The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Airbnb Hosting, a web tutorial for interested property owners, has published a list of the characteristics of people who should not be AirBnB hosts. Among others, these are people who can’t stand foreigners, who are only “straight friendly”, and who don’t have time to host.
So, if you are not one of them, it seems you are pretty much good to go. But keep in mind these suggestions:
Advertise your house fairly
It’s ok to apply your PR skills to advertise your home, but your listing on AirBnB should be a fair representation of what you offer. In other words, if your flat is more than an hour away from the city center, you should say it. It’s always best to be honest and upfront to any questions and lose a guest rather than have to handle the aftermath. Your guests should know the realities in advance, and you should respect their right to be informed about what they are paying for.
To promote your flat, you should put good quality photos of your apartment which clearly show where your guests will be staying, and you should put plenty of photos onto your listing. Airbnb offers a free service where they will send out a professional photographer to take high quality photos of your house, and that’s very helpful for all new members.
Expect to spend time
While AirBnB is a rather unconventional way of conducting business, it also comes with some expectations. For one, potential guests expect prompt responses, especially since many of them have strict timelines governing their travel planning. While understandable, delayed response times can pose a huge issue for your Airbnb host experience. A quick reply rate is important not only for each individual guest’s experience but also for your overall standing on Airbnb. The site rewards attentive and available hosts by including in their profiles their respective response rates and times and ranking their listings in the Airbnb search results accordingly. So in most cases, your availability is crucial to your booking success.
Once you have a booking, you should expect to spend some time waiting for your guests to arrive for a „check-in“. Tourists usually have no precise way to anticipate traffic jams and walking distances, and it might be useful to tell them to text you or give you a call when they reach your city, which will allow you to estimate how much time you have to do other things while waiting.
Make sure your guests know the “house rules”
As an owner, you have the right to enforce certain boundaries. There’s plenty of space on your online listing to mention any house rules you may have and to set the standards for what you expect. But even when you meet your guests in person, you should be as explicit and upfront as possible.
Sometimes even the things you think are “common sense” and that “everyone knows them” should be clarified to your guests – people from different and faraway cultures tend to behave and rationalize in a different way than you do. The simple way to do so is to put posters and simple explanations on what to do (or not to do) and how (not) to do it around the house. Additionally, go around your flat and remove fragile objects, so as not to be unpleasantly surprised if your grandmother’s favorite vase or a glass sculpture you got for your birthday gets broken.
If you are a good host, your guests will write positive reviews about you on AirBnB, which will make your ranking on the site higher and possibly make it easier for you to earn more money.
Having people from different countries as your guests can be a truly enriching experience, and for people who do not have a chance to travel, AirBnB hosting is a great opportunity to meet people from different countries and cultures and experience living together with foreigners. Because it’s never too late in life to learn a new recipe, a new song, or a new dance.
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