Ultimate Airbnb Host Guide and Free Welcome Letter!

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Starting an Airbnb in your home is easier than you think! Here the ultimate guide to making some extra income by renting out a space with Airbnb. When planning your Airbnb rental 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.

As a stay at home mom I was looking for a way to bring in rental income (without needing to do a major renovation adding a kitchen to our basement) We had a handyman put in a door at the end of our downstairs hallway which had 2 rooms and a bathroom. This is working out perfectly and we are booked solid with 5 star reviews every time!

Click here to list your space on the Airbnb website!

Welcome letter for Guests.

A great welcome letter is essential to set your house rules and give instructions on how to use the t.v, lock doors ect. 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 a locals tips. Here is my free Welcome Letter Template! You can edit as you like.

Setting your price.

Your market dictates your occupancy – some cities have a higher rate of bookings than others. In a slow Airbnb market, no matter how great your property, there just won’t be enough demand. We live in a college town with high demand. Most of our guests are visiting their kids or are in town for the football games, graduations, conferences ect. We know when we can raise the price and when the prime weekends are.

Look at other similar listings in your area and their prices during the 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.

Always charge a cleaning fee $20-$40.

You can add a cleaning fee and have someone come and clean the suite for your next guests. Or just keep the extra cleaning fee and do it yourself!

Tips to becoming a Super Host.

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.

Ask how they are enjoying their stay with open-ended questions about specific topics. For instance, the temperature or water pressure in the shower, the comfort of the bed, or anything specific to your property – especially if it’s something that you can easily correct. And don’t run out of the basics – hot water, toilet paper, and plenty of towels are key to a pleasant guest stay.

Bedroom essentials:

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 post contains a few affiliate links, 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 luxury 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 he bed as you can. We had a walk inclosed with Ikea Pax 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 a 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.

Bathroom Essentials

Finding nice bath products and a very clean bathroom are appreciated by any weary traveller. Invest in some spa quality towels, A plush clean bath mat and a clean shower curtain. Always go with white, you can bleach it if it gets make up stains ect.

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 favorite are these minimalist black and white Argon Oil ShampooConditionerbody 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 $2o 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.

Hand soap

I suggest buying a soap dispenser and buying a bulk bag of Meyers hand soap. It smells great and its a $5 add on Amazon. Just refill after every few guests.

Go the extra mile…

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.

Provide some treats and breakfast items for your guests.

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 a 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 to spill or make 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 guest 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.

If you do think you’ll have a bit of night noise on your part (baby waking up, dog or cat roaming around  ect) that’s totally normal and should be expected in a family home. I provide individually wrapped earplugs on their nightstand and just let them know baby could wake up and then have the choice to avoid that noise with earplugs. 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 its 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 them for 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.

Remember: You can deduct from your Airbnb profits any maintenance, cleaning and utility costs like heating, cable, internet and garbage (usually you take your homes square footage and the rentals footage and then deduct that portion) ex if your home is 1000 square feet and the rental is 500 then 50% of all your utilities can be deducted from the profits. Keep all your receipts and use a free online rental accounting tool like Wave to keep track each month.

Let me know if you have any questions and ill do my best to answer them! Click here to start to list your own place on Airbnb!

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