How to put your home on Airbnb
Turn your home into an occasional money-spinner by taking advantage of the excellent opportunities offered by holiday letting site Airbnb.
This flexible community marketplace makes it easy for homeowners to share their resources with travellers – and for travellers to stay in the ideal accommodation for their trip.
The Airbnb website has been designed to make sure listing your home is a simple and straightforward process. First, you need to use an email address and password to create an account. The website will then offer you a series of questions so that you can tailor your listing to suit your property and your intentions.
Picking your listing
At this point, you’ll have to make a few decisions. Do you want to stay in your home and rent out a single room to travellers or would you be happier moving out of your property and letting out the whole place? There’s a market for both options, so the real question is which would suit you better.
Fine tuning the details
You’ll also need to decide whether you’d like to let your home on a regular basis or only when you’re on holiday yourself and enter the dates accordingly. It’s possible to only offer your home for small chunks of time or to make it a permanent listing. You’ll also need to decide what your policy is on cancellations and how much you’d like to charge as a deposit or cleaning fee. These are important for protecting your investment but high prices can scare renters away.
To attract travellers to your home, you’ll need to take plenty of pictures to show them what they can expect. Take your shots on a sunny day, give your home a tidy up before you start snapping and be sure to photograph each room from different angles. One or two pictures of your street and home exterior are also a good idea. Guests like to have as much information about a place as possible before making their decision. You can read more about taking great pictures on the Airbnb blog.
How the money works
One of the best things about Airbnb is the fact that it takes care of the payments for you. You provide your payment details as you’re making the listing and when guests book, the company holds the money until 24-hours after the guest’s arrival. This is a safety measure for both parties, especially as you’ll have already set your cancellation fees. Airbnb will take 3 per cent of each accepted reservation and guests pay 6-12 per cent of the booking fee.
Be honest with guests
It might be tempting to exaggerate about how lovely your home is or how close you are to the centre of town but do remember that customer reviews carry a lot of weight. It’s best to always be honest and upfront with potential guests and try to answer questions quickly and cheerfully. Once you’ve had a few happy customers who’re willing to share their experience, you’re sure to have more!
Would you put your home on AirBnb? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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