Do you have a perfectly good house sitting vacant and largely unused for long periods or during holiday periods? Then why are you not tapping into Australia’s billion dollar Airbnb home-sharing economy?
How Does a Homeowner Prepare a Home For Airbnb Guests?
There are a few guidelines for hosts to consider befire they get too excited about pulling in some extra income with Airbnb. They include:
- Airbnb Amenities / Essentials.
Provide enough bathroom supplies like soap and toilet paper. You don’t want guests to call you or your agent for that sort of oversight. Consider including bathrobes and lots of towels, too. Maybe even add bathroom slippers.
Provide breakfast. Airbnb hosts sometimes neglect to include breakfast as part of their service – but ultimately it’s up to you as hosts and the type of experience you decide to offer your guests. Having breakfast provided is one detail guests will appreciate and encourage them to spread the word about your Airbnb.
And what about furnishings? Is the living room well-decorated to make guests feel like they never left their home? Add a few colourful pillows, wall-art, plush rugs. But don’t over-decorate because it can make a room feel cluttered.
Provide a comfortable bed with a decent mattress. Find a quality mattress that provides a good night’s rest. Use good quality linen and pillows.
- Take Beautiful House Pics To Woo Airbnb Guests.
“A picture is worth a thousand words.’. This especially applies in the Airbnb space. Before guests make a booking, they want to know how the space looks and if it appeals to their tastes. Guests love to see seamless flowing photos like a house tour.
- Write Proper Accommodation Descriptions.
Airbnb hosts should always throw in a few choice words to describe their homes. A proper house description turns a would-be-guest into a guest. A good description mentions the name of the property, the location and the attractions in and around the local area. A smart description also has a call-to-action or an incentive to further entice and motivate the guest to select that property before someone else does.
- How To Price Your Airbnb
Airbnb hosts can forget to check their competition and how they price their accommodation. Inexperienced hosts often find it hard to convert guests because their prices match those of super-hosts or hotels. Checking on Airbnb how other hosts price can help in securing your first customers.
- Is Airbnb a Side-Hustle or Full-Time Income?
According to the Australia Financial Review (paywall), homeowners use Airbnb primarily to make a little money on the side. But it’s not all plain sailing. Not having a goal for your Airbnb and some sort of viable timeline means risking burn-out. The reality is operating an Airbnb takes a lot of time and effort. A homeowner should have a realistic financial goal in place and stick to the goal.
- How To Market An Airbnb?
Some hosts don’t realise the impact of good marketing. Sleek photos alone don’t attract guests. Rather, it’s the homeowner’s effort in marketing and connecting with guests that makes the difference. Homeowners serious about converting Airbnb into a lucrative income should consider advertising and promoting their home. Employ cost-effective digital marketing strategies in any promotional activity, including social media.
- How To Choose An Airbnb Niche
Homeowners looking to jump into Airbnb often don’t leverage niches. According to Mike Michalowicz, the riches are in the niches. Niches are specialities and target markets. They help set a host apart, establishing them as an expert in a specific guest experience. Every host wants to be seen as a super-host, because a super-host gets referrals and recognition by Airbnb.
How To Avoid These Common Airbnb Mistakes Hosts Make
There are several rookie mistakes Airbnb hosts make and they include:
- Lack of customer service retention strategies. Many hosts don’t know how to convince guests to come back again. They don’t offer discounts or other sweeteners to loyal guests. Or they don’t improve on their previous experiences.
- They don’t create a guest experience that converts. Guest experiences make guests eager to return to a home. For example, a wine tasting tour wouldn’t be appealing to a monk or a pregnant guest. Hosts can be guilty of not thinking creatively about activities that would be exciting to certain guests. All it takes is a few questions about the guest’s interests beforehand and a little application of local knowledge.
- The host has long check-in details. Having long check-in details at the hotel is a turn-off. If a host makes her guest house in-accessible for hours after guests arrival, guests get afraid of staying with a host who has a detailed check-in process.
- Lying to your guests. It’s disappointing to have your needs not met. A lying host can make an Airbnb experience frustrating and disappointing. Guests appreciate honesty. What they don’t like is little untruths and exaggerations about location or proximity to major attractions, for example.
- Hosts not asking for reviews. Reviews are the heart and soul of your reputation as an Airbnb host. Reviews also help a host be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Reviews help guests know the kind of host they’ll be living with. Guests would obviously rather trust a well-rated host. And don’t be afraid to ask for reviews. Guests can simply forget and are often happy to oblige. And depending on how you ask, they may even feel flattered that you care.
- Hosts not using the Airbnb platform while travelling. Many hosts don’t book their travels with Airbnb. If a host doesn’t use the Airbnb platform, how will they know what to expect as a guest? Booking travels through Airbnb opens hosts to a whole new world of ideas. For example, knowing why a certain host is a super-host is easy to do if you stay at their Airbnb.
- Hosts not knowing their target markets. Finding a target niche and not trying to please absolutely everyone helps a host get faster recognition on Airbnb. Targeting a specific audience often boosts the hosts’ confidence as they can quickly fine-tune their guest experience and learn what does and doesn’t work for certain markets – like pet owners, for instance. When a host establishes themselves as an expert, the possibilities can go beyond side-hustle to a full-time income.
- Home-owners not realising Airbnb is a business. Airbnb is a business. Any business, even Airbnb, operates on a business plan. A good business plan helps a host know how to price, sell and identify their target market. Having a business plan can ensure a homeowner doesn’t get burn-out and push too hard.
- Hosts not eager to learn. A smart business owner is always open to learning. Learning how to do better each time. Because learning is progress. Mistakes prove we need improvement. When a host refuses to learn, is rude, refuses to focus on a niche when it makes sense – then their days are often numbered as Airbnb hosts.
What’s the Airbnb X-Factor Hosts Need to Know About?
Hosting on Airbnb isn’t just about hosting. Hosting is paying attention to the finer human details like customer service and customer satisfaction.
To establish trust with guests, a homeowner should be honest about their property’s quirks and even its faults. It’s not silly to divulge information about things your Airbnb isn’t the best at. It’s powerful. You’re assuring your guests that in the face of perfection, there are imperfections… with character! Better to under-sell and over-deliver.
For homeowners looking for some handy side-income, having your home renovated is a good start. A few coats of paint is an instant face-lift. If you don’t have time or the inclination – then use a popular tradie website like Service Seeking to get a few quotes from good house painters in your area. Read the reviews – you’ll see exactly what we mean by how powerful a good testimonial can be.
At the end of the day – often at the very end of the day with Airbnb! – pleasing guests isn’t for the faint-hearted. Some guests notice minute details the host doesn’t pay attention to, causing friction between the host and guests. How does a host remain calm and patient in such a situation? Patience, honesty, determination and dedication. And an eye for detail. It’s often the little things that count… and that guests remember. Good and bad.
But Airbnb is a lucrative business if done right. It helps turn a dormant home into a revenue-generating beast. Revenue that can help a homeowner renovate their home, pay tax bills or put back into investing in the real estate market. The possibilities are pretty much endless.