If you’ve ever considered ways to generate some supplemental income, you may have pondered the possibility of renting your home on Airbnb.
Things to consider before renting
If you’re paying a mortgage for our outright own a single-family home, you should be fine renting it out. If you’re paying for a condo, apartment or town home, there may be some occupancy rules that prohibit such transactions. It’s up to you to do your homework so that you don’t run afoul of the law.
The tremendous success of these platforms is what’s led to these strong reactions and the attempts to shut down your ability to earn some cash or have it be the principal reason why you have a place, and you just gotta know that that could happen to you.
It´all about selling
Ready to make money renting your home? Go to Airbnb.com, log in and list your home. When you do, you may get a few questions from interested parties. Make sure you answer in a timely fashion. They’re probably searching several places at once, and being the first one to get back to them may make the difference between money in your pocket or not.
There are some property owners that make six figures annually on Airbnb — but they’re typically investors with second and third homes. If you rent your primary residences you can add a bucket of cash a year to your wallets, but it takes time, preparation and realistic expectations.
Before you sign up, it’s a good idea to know what fees are associated with your payout. Airbnb calculates your payout as your nightly rate minus the host service fee, which is generally 3%.
No matter how much money you spend on sprucing up, cleaning and overall improving your dwelling, keep good records. Come tax time, you’ll want to be able to document every expense that’s deductible.
The importance of taking great pictures of your home’s exterior and interior is such that a whole photography cottage industry has popped up and Airbnb supports it. People have made careers out of just taking photos of rental properties.
If you plan on doing the photography yourself, some photo tips you’ll want to consider include always brightening the photo and shooting corners to show more space.
Qualify your guests
If someone hits you up about renting your home, you can approve or deny the request. But before you make your decision, it’s good to know why they want to rent your home. Read any reviews on the prospective guest’s previous Airbnb stays so that you can make an informed decision.
In many cases, individuals, friends or families may be on vacation and looking to explore a new city. Be aware; In other cases, you may be able to surmise that they’re planning on throwing a huge party — one that could get them and you in huge trouble!
Have your home shine
Once you decide to accept the guest, the next order of business is making sure your home is safe and clean. While it’s true that you may be able to take a mop or vacuum cleaner and make your floors look brand-new, when it comes to cleaning, there are nooks and crannies that you’ll likely need professional help with.
Cleaniness, along with safety, is probably the highest value that an Airbnb home can possess— and it’s easy to brush it off (excuse the pun). If you don’t have a few days to devote to it, consider hiring a professional cleaner or maid service to give your pad the stellar shine it deserves.
Regular toiletries and basic cleaning supplies should be stored in a common area for easy access. If your guests need some paper towels because of a spill, they shouldn’t have to be tempted to use a bed sheet.
Your role as concierge
Offer complimentary bottles of water, give directions and offer restaurant suggestions. Be friendly and supply your guests with an abundance of fresh, fluffy bath towels, matching plates and mugs, wine glasses and a few coffee table books.
While many hosts may never see or meet their guests, you can really score some points for hospitality if you make time to greet your visitors, answer their questions and let them have easy access with simple key sharing.
App controlled key sharing
The decision to use key sharing for your vacation rental is driven by the desire for more freedom.
There is no doubt that the service quality expectations of Airbnb guests are on the rise too. The days of supplying a blowup mattress and a bowl of Cheerios and calling that hospitality is long gone. Most guests are now expecting easy access when they pick up the key and impeccably clean bathrooms. Achieving a consistent level of service around the year can be a difficult task for even the most dedicated host.
Key sharing have had to evolve quickly over the past few years to keep up with the pace of change. It is no longer acceptable to simply place the key in a hiding place and create a simple explainer email.
If things go wrong
As with anything, disagreements sometimes happen. Airbnb usually errs on the side of the homeowner when it comes to disputes, so make sure you keep as many records as you can. That includes photos of your place from before guests arrive and after they leave.
If your guests want to start correspondence outside of the Airbnb app, politely tell them that you’d rather communicate inside the platform. That way, Airbnb has documentation in case there is a disagreement over the rental terms.
Sharebox is a network of retail stores, kiosks and locations where keys are stored, managed and picked up by tenants, guests, family, cleaners and others.