Did you know, some Airbnb ‘superhosts’ are now earning in excess of £50,000 a year from their property? Wondering how you can do the same? We’re here to help — and while we can’t promise these kinds of figures, we can give you some great tips on way to maximise your profits.
This guide assumes you already have an Airbnb account and are already – or about to – rent a premises out, be that a spare room, an annexe or an entire property, such as an apartment or house.
Check your insurance!
Before you do anything or get into reading our top money making tips check your building and contents insurance. When you become an Airbnb host don’t just assume that your existing policy will cover you for damage or theft caused by an Airbnb guest you might not be covered and if your insurance provider finds out you have become a host without informing them your policy could be invalidated.
Contact your insurance provider to chat to them or use a comparison site to see if you could make savings elsewhere.
(MORE: How to insure an Airbnb)
1. Be honest in your listing
First things first, you need to be honest when listing your premises — there is no point selling your spare room as a sprawling studio apartment. All this will do is attract negative reviews that paints you as a fraudster. Be clear on location, the state of the decor, rules and regulations and arrival and departure times. That way everyone knows where they are and negative reviews can be avoided.
2. Find your selling point — and shout about it
If your property has a unique selling point or fills a niche then be sure to advertise it — particularly if there are lots of competitors nearby. Perhaps there is an outstanding view from the window, the chance to collect fresh eggs from your hens, a hot tub or a slightly unusual facility nearby (think riding stables, golf club, children's farm, museums for example).
3. Organise your diary properly
You should never have to cancel a booking — ever. It will look bad and lose you money too. Make sure your calendar is completely up to date in order to avoid double bookings and if you find it difficult to plan too far in advance, put a restriction on how far ahead guests can book.
4. Have help on standby
If at all possible make sure a family member or friend who lives nearby, or a trusted neighbour, can be on standby should there be an emergency or if you need to go away. They should be able to answer any questions about the property, hold a spare key and have the numbers of useful local contacts, such as plumbers and electricians.
5. Be a good communicator
While you might not be able to be on call 24/7 to respond to your guests’ every need, make it a habit to respond shortly after a booking, to send out check-in and departure instructions well in advance and to respond swiftly to enquiries during the length of their stay. This will earn you great reviews and, consequently, more bookings.
6. Leave guest reviews
While you don’t need to leave reviews for every single guest who comes to stay, it is polite to respond to reviews and makes sense to leave some reviews in return –particularly for great guests. It shows an active interest in the enjoyment of guests and paints you as a responsive and friendly host.
7. Brush up on your photography skills
There are two things people looking for an Airbnb notice first when selecting a property — the price and the pictures. This is why your photographs are so important — make sure you style the space a little with fresh flowers and smart accessories and ensure the photos look bright and clear.
You can find some really good online tutorials on how to take great photos of your home.
8. Look at other listings in your area
In order to make money from your Airbnb you need to know what you are up against — and then try to do better! You should use your competitors not only to determine what to charge for your Airbnb but also to see what they are doing better. Don’t just look at other Airbnb properties though, look at local hotels, self-catering rentals and B&Bs too.
9. Copy the 'superhosts'
Spend some time looking at how ‘Superhosts’ work. Look at the way they write listings, their photography, their selling points and the way they have laid out or decorated their space. Check out the reviews they have been left too — what have their guests been particularly impressed with?
10. Become a wordsmith
Your description of your property is your chance to really bring it to life in the imaginations of potential guests — so be sure to take time over it.
Use good grammar and check spellings in order to come across as professional — you are asking guests to pay you and so it is important to come across as someone who cares and takes time to do things properly.
Within your description, be sure to include everything you want your guests to know about and really sell the space, including details on comfy or premium bedding, nearby facilities, new bathroom suites etc.
Get someone to proofread it for you too — another pair of eyes can pick up on things you may have missed.