Having an extra room, or even a spare apartment, sitting empty is a complete waste of money. Websites like Airbnb can help you put your extra space to use and make some money on top of it. However, things are not as simple as they might seem. Hosting on Airbnb requires quite a bit of preparation and planning.

You will need to understand all the pros and cons of hosting on Airbnb, as well as prepare and renovate the space you are planning to rent. To help you in this process, we have created a guide for you to learn exactly what it takes to be a great Airbnb host.

Know the laws

The first thing you should do is get familiar with your local laws. A lot of hosts neglect this part sometimes on purpose and sometimes accidentally. Websites like Airbnb can’t keep track of all the local laws on running a bed and breakfast business, so you should do your research. Some countries have taxes for such businesses and some require you to meet certain standards. If you want to avoid fines that are in some cases pretty steep, you should study these laws thoroughly and make sure you are doing everything in accordance with them.

Identify the ideal type of guest

After the legal part is over you will need to identify your ideal guests. Business travellers who need some peace and quiet are very different from backpackers who are looking for an adventure. It is very important to narrow down your audience, so you can adapt your space accordingly. For example, if you are in a hot tourist area that is ideal for hiking and backpacking, you should furnish your space to fit the needs of those activities. You don’t need a printer or a cable TV, these people are not here for that. But if you offer tools so they can repair their hiking equipment or give them maps of great hiking routes, you will receive great reviews and a lot of recommendations.

Prepare your place

Now it’s time to prepare your place. As previously stated, finding the right type of guest will determine how your space will look, but there are still some essential requirements you will need to fulfil.

Start with the bathroom. Make sure that everything is running properly. Grab your hand tools and tighten up all the screws and pipes, so that there are no accidents. When it comes to the bed, buy a comfy mattress, so your guests can have a good night’s sleep. Also, make sure that the sheets are fresh and clean, otherwise you will get poor ratings. We will leave other furnishing details to you, but a desk and a couple of chairs should be a part of every room.

Set the price

Last but not least, let’s talk about the price. After everything is set up and you have found your potential audience, you will need to come up with the price. There are a lot of factors that influence the price, but probably the most important one is what type of guests you aim to attract.

Business people are often willing to pay more, but they also expect more. Budget travellers are not that demanding, but they look for low-cost rentals. On top of that, you will have to check the prices of the hotels near you and make sure you are offering better deals. Take your time when setting up your price and be flexible. During some months you will be packed and sometimes, you will have to lower the price.

Author

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a passionate traveler. In her free time she enjoys visiting tropical destinations with her family.