Airbnb’s inception created a new business category, and many have since taken advantage of the opportunity. At first, renting extra rooms in their own homes, and now, having full-on businesses managing multiple vacation rental properties. So, how to make money on Airbnb?
First things first
It’s not enough to have a place, list it on Airbnb and rent it out. There are some critical steps to ensure you’ll be successful, and treating the endeavor as a business is the first one.
When you see your Airbnb listing as a business, you will understand that your guests are customers that you must take care of and please. They might be from different cultures and areas of the world, which will require flexibility, open-mindedness, and friendliness.
Once you have seen it as a business, start treating it like it: know that you will need to be active and responsive to guests on the platform, answering their questions with attentiveness and kindness. You will also need to respond to guests’ requests during their stay, manage the cleaning and maintenance of the place, market it and ensure its information is always up to date online.
Now that you have the business mindset and are ready to make money on Airbnb, see the top five tips below.
1. Increase your visibility on Airbnb
First of all, study your competitors: search for accommodations in your area and see how much they charge, what the listing looks like and what extra services and amenities they offer. This will help you gauge the competition and build your profile.
Be bold: describe your listing in a sales manner. For example, if you have a house in LA close to the Hollywood sign, mention that in the title. “Cozy home with Hollywood sign view”. Or, if you’re in a sought-after area of the city, make sure to include that.
If you’re in a warm climate and your listing has a pool – list it as “Private Pool Apartment in Austin, TX”. Think of what will grab people’s attention and make them want to stay at your place.
Remember that the photos must reflect this: hire a professional photographer if you can. It might seem like a waste of money, but an excellent rental portrayed in bad lighting will kill its chances. Airbnb offers a Pro Photography service if you don’t know where to start.
2. Offer Deals and Discounts
With everything the world has gone through, more and more people are now working remotely, employing the “nowhere office” mentality. This has led to recent updates on Airbnb to adjust to the new world order. And so should Airbnb hosts.
That means deals and discounts.
Especially for longer stays, all hosts should offer some sort of discount. For the guest, it’s a great deal that weighs in on the decision process, and for the host, the peace of mind of having the place booked.
According to Airbnb itself, encouraging guests to book longer stays can help achieve higher occupancy and less turnover.
Recommended discounts are:
- Weekly discount: for guests booking 7-27 nights.
- Monthly discount: for guests booking 28 nights or more.
- Last Minute Discount: the possibility of reducing the price if the booking date is close to the check-in date
- Early bookings: a strategy to attract guests who will book well in advance.
If your area has a low season or a special event at a particular time of the year, you can – and should – use those to adjust your pricing.
3. Ensure you have a sales-y description of your listing
Describing your listing in detail and providing valuable information is a way to advertise your property and avoid repeat questions from potential guests. If you list if pets are allowed, getting questions regarding that are lower.
The first paragraph should be a summary of the location. Remember tip number one? Mention any attractions around your property and relevant information on the area.
Then, move on to highlighting the unique features of your property: conditions, style, and ambiance of your space. Ensure you list what you offer, such as a washer and dryer, specialty coffee maker, or any streaming services included in the rate.
There’s an area on your listing that allows you to create your House Rules. This is crucial to ensure guests understand what’s not allowed and you don’t have any unfortunate surprises. For example, if smoking is allowed, if there are any building rules to follow, etc.
The same goes for what you don’t offer. We don’t recommend this, but some hosts don’t offer bed linens or towels. If that’s the case, ensure it’s visible and clear on your listing so you don’t get any complaints later.
4. Work on your Host Profile
We’ve already discussed the importance of being a great host. Being responsive, open-minded, and friendly to guests is a must. But it’s crucial to ensure this is highlighted in your host profile.
A strong, complete profile that showcases who you are and has relevant information makes guests trust you and believe they will be safe at your property. You will be seen as a trustworthy and serious host, ready to welcome them.
A good tip here is to take part in Airbnb’s identity verification. This increases the security level for both parties and prevents any unwanted issues from happening.
5. Put effort into the décor
These tips will do nothing if you don’t put effort into your place. It needs to be functional and practical, yes, but it also needs to be welcoming. Comforters, throws, good bed linens, and bath towels are simple ways to achieve that.
Go one step further and invest in the space's decoration. When in doubt, go minimalistic, no prints, no bold colors. Natural textures and fabrics are great for creating a space that feels warm and inviting but not overwhelming.
Have a candle in the bathroom, offer simple amenities, and put a rug in the living room. Stores like Ikea, Target, and Wayfair have great deals on simple pieces that can make a huge difference in your space.
Remember, if there’s an “anywhere office”, homes will be anywhere, too. And your listing will be someone’s home for a while. Airbnb is more than just a place; it’s an experience.
If you want to learn even more about being a great host, check out our Cleaning Checklist here, and learn more about TIDY for Rentals.