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8 Simple Tips On How To Set-Up + Host An Airbnb

How I Host

You don’t need an expensive second home to host on Airbnb. In fact, you can host almost any type of accommodation on the platform – whether it’s a cabin on a regional property, a spare room in a city apartment, or even your own home whilst you travel.

If you’re ready to give hosting a try, but have no idea where to start, we’ve compiled the basics to start your hosting journey, along with excellent advice from award-winning local hosts.

28th October, 2022

Winner of the Airbnb Best Designed Stay 2022! Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

The stunning Coombs Hill Barn is located on a working farm in Merrijig, which is less than three hours’ drive from Melbourne. Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

Superhost Katherine Harris runs her award-winning Airbnb with her husband, Wade, who is also a builder. Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

Put your business hat on:

Becoming an Airbnb host is a little like having your own small business. So, before you get started, it’s worth putting your business hat on!

First up, look at the pricing and availability of other Airbnb listings in your area. You’ll soon start to get a sense for how to price your accomodation, and what sort of demand you can expect. Airbnb also has a handy tool to help work out what your place could be worth.

‘A feature that we love and always get comments on are the custom steel framed floor-to-ceiling windows,’ Katherine says. Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

The ‘Great Room’ inside Coombs Hill Barn features an amazing 12-metre-high fireplace. Each piece of stone was collected off the surrounding land of the property, before being hand-laid over 18 long months! Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

Embrace your inner stylist:

To make your listing more eye-catching and memorable for guests, it pays to spend a bit of time on the design and styling of your Airbnb (it’s also the most fun part!).

Airbnb Superhost and winner of the ‘Best Designed Stay’ at the Airbnb Host Awards 2022, Katherine Harris says, ‘Get creative with your space, don’t be afraid to add in unique pieces that make it stand out from the other listings.’

Pinterest is a great place to start brainstorming and collecting ideas. You can also use your location for inspiration.

Katherine says, ‘Guests love the sustainable elements of our property. We have used reclaimed wood, stone from the land the barn sits on to build the fireplace, and we have a solar energy system.’

Whether it’s a humble beach shack, a charming country getaway or a modern city pad, the trick to creating a space that’s full of personality and feels complete is layering. Think, colour (or even subtle colour) on the walls, texture through window furnishings and floor coverings, furniture that feel inviting and generous, and of course, artwork and lighting – the finishing touches that really bring a space to life!

The winner of Airbnb’s Most Unique Stay 2022! Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

The Winged House has the most incredible views out across the water. Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

Invest in photography:

You don’t need professional photography for your listing, but it sure does help! First appearances are everything, and great photography will make your property stand out (it will also give you some great assets to launch with on social media too).

When you create your listing, pay attention to your first photo. Along with your listing title, this is the first thing guests will notice in search results, so make sure it’s a ‘hero shot’!

Write your listing:

You’ll need to craft a catchy listing title, and a detailed description of your property. Try to capture the best features of your space within the title itself – for example, a host who has a small shack by the sea might use ‘Cosy beachside getaway’.

Within your listing description, list all amenities, such as Wi-Fi and off street parking. Also share any House Rules within the listing – this gives you an opportunity to set expectations for how the space is used.

The Winged House. Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

Hosting can be super flexible, to suit your lifestyle. You can Host all the time, on weekends, or just when you go away. Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

Set up your calendar:

Your calendar settings give you full control over when you will accept bookings. You can set your availability up to 2 years in advance, and block out dates for personal use.

Have a think about what lengths of stay you will offer. Many Airbnbs have a minimum two night stay, which you can set up in calendar settings along with check in and out times. You can also add in how much time you need blocked out in-between each booking to prepare for the next guest (cleaning and laundry).

Communicate with guests effectively:

Airbnb requires Hosts to respond to enquiries and booking requests within 24 hours. Consider downloading the Airbnb app, which makes it easy to respond to messages from anywhere.

Once guests are booked in, reach out proactively to coordinate their arrival plans, and let your guests know they can contact you if they have any queries during their stay.

The winner of Airbnb’s Best New Host 2022! Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

The Little Seed‘ luxury self-contained studio. Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

Personalise the experience:

Taking your Airbnb listing from standard to ‘Superhost’ doesn’t require a big song and dance – a few thoughtful details can make all the difference.

Peter Clarke and Charlie Bell, Airbnb Best New Hosts for 2022, say, ‘think about what you would want if you were a guest – it’s the little things… we like to write a personalised welcome note, supply a jar of homemade shortbread and have the fire burning during the colder months on arrival.’

These simple acts not only make the guest feel instantly welcomed, but might also prompt a favourable review online (a surefire way to get more bookings!).

Other things to consider:

It’s important to make sure you’re allowed to host on your property. In some circumstances, you’ll need legal or community approval before listing your home as a holiday rental. Check with a lawyer or local authority to find out if this applies to you. You can find out more here.

You should also contact your home insurer, and find out if you’re covered for short term stays. If not, switch to a new insurer who covers landlords/tenanted properties.

Listing your property with Airbnb means you’ll also have AirCover for Hosts, which covers you for damage protection during an Airbnb stay. This cover is free, and always included whenever you host.

 

Visit Airbnb for some extra hosting tips!

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