Since its inception in 2008, Airbnb has provided millions of travelers with accommodation all across the world.
Not only has it completely disrupted the travel industry, it has also provided millions of homeowners with an opportunity to create an extra revenue stream through home sharing.
Almost three million people currently host on Airbnb, allowing them to earn extra money by sharing their rooms and homes with travelers from all around the world.
But what is actually required to become a new host on Airbnb? What do the barriers of entry look like? Could you become a host today if you wanted to?
This article will address some of these pressing questions you may have before you list your space on Airbnb.
We’ll provide you with everything you need to know to get your listing up so you can start making money as soon as possible.
What Are Airbnb Host Requirements?
Lucky for you, pretty much anybody can become an Airbnb host.
All that’s required is providing a safe and comfortable accommodation, follow some basic hosting requirements, and abide by all local laws and regulations.
Airbnb is a global company that connects travelers and homeowners from all walks of life in every corner of the world. Airbnb is available to residents in almost every country in the world besides Crimea, Iran, Syria, and North Korea.
Signing up and listing your property on Airbnb is completely free and easy. Airbnb also allows a great deal of flexible accommodations that qualify for hosting on its platform.
Types of Accommodations on Airbnb
Airbnb accommodations fall into three categories: the entire place, private room, or shared room.
If you list your entire home or property, guests are allowed to stay in your home without you or any other guests being present. This typically means they have access to a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.
If you list a private room, guests will have their own private living quarters, however, there will be shared spaces with either you or other guests.
Lastly, if you decide to list your property as a shared room, guests will be sleeping in a shared bedroom with you or other guests.
Airbnb not only lets you rent out your home or apartment, but the doors are also open to traditional accommodation options as well as some off the wall property listings. This includes anything from an air mattress in a spare bedroom to a tent in the backyard.
Airbnb allows hosts to list all of the following options, plus any other types that hosts can dream up:
- Private Rooms
As long as you’re completely transparent with guests in your listing, there shouldn’t be a problem with your accommodation.
The only restrictions that Airbnb puts in place on its listings are the following:
- The space must only be used for lodging.
- If the property is a mobile vehicle (RV, boat, yacht, etc.), it must be parked in a semi-permanent location and in a privately owned space.
- The property is accurately portrayed online, in the same location as described, and is bookable by the host.
- Mobile vehicles that aren’t semi-permanent and in one place, like boats and RVs, aren’t allowed.
- Listings that aren’t primarily used for lodging are also not allowed.
Now that you know whether or not your property can qualify, let’s go over some basic requirements that you’ll need to fulfill in order to be a successful host on Airbnb.
Basic Requirements for Great Hosts
In order to uphold high accommodation standards and provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience to travelers, Airbnb enforces some basic requirements for hosts. These include things like providing guests with basic amenities and being readily available to help them in any way.
The five core areas that Airbnb lists as being the most basic requirements for becoming a host are the following:
- Provide Essential Amenities: Anything a guest would need, like toilet paper, a pillow, towel, and other basic essentials, is required by all hosts.
- Be Responsive: Hosts are required to have a high response rate and get back to guests’ questions and concerns within 24 hours of their inquiry.
- Accept Reservation Requests: Airbnb expects that you’ll accept prospective guests and consistently rent out your property.
- Avoid Cancellations: Cancellations result in a penalty, so it’s best to avoid these at all costs.
- Maintain a High Overall Rating: If you maintain a high rating, you’ll likely show up higher on search results and potentially become a Superhost. This shows guests that you’re a great host and will help you maximize earnings in the long run.
As long as you follow these guidelines, you shouldn’t have a problem turning your new listing into a successful one. But what about local laws and regulations?
You obviously want to do everything by the book, so let’s look over some of the legal issues surrounding Airbnb hosting.
Understanding Local Laws and Regulations
Before officially becoming a host on Airbnb, it’s important that you first check to see the local laws and regulations that are in place in your local area. Each city, state, and country may have different rules that apply to people wanting to host through Airbnb.
In some places, short-term bookings are illegal which would put you in a very tough position. In other places, permits or licenses may be required to lease out your property to others on a short-term basis.
Regulations that may apply to your city may come in the form of any of the following:
- Licenses or permits: Many cities require you to obtain a business license or apply for a permit to qualify for a short-term rental property.
- Building and housing standards: Cities have rules and regulations in place for meeting certain building standards in residential and non-residential buildings. You may also have to undergo a home inspection before listing your property.
- Zoning: Sometimes homes are only able to be exactly that, homes. When you lease out your space, it can be argued that it then becomes a business.
- Taxes: Some cities, states, and countries require that hosts pay a tax for every night a person stays in their home.
- Other rules: If your property is part of a homeowners’ association or you’re leasing from a landlord, you may not be contractually permitted to host through Airbnb. For example, if you live in an apartment, the landlord might have strict rules against subletting for Airbnb.
If you need to find out what your local laws and regulations permit you to do, head to Airbnb’s Responsible Hosting page. If it all checks out, then let’s move on to listing your space.
How to List Your Accommodation
Listing your property on Airbnb is fairly simple and straightforward. After you go through the steps of creating your listing, it should only take about six hours for it to show up on the search results.
The first step is to head to Airbnb.com. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to sign up for one.
This requires you upload a profile photo, provide your phone number, and verify your account using your email address.
If you already have an account, you can simply go to the top right corner and tap “Become a host.”
Once you arrive on the “Rent out your house” page, you can mess around with an earnings calculator to see just how much you can make in a year.
If you like what you see then go ahead and tap the “Get Started” button.
You’ll then need to go through a detailed three-step process of describing the property that you’ll be listing on the platform.
To give you an idea of what is required, let’s quickly walk through all three steps.
Step 1: Start With the Basics
You’re first going to need to go through and describe your property in detail.
You’ll need to state what type of property you’ll be listing, how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has, and which amenities you’ll be providing.
You’ll also need to type in your address and select your location on a map for future guests to see.
Note that only guests that have a confirmed reservation will be able to see your address.
Step 2: Set the Scene
This is where you’ll start uploading pictures of your property. The better your listing looks, the higher chance you’ll have of locking in more reservations.
If you don’t already have pictures, then you can skip this step for now and move on to further describing your place in detail. This is where you can get into everything that makes your accommodation such a great choice.
Feel free to be as descriptive as you’d like and also throw in some of your personality. Talk about your neighborhood and other important things travelers would like to know, like where to eat and how to get around.
You’ll also give your listing a catchy name that will be used to lure guests in.
Step 3: Get Ready for Guests
Lastly, you’ll need to get your listing prepared for prospective guests. This means that you’ll need to decide how much you’ll charge guests to stay per night, set some house rules that guests must follow, and provide dates that your property is available to rent.
Other details you must provide include how long guests are allowed to stay, how far in advance they can book, and how much notice you need for a guest booking.
If you’re renting your place out to long-term guests, this is also where you indicate terms of those stays.
This last step also includes a broad overarching orientation of sorts that briefly goes over best practices like reviewing Airbnb guest requirements, managing your calendar and booking requests, and handling check-in and check-out procedures.
Additionally, you’ll learn about collecting security deposits, setting pricing, and managing payments.
After that, you can preview your listing and make any needed tweaks before you submit it for approval. Once you submit your listing, it will show up in the search results in around six hours if everything was approved by Airbnb.
Next Stop, Becoming a Superhost
The requirements for becoming an Airbnb host are actually quite simple. As long as you have a space where travelers can stay comfortably, then you can pretty much qualify for hosting on Airbnb.
The part that is much more difficult is continuing to deliver great service to your guests so you can receive five-star reviews and climb the ranks of property listings.
If you maintain high standards and high ratings, then you’ll likely receive more guests and maximize your earnings potential.
Best of luck on your first booking!