Running an Airbnb can be a lucrative career, especially if you have more than one property. Your mortgage will be paid by the rental fees along with your upkeep and maintenance costs, and you will pocket a tidy profit as well.
Having an Airbnb requires being familiar with some regulatory considerations and with the local area. There are many potential pitfalls that an Airbnb owner can run up against in their quest to succeed in the short-term rental market.
Edawn Coughman, an Airbnb entrepreneur and professional football player, explores some of the actions that Airbnb owners should and shouldn’t take in order to make their investments succeed.
Do: Take Good Photos
You need to make sure that you have quality photos of your entire property. You may want to get a professional to take the pictures. A good set of photos can be taken with a newer smartphone, but you need a professional camera if you really want to take good pictures.
Get photos of every room, and try to find a time when you can enjoy flattering natural light. This will make your space look great and play up any architectural highlights.
You may want to have a home stager help you set up your property before taking photos. The home stager can help the property look great, minimizing clutter and making your space less personal.
Don’t: Let Your Space Look Unattractive
Too many Airbnb owners forget to clean up their properties before taking pictures. It’s easy to go around the home and pick up clutter, organize bookshelves and movies, and do a deep cleaning. Get into the corners and clean out the cobwebs. The better your property looks online, the more likely it is that you will be able to get quality bookings.
Do: Be Descriptive in Your Listing
Your guests want to know as much about your property as possible, down to the kitchen facilities and what kinds of spices you may have in the cabinets. They will want to know whether you have extra linens on hand or whether they can do laundry in the unit. If your property is pet-friendly, definitely highlight this, since many people like to travel with their pets.
Be sure that you are accurate when describing the number and condition of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as the number of people your unit can sleep comfortably.
Don’t: Exaggerate About the Property
Be sure that the photos are honest. Don’t include fresh flowers or a fruit bowl if they won’t be there for every guest. If you don’t have a TV or air conditioning in the unit, be honest.
If you exaggerate, your guests will be upset when they arrive at the property. They will give you poor ratings and you won’t be able to get as many bookings for your listing.
Do: Make Guests Aware of the House Rules
Make your guests aware of the rules. If you don’t want them to have guests of their own, make this clear. Likewise, if you don’t allow pets, make sure that they are aware of this. Understanding how the house rules work can help to weed out some guests that you don’t want to host.
Don’t: Micromanage Your Guests
Even though you have to be firm about the rules, don’t micromanage your guests. Checking up on them too closely during their stay will make them uncomfortable and insulted that you think they can’t be trusted. Many people give negative reviews of Airbnbs based on this issue.
Do: Give Your Guests a Tour of the Neighborhood
Your Airbnb listing is the perfect place to explain the good things about your neighborhood. Include local amenities that are within walking distance or a short drive, as well as more regional attractions that may be a matter of miles away. Especially include any locally or nationally prominent attractions along with the driving times and distances.
Don’t: Gloss Over Any Neighborhood Problems
If you claim that your property is in a quiet neighborhood, make sure that it really is a quiet neighborhood. If you aren’t familiar with the property at night, try staying over yourself and see what the situation may be. It may be that there is a bar or restaurant close by that creates a noise problem when its patrons go out for the night. It may be that trucks make a great deal of noise.
Do: Keep Supplies Updated
You will want to check your listing and make sure that you have the right number of forks, spoons, plates, sheets, and towels. Your guests will be frustrated if they don’t have these on hand. It is a good idea to check these after every stay, just in case your guests have broken or walked away with something of yours.
Don’t: Forget to be Gracious
After your guests have gone, make sure that you send them a thank-you note. An email is fine, but Edawn Coughman believes that sending a card to their home will make you stand out. Many Airbnb guests will stay in the same home again if they feel that they have been properly appreciated for being a good guest.
Understanding What Makes a Good Airbnb
Do your research before you list your property. Check out competing listings in the area and try to make your property look better. When you follow these dos and don’ts from Edawn Coughman, you will find that it is easier to maintain a good business and to keep your Airbnb running for a long while to come.
Interesting Related Article: “How to Convert Your Garage or Shed into An Airbnb“