Starting an Airbnb in your home is easier than you think! Here is the ultimate guide for making extra income and how to start an Airbnb.
How to Start an Airbnb
When planning your Airbnb think about what makes you comfortable and impressed when you stay in a hotel. What turns you off or makes you feel disappointed? Guests want to feel welcome and comfortable in your home, so try to make the best possible experience for your guests. Your goal is to wow them and get a 5-star review, become a super host and get more bookings. Becoming an Airbnb Superhost takes effort, but the payoffs are worth it. On average, Airbnb Superhost properties receive 60 percent more bookings and are able to command higher nightly rates. Once a guest checks out you both have 14 days to make a review so everyone is generally on their best behavior from the start.
A great welcome book is essential to set your house rules and give instructions on how to use the t.v, lock doors, etc. Always go that extra mile and add in your favorite restaurants and places in your town to visit so they can enjoy their stay with locals’ tips. Here is my Welcome Book Template! It’s in a clean, minimal style that you can edit as you like. It’s full of the exact information guests expect to find in your home. You can eliminate the need for texts and phone calls back and forth, by providing this information in a clear printed document in the room.
Setting Your Price
Look at other similar listings in your area and their prices during peak times in your area. I don’t suggest using the Airbnb smart pricing or price suggestions as they were underpricing our property during these niche peak periods. Set your own prices. You can see other rentals in your area and what they are charging. You can check who else has an Airbnb in your area and if you’re in a hot rental market or not with AirDNA.
Always look at the Super Host listings in your area for inspiration. Check their listing descriptions and see where you could improve, and take tips from them to increase your own bookings. Reading their reviews can also shed light on what is making them stand out from the rest…
Making Guests Happy
To make sure your guests’ stay is a pleasant one. Anticipate any needs they have with a welcome letter, personal touches, or unique amenities. If you know your booking is for a birthday or anniversary, a small gift or kind note can go a long way toward setting their mood. If you have a family with kids, perhaps some brochures for family-friendly attractions in the area, or details about special events during their stay.
Nothing is better after a long day of travel than finding a cozy bed with clean, soft sheets and comfortable pillows. Here are the products that we use and our guests’ love! All sizes are for Queen.
This list contains a few links for shopping, they are the products I have personally used for my own Airbnb and I trust them for quality. If you buy from the links I’ll receive a small commission thank you!
- Comforter Duvet
- Duvet Cover
- Bed Sheets
- Spa quality towels
- Hand towels
- Face cloths
- 2 soft pillows
- 2 Medium/firm pillows
- Waterproof pillow covers
- Waterproof Mattress cover
Extras that guests appreciate: I find stainless steel mini appliances look great together and give a more luxurious feel if you do not have a kitchen in your rental suite.
Mini Fridge: A small mini fridge that does not make much noise (some can gurgle all night long) try to place it in another room or as far from the bed as you can. We had a walk inclosed with shelving and we fit it into there. In fact, I made the walk-in closet into a mini kitchen with only a few items!
Microwave: A small mini microwave will do the trick!
Instant electric kettle: An electric kettle is great for making tea, instant soup, etc.
Coffee maker: The standard is Keurig. No mess or cleaning up for the guest they just pop in a capsule and a single cup of coffee or tea is ready. We had to think of this in advance as we didn’t have a kitchen sink and the idea of guests emptying coffee grinds and rinsing out the coffee maker in the bathroom was not ideal.
You can find some really great product sets on Amazon that look chic and expensive, and you’ll only pay about $3 per booking to provide these. You will always get great comments about these in your reviews. My favorites are these minimalist black and white Argon Oil Shampoo, Conditioner, body lotion, and body washes.
You can also go the route of putting a bigger bottle in the shower that takes care of shampoo, body wash, and bath bubbles all in one. In this case, go for something that smells great and is organic for a better impression. Going this route for $20 you can supply for about 30 guests. My choice is Everybody Soap You can buy two so you can refill it up every few guests. I suggest buying a soap dispenser and buying a bulk bag of Meyers hand soap. It smells great and it’s a $5 add-on Amazon. Just refill after every few guests.
People love Apothecary jars. These acrylic ones are inexpensive and you can fill them with makeup remover pads and cotton balls. I find guests rarely even use them, but they make a big impression, especially in the reviews.
You really don’t need to spend more than $5 a booking. I usually buy a 500 ml milk, a yogurt, a few oranges, and a glass jar of Muesli that I buy in bulk. We also provide a few water bottles and sodas. I find guests usually do not consume much, they may have a soda and water at most.
I also leave a few treats in a cute metal basket next to the Airbnb welcome letter I provide. We supply some mixed nuts (they were $1 a bag at the grocery) and chocolate chip granola bars.
Think about how they will move around the room and what would be useful. My first guests really missed not having a small table and they said that they felt worried about making a mess. I found this wonderful modern round table and these great grey chairs to match and it fits perfectly in a small space.
Set a Courtesy Quiet Hour
Make sure to ask for a courtesy quiet hour and no parties, so guests know in advance you want quieter people only. Then think about your own noise levels. We have a toddler and the space we rent is below our kitchen. I try to monitor our own noise levels when we have guests like not using the kitchen as much in the Am when the guests are sleeping downstairs. I found these heavy-duty earplugs on Amazon and they work wonders…
Will I Need to Report and Pay Taxes on Airbnb Income?
In the USA, If you rent more than 14 days in a calendar year you will need to file a supplementary rental income form with your taxes. But don’t worry it’s easy, just spend a few minutes each month to keep track of your Airbnb Income and any deductions you can claim for taxes with this free online accounting program WAVE. This can be exported to your accountant at the end of the year. Check with Airbnb to know if you need to collect state occupancy taxes. For most states, Airbnb will collect and remit on your behalf. Check your local laws for Airbnb rentals before you begin.
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