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Ultimate Guide to Making Money with Airbnb

Ultimate Guide to Making Money with Airbnb

In this article, you will find out all you need to know about making money with Airbnb. What you will not find is a guide on how to use Airbnb, or a guide on how to get started with Airbnb. This article is for people who have their account, they know how to use the service, and they are looking for honest ways of making money with Airbnb. The article starts with some sensible advice and then moves into direct moneymaking territory.

There Are Risks, But Do What You Can To Lessen Them

Use your common sense, your Airbnb experience, and the profiles of guests to lower your risks. Remember that new profiles are the highest risk, and it is up to you if you wish to take a chance on them.

Lessen risks by being proactive. Do not leave your expensive items around the house to be smashed or stolen. Do not buy rugs that cost $75 per square foot if you are having guests with kids and dogs.

Do A Little Internet Research Into Your Potential Guests

If the system will allow you in your country, ask to swap social media accounts. Check out that person’s Twitter feed or Google+ profile. See if you can friend that person of Facebook to take a snoop around at what that person is like. Do a little research online, and you can find out if that person is likely to complain, cause problems, or leave negative reviews.

Make It Very Clear What Is And Isn’t Acceptable

From the very start, you need to make it clear what is and what is not acceptable. Having more people over than previously stated is sometimes a problem, but it may not be a problem for you. Smoking is another concern, so make it clear where smokers are allowed to smoke. Drug use such as weed smoking may be a problem with some guests, so you should draw up a do and don’t list that you place on your Airbnb advert/listing.

Concentrate On Building Your Profile Reputation

If you take anything away from this article, take away this one piece of advice–that you should focus all your efforts on building a good and positive Airbnb profile reputation. Do this, and making money with Airbnb will become easier and easier as time goes on.

Try To Sell Your Whole Space Rather Than Simply Sharing

Cat invading personal space

Most people prefer to rent the whole space to themselves rather than share with you. Some people also prefer the lower sharing prices that are on offer, but seriously consider setting a lower rate and making yourself scarce so you may let out the whole space rather than using a shared plan.

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

People like having space to themselves and it is difficult to find lower-priced rentals that can compete with shared rental prices. You will make less profit (maybe), but your guests will be climbing over each other to return again and again if you offer full house rentals at shared-rental prices.

Do Not Break The Rules By Checking In Or Going Around The Company

You can be as friendly as you like when you just “Drop by” to say hello or retrieve something you forgot, but it is very annoying and sometimes a little disturbing to have a host drop in when you have spent money renting the whole space. Do not drop in and do not try to conduct the transaction outside of the Airbnb website.

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

Try to conduct the transaction outside of the Airbnb website and Airbnb will ban you indefinitely. Drop in when you shouldn’t, and people will rip you apart on your review, even if they were as nice as pie when you met them (believe me because I have done it, and so have at least two of my associates).

Take Many Photos, Pick The Best, And Upload A Bunch Of Them

Upload a good number of photographs to give people a nice and full view of your property. It makes people more at ease when they are spending their money. Take many photos because it is tricky taking good ones. Take a great many photos and spend a few hours going through them and picking the best. Have the lights on and/or the curtains open to let the light in.

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

More photos makes people feel as if they have done more research than they actually have. They feel more at ease making the transaction, and when they arrive, they feel as if they have not been mis-sold. They see what they saw on the photos and they are pleased that they were not hoodwinked by deceptive photos.

Use The Flexible Cancellation Option And Bend Over Backwards For Your Guests

bending over backwards

There are three options that “most people” use, and there are up to six cancellation options that you may use. The flexible option allows users to cancel just 24 hours before arriving, and in most cases, the guest receives most of his or her money back. This is the nicest and most guest-friendly policy. You should pick it because it gives users the most reassurance and the most protection, and remember you are trying to protect your profile reputation, so you have to give more than you receive.

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

Anything less than the flexible option will benefit the host rather than the guest. You will not receive a review from people who cancel, but that doesn’t matter. Those same people may return again and they will be grateful of the refund they received because of your kind flexible refund policy. Remember that you are thinking of your long-term reputation at all times.

Consider Having No Security Deposit Or A Very Low One

It may sound counterintuitive and contrary to your interests, but damage is not that common. You occasionally get a smashed mug or a carpet scuff, but nothing serious. Sometimes, it is better to absorb such damages rather than scare people away by having a security deposit. Your insurance and the insurance that Airbnb may cover you for larger losses.

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

The worry of losing their security deposit may be enough to convince the guest to turn your average review into a positive one if you do not demand a security deposit. This is especially true for people who have used Airbnb and have lost their security deposit for something that wasn’t their fault. You are automatically elevated in the eyes of every Airbnb guest who has had a negative experience with their security deposit.

Do Not Charge Extra For Things Such As Bringing A Bike

The people who charge for things as silly at this are surly being mean spirited…Right? People who add extra fees, even if they are well advertised on their listings, are running a risk. The Airbnb company wants all payments to be discussed and determined on the website, they do not like extra cash amounts being floated around for this and that.

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

Extra fees, be they justified or not, will often lead to trouble. It is best to avoid them. Why would you charge extra for a bike just because it cannot stay in the room that is being rented? Such a charge is petty, silly, and deserving of a negative review. Some people charge an extra fee for pets, but that is mean spirited. If you accept pets, then do it and increase the cleaning fee a little. If you do not accept pets, then don’t.

Allow Pets When Others Airbnb Providers Do Not

Dog has pulled the wallpaper off

If you do not mind a little extra cleaning, and you happen to like pets, then allow pets in your house. Do not charge an extra fee from them. Make it very clear that you do not charge an extra fee, but feel free to limit how many pets are allowed, and say if you have extra accommodation for them in your house or in custom-built sheds in your garden.

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

Allowing pets is a massive draw to some people. A great many Airbnb hosts will not accept pets, and many of those that do will want an extra fee for them. If you accept pets and you do not try to gouge another fee from the guest, then they will adore you, they will adore your house, and they will make it very clear on your profile review. In addition, it is very tough to find hotels and B&Bs that accept pets, so you elevate yourself above them too.

Allow Kids When Other Airbnb Providers Do Not

Just like with pets, if you do not mind kids, then allow them and do not charge extra. At the most, you should increase your cleaning fee just a little. If you do not want kids, then don’t try to have people “convince” you by charging them an extra fee. Additional fees are a minefield that will blow up in your face.

H4 How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

You automatically elevate your property above all the Airbnb hosts that do not allow children. In addition, if your house is child friendly, clean and so forth, your guests will help improve your AirBnB reputation, they will tell their friends, and they are more likely to visit again.

Set A Very Low Cleaning Fee And Only Increase If Needed

Sexy cleaning lady with a duster

Starting your profile with a high cleaning fee is a mistake. If anything, you should be willing to absorb the cost of cleaning yourself since you are probably the one that will be doing it. However, some people like to use the cleaning fee as a way of making extra profit. At the most, consider how long it takes to clean the house and charge a minimum wage rate for the hours you spend. Increase your cleaning rate if you find that cleaning takes far longer than you expected.

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

A common trick is to give people a low nightly rate and then stick them with a high cleaning fee. The trick is dirty and most people won’t stand for it. If they are forced to use your place because they cannot find another, then they will give you a negative review for your unfair cleaning fee.

Offer To Give Your Guests A Lift To And From Your House

If you are sharing, or even if you have let your house with a full-space plan that allows them the use of your entire house while you are not in it, you should still offer to give them a lift. If your guests are on vacation or have never been to your location before, then they may worry about finding your house. After all, you are not a hotel that is listed on maps, and you do not have a big sign outside your house. Offering a lift from places such as the bus station, train station, or even the airport (within reason if it is close), is a very kind thing to do, especially if you accept no payment for it at all.

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

If you do it and do not accept/expect payment, then the guest is honor bound to give you a glowing review that will sparkle in your profile for years to come. Do not force the idea of the lift on your guests, but make it clear that you are happy to give them a lift for free. There are many times when they may tip you at the end of your stay, and you may accept a tip if you wish, just make sure it doesn’t seem like a charge for your driving services.

Vacation In Your Own Rental And Sell Experiences

When creating your advert for your rental, do not just focus on the nuts and bolts. Take a short vacation in your own place and experience the house and the local area. How handy are the bus routes in your area? Is the view from your bedroom something beautiful? Does your high fence offer privacy? Do your light fittings have LED white-light bulbs? Is your bathroom so clean that you could eat off the floor?

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

Don’t just put yourself in your guest’s shoes; try to experience what they would experience. This even includes small things such as the rolling fog that hugs the ground in the morning, or the neighbor’s friendly cat that comes to visit. Take this approach, and the ideas you come up with will help improve your guest’s user experience and their reviews.

Get Adequate Insurance That Covers All Possibilities

It is up to you how much insurance you take out, but personally, I don’t think you should worry too much about improving, modifying, or taking out extra insurance if you are not going to be making money with Airbnb on a regular basis. If Airbnb is something you do now and again, then I suggest you stick with whatever insurance you have and the insurance that Airbnb offers.

The AirBnB insurance protection they offer is very good and it applies to people in the US. I strongly recommend that you read what the company offers and then consider insurance. The coverage they give is very fair, which is why I only recommend taking out more if you use Airbnb to make money on a regular basis.

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

Having more or adequate insurance means you will not have to be so edgy and protective over your house and your things, which will make you a better and more easy-going host, which improves your chances of receiving a positive review. Extra insurance also sets your mind and ease, and if you make money regularly with Airbnb, then you can pay for it with your earnings. In addition, having extra insurance means you do not have to set a security deposit, which makes people more willing to stay at your house or apartment.

Give People 100% More Than What You Would Expect

The Jewish/Christian bible has a lot of good advice in it, but they really dropped the ball when they said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The reason it is slightly off is because it is very subjective. Some people will be thrilled with you if you simply don’t ignore them and treat them with a modicum of respect, and others will complain from here to Honolulu if you do not make their priorities the center of your world.

Veruca Salt From chocolate factory says she wants it now

The image above, it is a screen-print from the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and the very demanding Veruca Salt.

Give People More Than What “You” Would Expect

Your best bet is to think what you would want from your stay and from your host, and then do 100% more than what you would expect. For example, if you expect clean towels, then give them two or three more towels than you would want, and buy white ones so the guest can see how clean they are.

If you would expect a free go at the contents of their fridge if you are renting the place for a week, then go one step above that and leave them a few tasty items in your fridge with a note that they are gifts from you to them.

Go The Extra mile when making money with Airbnb

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

To dust off an old phrase, going the extra mile may sometimes pay far more than you invest. Doing that little bit extra, and then a little bit more, may make you feel like a chump who does more than any other with no return, but you will be surprised how often the universe throws good luck at people who do more rather than less.

Pick A Good Price And Keep Your Prices Low-ish

We have a fantastic article that goes into great detail about this called, A Rough Guide On How Much To Charge For Your Airbnb Rentals. The article gives you nine tips regarding how much you should charge, including advice that maybe you should only break even (it isn’t as bad as it sounds). Though, I personally recommend that you try to pull some profit from your endeavor. The article also shows you how to make a regular profit from your Airbnb profile and it should be all you need to help you make good and proper pricing decisions.

One of the points that are made on the article is that overcharging or aiming for a large profit is heavily damaging and not cost effective. One of the many arguments for charging less rather than more is this:

Let’s say that you decide that every Sunday night you will rent out your house because you spend Sunday nights with your girlfriend or boyfriend. If you were to charge a high rate of $120 per night, you may only receive one or two bookings per month. If you were to charge $75 per night, you would probably get three or four bookings per month. You would actually make more money by charging less. Any hotel owner will tell you that making a slim profit filling a room is always better than making no profit with vacant rooms.

How will this affect my profile reputation while making money with Airbnb?

If you charge more, then people expect more and they are often disappointed and even angry when they don’t get it. If you are charging a premium price without any justification beyond you wanting more profit, then people will give you negative reviews and you will have a hard time filling your rooms in the future.

Conclusion – Hard Work, Diligence, Consideration And Respect

These are all you need to make money with your Airbnb profile. Work hard to make sure your room or your house is up to scratch, is clean and prepared. And, work hard to ensure your guests feel safe, secure and feel like they are getting their money’s worth. Start selling yourself and your home as soon as you make contact with a new guest, and be considerate and respectful throughout.

Remember that they may have strange or even upsetting questions, but do not judge them because of it. Quite often, the weirdest or most upsetting questions are born from bad experiences the guest have had in other homes. Questions such as, does your house smell of cat pee? Or, how close is the rendering plant? Or, do you have a big family? Are probably the result of a bad time the guests have had in another property. Be patient, be considerate, work hard, and take care of your Airbnb reputation and you will do fine.

About The Author

Ash The Great

After a varied career in different industries from the hospitality industry to the financial consultancy industry, Ash now spends his days working as a professional writer.

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