Make More Money With Your Airbnb Listing

Make more money with your Airbnb listing by following these 5 easy steps. Learn how to take the perfect picture, set a price, and find more guests!

If you have a spare room or space, listing it on Airbnb is a fantastic way to earn some extra cash as a side hustle to your full-time gig. Creative entrepreneurs and resourceful 9-to-5ers alike are catching onto the trend, no hospitality management or industry experience required! The best part: minimal upfront investment.

In 2018, Airbnb has more than 5 million listings worldwide in 190-plus countries. With the low barrier to entry, lots of supporting documentation from the company, and countless blog posts and YouTube videos on the subject from experienced hosts, it’s easy to see why many are using this to augment their income and plan for retirement. Why not join them?

Follow these 5 easy steps to transform your empty room into a money-maker:

1) Inspect and design your space

Before you start snapping pictures, inspect your space with an eye to fixing any deficiencies. Repair that leaky tap on the bathroom sink, clear out the closet and take note of anything your room needs – a fresh coat of paint? New mattress? Maybe some fun prints to hang on the walls? Above all else, ensure your place is spic and span clean.

You’ll want to design a space with “a unique and catchy style, something that can distinguish your listing from all the others in your area,” one savvy host advises in this how-to video on YouTube. He says to also consider function – how easy is it to maintain? Can your equipment handle wear and tear? How long will your space take to set up? Doing this bit of work up front will save you time between guests later, and increase your profitability.

Tip: Think about what amenities you want to offer to make your listing more appealing. For example, a young family will appreciate a changing table, crib, video game console and even recommendations for babysitters. Try to give your guests a private bathroom they’ll have exclusive access to.

An exclusive bathroom for guests makes your listing more appealing. Photo: Pixabay

Photos

To attract the most eyeballs and increase your chances of booking, it’s essential to use high-quality photos that accurately represent your property – their importance can’t be overstated, as potential guests will be scrolling through dozens of listings. Take photos of all the spaces guests can use Syncbnb, an online tool that helps hosts sync their booking calendars across multiple channels, recommends using about 20 photos at 1024 x 683 px).

Instagram screenshot, searching using the #airbnbhost hashtag.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here! Search #airbnb or #airbnbhost hashtags on Instagram for an idea of what excellent photos of spaces should look like – bright, cheery, inviting and sometimes quirky.

2) Sign up for an account

Next, you’ll need to sign up for an Airbnb account. Visit  airbnb.ca/host/homes and click on ‘Get Started’. A box will pop up with options to sign up with your Facebook profile, Google, or email address (if you choose to sign up with email and already have a Google account, you’ll be prompted to log in with Google).

If you already have an account, click ‘Log in’ and sign in with any of the three options above.

3) Create your listing

You can rent almost any space on Airbnb – a house, bedroom, spare room, apartment, etc. Airbnb manages the nitty gritty details of the booking and payment processes, reducing your need to worry, so you can focus on making your guest’s experience a great one.

Description

You’ll be asked to answer a series of questions to describe the space you’re listing. Read Airbnb’s advice  and descriptions of other successful listings in your area for hints, or search Google for tips.

Craft a short 500-word description and click-worthy title to accompany your photos. Don’t forget to write a good host profile and host picture to introduce yourself to your guests. Don’t leave out anything guests should know. Do you have pets? Are there any rooms guests don’t have access to? Specify your house rules.

Tip: Airbnb uses Instant Book, a feature designed to help you welcome more guests and earn more money by allowing guests to choose their travel dates, book without your approval, and get in touch with you regarding check-in plans. You can book guests without having to respond to each request. You’ll notice using Instant Book will positively affect your search rating and can help you reach Superhost Status, but naturally, you’ll have some questions. Learn more here

Interaction with Guests

In this section, let them know how you’ll converse – should they contact you if something happens, or do you do daily calls?

To avoid any awkwardness, mention whether you’ll be present during their stay…if they’re taking a romantic getaway, you don’t want to be a third wheel!

Pricing

A note about pricing: Take time to consider your pricing strategy. Do you offer cleaning during each stay, for a fee? Keep in mind that Airbnb adds a few dollars extra to your price.

Review other rentals in your area and price yours competitively – maybe even slightly less than the others to start, since you can always raise your price. You can set your price to adjust based on demand (within a range), or set a fixed price. Airbnb will suggest tips you can accept or ignore.

Finish creating your listing, and you’ll receive a confirmation that it’s been published.

4) Prepare for guests to arrive

Your major prep work is done and the big day is here! It’s time to do a few last-minute things and get ready to welcome your guests. Here are some to-dos to remember:

  • Reply to all messages as soon as possible after guests book (Airbnb tracks response times), and confirm you received your guest’s message.
  • Text guests a photo of the property and a map on their arrival day so they know what they’re looking for.
  • Write a small welcome note, with a summary of important points about your place, questions past guests have asked, your name and phone number, house rules that all-important WiFi password, and even suggestions for entertainment in your city.

Tip: Safety first! Check guest ratings before they arrive to learn what other hosts have said about them. If they don’t have any reviews, be weary.

5) Consider taxes and local laws regarding short-term renting

Just as with traditional business ventures, you’ll want to check into local laws and tax regulations regarding this type of renting for your location and neighbourhood. Be warned that the laws may be unclear, or state you must be commercially zoned and licensed to rent your space even for a short period. As you might guess, the hospitality industry is already lobbying governments to restrict Airbnb to preserve their profit, but this gives you an opening to approach your representatives in government and make your case.

That said, now that you’ve created your listing, you’re ready to welcome guests and start a lucrative side hustle listing your place on Airbnb.

Do you plan to list? Have you ever stayed at an Airbnb? Have any questions we missed answering here?

Tell us in the comments!