How to start your Airbnb business and become a host?

2018-02-20T16:57:25+00:00January 25th, 2018|4 Comments

Jane Fonda once said:” It’s never too late — never too late to start over.”Are you considering start your own Airbnb business? Either taking Airbnb as a new start after you retired from your beloved career or just making it a side project to utilize your spare bedroom, it can be an interesting and profitable journey! List your rental properties are not rocket science. Airbnb has done most of hard parts, all you need to do is simply following the instructions from the website, filling out all contents, that is all. However before listing your rentals on Airbnb and welcome your new guests, there are three steps you need to take to ensure the smoothness when your Airbnb rental is officially running.

Step One: Do your homework and know what services you will offer

After you have completed tedious paper works and legal preparation for your rentals, you may  start with refining your business model and details. What exactly tenants are looking for from your Airbnb rental and what could you offer them as a host? One good method you can utilize to establish your business model is just becoming a tenant first. Start from searching available Airbnb rentals around you. Go to Airbnb website and book an rental with similar presentations you are targeting, either it can be a basic bed-and-breakfast like bedroom, or a luxurious romantic night stay, small cabins nears the lake or a huge houses with multiple rooms available. Book their rental and become a guest, from that point you can just start taking notes about their interactions with you, the procedure of booking, checking in, and checking out. Also pay attention to their decoy, the service they offers and everything you experience during the stay. During the stay you should always keep one question in mind: why should a tenant book your rental instead of others? By comparing what your competitor can offer with your own thoughts, you will soon figure out what you need to add to your master plan and what you strength could be. Later on when listing your rental and marketing it with slogans, you already know what you will present with potential guests.

Step Two: Shop for your rental and define daily operations

In normal cases, when guests arrive your rental, you need to meet with them, greeting them and give them a little tour of your rental site. Later on, the guest area has to be cleaned after every guest. The way you satisfy your guests inquiries will also be crucial for a good guest experience which leads to good reviews and attracts more guests. Take some time to map out all activities that might happen among a guest stay, and make sure you are fully prepared with predefined protocols. Now you know what you will offer your guests, it is the time to render your thoughts into reality.

Every host may has different situations. Some look for short term rental which may have low risk in terms of wears and tears for internal furniture. Some may have a well decorated home already, or a host starts with an empty house. No matter what situations you are in, you can always check the following list and see what you may add to your next shopping list:

BEDROOM

  • Mattress $180
  • Headboard $100
  • Bed Frame $150
  • Night Stand $ 50 
  • Lamp on the Night Stand $45
  • Alarm Clock $30   
  • Mattress pad (optional)
  • Mattress Cover(we recommend waterproof type ) $27
  • Sheet Sets[ Fitted Sheet, Pillowcases, Top/Flat Sheet(optional)]
  • Comforter set [Quilts, Duvet Covers]       
  • Pillows                                                            
  • Comforter
  • Blankets $20
  • Study Desk $90
  • Chair $50
  • multi-outlet $15
  • trash can $20
  • TV
  • TV Stand
  • Stand Mirror
  • Clothes Hangers

BATHROOM

  • Bath Towels (2 per guest)
  • Towels (2 per guest)
  • Hand Towel (2 per guest)
  • Hand Soap
  • toothbrush holder
  • Hair dryper
  • toilet paper
  • toilet cleaner
  • toilet plunger
  • Trash Can
  • Shower mat
  • Non-slip shower mat
  • Shower Curtain
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body lotion (optional)

LIVING ROOM

  • Sofa + Chairs
  • Stand Lamps
  • Internet Modem and Router( I recommend buy them separately, two in one type sometimes may have unstable internet connection)
  • TV
  • TV Stand
  • Some Decor hanging on the wall
  • A small stand (with plant on it)
  • KITCHEN
  • Dinner Table + Chairs
  • Bowls, Dishes
  • Dishwasher Soap
  • Coffee
  • Coffee Maker
  • Creamer
  • Sugar
  • Hand Towels
  • Trash Can
  • Trash Bag
  • Eating Utensils (Forks, Knives, Spoons and some Disposable Chopstick)
  • Wine Opener
  • Can Opener
  • Beer Bottle Opener
  • Blender
  • Microwave
  • Fridge(without saying!)
  • Seasoning like salt or black pepper

I strongly recommend do not store any food and offer to your guests.

CLEANING SUPPLIES

  • Carpet Cleaner
  • Floor Cleaner
  • Disposable Cleaning Gloves (Believe me you will need it!)
  • Sanitize Wipe
  • Furniture Polish spray
  • Disposable cloth
  • Disinfectant Bathroom Cleaner
  • General Purpose Cleaner

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Iron
  • Iron Board
  • Air Fresh Spray
  • Tissues
  • Mop
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Phone chargers

 

Above prices are top selling item price I found on Bwanaz.com. I use them as an example to let you roughly calculate the total start cost of your new Airbnb business.

Before you leaning thoughts towards retail stores like bed bath & beyond or even target (How fancy you are!) to start your crazy shopping day, please be aware that these stores’ products typically cost more and these products are usually not suitable with Airbnb’Rental usage – you have to change the bed linens frequently (which often be daily) and throw them into washer then dryer. High quality linens may tempt your guest life one piece or two, and linens with poor quality usually doesn’t stay long and offer bad guest experience. What I recommend here is that you can go either two extremes: purchase durable products (not fancy looking type )come with a relatively high cost, or normal quality products with low cost base. Bedding can be expensive even if you shop on Amazon. One tip I always tell people with such need is that go to bedding Wholesaler. They are friendly with customer with fair amount of products need(more than one or two pieces). I tried shopping on Amazon, Target and other couple wholesaler in the past, finally I stick with a Chinese Wholesaler Bwanaz.com. At the beginning I feel a little bit skeptical about their products since the price is relatively lower comparing with similar products on Amazon, however I realized what a good deal I get from them after I received my first order. It likes a high end version of Etsy. Try it out and leave your thoughts down below.

Step three: List and promote your rental

Finally you have your business master plans and well prepared for your new guest with all brand new products you bought. It is the time present your rental to all potential guests on Airbnb. When you create your Airbnb listing please remember to answer some potential questions like if bedrooms are connected with bathroom directly, wether your rental location close to city’s famous tourist sites. It always gives potential guests a good impression that you leave many details in your list comparing some listings that only have some poor quality picture and price tag on it. One of keys to attract new customers to your business is hiring a good photographer and take some awesome photos of your rental. No man would refuse a rental with great looking photos. Before doing that, remember doing your shopping and decorating your rental well. Then upload your picture to your listing, great visual presentation is always the key for more sale. In term of marketing and promotion strategies, we will talk about it in next post.

There you have it, a basic steps to start your first Airbnb business.

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