Ask Yourself Some Questions
Do you want to make a few extra bucks every now and then or run your Airbnb as a full-time business? Are you willing to deal with emergency maintenance issues such as frozen pipes? How will you deal with damage caused by guests? Will renting your home on Airbnb be worth your time?
Be Honest With Potential Guests
Guests will expect certain amenities. If your home doesn't have laundry access, parking or Wi-Fi, mention that. If your home sits next to busy train tracks, mention there could be some noise. The more open you are with guests, the better rating you'll receive.
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Know Local Laws
Some cities and towns have restrictions on whether you can put your home on sites such as Airbnb. It's your responsibility to know local ordinances, or you could find yourself paying thousands of dollars in fines if you violate your city's laws.
Don't Forget Taxes
Yes, you'll likely have to pay taxes on the income you generate from renting out your home on Airbnb. Think about this when considering your earnings verses the cost of operating your home as a business.
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Check the Calendar
Before you list your home on Airbnb, make sure your calendar is up-to-date. If a date looks to be free to a potential guest but you forgot to mark it as unavailable, it can become a frustrating experience for both parties. Veteran Airbnb listers suggest marking your calendar with open dates that are definite. The less you decline a guest, the higher you'll end up on the Airbnb search.
You will have some ongoing expenses if you plan to list your home on Airbnb. Mainly those costs come from stocking your place with things like kitchen essentials, towels, soap and toilet paper. You'll also likely see a rise in your utility bills. You will also have cleaning expenses, whether you do it yourself or hire someone.
Make an Information Binder
Make a binder for guests which includes not only things like local entertainment and restaurant options, but the Wi-Fi password, your contact number and house rules, such as no pets. You may also need to include instructions on how to work anything quirky, such as the television or coffee maker.
Veteran listers on Airbnb say there's nothing wrong with screening guests and every host should have some information about who they are renting their home to. If anything seems suspicious about a potential guest, don't be afraid to say "No." Some listers only allow guests who have positive reviews.
Think About Turnover
Not only will you have to decide how often you want to rent your home out, you'll have to consider how quickly you can get it cleaned and ready for the next guests. Will you need 24 hours between guests or can you get the home ready in just a couple of hours?
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Be a Good Host
If you plan on staying in the home with your guests, be sure to give them space. Be friendly, welcoming and give some tips to enjoy the area, but don't be too intrusive.
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Set the Right Price
Before you list your property, check around to see what nearby hotels and other properties are charging. If you're in a busy city, you'll likely be able to get a higher price than a home outside of town, away from amenities.
Are you near a popular beach? Consider keeping some beach chairs and sand toys stored in the garage for guests to use. Offer the use of your bicycles. Do you need to pay for parking at your home? If so, consider throwing in a parking pass. Some add-ons will encourage guests to choose your home over others.
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There's a good chance your home insurance plan doesn't cover damage caused by guests who rent your home. Airbnb does have some insurance coverage in place, but you'll likely want to check into additional coverage for peace of mind.
Take Reviews Seriously
Reviews can make or break Airbnb rentals. When guests complain about something you can easily fix—fix it. As a host, it's your job to make sure guests feel welcome and are comfortable.
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