How to Start An
So, you might be asking yourself, “How do I start an Airbnb business?” I mean, that’s why you’re here, right?
Well, the mere fact that you are curious about how to get started as an Airbnb host, is a very good sign!
If you want to make passive income possible in just a few hours per week, then it's time to get started NOT just as an Airbnb host, but as a short term rental owner.
What is Airbnb?
With over 6 million listings worldwide, in over 65,000 cities, it’s VERY likely that Airbnb’s are in your current city right now.
But what exactly is Airbnb?
Quite simply, Airbnb is a marketplace where short term rental owners, or hosts, can list their properties; offering safe, affordable housing for travelers and those needing a short term rental. Meanwhile, the hosts and owners grow their own passive income.
Airbnb is just ONE of many marketplaces for short term rentals, and their process for becoming a host is an incredibly simple one. So, it’s worth taking a look at if you are just getting started in the short term rental world. In fact, one great first step would be watching my video regarding how Airbnb Works. This video shows you exactly how to make money with Airbnb.
How to Make Money with Airbnb
I’ve been teaching people about short term rental ownership for a while now, and am often asked how to make money with Airbnb. However, a better question would be, how can I best create an experience that will attract the right types of renters. Because the secret behind making money on Airbnb, or any other rental site for that matter, will always be to create a rental property experience that is absolutely irresistible to a specific type of person. That includes everything from location to decor to amenities. If you do that, and learn how to effectively market and run your short term rental business, you will inevitably make money from your Airbnb rental property.
How to Become an Airbnb Host
Before we talk about how to become an Airbnb host, we need to talk about the fact that, as an Airbnb host, you are actually running a business. Becoming a host, is quite literally starting a business. The beauty of that is, as a business owner, you have control over every aspect of your business; from pricing, to when your unit will be open, to how to decorate your unit.
What’s the first step to becoming an Airbnb host?
It’s deciding to actually become a host, and do the whole short term rental thing.
Then, obviously, there’s the matter of finding the location (if you don’t already have one), and getting it prepped and ready to go. From there, setting yourself up as an Airbnb host is incredibly simple.
1. Get Your Listing Up, For Free.
Getting your Airbnb business started is easy, and you can advertise your home to millions of travelers for *free*, as there are no sign-up charges, or membership fees to list on the Airbnb site. It’s important to note that while it’s free to list your unit on Airbnb, there will still be fees that are incurred when a guest books your unit – likely by both you, and the guest.
2. Get Inquiries, then Confirm Your Booking
Once you’ve listed your property, you will begin to get inquiries from potential guests. After you’ve answered those inquiries, a potential guest can decide to actually book a stay. Airbnb charges the guest before arrival, so you never have to handle money directly.
3. Payment Comes After Your Guests Arrive
Even though Airbnb gets 100% of the payment as soon as your guest books their stay (in most cases), Airbnb won’t release any of that money to you until 24 hours after your guest has arrived.
4. What You Charge is Up to You
As the host (or operator) of your property, what you charge your guests will always be your personal decision, albeit, one of the most difficult decisions. There are TONS of things to consider as you price your rental which I will discuss a little later on in this article.
Above all, the question you must answer is, “Who do you want to serve?” You get to choose, and you should choose, who you serve. Pricing can attract – or repel – that exact type of guest, and fully understanding who your person is, will dictate all the decisions you need to make as an Airbnb host.
5. Customization is Key
Remember – the best part of being in the short term rental game, is that YOU are in control of how much you charge, and what kind of experience you want guests to have. Whether you want to set custom prices for certain seasons, weekends, or local events – the choice is yours. You can even provide weekly and monthly discounts for those looking to stay a while, saving you the time it takes to turn over guests.
How To Choose Your Airbnb Property
1. It’s all About Location, Location, Location.
Every realtor in the world will tell you it’s all about the location, and that is mostly true. However, when choosing the location of your short term rental on Airbnb, you want to first consider the experience your ideal guest is looking to have. Then, you can decide where the best location would be, and what type of property will best provide that kind of experience. I’ve seen everything from a Yurt, to a covered wagon.
2. Choose a Rental Property Type.
With condos, campers, and cabins – how do you ever decide on the right rental property type?
One of the biggest things to understand, is that when it comes to the short term rental game, although real estate is important, what is more important is the experience that your rental can offer.
That’s why I’ve broken down the types of experiences into three categories.
Category 1: The Exotic Experience
Have you heard about taxi cabs being rented out? Maybe even exotic tree houses in the middle of nowhere? Either way, when it comes to the question of, “will this work?” It is simply about the experience and the level of that experience. So ask yourself, “What kind of experience am I trying to give?”
Category 2: The Rustic Experience
The best thing about the Rustic Experience? You can get started with very little money. It can be something as simple as “Glamping” in the desert. Yep, that’s right! You can literally set up a living room scenario, with very little equipment. Here, the experience is more focused on who your guests are, rather than what they are surrounded by. The rustic experience gives them a chance to connect, all while costing you very little to start up.
Category 3: The Urban Experience
This is your typical inner city, urban experience. Your guest has access to those common amenities when traveling such as running water, AC, and a place to cook. You’re providing the amenities that you expect when traveling, and those that your customers expect when traveling, as well. This is the area we excel at the most; it’s the one that we know the most, it’s who we are.
Remember – most of the time, when you are trying to decide which experience to deliver to your guests, it’s best to start with the one that you enjoy the most. For most people, it is the one that provides them with the most modern conveniences, like the ones they already have, in the comfort of their homes.
3. Review Local Laws
As is often the case, technology has outpaced the government when it comes to short term rentals. This means that, many times, the guidelines, laws, and ordinances don’t come into play until the technology forces the government to take note and regulate.
As more and more laws are drawn up around the globe, surrounding the short term rental world, you, as a host, will need to stay up to date. But, for those of you looking to be the next big rentalpreneur, don’t let that stop you!
Instead of listening to the reports, and letting some new anchor interpret the laws for you, read the laws for yourself. Most ordinances tell you exactly what you have to do, and how you have to do it.
And, for the times you don’t fully understand, just know that the short term rental community is incredibly supportive, and is always there to help you operate in compliance!
4. Costs of Owning an Airbnb
While there are the obvious costs of becoming a short term rental host, like buying the property (unless you don’t, but that’s a whole other story), there are some other costs when it comes to how to manage an airbnb business to consider as well, including: the cost to renovate, insurance, and the systems and team you need in place to keep it running (Such as a virtual assistant, cleaners, maintenance people, etc).
Many of those things will go into the pricing of your unit if you are looking at truly turning short term rental hosting into a full-time stream of income (while working very part-time hours).
5. Understand Your Nightly Rates
To get a clear picture on pricing, many people will tell you to start with research on real properties similar to your own. They will likely tell you to use online data and analytics tools to help you determine your pricing. And while you should check out all of that info, it shouldn’t be the only factor in your financial model
Because there’s a big difference between someone trying to make a living as an Airbnb host, and someone just renting out a room for a little extra cash each month. The care, the time, and the attention to detail will be quite different for someone who has made short term rentals their living.
The experience will be entirely different (not better or worse, just different) depending on the motivation of the host. For that reason, you are going to want to make sure you consider your own goals, costs, and the experience you create FIRST, and then measure that against other properties similar to yours.
How to Market Your Airbnb
When it comes to the short term rental market, once you’ve determined your financial goals and factored in additional costs, you’ll want to make sure you market your property for success. As soon as you get your listing up on the app – you’ll want to take advantage of your status as the NEW guy.
Marketing your Airbnb in Your First Three Months is important
Timing is everything. Knowing how to market your short term rental is critical. Airbnb’s algorithm favors new listings. This means you get a short window of time to see good traffic filter in, and generate your first great reviews on your listing. Getting these great reviews will beef up your status in the search results moving forward, so make sure that you get yourself in front of potential customers, and don’t fall behind.
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Bookings
In today’s visual world, we are most likely to click on whatever looks most appealing. This is especially true for Airbnb rentals. Airbnb is a visual design-forward company, so make sure your photos are clean and appealing – just like the app. You want your guests to be able to imagine themselves in their relaxing getaway, having an incredible time.
Get Great Reviews
Finally, get those great reviews. Everybody loves a positive review. It not only builds your credibility, but it makes future guests more likely to book with you. Especially since you already have had real people provide real and positive experiences. Go above and beyond. Be responsive and do what it takes to make the experience run smoothly. By going the extra mile, you will see that you will get the extra bookings.
Airbnb Hosting Guide
At the end of the day, you want to be the host with the most. You also want to make sure that your property is maintained in tip-top shape. This is where the Airbnb house rules come into play. These rules outline what you should expect from your guests before, during, and after their stay. Knowing how to manage a short term rental property can be confusing, but it all boils down to this: If a guest breaks the rules, they are liable for any damages that may occur, and are even subject to eviction if needed. In case anything does happen, it’s important to set up some boundaries.
Some super helpful house rules that you should apply to your Airbnb are as follows:
1. No Parties or Events
You don’t want your property to turn into a totally raging night club. That scenario never ends well. Unfortunately, not every Airbnb guest may abide by this rule, but some helpful tools that we suggest to keep an eye on monitoring your listings are security cameras like Ring DoorBell, that can at least monitor the traffic entering your property.
2. No Eating or Drinking in the Bedroom
Let’s face it, no one likes crumbs in the bed. This rule will save you hours in the laundry room, removing stains, or wiping up someone’s midnight snack. If you do end up finding stains, then you can ask for compensation from your guest.
3. No Smoking
This seems like it would be pretty straight forward; but regardless, it is always advisable to state this rule. If your guest does end up smoking outside, you can advise them to put cigarette butts into the trash bin. When it comes to your property staying perfectly kept, you can never be too specific – especially when it comes to unwanted smoke damage, or the potential that your property could be burned down due to a simple cigarette butt. Better to be safe than sorry.
These are just three helpful house rules, But if you want to check out more, I suggest heading on over to this article here for more rules you can apply when renting out your Airbnb property.
Short Term Rentals Bring Long Term Results:
With Airbnb – You Can have it ALL.
If you want to start earning passive income, and make a positive impact on your life by saving time, and bringing in money, then look no further than the business of investing in Airbnb.
With the short term rental market that is Airbnb, you can make real changes in all areas of your life. All by simply getting started and being smart about the way you invest in the spaces around you.
Ready to Get Cash Flowing on the Daily?
As a full time real estate investor, entrepreneur, podcast host, coach, and all around problem solver – I’m here to tell you that you can create your own short term rental hospitality company today and with very little upfront costs.
Showing you how to manage short term rental property is my business, because I truly believe that by giving you the power of financial freedom, you also have the power to invest in what matters most… More Time.
Time spent doing what you love and with the people you love, for longer.
I’ll show you everything you need to know about getting started in the sharing economy through Airbnb and other sites that serve the same purpose!
With a team of short term rental entrepreneurs from around the world who share their expertise, you’ll have all that you need to make big moves in the Airbnb economy.
So what are you waiting for?
Put the power back into your own hands and get started with short-term properties today, so you can start seeing some long-term results.