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Are you a new host looking for some Airbnb tips?
I made the plunge and decided to turn my upper apartment into a short term rental when my long term tenant moved out in April. I had no idea what I was getting in to, but I quickly came up with several more effective ways to do things from a vacation rental standpoint.
These Airbnb tips are geared to new hosts and will be updated when something relevant happens on my end.
1. Set aside some startup funds.
In theory, the potential profit from Airbnb is greater than what you would get renting an apartment to a long term tenant. However, startup costs are significantly higher for short term rentals.
Make sure you have enough money to furnish the apartment with basic essentials. It took me about $1,500 to furnish a studio apartment.
Here is a list of some of the larger ticket I had to buy before I could rent on Airbnb and what they cost me. Some of the items I bought used.
- Full bed frame and mattress — $500
- Futon — $150
- Smart TV — $100
- Desk and chair — $150
2. Purchase extra linens and towels.
You will be doing a lot more laundry once you’re an Airbnb host, but one way to make the task less cumbersome is to have a lot of extra towels and bedsheets on hand.
I started out with two sets but now rotate between three sets of towels and three sets of bedsheets for every bed. This tip is important if you have a lot of one night stays.
3. Give yourself adequate time to clean between rentals.
Make sure your check-in and check-out times are far enough apart so that you have enough time to clean on same-day turns.
I read some hosts complain about guests leaving late, so I made a welcome sign that has the check-out time in a large font. On the sign, I also explained that timely check-outs are important because we have people coming to stay the same day.
So far, only two sets of guests left late.
4. Focus on clean bathrooms and kitchens.
You should have a cleaning checklist that you go through every time you turn a rental. It’s essential that you change the sheets and linens, change the towels, and vacuum and dust everything.
However, you should spend most of your time deep cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. These places make the biggest impression on guests as far as cleanliness. A five-star cleanliness rating is perhaps the most important among renters.
Clean as usual then go through a second or third time to make sure there is no hair anywhere. Yuck.
5. Print out a guide book with the house rules.
Of all the Airbnb tips out there, this one might be the most underrated. Guests likely won’t read through the entire rules, but I think creating a customized guide book is worth the effort. Most importantly, it protects you in the event that the guests don’t follow the rules.
You will have had your rules posted on the app and also in the apartment, so you can argue that you did all you could to explain the rules. Also, I think more guests than we think read the rules. I’ve yet to have a guest not follow my house rule that all dishes must be washed before check-out, and this requirement was only printed in the guide book.
I’ll add more insight as I gain more experience hosting. So far the process has been a lot of work, but it’s been worth the extra effort. Good luck!