Whether you’re a student with a room to rent and looking to make a few extra bucks, or a business owner with multiple properties and six-figure ambitions, Airbnb is a proven resource with 2 million listings and 640,000 hosts.
Let’s look at three ways to earn more money as an Airbnb host.
1. Become a Superhost
Airbnb rewards superior Airbnb hosts with a Superhost badge. Superhost badges set you apart as a host who offers an unusually great experience, and are highly sought after by Airbnb hosts trying to increase their bookings and earn more money. The qualities of a Superhost include:
- Experience. You complete at least 10 trips in your listings per year.
- High response rate. You respond to your guests promptly and maintain at least a 90% response rate.
- Five-star reviews. You inspire guests enough that at least 80% of your reviews are a solid five stars.
- Commitment. You honor confirmed reservations, and rarely if ever cancel.
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2. Follow the Law
There’s no point in trying to earn more money as an Airbnb host if you’re going to get fined or shut down. Like Uber with the taxi industry, Airbnb has seen its fair share of controversy by disrupting the hospitality industry and redefining the peer-to-peer economy.
Regulations regarding taxes, permits or registrations, and rent control/stabilization differ from city to city. Airbnb has a helpful page about responsible hosting—including links to the relevant laws in your state—that you should learn backwards and forwards before starting out. Doing your homework up front can guarantee that your earnings won’t take a hit later.
3. Go the Extra Mile
A happy guest is more likely to go online and give you five-star review than a guest who’s merely satisfied. It’s not enough to just keep your house clean, have a low cancellation rate, and maintain the status quo. The key to getting your guests to actually go online and give you a five-star rating is focusing on the little things along with the big.
The little things include:
• Helping your guests feel like locals. Create a guide to the best restaurants, bars, and must-sees in your community. Introduce your guests to those unique communal treasures that only locals are in the know about.
• Focusing on the first 24 hours. The first 24 hours of a guest’s stay are crucial. Leave your phone on, check your emails, and be ready to instantly respond to any questions, problems, or concerns that come up.
• Hiring a professional photographer. Thanks to improving technology, lots of amateurs take great photos these days. If you really want to stand out, go the extra mile of hiring a professional photographer. Professional photographers know the tricks of lighting and composition that’ll propel your listings to the top.
• Not posting too many pictures. Leave them wanting more. Ten gorgeous pictures is better than 20 gorgeous pictures.
• Doing your own cleaning. Don’t hire someone to clean your listings. Roll up your sleeves and scrub them yourself. Not only will this help you be a better, more attentive host, you’re more likely to notice needed repairs and shortcomings if you get up close and personal.
• Be nice from the get-go. When a guest requests a booking, respond quickly and enthusiastically. Your response is where you’ll make your real first impression, so become that cozy, friendly, attentive host that you dream of when you travel.
• Stock up. Keep your listing stocked with those small amenities that make all the difference when you’re far from home. Coffee and tea, bottled water, condiments, DVDs, magazines, books—think of what you would want in an Airbnb, and supply it.
Don’t forget to remind your guest that five-star ratings have a significant impact on your listings. Leave a note thanking them for their stay, and remind them to rate you highly if they enjoyed it.