In just a few short years, Airbnb has upended the hotel and short-term rental market.
By combining the sharing economy with tech-enabled solutions, Airbnb makes it possible for people to travel all around the world and stay in comfortable housing for less than the cost of a hotel.
It also gives homeowners the chance to make some extra cash by renting out their property or properties.
To use Airbnb as a traveler is simple.
All you need to do is download the app or visit the website, make an account and begin searching for places to stay.
And nowadays, you can also use the platform to book tours and activities in the city where you will be staying, which will help you get more out of your trip.
But for property owners, the process is a bit more involved.
You need to not only list your apartment but also present it in a way that’s attractive for travelers.
To help you with this, here’s a full walkthrough of how to list your apartment on Airbnb.
Step 1: Make an Account
If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to start this process by making an Airbnb account.
If you’re trying to make money on Airbnb, you need to be competitive.
And that means making your profile as complete as possible.
The point of this is to build trust with potential renters.
Here are the elements of a complete Airbnb hosting profile:
- A recent photo of yourself. Or, if you live with someone else, such as a partner, include a photo of both people. Smile and look welcoming, but not creepy. People want to rent from friendly people.
- A description about who you are. Guests like to know they are staying with someone they trust, even if you’re not going to be at the property with them. Take a moment to introduce yourself and to discuss why people should choose to stay with you instead of someone else. Note: This is not necessarily your chance to sell your property. That will come later. Instead, this is your chance to sell yourself.
- Get verified. This process allows Airbnb to state confidently that you are who you say you are, which comforts guests and increases the likelihood they will want to stay with you. You do this by scanning a photo of your ID, and also by following verification links sent to your email.
- Link social profiles. This one isn’t entirely necessary, but it’s another chance for you to showcase to potential guests who you are. Airbnb is set up for you to link your Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn accounts, and if you don’t mind people taking a look at your profiles, this is a good way to make a good first impression.
Step 2: Set Up Your Listing
Once you’ve made an account, it’s now time to create your Airbnb listing and get it ready for the open market.
Here are the basics:
Are you renting out a private room?
The entire property?
A shared room?
If you’re not entirely sure which type of room you have, don’t worry.
Airbnb will provide you with definitions so that you can determine exactly what you have.
Number of guests:
How many people are you comfortable having stay in your rental?
Spend some time thinking about this because, of course, allowing more guests means more money, but it might mean more headaches, especially if you are going to be at the property at the same time as guests.
Tel Airbnb where your property is so that they can put it on the map and also help you determine a competitive rate.
If you think a pin on the map doesn’t do justice to your property’s location, you’ll have a chance, later on, to add more detail and let people know what’s up.
Step 3: Write The Overview
After you’ve filled out all the details of your listing, it’s time to get into the sales-y part of the process, and this starts with writing the overview.
Think of this as the elevator pitch for your property.
Along with the photos and location, this is what people will see first, so use this as a chance to sell what’s good about your property, and also to sell yourself as a good host.
Don’t go overboard with fluffy adjectives and exaggerations, but let people know why your place is a great spot to stay.
Include info about the property, but also the location.
Is it near public transportation?
Can you walk to the downtown area?
Is it quiet at night?
What is there to do in your neighborhood?
All of this information will be relevant to guests, so make sure to include it in the description of your property.
Step 4: List Amenities
At this point, you’re almost done listing your apartment on Airbnb, and one of the last things you need to do is detail the amenities of your place.
This process is simple.
Airbnb gives you a (large) list of things to choose from, and all you need to do is go through it and check off what your place has.
Your choices range from the number of bedrooms to the availability of home security, as well as things such as smoking and pet policies.
At this step in the process, you will only be able to choose from the list of amenities provided to you by Airbnb.
But after you’ve finished, you can go back and edit this as you wish, meaning you can add in things you think are relevant but that aren’t on the list.
Make sure you include everything, as you never know what people like.
And never exaggerate, as failing to deliver on what you promised is a great way to get a bad review from a guest.
Step 5: Upload Photos
Anyone who has spent time buying or selling property knows just how important the photos are to a listing.
In fact, they can often be the difference between someone choosing one place over the other.
And things are no different with Airbnb.
As a result, it’s important you upload quality photos that will really showcase your property.
Here are tips to help you take great photos for your property:
- Take photos using as much natural light as you can. No one wants to feel like they will be staying in a dark, dingy apartment, and poorly lit photos can make even the warmest and most-inviting properties look this way.
- Combine wide angles and close-ups. You want to give people a snapshot of the entire room(s) you’re renting. But you also want people to see just how big everything is. Take photos from a few different angles, and then include some of the important things, such as the bed, the desk, the bathroom, etc.
- Include outside photos. This will not only help guests distinguish which property is yours when they arrive, but it will also help give a better snapshot of the property. If there is a garden or porch, make sure to include a photo of these features. Or if you have roof access, make sure to upload a sunset photo so that your property will jump off the page when guests are searching.
- Use a good camera. Most smartphones these days have quite good cameras, but if you have something better on hand, consider using it.
This will help your photos stand out on the search results page.
Step 6: Setting Your Availability
After detailing your property, the next thing you need to do is set its availability.
As a host, you will need to choose from a few different options:
This means that you are only going to rent your property for one specific period of time.
It’s a good choice if you’re going to be home most of the time but want to rent out the property when you go away on vacation or for business.
You can rent it out as many times as you want, but to do so you’ll need to log into the platform and set the dates for which the property is available.
If you would like to rent your apartment multiple times throughout the year, and you know which dates your property is available, this is a good choice.
However, only list the dates you know are free.
If someone books your place and your plans change, then you may end up being responsible, or you may end up receiving a bad rating, which can hurt your chances of renting the place out again.
All the time:
If you’re renting out a second property, or if you don’t mind guests coming to stay with you at any time, then you can choose this option and your property will appear in searches year round.
You can change this, of course, but you’ll have to honor any reservations made while your property was listed as available.
One thing to point out is that you’ll need to choose between instant bookings and requests.
Instant bookings are made when a guest pays, whereas requests require people to reach out to you first.
It’s then up to you to accept those you think will be the best fit.
Instant bookings involve a bit more risk because you will know less about the people coming to stay with you.
However, guests tend to prefer this because they don’t have to wait to hear back from you to confirm their reservation.
Step 7: Deciding Your Price
One of the last, and most important, steps of creating an Airbnb listing is to set your price.
Airbnb provides recommended rates for your property type and location, but these are just suggestions.
You can charge whatever price you’d like, but the recommended rate is a good starting point.
Spend some time review what other people in your area are charging for similar properties.
This will give you a good benchmark to use when creating your listing.
For new Airbnb hosts, it’s sometimes a good idea to list your property for a little less than what similar places are going for to attract guests and build up your profile and get some positive reviews.
In addition to the base rate, there are several other fees to consider.
For example, you can charge a cleaning fee or an additional guest fee, and you can also offer weekly and monthly rates, as well as nightly, to help make your property more attractive to those considering renting it.
Remember: you can always change this later, so the best move is probably to stick to the site’s suggestions and then adjust after you’ve had a chance to test out your property on the market.
Airbnb is a good way to use your apartment to make some money, but you’re probably wondering what the fees are.
It is important to understand the fees when setting your pricing so you can adjust accordingly.
For those who have booked as a guest, you know that Airbnb charges a fee to those making a reservation that can range from 0-20 percent, but they also charge another fee to hosts, although a much smaller one.
The amount of the fee depends a little on where you are hosting.
For example, in Italy, where there are very strict cancellation policies, fees are higher.
But in the U.S., Airbnb will charge you a 3 percent fee.
This fee is calculated based on the subtotal of the reservation, which includes the nightly, weekly, or monthly rate, cleaning fees, and additional guest fees.
They do not charge commission on service fee they charge to guests.
And this commission is taken from you right when the guest pays, so you don’t need to worry about keeping track of how much you owe Airbnb.
Step 8: Confirm Details and Choose Location
You’re almost there.
Before finishing, Airbnb will show you your completed listing so that you can review everything and confirm that everything is correct.
During this step, we suggest you check out other listings in your area to make sure you didn’t forget anything.
There is nothing wrong with “borrowing brilliance” from other successful listings.
When you’re done, click confirm, and your apartment will start appearing in search results for the dates you’ve indicated.
Once people starting requesting or booking your place, make sure to reach out to them to ask them their arrival time, and also if they have any questions.
Airbnb guests can ask questions through the system, and it also tracks your response rate.
So be sure to respond in a timely and professional manner.
If you notice that you constantly get the same questions, that’s a sign that your listing is missing important information.
Furthermore, after you start hosting people, make sure to log in and leave a review for the guest.
This will usually encourage your guests to do the same, which is a great way to build up your profile and attract more people to the property.
If you live in a busy city, or in an area that gets a lot of tourists, then Airbnb is a great source of rental income for your spare bedroom or vacation home.
The process is pretty straightforward, but the details are what will make or break your listing.
To recap, here are the important steps to putting your house on Airbnb:
- Create a detailed personal account
- Enter the basic information about your list
- Write a sales pitch of the property
- List any and all amenities
- Upload professional photos
- Set your availability
- Decide on a competitive price
- Confirm the details
So what are you waiting for?
Get out there, sign up for Airbnb, and list your house today!