There's something about those beautiful rooms, appealing colour palettes and the homely feeling that comes with an Airbnb — something that sets it apart, and makes it an ideal option as a short term accommodation for travellers across the globe. The popularity of Airbnb stems from the local experiences that they promise to travellers.
A unique opportunity for the hosts as well as the travel enthusiasts, Airbnb has grown leaps & bounds over the years, and finally turned into a lucrative business with the potential to offer handsome returns in the long run. Airbnb was the brainchild of Brian Chesky & Joe Gebbia, which was later moulded into Airbnb along with Nathan Blecharczyk in 2008.
With over a billion guest stays, Airbnb is growing incredibly thanks to the experience they've been able to provide to their guests and hosts alike. Airbnb can be termed as an online marketplace that allows hosts to list rental spaces that can be anything from standalone private rooms to entire apartments and houses.
For those of you who have available space for short term rentals, Airbnb can be a boom — an incredible source of passive income, and even a full-time business if done right!
What Makes Airbnb, Airbnb?
Well, you have to give it to the options, the availability! Airbnb provides a plethora of options at attractive prices that are well complemented by the top-notch user experience provided by the platform — app & web, alike. Add the caps put in by the COVID-19 pandemic that played upon our mental health and we craved local experiences more than ever, and you'll know what makes Airbnb click in the first place.
Right from tree houses to houseboats, Airbnb provides a plethora of unique options to experience your surroundings as a local — something that adds that extra bit of exclusivity to Airbnb and distinguishes it from mainstream hotels.
Airbnb Hosting — The Business Opportunity
As per Airbnb, hosts have earned an aggregate of more than $150 billion as of February 2022. As of 31st December 21, an average US host made more than $9000 in annual earnings from the platform.
Hosting with Airbnb can allow you to travel more often, giving you an opportunity to interact with guests and locals, and even providing you the ability to buy/rent more properties along the journey.
How to Start With Airbnb as a Host?
Let us help you out with the first and most integral step — creating a listing. You can get a detailed overview on Airbnb's official site on how to get started, but the crux of it all is to include the basic information in a well-curated manner, have great, visually appealing pictures that showcase your space, upload and then jot down the key factors that make your space unique and stand out in the first place.
Airbnb lets you control important variables like — dynamic pricing where you decide how much you want to charge for your listing. This can depend on various factors including the day of the week, time of the year or a season.
Airbnb also provides a smart pricing assistance tool that comes in handy when you want to set the right price for your space so that it gets booked more often without compromising on profitability. The Smart Pricing tools inculcate a variety of factors including demand, seasonality, festival and time of the year to determine the right pricing for a particular space in a given area.
Airbnb is effectively free — let's get this straight! Yes, although the platform doesn't charge you anything for listing your space, every successful reservation attracts a 3-5% service fee, which is manageable as it takes away the pain of desperation in search for guests.
Apart from the listing assistance, Airbnb also offers 'Host Guarantee' — a 'one of a kind initiative that may provide up to $1 million in property damage protection. The Host Protection Insurance, on the other hand — covers up to $1 million in liability expenses, a commendable program to protect host rights and their properties from damage. Although some countries are excluded from this program, it is always a good idea to have some additional insurance in place as well.
Things to Consider Before Airbnb Hosting
Am I 100% Committed To My Business?
Before getting started with your Airbnb business and signing up as an Airbnb Host — we want you to know that it is a commitment, a dedicated one. Like any other business, Airbnb demands your time to the core, because you'll be the one vested with the responsibility to provide great experiences to your guests. There can be logistical and operation hurdles at times that you'll be expected to overcome and grow, as after all — it's a decision, not just an option.
It Demands Time
Adding to what we've already mentioned earlier, creating a successful Airbnb business demands your time and efforts, as you're expected to respond quickly to booking requests and be available to resolve guest queries that may arise every now & then.
Taking care of the cleaning and maintenance is another thing that may consume your time when you're starting out. However, you can always delegate it to others once you think you'll make enough to sustain it in the long run.
Hosting Hurdles Ft. Limitations & Neighborhood
Before you get started, it is important to get a comprehensive idea about municipal laws, lease limitations, moral policing and neighbourhood expectations as these factors can be instrumental in making or breaking your Airbnb business. Depending on where you live or where your space is located, there can be local laws, certifications and licenses that you may need to get hold of, before getting started with your Airbnb journey.
Plan It Out Before Testing the Waters
Think of it like a business even if you're trying to add some extra bucks to your income portfolio. Having a business mindset to start with would help you in plugging any holes or financial leakages that may arise later on, due to improper planning. Create a robust business plan to start with, put in numbers & realistic financial projections based on your expectations and you're all set to get started with your Airbnb business.
It is important to ensure proper inclusion of expenditures and overheads like business certification and licenses, insurance, amenities like breakfast & snacks, utilities and internet data costs involved while providing that ideal experience to your guests. It is crucial to maintain an expense sheet that includes all your expenses while running your business.
When you take hold of these factors and tick all the boxes — congratulations! You're set to kickstart your journey with Airbnb.
Steps to Start, Run and Grow Your Airbnb Business
Stick to the Basics — Mantra for Success
Well, let's talk about the basics. Having a well-written description, great photography and high ratings based on guest experiences and hospitality trigger high guest retainers as well. A well-written description never goes out of fashion, and thus never out of business in the long run!
An ideal listing is one that includes crisp descriptions and basic details comprising who's and what's related to the space. Right from the number of rooms and bathrooms, to the amenities included to the nearby attractions and landmarks for tourists and guests — all of these qualify as the ingredients for a winning listing on Airbnb.
It is important, to be honest, and transparent with any quirks or shortcomings that your space may have. Something like the absence of an elevator or lift, or lack of a 4 wheeler parking space — are certain specifics that an ideal host should be clear and honest about, and should communicate to the guest upfront via your listing description.
Note: Adding the property's USPs to your listing title can be a deal maker for your guests. Try it out!
Who doesn't loves great pictures? Your photographs for your space can make or break your listing and thus, it is important to be serious and professional about the same. Cleaning your space thoroughly before clicking photos is a good practice as you would want guests to have a positive impression of your space. You can use natural lighting or include professional lighting depending on the dynamics of your property. Landscape shots look better in terms of photography as they give an overall view of the subject involved, and thus you must include a lot of them!
Let the Ratings Speak — The Booking Magnet
Nothing speaks louder in an online marketplace than reviews & ratings. Positive reviews not only push you to the top of the list but also fetch you more bookings as more customers and guests trust you and your services for the right reasons. Positive reviews at Airbnb improve your host rating and helps you leave a lasting first impression among guests.
As per Airbnb, cleanliness, efficient & quick communication, a seamless check-in process and essential amenities are integral in getting positive reviews.
Lastly, when you're all prepared to host with Airbnb and you've found your mojo already — it is time to let it bloom into a full-time venture. Depending upon your endeavours and plans, you can grow your business further by adding more properties and catering to each listing differently via varied approaches.
After all, Airbnb is about making some extra income with your spaces and properties, that may otherwise have been left idle. With Airbnb, it is about you and upon you — to decide whether it is just another part-time gig or a full-time hustle to accomplish bigger things.
Is Airbnb a good way to make money?
Yes, Airbnb is a great way to earn some extra income, Airbnb owners make $924 a month.
How much do most Airbnb owners make?
On average Airbnb business owners make $5000/year.
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