Airbnb is a business model where people can list their space online to be shared with anyone around the world. This space can be anything from an air mattress in the corner of a living room to a villa or castle on the beach. What makes this model passive is that once your space is set up, all you have to do is respond to requests. Airbnb is a trusted and secure community marketplace that brings you guests and helps you manage your bookings. This was originally meant for people to share extra space in their own place but we’ve seen host with up to 70 listings. If done correctly, Airbnb can be a highly profitable passive income business.
The first and most important step is preparing your space for guests. You want to make sure that your home is welcoming, clean and convenient for your guests when they arrive. Just remember, the better you prepare your space, the more you can charge for it. Here are some things to consider:
The more the merrier! Make sure you provide at least the essentials (towels, bed sheets, soap, toilet paper, etc.). Next is wireless internet, lots of guest don’t have their devices connected to local networks while traveling so Wi-Fi is the only way for them to access the rest of the world. The rest of the essentials are also very nice to have and could effect the decision of a guest but are not always required. Personally, we recommend providing all the common amenities and a few extras. To continuously improve your listing, pay attention to what your guests usually ask for and think of what you would want if you were the guest.
Setting up an Airbnb listing
Make sure your place is clean and tidy. No one likes to walk into a smelly place that looks trashed. Do not try to get away with reusing sheets or towels, make sure everything is washed and ready!
Welcome your guests with a note and provide helpful information. Here are some notes we leave for our guests:
Select “List Your Place” and follow the steps throughout the website to list your place. You will be asked to provide a description of your place, availability, pricing, photos, location and etc.
Here’s the important part. Airbnb has a ranking system that affects your listing’s position in search. You want to optimize your listing so your place can be rank higher in search. To do this, follow these steps:
Use Airbnb’s free photograph service. They will have a professional photographer come to your place to take free photos of your apartment and post them for you.
Make sure your price is right. Check out your competition nearby and what they are offering.
Keep your calendar up to date! Make sure all your open dates are showing so guests can see availability. Also, Airbnb’s algorithm will rank you higher in search when your calendar is updated regularly.
Respond as quickly as possible. Airbnb measures how responsive hosts are and rewards attentive hosts with priority search ranking.
Get positive feedback! Take good care of your guests and ask for feedback before they leave. Reviews are very important to guests while choosing a place so do your best at getting 5 star reviews!
Avoid canceling bookings at all cost. No one likes someone who backs out of anything so follow through with what you agreed to.
If you follow these steps you’ll quickly notice your listing bumping up in search rankings and more requests coming in.
Make sure you are as responsive as possible with requests. Download the app and turn on push notifications so you receive all your request and messages immediately. People are usually ready to book when they are searching so the most responsive host has a large advantage. Airbnb also keeps track of your responsiveness and it plays a role in your search ranking.
Remember your guests are most likely traveling around a new city and finding your place can be stressful. Do them a favor and make the check-in process stress free.
If you are there, go outside and welcome them, help them carry their luggage up and have some small talk to get to know them. Once they are in the apartment you can explain some simple things to them and then give them their space to settle in. If you are not there, create a system for them to easily check themselves in. Most people use key lock boxes that go on the door handle and can be opened manually with a passcode. Some people hide the key in random places (under a plant pot or rock, somewhere along the side of the house, or anywhere else you can think of). This can sometimes be a fun experience for the guest because it feels like a treasure hunt but make sure you provide GOOD instructions for finding the keys.
Keep your place clean and tidy! Do not try to get away with reusing anything that should be washed. If you feel too much like housekeeping or don’t have time, we suggest hiring professional services to clean your place. On demand companies are starting up everywhere and hiring a home cleaning service has never been easier. Here’s a list of some that may be available in your area:
Handy – Currently in 37 locations in the U.S., Canada, and UK