How to Start an Airbnb in Canada

how to start an airbnb in canada

By The Hospitable Team

Are you thinking about starting an Airbnb in Canada? The good news is that if you own a property, you don’t need any experience or much money to get started on this OTA platform. You can rent out a holiday cottage that sits empty for several months of the year, a spare room in your home, an RV, or even a boat, and your property can be booked whenever it’s convenient for you.

Still, there are many things to consider when setting up a vacation rental, so it’s normal to have many questions at the start. You’ll find answers to some of them in this blog, where we’ll talk about how to start an Airbnb in Canada and thrive in the competitive vacation rental market.

How to Start an Airbnb in Canada: Essential Steps

Running an Airbnb in Canada can be a lucrative side hustle to boost your income to help pay your bills and an excellent opportunity to grow a successful STR business while offering travelers a chance to live like locals. For example, in 2022, the typical host on Airbnb in Canada earned approximately $10,300 of additional income, which helped them cover rising costs and mortgage payments.

Of course, being a STR host involves many responsibilities and can be rather time-consuming. So many savvy hosts use vacation rental software like Hospitable to automate daily repetitive tasks and save hours every week.

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Launching an Airbnb business in Canada involves several critical steps, and we’ll walk you through the process. Here’s what you need to do to start hosting on Airbnb.

Research local STR laws and regulations

Before you start your Airbnb in Canada, knowing the legal requirements and regulations you’ll need to follow in your city to ensure compliance is essential. First, you need to determine whether you’re allowed to rent out your home on a platform like Airbnb.

Sometimes, building regulations and community rules have restrictions against subletting or hosting. Depending on the location of your property, you may also need to register and obtain different licenses and permits.

Airbnb provides some general information about local regulations in some cities in Canada on its Responsible Hosting page. Still, this article isn’t comprehensive, and they don’t update it in real-time. So, it’s best to check with a lawyer or local authority to learn more about STR regulations and restrictions specific to your circumstances.

You also need to have a good understanding of your tax obligations. Remember that the money you earn by renting out your home or other property is considered taxable income that may be subject to different taxes like rental or income tax. National taxes are a complex topic, so Airbnb recommends you consult a tax professional to get more specific information.

You may also want to check out our article to learn more about the Airbnb host requirements you need to follow to Airbnb your house.

Prepare your space for welcoming guests

Whether you want to rent out a single room or an entire property, you must prepare your rental space for guests. Declutter your home and remove all personal items to create a neutral and welcoming space for guests.

Equip your property with safety items like carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Ensure everything in your home is in working order and create a homely and inviting atmosphere with tasteful décor.

Stock up on basic Airbnb essentials to ensure a comfortable stay. You need to provide kitchen necessities needed to cook and serve meals, quality bedding in bedrooms, and basic toiletries in bathrooms. Consider adding extra features, popular amenities, and entertainment options to attract more guests.

A good idea is to install a smart lock to ensure a smooth check-in process for your guests when you can’t be physically present to greet them personally at your property. Remember that modern travelers prefer self-check-ins and are more likely to book your Airbnb if you offer it.

Smart locks integrate with vacation rental management software, making it possible to generate and send access codes to guests automatically. For example, Hospitable integrates with many popular smart lock systems for Airbnb. If you opt for Hospitable, it will automatically create and send unique door codes to your guests shortly before check-in.

Create a compelling Airbnb listing

You can list your property on Airbnb for free—they only charge a host fee as a percentage of a booking subtotal when a reservation is confirmed. So, sign up for Airbnb using your phone number and set up your listing by filling out a form with easy-to-follow prompt questions.

Create a catchy title for your listing and write a detailed description of your rental space. Highlight your property’s best features and amenities and explain what makes your rental space special. Think about the Airbnb categories in which your listing is to be shown, and use relevant words and phrases.

Add high-resolution photos of your space that showcase your best amenities and highlight unique décor—at least one photo of each room your guests can access. You may take photos of your rental yourself if you enjoy doing it and have time to edit them. You can also hire an Airbnb photographer who has experience in interior design photography.

Set your nightly rates

Airbnb will provide you with AI recommendations based on prices in comparable listings in your local area, but it’s up to you to decide what to charge per night. Still, you need to ensure that your prices are competitive and allow you to generate a profit. So consider what other hosts in your area charge, take into account the size of your property and the amenities you offer, and then create your pricing strategy.

Just remember that you’ll need to regularly review your prices and adjust them according to seasonality and other market trends to ensure high occupancy rates. The easiest way to do it is to use a dynamic pricing tool.

Ensure your place is clean

Airbnb guests prioritize cleanliness, so you must ensure your Airbnb rental is spotless and well-maintained every time you welcome new guests. This is crucial for getting positive Airbnb reviews that can help you win more bookings.

Vacation rental cleaning is more comprehensive than regular home cleaning and requires more attention to detail. That’s why hiring a professional cleaning service to deep clean your Airbnb before each guest arrives makes sense. They can do it quickly and efficiently. Provide your cleaners with a cleaning checklist to ensure that your rental space is cleaned thoroughly.

Market your property on other channels

Listing your property in Canada on Airbnb gives you a great opportunity to reach potential guests. However, you should also explore other booking websites, such as Booking.com and Vrbo, and list your property there to increase your exposure and reach wider audiences.

However, to maximize your revenue, you should establish good relationships with guests and build customer loyalty to encourage direct repeat bookings. That’s why you should also build a direct booking website—it’s easy if you use our dedicated service, Hospitable Direct.

Your direct booking website will be optimized for desktop and mobile and equipped with payment processing and booking engines. Your property will also get listed on Google Vacation Rentals, so you can reach millions of potential guests searching on Google daily and get direct bookings without paying high third-party fees.

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Airbnb Marketing Strategy for Hosts

You need to build and implement a consistent Airbnb marketing strategy to set your business apart from the competition and attract more guests. In this blog post, we’ll talk about effective marketing techniques that you can use to reach more customers and maximize your bookings.

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.

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Airbnb Automation: 7 Ways to Streamline Your Business

Airbnb automation can help remove the stress from the equation of managing your STR business and give you more free time to focus on providing exceptional guest experience and increasing profits or spend this time on things you care about.

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