Rental Tips for Airbnb
Many people today have a secondary property that they use for vacationing, or that they simply bought because they couldn’t resist the cheap price. Since it sits vacant for many weeks of the year, you might find yourself wondering how you can generate some extra income from renting out this property?
Whether it’s in a tourist-heavy location such as Whistler, or perhaps a small cottage country abode that is seasonally driven, Airbnb is a website that can help you rent out your second home with ease.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is a website for owners to rent out their properties, or for vacationers to find rental lodging. To date, it has over 1,000,000 listings in close to 200 countries across the globe.
To use the site, you must register and create a personal user profile. You can look at properties and profiles, including photos, reviews, and ratings. It’s great for those who want a rental property that is similar to a home, as opposed to a hotel.
If you are looking to rent out your property, you similarly create a profile and description of your property, and wait for vacationers to come along and rent!
How Does Airbnb work?
As a potential renter looking for a holiday property, you access the site via your online profile and browse properties based on your preferences. You then connect with the host of the property, commit to dates and arrange payment. It’s that easy.
However, there’s always the fear that you will end up renting a dud that just doesn’t look as good as the photos, or that seems too cheap to be true – and it is. Or what if as a host, you end up renting to a party animal that ruins your property and makes a racket that really angers your neighbors?
Here are some tips for renting from Airbnb, as well as hosting that will ensure that you have success.
As a renter:
1) Check the rental contract and property information very carefully. For example, if you are renting in New York, some of the less expensive properties have a shared washroom.
If this isn’t your idea of privacy, you might not want to go with that property. Further, do your research on the neighborhood to make sure it is accommodative to you and your needs. If big city bustle is what you’re looking for, you don’t want to be stuck on the outskirts of a rough town with no amenities nearby.
2) Choose your neighborhood carefully (which goes along with what we mentioned above). If you’re choosing a cheaper Airbnb property, it’s likely because it’s away from the hub of the city. Thus, be prepared for transportation expenses and a potentially quiet vacation. Always check maps and city locations to verify where you are booking.
3) Take some time to read the other renter reviews on the property. Although some people are perpetually negative and will always say bad things about even the best of places, it’s a good idea to pay attention to continuously negative reviews. For example, if 9 out of 10 reviews about the property cite negative issues (from cockroaches to cleanliness), it might be a good idea to steer clear of that one.
4) Check the fine print regarding the amenities, and if you don’t see what you want, make sure to ask what’s available. There’s nothing worse than looking forward to free Wi-Fi and a soak in a hot tub, only to find that neither is offered at the property. This also goes for shared washrooms and kitchens, which are commonplace in many New York rental properties. If privacy is what you desire, make sure that you read the fine print.
5) Be considerate of your property and the owners. This means respecting the host’s items that you are using (towels, kitchen supplies, furniture, etc.) as well as the cleanliness of the property. It’s always a good motto to leave something in better shape than what you found it in. This also goes for respecting the privacy of the neighbors, as no one likes a looky-loo or a loud partier until 3 am.
6) Go above and beyond, and show some thanks to your host by leaving a nice note, or even a small gift of gratitude. Although this isn’t expected, it shows a wonderful amount of grace and decorum, and is greatly appreciated by your host!
As a Host
Hosting can be a lucrative way to make some cash flow, even if it’s just for pocket change or to become a full-time property rental business. Airbnb sees both. As a host, here are some important tips to ensure you are running your rental properly.
1) List your rental with high-quality photos, as much information about the property as possible, and be diligent to respond to inquiries promptly. Renters want to know as much as they can about your property by just looking at the listing, and if you only use two low-quality photos or scrimp on the details, they will move onto the next property.
In terms of response time, try to make sure you respond within 24 hours or they will lose interest and, again, move onto the next one. Essentially, you must market yourself and your listing for success. There are thousands and thousands of listings on Airbnb, so your listing, to be effective, must shine above the rest.
2) Get the proper insurance to avoid any liability. You don’t want to end up on the hook for any damages or injuries that a renter might incur during their holiday. Luckily, Airbnb provides an insurance policy for all property owners, but anything above that is up to you.
3) Screen your customers well. If you have a beautiful home with lots of priceless art and décor, or you have quiet neighbors that value privacy and serenity, it’s probably not a good idea to rent your property out to a rowdy bachelor party.
4) If you’re renting out in a complex, such as an apartment or strata townhouse, ensure that the property management group allows rentals, or you might end up with a fine./p>
5) Decide what you want to get out of hosting – do you want to make a few extra bucks? Or do you want to turn your rental property into a steady source of income? Some people build a business out of several Airbnb properties that eventually become a main source of income. Depending on what you are looking for, it will all depend on how much planning, work and investment you are willing to put into it.
If you can follow this easy guide, you should have rental success – both as a renter and a host. Just don’t forget to avoid these three mistakes if you are renting out your property on Airbnb:
- Never just show up unannounced at the property, as it can feel like a violation for your guests. Unless it is an emergency, always give 24 hours’ notice.
- Never run out of basic goods, like toilet paper and towels. These are amenities that people would expect at a hotel, and they will also expect them from you.
- Never forget to include a spare key! People lose keys quite often, and there is nothing worse than being locked out of your house.