4 Vital Tips for New Airbnb Hosts

by Kam Bain
Thursday, July 23 2015

So you are new to the Airbnb hosting game and ready to get started on your Airbnb entrepreneurial adventure. There is no secret equation for being a profitable Airbnb host, but these five topics are a must for new hosts on the Airbnb platform.

1. Complete Your User and Listing Profile

Let’s take a look at a Superhost profile in San Francisco. Kepa, a successful Airbnb host, has nailed all aspects of her Airbnb host profile and listing profiles. First, we’ll look at her host profile to learn best practices when setting up your user profile.

  1. Get verified! Verify your email, phone number, social network, and Offline ID.
  2. Write your short and genuine personal bio explaining yourself and your listing.
  3. Have a real picture of yourself (likely similar to a profile photo on LinkedIn).

We’ll now move onto her impressive listing profiles. Here’s her Potrero Hill Garden Getaway.

  1. Great pictures. Pictures sell. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have quality and truthful pictures of your unit. Take the time to take between 15-30 quality photos of your unit or have an Airbnb photographer do it for free and have their verified watermark as additional validation.
  2. Write your short and genuine personal bio explaining yourself and your listing.
  3. Have a real picture of yourself (likely similar to a profile photo on LinkedIn).

2. Perfect Your Pricing and Reviews

Airbnb is a community built on trust, and the main backbone of that trust is reviews. Because you are a new host, you have no reviews. You must build up a few positive reviews to get some credibility on the platform.

How do you get your first reviews?

    Drastically discount your unit for the first month to attract guests despite not having any reviews. Once you get a couple reviews under your belt, you'll be able to start maximizing revenue on your Airbnb!

How do you know what price to discount from?

    Look at listings similar in size and quality to yours in your neighborhood. That will give you a good starting point for determining what your average nightly rate will be.

How do you maximize revenue once you have reviews?

    Price dynamically with Beyond Pricing. Like airlines and hotels, the demand for your listing changes based on multiple factors. We at Beyond Pricing help our hosts out with this and automatically update the prices on our hosts calendars based on changes in real-time supply demand in your neighborhood. Our hosts make an average of 34% more in revenue by pricing dynamically rather than one set price, and you can get started in just a couple of minutes.

3. Establish your Turnover Strategy and Cleaning Fee

You are getting into the hospitality business, so having a pristinely clean unit is of the utmost importance. Many hosts clean their unit themselves, while others prefer to outsource the cleaning to an on-demand service.

Regardless of how you choose to handle the cleaning process, you’ll need to set a cleaning fee that is added to your guests final payment in addition to the nightly rate. Take a look at listings in your neighborhood that are similar in size and quality to your unit to get a general idea of what you should charge for your cleaning fee.

4. Practice Professional Host Etiquette From Day 1

Communication

Communication is the most important aspect of the Airbnb ecosystem. Hosts with quick response times get bookings and positive reviews. Similar to the topic of cleaning, you are now in the customer service game and need to be ready to have quick response times to attract guests to stay at your unit.

Key Exchange

You’ll need to figure out how you want to handle key exchange. You can do it the old fashioned way and hand the keys over to the guest yourself, or you can outsource it to a company such as Keycafe that enables you to remotely manage access to your listing.

House Rules

Airbnb has a section for you to establish your “house rules”. Don’t allow smoking? Don’t want children under 12 in the house? Do you not want pets coming with your guests? These are important. Brainstorm every situation that would make you unhappy as a host and include them in your house rules. This lets your potential guests know well in advance what you expect from them and keeps the host/guest relationship professional.

Personalization

You can personalize your guests’ experience in many different ways, and most successful hosts add a bit of personalization to their guests’ stay such as a local neighborhood suggestion list, a guest book, or anything else creative that adds that extra little gratifying touch to the guest experience.

Want to learn more about how Beyond Pricing can help maximize revenue on your Airbnb? Check out our dynamic pricing software!