If you’ve got the space, and are looking for another revenue stream, listing your home on Airbnb feels like a no-brainer these days. However, if you think creating a listing, cleaning out your old spare room and then simply handing a set of keys over is the entire process… then I’m afraid you’ve got some learning to do!
You need to meticulously prepare your home in advance of short-term guests, most of whom will be expecting a modicum of cleanliness and readiness found in hotels. The better job you do at getting your space ready, the easier the stay of the guests will be, the easier your life will be!
Here are eight tips for preparing your pad and welcoming new friends into your home.
Mop and Bucket
Goes without saying, but cleanliness is right next to Godliness. Nothing puts a visitor off more than musky smells, dusty surfaces and stained sheets. Before hosting anyone make sure the space is royally cleaned from top to bottom!
Clutter in the Gutter
Ideally, a temporary rental is minimalist. Your guests don’t want to see your clothes hanging in a cupboard or your floss in the bathroom cabinet. Remove your possessions and keep them stowed away from the reach of visitors. If you keep anything that’s yours in a draw rest assured your guests will find them. It’s human nature to open every draw of a room you’re staying in.
Don’t you? Maybe it’s just me then…
Stash the Goods
Speaking of your stuff…If you’re renting space in your home, it doubtless contains valuables you don’t want to go missing. Things like jewellery, artwork, family photos, personal documents, firearms and passports are all things you don’t want in the presence of strangers.
The first defence you have is screening any potential guests who’ve made an enquiry. Check references if available, and reviews done by past hosts which will be visible on their profiles. In addition, you should take specific steps in order to make your valuables inaccessible. One such option is placing said items in a lock box or lockable cupboard, however, this isn’t foolproof. It’s safer to move valuables off-site (a friend’s place or a storage unit). If this isn’t feasible either, then a bank safe deposit box is also an option.
Cover the Cracks
Any loose hanging wires, exposed piping or loose floor tiles need to be taken care of before any guest steps foot in your property. Having a guest injure themselves is a legal minefield you don’t ever want to visit!
Have I Told You Lately?
Be as descriptive and clear as you can in your home’s bio. The competition is fierce, so ensure to detail the amenities you offer, what’s happening in your neighbourhood, public transport options, the best places to eat and your decorating style.
You’ve assumed the role of a hotel concierge. Meaning maps and pamphlets are great, but when your guests arrive make the effort to say hello and familiarise them with your location. If you’re unable to be there when they arrive, having a friend, or a handwritten note as the introduction is just as good.
It’s the Little Things
Clean sheets, toilet paper and fresh towels are standard. And must be provided. But it’s not what anyone remembers. What about a universal charging dock and a Netflix account?
A ripe bouquet of flowers and a scented candle? A deck of playing cards and a bottle of champagne? Small touches make a big difference.
Mr Sandman, Bring Me A Dream
There is nothing worse than a bad night’s sleep. Especially when you’re paying to sleep there. It can totally bomb a guest experience, and it’s up to you not to miss this major detail with very minor solution.
Only Got $20 In My Pocket
Your Airbnb listing can prove to be a great earner, but you won’t get there by pricing people out. Your pricing is of course up to you, best practice, however, is to compare your listing with those around you. Most of the time, the cost is the deciding factor, and you don’t want to turn people off with yours.
If your listing is brand new, then perhaps start advertising at a lower price in order to garner some five-star ratings which will push you higher up the charts. Third party endorsement is the next biggest deciding factor in a potential guest’s head. With our short-term rental management portfolio, we favour this method and do our best to ensure the first few guests leave a 5-star review!
To make your space look more appealing, ask a photographer friend to come and shoot some beauty snaps for you. In this game, looks are everything!
Help! I Need Somebody!
Keep a guidebook on how to navigate your home. How to turn the dishwasher on, where to park, the WiFi password and how to operate the TV. One thing every home has in common is that turning the TV and the speakers on for the first time can feel like open heart surgery. Seriously, why is it always so complicated?
Always lead with a welcome note and end with a thank you.
You don’t need to fill your pantry with perishables but spending just a little bit more at the shops makes it easier for guests to settle and adds that extra layer of comfort. Who doesn’t love free food? As well as tea and coffee, the best hosts will offer things like bread, eggs and cereal. A cheeky six-pack is always well appreciated as well.
So there you have it, ensure you print a copy of this out and tick off as you go. Airbnb has proven itself to be a great way to use your space to benefit your bank balance. All it requires is a little extra care to position you above the rest.
You’ll be a super host in no time!