Is Airbnb safe?
Nothing in life is 100% safe, of course--there is a risk in anything we do in life.
Here’s how you can make your Airbnb business as safe as possible:
Do your due diligence on the potential guest
After you get a booking request, check out the user’s profile page. There are a number of factors that hosts should look for:
Positive reviews: Does this person have any positive reviews from former stays? Some hosts choose to only allow guests with positive reviews to book their place. Some hosts like to offer people who are new to Airbnb a chance to get their first experience.
Verifications: Airbnb users can add several verifications to their profile. The most important ones to look for are government ID, email and phone number. In addition, guests can also connect social media accounts such as Facebook, Google Plus and Linkedin.
About me section: Here you can find a little more information about your guests--such as the language they speak, their educational background and their outside interests and hobbies.
Ask your guest additional questions
Questions that some hosts like to ask are:
– What is the purpose of the visit?
– Who else will be staying at my place?
– Is the visit part of a larger trip or an extended stay?
Hosts can set a security deposit to protect against small damages. After the guest(s) check-out, you have 48 hours to make a claim on this deposit. Airbnb will mitigate and charge the guest if necessary.
If you’re not comfortable, decline the request
Hosts always have the option to decline the request. Airbnb does not penalize hosts who decline bookings.
What if things do go wrong?
Airbnb has a $1,000,000 host guarantee in place that protects hosts against damages that couldn’t be resolved in another way--i.e. by using the security deposit or the hosts’ own home insurance policy.
Let us, at Hello Suburbia, protect your Airbnb business with integrated safeguards that give you peace of mind!
Landlords Aren’t Normal Hosts
The platform was originally intended to help people share their personal homes, not for landlords to lease their rentals. The typical Airbnb host can use the service as a way to help them pay their personal bills. So a “profitable hobby” works for them.
On the other hand, an Airbnb landlord needs to clear a higher hurdle to be considered profitable.
An Airbnb landlord is a rental owner that focuses on short-term rental engagements. For an Airbnb landlord to be profitable, they need to make more than a traditional landlord would. Otherwise they’re doing extra work without getting paid for it.
So even though an Airbnb landlord might enjoy hosting, if their net income doesn’t exceed that of a traditional rental, then their additional efforts aren’t fruitful.
3 Ways You’ll Increase Profits
Airbnb can be a very profitable tool. However, if you go that route, you should avoid these common pitfalls.
1. Updating Your Listing Regularly
Since you, as an Airbnb landlord, need to exceed a traditional landlord’s net income to be profitable, you want your listing displayed as much as possible. You want to minimize vacancies. That’s why you can’t just set-it and forget-it.
In addition to striving to collect 5-Star reviews and uploading compelling photos, you need to routinely update your listing’s description. Airbnb is always adding categories to better describe amenities and neighborhoods.
If you don’t routinely update your listing description, you risk losing money by getting filtered out.
2. Attracting Longer Term Guests
Airbnb landlords don’t share rooms in their primary homes. This means preparing for a guest’s arrival requires both time and money. While you do have the option to pass along the full cost of cleaning to your guest, it isn’t a good idea. You’ll end up making your listing look unattractive.
So what do you do? Turnaround costs really stack up when you book several one and two night guests in per week. Under this scenario, your cleaning cost may devour your income and leave very little left. Hosting frequent short stays is a niche where on-site hosts can find success. They can discount their time while working on their hobby.
Your time has value, and you will certainly be spending more of it managing turnovers. You, as an Airbnb landlord, should at least “pay” yourself minimum wage. If you do, you will quickly find that short stays are not worth your time.
3. Track the Long-Term Rental Potential
The rental market is always changing, especially these days. As Baby Boomers and Millennials seem to prefer renting over owning, long-term housing rents are climbing. If you don’t routinely check your net income against the changing long-term market standard, then you won’t know if your short-term rental business is your most profitable option.
If your local long-term rates catch fire, you need to reevaluate. Chances are good you could simply require a 1 month minimum on Airbnb, lower your rate slightly, and still make a huge profit.
Calculate Your Potential
We encourage all landlords to experiment with Airbnb. The company has a pricing calculator that estimates how much you can earn, based on occupancy and location. If you do try your hand as an Airbnb landlord, be sure to compare your net income to that of a traditional rental.
In summary, to give yourself an edge, you should:
At Hello, Suburbia, we know there are a growing number of ways you can use your rental in the collaborative economy. Play to your strengths and you can find success with us as your partner!
Part of the Airbnb philosophy involves creating a more social, authentic travel experience by pairing renters with property owning hosts in over 34,000 cities around the world. Renters can search for a room in a host’s property or rent an entire house if they prefer. Airbnb allows guests to search their database by “entire place, own room or shared room.” Privacy and cleanliness are deemed priorities in all such listings.
Here are 6 ways guests pick their preferred Airbnb:
1. They first ask themselves--does this Airbnb have the vibe and look that I feel comfortable with?
Airbnb properties are not hotels, inns or bed & breakfasts. Taste, decor, personality and price vary wildly. If guests crave the consistency and amenities (maid/room service) of a standard hotel experience, Airbnb may not be a right fit for them--and that's OK.
Guests understand that the authentic, local Airbnb experience comes in many forms. Closets might be full of the owner’s belongings, the decor might not be to their taste or some hosts might ask guests to water their plants--it all depends on what the guests feel comfortable with.
2. Guests do their research!
Good research by the guests is the key to a good experience. Guests start searching by location first. They ask themselves questions such as: Do we need to be within walking distance of a certain venue? Do we have our heart set on a favorite location?
3. Guests make a list of absolute requirements.
They ask themselves questions such as: Are they willing to share their space with a host? Is the property well located for what they want to do? Does it have free internet? Parking? Washer/dryer?
4. Guests look for high-quality photographs, detailed descriptions and many reviews.
After looking at all the photographs, guests will automatically be able to eliminate quite a few listings.
5. Guests thoroughly read all the property rules.
House rules vary a lot. Some are reasonable to some guests and other listings have house rules that guests don't feel comfortable with. They will immediately look for others in the area to suit their needs.
6. Guests read all the reviews.
All of them. They look for specific "negatives" that other guests have mentioned in their reviews. Do previous guests complain about arranging key pick-ups? Did guests ever find that the property ran out of hot water mid-shampoo every day? Or, is the owner an amazing host that goes above and beyond when accommodating their guests?
Let us, at Hello Suburbia, help you avoid these common host pitfalls! As the Airbnb host, we make sure that your listing is primed and ready to go when it's ready to rent. We are committed to making sure your Airbnb business is an all-around success--both now and many months and years from now.