For many, turning their primary residence into an Airbnb is a great way to not only enjoy greater flexibility and meet new people but also generate an extra income passively. With over 5.6 million active listings worldwide and 4 million hosts as of September 2020, Airbnb has become the world’s leading marketplace for lodging and vacation rentals.
What’s interesting is that 80 percent of Airbnb hosts list and rent out the home they actually live in. A recent study on the economic impact of Airbnb revealed that 87 percent of Airbnb hosts in New York rent out their primary residence, and the average host in the city earns approximately $7,520 per year.
If you’re a homeowner looking to make some extra money, listing your place on Airbnb may be a good idea. However, it’s important to note that the income can vary depending on your location, the quality of services you provide, how much of your property you can rent out, and how frequently you rent it out.
That said, transforming your home into a hospitable space that offers the best Airbnb guest experience isn’t as simple as you might think— it takes some work. You can go the extra mile by hiring a remodeling company to create a guest-optimized experience and enhance the flow of your home. Whether you’re working with a reputable design company or not, here are six tips to help you make your home and property ready for Airbnb.
Make Your Home Spotlessly Clean
Make sure your space is clean and tidy before you even think of inviting guests into your home. Keep in mind that you’re competing with leading hotels, vacation rentals, and luxury brands. And nothing puts a guest off more than an untidy space with dusty surfaces and musky smells.
Start by deep-cleaning and decluttering each room and tidying up all surfaces including floors, kitchen countertops, walls, baseboards, and light fixtures. Make sure you sanitize and disinfect high-touch surfaces like tables, doorknobs, movable lamps, remotes, bed frames, light switches, and counters. If possible, clean the home yourself to ensure everything is done right. And if you’re not sure where to start, consider using an Airbnb cleaning checklist, so you don’t forget anything or miss a spot.
Remove your Personal or Valuable Items
Since you’re renting out your primary residence, it’s important that you remove any personal belongings or valuable items, such as clothes, jewelry, collectible cards, personal hygiene items, gadgets, personal documents, and family heirlooms. Basically, you need to remove anything that’s not functional for your guests.
You can either move these items to a storage unit or keep them in a locked room. You’re renting your space to guests and they should be free to make it their own for the agreed time. As such, your personal and valuable items shouldn’t, in any way, become a hindrance to their experience. Items such as wall art and books may be interesting to guests, so you don’t have to remove them.
Remember the Amenities
Before you get started renting out your home to guests, make sure you stock up on amenities. Here are some of the things you can do:
- Add Wi-Fi and streaming services. To gain a competitive advantage over other vacation rental options, consider providing guests with Wi-Fi and a smart TV that they can use to stream and watch their favorite shows.
- Provide a guest station. Including a cube organizer or shelf with blankets, towels, bed covers, and toiletries, shampoo, and other essentials will make for a better Airbnb rental experience for your guests.
- Create a cozy bedroom. Provide guests with a comfortable bed with a high-quality, sturdy headboard and high-quality sheets. Your guests should wake up each day feeling refreshed and energized after a long day of adventure in a new city.
Make Sure there’s a Good Check-in Experience
A great first impression is crucial to becoming a successful Airbnb host. The last thing you want is to have your guests spending hours trying to gain access to your property because your lockbox isn’t responding. First, provide specific instructions on how guests can get to your residence from the local bus stop, train station, and airport. Be sure to provide your contact information so it’s easy for them to reach you in case of emergencies. Additionally, install a digital lock or a portable key lock box to make it easy for your guests to access your home.
Provide Basic Kitchen Essentials
One of the things that motivate people to book an Airbnb is the convenience and flexibility of having a kitchen. Guests want to have peace of mind knowing they’ll have a good time in a home away from their home. So, ensure your kitchen is stocked with the cooking essentials and appliances they may need. Some of the basic kitchen essentials to provide your guests with include pots, cutting boards, dish towels, utensils, and oven mitts. Also, test the dishwasher, coffeemaker, oven, and microwave for any problems and make sure the freezer and refrigerator are working properly.
Fix Curb Appeal
Consumers looking for an Airbnb to vacation in or rent will be attracted to properties with strong “curb appeal,” and they will be willing to pay more for it. You, therefore, don’t want to focus all your efforts on the inside of your house and forget about the exterior. Spruce up your home’s exterior by pruning trees, mowing the lawn, planting a few colorful potted flowers, adding fresh mulch to your garden, and trimming back the bushes. Also, consider repainting your home’s exterior to give it a refreshing look.