If you have a home with a spare room, or even a holiday home, you’ve probably thought about setting up an Airbnb rental. The idea can be very exciting, and your dreams of financial independence closer to reality. But there are many questions to consider before you dive in. How will you decorate the room? Where will you find Airbnb insurance? Who will clean the rooms or cottage?
Let’s help you work through the most important tasks for setting up your first space.
Decide on Your Budget
You firstly need to work out your budget. There are many costs to cover. The first is the bank bond. Then, there are the legal costs, insurance, and refurnishing costs. You also have to pay utilities and taxes. Don’t forget about cleaning services.
Make sure you over budget slightly, so that you can cover unexpected surprises.
Choose Your Rental Market
You may opt to rent to luxury clients, in which case, you’ll need to decorate accordingly, and learn what extra touches and amenities are required. Or you may select to go for the lower to middle income market, and purchase decor suitable for your clients’ taste. This can determine how much capital you’ll need to invest at the start.
Register on Airbnb
The next thing to do is to register your dwelling on Airbnb. You are given assistance all the way. It’s a step-by-step process, and you can expect to be vetted. Someone will come to your house to inspect the premises and give you permission to be on the Airbnb platform. You will need to set up a payment system, and a set of terms and conditions. Hosts also need to have a business name, and to be registered as a business in your own country.
Concerning a business name, consider adding a personal touch, like ‘Mary’s Cosy Corner’. Or ‘Joe’s Holiday Haven’. People remember these types of names, and will be sure to spread the word.
Sort Out the Legal Aspects
There are a couple of legal issues you can’t avoid. You will be required to get the necessary permits to hire out your room/s. Hosts also need to ensure that a dwelling meets safety and security standards.
Furthermore, even though Airbnb provides legal assistance, it’s highly advisable to retain a lawyer for a small monthly fee to cover that which Airbnb might not.
Spruce up Your Space
Anyone will tell you decor creates the atmosphere of a room. Remove personal items from it, like photos or journals. Make sure your place is exceptionally clean, and newly painted. Keep the decor and artwork muted and simple. People want to imagine it as ‘theirs’ for a few days. To that end, maintain a gentle, unified colour scheme throughout the rooms.
Purchase comfortable furniture. Dining, lounge and bed furniture must be for relaxing, and not formal.
Make it Beautiful AND Practical
Ensure you have enough towels for the guests and stock cupboards with spare blankets. White towels can be bleached, as can white linen.
You must have soap, handwash, and lotion, as well as toilet paper, toilet cleaner, and a brush. In the kitchen, keep soap, dish towels, paper towels, sponges, floor cleaners, broom, and mop. Add an iron, hairdryer, fire extinguisher and alarm. This ensures people’s comfort and safety.
Thoughtful touches include paper and pen, a torch, instructions for Wi-Fi, and/or an alarm or entry key card.
It’s a good idea to add some chocolates, wine or cheese as an extra. Or perhaps some practical items like an umbrella or a pizza cutter? Guests love this and will recommend you to others for these little gifts.
Add a few pamphlets with recommendations for restaurants or tourist attractions in the area.
Once you’ve set up, you’ll be able to ask your guests how you can improve their experience. Implement it to keep improving and get more positive reviews that can determine your success.
Airbnb has insurance, but it’s advisable to get business insurance to cover general liability and property causality. You may also need insurance for your cleaners. You just need to check the laws of your state.
Organise Someone to Clean and Look After the Place
You can clean the place if you like, but it makes sense to get someone to do it for you. Make sure they’re registered cleaners so that you get high-quality work. Paying for this service affects your profit, but may give you the time to run the rest of the business.
Take Good Photos for Your Listing
You’ll then list the property on Airbnb, for which you’ll need photographs. You will need to put the details and daily rate on the site, then upload photos.
Make sure you take shots that are well lit, and with no clutter in the background. The lines need to be clean. It may well be worth hiring a professional photographer to do it for you. It can make the difference between renting or no renting.
It can be very exciting to start a new Airbnb. With much to plan and prepare for, as well as budgeting, loans, insurance and the like, it can also be a little daunting. However, your work will be well rewarded in the long run.
Please share more tips with other hosts in the comment section.