When I first heard about the airbnb, I was a little skeptical about trying it out. First thing that came to mind was… Are my things going to be safe? If you have experience day time robbery, you know you won’t trust anyone in your home. But, in a weird turn out of events, life forced me to.
So how do you set up your home for Airbnb Hosting?
First off, if it’s a rented apartment, you want to call up the landlord to make sure its okay for you to do that kind of business without the risk of jeopardising your lease. Having questionable number of guests in and out of your apartment, will definitely raise an alarm. You just want to make it clear to the owner of what is going on, security guards as well, for the well been of, not only the tenants, but you and your property as well.
If you get a go ahead, start working on your interiors. You want to get a few more towels, beddings and toiletries for your guests. You wanted to get a few unique decors, could be wallart or planter for aesthetic reasons. Step back and look around. If your place doesn’t have hotel vibe to it, you aren’t ready. If you feel it could easily compete with a Villa Rosa room, click! Take those pictures. You’re photography skills should be on point here, because, besides the price tag, it’s the pictures that will determine if you get clients or not. Make the best impression.
You’ll need to get Airbnb app from Play store /app store. Switch to hosting. Set up your listing. Upload pictures and state a description below it i.e living room, kitchen,bedroom etc. Make sure your first slide is the best one, preferably a well lit living room,as it’s going to act as your cover photo.
From a list provided, state all the available amenities i.e WiFi, gym, pool, free parking etc. If, for example you have a 3 bedroom apartment and are going to be renting out just one bedroom,make sure to state that the listing is a 3 bedroom SHARED apartment allowing 2 guests max. If you are renting out the entire apartment, then it will be stated as an ENTIRE 3 bedroom apartment. The latter will cost more, but been clear on the former prepares the guest mentally to know that they will be in the company of other guests in the other rooms, or they simply can’t access the other extra rooms even if no one is around. Most long stay guests travel with family and will usually feel the need to have some privacy.
Pricing: Consider all the amenities you are offering, location and the rent value per month. If for example you are offering all the recreational facilities, your place is close to a town or centre with access to essential amenities, and you’re rent payments is costly, it’s unreasonable to list a 1 bedroom at $10. Usually, I use rent as a factor to determine my price. If I pay $300 for the place per month, $17 is a realistic price per night stay.
Some listing however have extra charge i.e cleaning fee, that is not usually included in the set price you see when you open the listing, but one will see it when on the process of making a booking. I wouldn’t recommend it as most clients feel played. Just include the entire cost on the summed up price. Some hosts have a different opinion and would go for the other option.
After setting up your Listings, make sure to turn on your airbnb app notifications so as to respond to potential clients on time. Note that by the time a client sends you a message, they have already made the payment to Airbnb and are now given access to message you. Usually they are texting to confirm on availability, check in time, dates of travel and to confirm location. There is usually nothing much you’re can do at this point. But you have decent time to cancel, which will have your listing shadow blocked. The sets dates are usually now Nolonger available for other clients. Just like uber! You don’t get to decide if you will ride that client or not. You can, but its not good for your business. Anyways, you are not one of those indecisive hosts. You are here to do business.
Airbnb can easily help track down a former client. But I honestly think they should try get more information on clients, those renting out the place. It’s too easy to set up an account now. Have you ever tried setting up an SKRILL account? No conman can go through all that trouble. I guarantee you. Airbnb should take notes.
You should also be aware that there money paid will not reflect on your payouts immediately. It does so a day after the client checks out. This is to protect the guest from been conned out of a home. So, don’t ask the client to send you mpesa when they check out. No hand to hand transactions will take place. I’m laughing, cause I know alot of hosts have done this, out of lack of knowledge. Even if the clients like your place, and wants to come back, don’t let them book through you directly. Always do all communications and transactions on the app. To be safe. Don’t be greedy to want to keep 100% to yourself and not share with airbnb, you might just regret it.
So how do you get your money? You will have to link your account details or PayPal to your Airbnb. You can then receive your money a few days later after the guest leaves.
If you only have one listing, it’s easy for you to monitor check-in and check-outs of guests and also do the cleaning of the place ready for another guest. If you have quite a number of Listings, you can let the guards do the checkin/checkout for you. Also have a cleaning person to come in and do the cleaning immediately after the guests leave. Check-in and check-out time is for you to determine. Preferably 1pm and 1am respectively.
It’s also upto you too set availability dates of the Listings. You can always edit your calendar and block out some days/months. During those set dates, clients won’t be able to book, but the listing will still be visible to guests. Just to pick available dates.
You can also unpublish your listing at any time. This way it’s completely not visible to guests. You can however republish it at an time.
I’d totally recommend airbnb as it’s a safe, fast way to make money from that extra room you are not currently using. That room can pay mortgage and you’ll still have something left to save up. It also gives you an opportunity to be an interior designer, realtor and a boss!