For those who haven't the slightest clue how to start hosting their home, apartment, or private room through Airbnb: don't worry, you're not alone.
I've personally gone through and detailed each of the steps for hosting an Airbnb, including setting up an account, adding important information, and verifying identity. Furthermore, I've included some useful information, such as important things to consider before hosting, and ways to become a better host.
These guidelines are sure to guarantee your success with Airbnb, hopefully making you the ultimate hostess with the mostess!
Initial steps to host your home with Airbnb
1. Create an Airbnb account
The first step to hosting your home on Airbnb is by creating an account. Creating an account on Airbnb is quick and simple. After selecting your location, what type of property you will be hosting, and the maximum number of guests your home can provide, Airbnb will then automatically calculate an estimated number for how much you can expect to make per month.
Airbnb's website is extremely user-friendly and will carefully walk you through each step of the hosting process. Be sure to fill out in detail things such as offered amenities, safety amenities, and what spaces guests can use.
2. Add photos, a short description, and a title
After filling out the basics described above, Airbnb will then guide you in adding photos, a description of your home, and a catchy title that will attract visitors to your listing. Airbnb suggests uploading eight photos of your home, in order to give guests a good feel for what they can expect.
In the description, Airbnb suggests to include decor, light, what's nearby, etc. The description is meant to be a brief overview of your place that guests can read before getting into the nitty-gritty details.
Though the title may seem insignificant, I personally tend to click on listings that have a catchy title on Airbnb, for example, "Chicago home with lakeside view" or "Modern and updated private home in quaint neighborhood". The title of a listing is the first thing a potential guest will see, so don't slack on this important step!
3. Review Airbnb's guest requirements
Next, Airbnb will remind you of its guest requirements. Keep these things in mind before booking a guest, and if any of the following information is left out, be sure to ask your guest for their:
1. E-mail address
2. Confirmed phone number
3. Payment information
4. Agreement of House Rules
5. Message from guest detailing their stay
6. Number of guests
7. Confirmed check-in time (if arriving within two days)
Be sure to carefully think through the house rules you wish to set, and add any additional house rules you find necessary, i.e. if you wish to have given quiet hours, or if you want guests to remove their shoes before entering your home.
4. Set controls for who can book
Airbnb allows hosts to completely take control of who can book through their listing.
For quicker bookings, you can choose to allow guests to book available dates without having to send a request, or you can choose to require reservation requests. It's all up to you!
Important things to consider
1. Verifying your identification
Verifying your identification is a way for Airbnb to show potential guests that you really are who you say you are. This also maintains security and helps fight against fraud.
You can verify your identity by adding a clear image of yourself and a photocopy of a scanned passport or driver's license (not shown to the public).
Other things you can add to your profile to verify identification are mobile phone numbers (also not displayed publicly) and social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles.
For other safety tips on hosting an Airbnb, check out 5 Safety Tips For Hosting An Airbnb.
2. Review the Host Protection Insurance program
When deciding to host through Airbnb, you will be covered through the company's Host Protection Insurance program.
As stated on their website, Airbnb's insurance program provides primary liability coverage for up to $1,000,000 per occurrence in the event of a third-party claim of bodily injury or property damage related to an Airbnb stay.
It's imperative that hosts understand what types of incidents are covered under this insurance program, and which aren't. The following are a list of incidents that would not be covered under Airbnb's Host Protection Insurance program:
1. Intentional acts where liability isn't the result of an accident.
2. Accusations of slander or defamation of character.
3. Property issues (ex: mould, bed bugs, asbestos, pollution).
4. Auto accidents (ex: vehicle collisions).
For further assistance, be sure to check out Airbnb's Responsible Hosting in the United States page.
3. Landlord approval
If you're wondering whether or not you need approval from your landlord before hosting a rental property on Airbnb, the answer is "yes." If you're worried about what to say to your landlord, Airbnb has their own nifty page detailing how hosts should talk to their landlord about hosting an Airbnb.
Though this may deter you from hosting through Airbnb, it's important to get permission from your landlord if you are renting, for many apartment buildings do not allow short-term subleasing.
The last thing you want is to be involved in a legal lawsuit with your landlord. Failure to obtain approval before hosting your rented property can sometimes even result in eviction. Trust me, you don't want this to happen to you!
To read more about the negative consequences of hosting on Airbnb without landlord approval, click here.
How to become a better host
1. Go above and beyond
If you really want to impress your guests, provide a little something extra that maybe wasn't mentioned in your profile. Examples include offering fresh coffee in the morning, a glass of wine in the evening, an iron and ironing board, or toiletries. Guests will notice you going the extra mile, and will be sure to include this in their review.
2. Be flexible
Don't be the type of host that says check-in and check-out must be done during a two-hour window throughout the day. Keep in mind that travelers may arrive at strange hours due to flight arrival times or delays in transportation.
Part of being a host on Airbnb is remaining flexible, and guests will appreciate it if you have open availability for check-in and check-out.
3. Provide useful information about your city or town
I personally find it very helpful when Airbnb hosts either leave useful travel pamphlets, guides, or books around the house or verbally offer some insider tips for enjoying their stay to the fullest. Being a local, you have the opportunity to provide travelers with information on the best places to dine, popular tourist attractions, and nightlife.
Providing these details will make guests feel welcome and more comfortable exploring your city or town on their own.
4. Use Post-it notes around your home
As a grown woman, I am embarrassed to admit that I still have to ask for help with our new Amazon Fire Stick. Similarly, guests may have a difficult time navigating TVs, stereos, computers, etc.
If you allow guests to use various technologies throughout your home, leaving sticky notes with steps to use things like remotes will be greatly appreciated by your guests.
Though listed last, providing a clean home, apartment, or private room may be the most important aspect to consider for becoming a better host through Airbnb.
If you provide guests with a dirty stay, it's essentially guaranteed to show up on their review. Nobody enjoys staying in (and paying for) a home that isn't cleaned adequately. Be sure to leave guests with a spotless and pristine living space!
We hope these tips help you make the jump to becoming a quality Airbnb host. It's a great way to make some money and help other travelers see the world at the same time.