entire house. This includes the front facade, back garden and even the neighbourhood. Ask around and see if you can rope in a talented ‘friend of a friend’ photographer to help you out, or splash out on professional pics. Nice photos make such a difference, so make sure you do your space justice. You can add a description of your property, the room, and any other information you’d like to share. Use ‘The Space’ section to add details about the room itself, and the ‘Other Things to Note’ section to set expectations.
Step 4 – Get Personal
As well as saving money, Airbnb is a great way to enjoy a ‘local’ experience. So, your guests will probably want to know a bit about you. Take the time to pen an interesting profile, offering a bit of information on who you are, why you host and what makes your place so special.
Step 5 – Get Ready for Guests
Airbnb is an amazingly organised platform, and it’s surprisingly easy to manage your bookings. You’ll be given your own digital calendar, where you can mark blackout dates, if you have any. You can also choose your booking settings. If you’re all about raking in the cash offer guests the ‘Instant Book’ function. This means you won’t be asked for approval before the booking is confirmed. If you’re a little more selective choose the setting that allows you to check out who’s requesting a booking, and make your decision accordingly.
Step 6 – Pricing
Pricing is all important, as it determines who comes to stay and how much interest you garner. Don’t go too cheap, as you want Airbnb to be worth your while. Plus, you don’t want to attract the wrong kind of guests. But be wary of getting too pricey, as Airbnb is competitive and you don’t want to alienate people. Have a look around and see what other rooms in your area are going for. If you plan on offering freshly baked welcome cookies, a hot breakfast and luxe trimmings, don’t be scared to hover around the highest price points. If you’re a ‘back to basics’ kind of host make sure your per night price reflects this. If you’d like to encourage longer rentals you can think about offering weekly or monthly discounts.
Remember, you’ll need to factor in Airbnb’s commission charge, as well as the cost of utilities, cleaning, linen washing and so on. If you like, you can add an additional cleaning fee to your price.
You’ve taken some amazing snapshots, written an inspired description and priced up your property. Now it’s time to hit ‘List’ and start welcoming your first guests. It can be a little daunting at first, but once you catch the Airbnb bug there’s no going back! We’d love to hear your experiences as an Airbnb host, so get in touch and let us know your stories.