How to Become an Airbnb Host

how to become an airbnb host

By The Hospitable Team

Airbnb is a popular OTA website that connects travelers with places to stay and things to do around the globe. About 4 million Airbnb hosts in 220 countries provide their guests the unique opportunity to live like a local while traveling.

If you are considering offering up an extra room in your house, would like to put your entire apartment up for a share on Airbnb, or are looking to buy a property, this blog is for you. Learn how to become an Airbnb host to have the flexibility to earn extra income and meet new interesting people from all over the world.

How to Become an Airbnb Host

If you are interested in hosting guests, getting started on Airbnb is simple. But to become a successful host, be prepared to put in some good old-fashioned hard work along the way. You should be ready to go above and beyond to ensure a memorable guest experience, and it will be easier if you opt for vacation rental software like Hospitable.

This way, you can ensure you don’t miss out on anything essential and keep control over your short-term rental business. Hospitable will help you seamlessly manage your listings across multiple platforms and streamline your operations.

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Whether you want to become a full-time Airbnb host or get extra income, these steps will help you get started.

Do Some Research

If you’re looking to buy an Airbnb property, you should first do market research to choose an attractive location with high tourist traffic and find suitable properties for short-term rentals. The most important metrics you should pay attention to are the occupancy rate and the average daily rate because they show how profitable each location is for short-term renting property.

Doing an STR market analysis can be challenging, so a good idea is to use Airbnb analytics tools to help you identify high-demand areas and estimate the profitability of any rental property you’re interested in. If you plan to buy an Airbnb property in the US this year, you may also want to check out our blog article to find out the best cities for Airbnb investment in 2024.

You must also research local laws that apply to short-term rental properties in your area and understand the tax implications of running an Airbnb business. Depending on where you live, there might be legal restrictions on renting your home short-term.

Do your research beforehand to ensure that short-term rentals are something you’re allowed to do in your neighborhood. Some cities may require you to obtain a business license, short-term rental license, or special permit, and violating local regulations can result in hefty fines. So, the best practice is to visit your local government website and check for STR laws and regulations before proceeding with your listing. 

Get to Know Airbnb Website

Before you list your STR property on Airbnb, spend some time on the website to learn more about how it works. Explore the various features and look at existing listings to find interesting ideas for inspiration that will help you prepare your rental space for welcoming guests. A very helpful place for new hosts is Airbnb’s Community Center. Here, you can find answers to commonly asked questions and practical tips from other hosts.

Create a Listing for Your Place

Create an Airbnb account and list your property by entering basic information about your listing with easy-to-follow prompt questions. You’ll be asked for details like the location of your place, what type of property you’re offering, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and other information regarding amenities.

Write a detailed description of your listing to help travelers understand what kind of experience they will have if they book your rental. Give your place a catchy, exciting name to attract the attention of potential guests, and explain all the details of your rental property and amenities that make it special. Let people know what there is to do in the neighborhood. Think about the types of guests you want to target and highlight your rental’s best features and amenities that may help attract their attention.

Remember that the Airbnb algorithm categorizes listings into clusters based on their location, style, specific amenities, nearby travel activities, and other factors to help travelers find the right rental. So consider the Airbnb categories in which you want your property to be shown and use relevant words and phrases in your title and property description.

Make your Airbnb listing stand out by providing high-quality photos of your space. Airbnb recommends adding at least one photo of each room your guests can access and the exterior. Be sure your rooms are clean, decorated, and inviting to give travelers the best idea of where they’ll stay.

You may choose to take photos of your STR property yourself. Then you may find it helpful to check out our blog article, which shares some tips on taking great photos of your Airbnb listing to tell a fantastic story about your place. A good idea is also to hire a professional Airbnb photographer who can help you show your rental space in the best way and attract the attention of potential guests.

Set Your Prices

What you charge is always up to you, but we recommend looking up competitive pricing for Airbnb listings in your area and then creating your pricing strategy. Start low and increase your prices once you get a few positive reviews. Airbnb will suggest a price per night based on your location and the size of your rental property, but it’s up to you if you choose the suggested rate or not.

Establish Rules and Expectations

Add your house rules to help guests understand your expectations. Include details about whether or not you’ll allow smoking, pets, and extra guests on the property. It’s important to set clear boundaries for your guests, but you should also ensure you don’t go overboard with rules.

Complete Your Profile

Creating an Airbnb profile is essential in establishing personal connections with travelers and building trust. You should provide enough details to help potential guests get to know you as a person. Upload an appropriate photo that clearly shows your face so that other people can easily recognize you. Add a detailed bio written in a conversational tone. 

Becoming an Airbnb Host: How to Succeed

Now that you know how to become an Airbnb host, it’s time to decide whether it will be worth your time. If you invest more time in providing the perfect experience for your guests, you’ll get more bookings, hopefully, more positive reviews, and a higher ranking. Then you’ll appear more often in people’s search results and will be able to get more bookings and more money.

So, you’ll need to put more effort into your rental space to furnish and decorate it and make it as beautiful, functional, and comfortable as possible. And you’ll need to allow a lot of time to be available to respond to your guests’ concerns as quickly as possible. Still, with the right planning, becoming an Airbnb host can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Automate Guest Communication

As your vacation rental business grows, you’ll receive many messages from current and potential guests. Maintaining clear and prompt messaging with guests to provide them with the necessary information is very time-consuming, but it’s critical to make them happy and become a successful host. The good news is that you can automate this aspect of your business and many others with Hospitable and save tons of time.

Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.

We will detect questions and answer on your behalf; send fully custom messages triggered by events, and much more!

With Hospitable, you can automate messages at all customer journey stages and ensure proactive, personalized communication with guests using templates and applying shortcodes. Powered by AI, our system can detect questions on more than 20 topics in guest messages and answer them instantly using your pre-written templates. Hospitable also has integration with ChatGPT, and you can take advantage of it when writing responses to messages with unusual questions.

Encourage Guest Reviews

Positive guest reviews are very important for your reputation on the Airbnb platform and can help your listing appear higher in search results. So you must provide excellent service and encourage your guests to write reviews about their stays.

It’s vital to be proactive and be the first to review your guests. Then Airbnb will notify them about that, encouraging them to review you. You can also remind your guests to leave you a review in your check-out message.

Use Dynamic Pricing to Maximize Your Profits

You can’t just set a fixed price for your listing and forget about it. You need to check and update your pricing constantly according to market trends. Optimizing your nightly rates according to seasonality will allow you to maintain a high occupancy rate and make more money. The easiest way to set flexible rates based on real-time demand is to use a dynamic pricing tool powered by AI to help you set your prices automatically and with no hassle.

Maintain Good Relationships with Neighbors

Your Airbnb property may get great reviews and bring you a steady income stream. But if it’s in a residential area, there’s always a risk that your neighbors are unhappy about having strangers around their homes, especially if any issues arise. Neighbors are most likely to be upset with excessive noise, late-night parties, or uncontrollable guests who smoke in non-smoking areas.

That’s why you should prioritize establishing trust and rapport with your neighbors and taking measures to prevent common neighbor complaints, which can cause serious obstacles to your business. Setting clear rules on issues that might disrupt relationships with neighbors and screening your guests before you accept bookings is essential. You should also invest in noise monitoring tools that can help you detect the noise level in your property via a mobile app and contact your guests before it becomes too loud.

Offer Self-Check-In

Self-check-in is one of the most popular search filters guests use when browsing Airbnb to find a place to stay. Travelers like the flexibility of this option, which allows them to arrive when they choose, so offering it will make your listing more appealing.

The simplest solution is installing a lockbox for storing keys, but it’s somewhat outdated. Today, more and more STR hosts invest in smart lock technology that eliminates the need for physical keys and ensures a smooth experience for guests and hosts.

List Your Property on Multiple Channels

Airbnb is a great place to list your property and earn additional income, but it should only be a part of a broader strategy. You should also embrace other channels to increase your exposure and get more bookings. List your rental space on multiple vacation rental websites (at least major OTAs like Vrbo and Booking.com) to reach different traveler audiences.

Not sure which platform is a good option for you? Check out our blog post, where we compare Vrbo vs Airbnb and learn about key differences in their features, fees, cancellation policies, and audiences they target. We also recommend you check out our Booking.com host guide for beginners.

Focus on Repeat Direct Bookings

If you’re serious about building a thriving STR business, you can’t rely only on OTAs like Airbnb. You should create your own vacation rental website for direct bookings. It will allow you to build your brand and establish strong relationships with guests to foster their loyalty and encourage repeat bookings.

You don’t need technical skills to build your direct booking website if you use our dedicated service, Hospitable Direct. You’ll have complete control of your bookings and the way you market your property, and we’ll lighten the load by taking administrative hassles off your plate. Your property will also get listed on Google Vacation Rentals, and you’ll be able to get direct bookings without paying high third-party fees.  

Bottom Line

Whether you rent out a single room in your apartment or an entire house, it’s important to treat your Airbnb not as a side hustle but as a profession. Hopefully, with our tips on becoming an Airbnb host, you should be able to start an Airbnb business and build an income with your vacation rental property.

By providing accurate details in your listing, ensuring prompt communication and a spotless rental space, and doing your best to meet guests’ needs, you’ll be well on your way to providing the great experience that guests expect. This way, you’ll increase your chances of getting more 5-star reviews that will help you win more bookings and make more money.

Airbnb hosting guide

Airbnb Hosting Guide for Beginners

Hosting on Airbnb can be a very lucrative and rewarding path, but it’s not that simple. We’ve created this comprehensive Airbnb hosting guide that covers all the essential things you need to do to begin hosting and set your business for success.

how to start an airbnb business

How to Start an Airbnb Business: Questions Answered

You are wondering how to be an Airbnb host? Anyone can list an extra room on the Airbnb website, and signing up to become an Airbnb host is fairly simple. Still, there’s a number of steps to take and pitfalls to avoid. Don’t worry, we’ll guide you.

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