Renting your place on Airbnb: a 15min how-to guide of expert rent tips and host tricks

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this is a how-to guide for getting your

space ready to rent on Airbnb it

includes beginner tips and expert advice

for becoming a successful host and it's

really the video I wish I had when

starting out on Airbnb when I was trying

to get started I found lots of news

articles and web pages with generic

advice and most of the came from people

who had never hosted with Airbnb before

this video explains how I went from

extra bedroom that was completely empty

to when almost always booked high

quality Airbnb listing and hopefully

this helps others do the same the video

is divided into ten big topic areas with

about a hundred little tips and tricks

mixed in the video does go pretty fast

and it might be a little dense but

hopefully this makes it more useful to

you and helps you avoid newbie mistakes

you're probably familiar with the basic

idea of Airbnb it's a website where

people can host or rent a spare bedroom

a house a spare couch etc the Airbnb

site organizes and manage most of the

booking process and payment process and

the host simply has to fill out a

listing which describes their space my

first advice for any new host is to try

booking and staying in someone else's

Airbnb first to understand how this

works from a buyer's perspective new

users can usually get a signup bonus if

you use a referral code when you set up

your account if you're ready to become a

host how do you get started well we'll

use my apartment as an example so in my

apartment I had one extra bedroom that

was completely empty except for a nice

queen-size mattress that I had and I

wanted to turn this into a great Airbnb

listing I was a little bit nervous at

first that I would spend a bunch of

money to create a bedroom and then no

one would end up staying here so I

started out with a two-part budget just

in case it didn't work out part one was

all the essential costs for basic items

that you needed to get a rental on

Airbnb and part two was the extra

upgrades to make the rental experience

better and I did this after I had

started making money the first step in

creating your space is to find a style

make sure it's a unique and catchy style

and something that can distinguish your

listing from all the

others in your area check out sites like

Instagram or other Airbnb listings for

inspiration remember to also consider

function in your design like the ease of

changing sheets the ability for the

equipment to handle wear and tear and

the time it takes you to actually set

everything up don't forget to consider

the style and design of all your

amenities too like hangers mirrors

lights trash bin etc a few set of tips

that I learned first if your guests can

use your closet leave the door open so

they know that also put all your Airbnb

items inside the room but don't

necessarily put them all out for your

guests for example I have warm blankets

and extra linens in the closet where

guests can see them and use them if they

need to but since 95% of guests won't

use them it saves me time rewashing and

refolding them and it decreases their

wear and tear this also minimizes the

chance that your guests will bother you

asking you for more towels or even worse

leave you a negative review saying that

you didn't have enough towels the most

important tips for your bedroom are the

actual bed make sure your bed is

comfortable and if necessary buy a piece

of memory foam also buy a vinyl mattress

enclosure this is a 13 dollar piece of

thin plastic that encases your bed and

prevents things from getting through to

the mattress this will protect your

mattress from odours perfume water and

even bed bugs pin worms and lice

obviously those are very rare things

that you're not likely to see but this

enclosure is a simple way to reduce the

chance that any of these things become a

problem vinyl covers are also very easy

to wipe clean in a few seconds with a

damp towel next is the bathroom which

I'll spend some time on because this can

be a host biggest problem if possible

try to give your guests a private

bathroom which they have exclusive

access to before you start renting do an

inspection for basic maintenance for

example you might want to resell a comb

the sink or tub or fix a leaky toilet or

scrub and paint some old stains etc

another tip is to get a showerhead with

the hose attached which makes cleaning

the walls much faster it's a really

inexpensive hardware upgrade I would

strongly advise

after you freshen up your bathroom get

it set up for Airbnb guests invest in

bottles of soap dispenser shampoo

conditioner and Body Wash this is a

cheap clean and fast way to give your

guests all the basic bathroom

necessities I would also suggest a spray

can of odor absorber to put on top of

the toilet I like to stack towels on the

desk in the bedroom not on the towel

rack so guests know that they're getting

a clean towel inside the bathroom I also

have some backup stuff on hand like

extra toilet paper toothbrush toothpaste

disposable razors etc just in case a

guest needs them I usually put these in

the drawer where guests who are missing

them might look but otherwise most

people will never use these items the

most important part of your bathroom is

to make sure it's clean before each

guest the bathroom needs to be cleaned

now this is an area where I know people

will be tempted to cut corners for

example if a guest stays for only one

night and barely uses the bathroom you

might say do I really need to clean the

bathroom it looks perfectly fine well

people are paying you for a place that

looks clean they wanted a bathroom that

was actually clean the reason we do this

is because you can't see viruses fungus

bacteria etc so let me give you some

tips on what to do with a barely used

almost clean bathroom that you were

tempted to just leave alone we're going

to do a bare minimum touch-up cleaning

that takes 100 seconds and should

minimize the chance that you have any

problems while saving you time the 100

second bathroom cleaning starts with the

right tools in the same place you need

everything in this picture notice that I

have a real spray bottle from Home Depot

not the cheap ones that come with

household cleaners this allows you to

make your own detergent if you're

interested and this cleaner has bleach

detergent fragrance and water start by

spraying the tub and letting it sit for

a minute then inspect the mirror and

wipe it if it's dirty then always wipe

the handles on the counter top because

this is where people touch and end by

wiping the inside of the sink make sure

your soap and conditioner bottles are

clean and not empty then check your

toilet paper and go to the toilet and

wipe the handle the seat under the seat

and the rim now go to your tub and mop

the bottom and sides

turn on the shower and rinse the entire

tub be sure to look for stuck hairs even

one hair will stick out and make the

entire bathtub look gross and by wiping

the floor you should do at least the 100

second cleaning every single time don't

forget to do a complete cleaning on a

regular basis which includes washing the

shower and the floor mat this should

ensure that your rental will not become

the feature in a bad news article when

it comes to preparing for your next

guests make it easier on yourself this

starts with good planning make sure all

your linens are white and you have all

the proper cleaning supplies nearby and

ready to go develop an organized routine

and checklist so you can work

efficiently without missing anything my

cleaning process works like this grab

all the bed sheets and towels and wash

them in one load with a tiny bit of

bleach and fabric softener then dry them

with a fabric softener sheet so they

smell delicious with 5 minutes left on

the dryer I start my cleaning routine

arrange the closet then the WindowBlinds

then the desk wipe the bed cover check

the floor check the trash vacuumed the

floor the hallway put the keys on the

table put sheets on the bed after you've

done this a few times it really should

only take 15 minutes to prepare for the

next guest a few pro tips during this

cleaning process as soon as your dryer

is done put the bed sheets on this

avoids wrinkling for towels however make

sure they're all dry before you fold

them because you don't want guests to

think a towel was damp because the last

guest used it also do a pillow sniff

test between each guests to make sure

your pillow smells neutral you don't

want guests to smell someone else's

hairspray all night I recommend having

backup pillows and bed sheets just in

case last pro tip sticky roller for

hairs this is the shiz because hairs are

one of the few things that just don't

come out in wash to use it roll it over

the pillowcase before you put it in the

laundry and then check the whole bed

after washing to pick up any stray hairs

even though washed bed sheets with one

hair on them are actually completely

clean as I mentioned with cleaning the

bathroom hairs are just one of those

things that guests associate with being

dirty or unwashed once your place is set

up in

you're ready to create a listing

creating a listing is a bit more

straightforward than getting your house

ready because there's a lot more

instructions from Airbnb on how to get

your place posted on their site my basic

advice here is read what Airbnb says and

read the descriptions of other rentals

in your area particularly the successful

ones to know how to make a good listing

that looks better than the competition a

few tips and pitfalls here that are

worth noting though mention things that

your guests might have a problem with in

your house for example are you up late

at night are there kids pets strange

smells what about the area that your

place is in sometimes you'll have to

have a few guests stay before you'll

actually notice what the problems are

also mention things that guests don't

have access to but do this briefly you

don't want to have one page of house

rules because nobody will rent from you

one thing you can do here is use certain

expressions like normal use or

reasonable amount when describing how

many amenities guests can use in your

home another little tip tell guests

almost all the advantages and features

of your place but save a few for when

they arrive for example offer your

guests something small that they weren't

expecting like a basket of mints or a

bottle of water this helps undo any

problems if one of your listing features

wasn't quite as specified in your

listing the most important part of your

listing is the photos because this is

what guests see first you'll need about

10 good quality photos in one perfect

photo which would be of your actual

bedroom do some mild digital editing

like adjusting the brightness and

contrast color saturation and using a

high-resolution camera if you use your

cell phone camera make sure the photo is

not compressed when you send it for

example text messages are usually

compressed also remember not just to

write a really great listing but also

have a good host profile and host

picture I didn't do anything crazy with

Airbnb like listing your spare room and

your couch and your whole house for a

premium and sleeping at a friend's place

some people might do that but it didn't

interest me I did offer an optional air

mattress in the living room for

and forth guests and charge ten bucks

more per night

that brings us to pricing check your

local area for prices on similar

listings and start out on the lower end

you can always change the price

budget-conscious renters are sometimes a

little bit less picky about the

amenities that you offer you can vary

the price on peak days or days where you

are busy like weekends remember the


Airbnb charges your customers is a few

dollars higher than what you charge this

can be important for example if you

charge 48 dollars the buyer will

probably see a price of $52 so if the

buyer searches for anything below $50

using the Airbnb filter they'll never

find your rental I'm not going to go

into discounts short-term versus

long-term rentals because this is very

market and listing specific but I do

want to point out that you can really

vary the type of bookings that you get

by how you adjust these extra charges

like cleaning fees for example consider

two places one at 30 per night with a

twenty dollar cleaning fee and the other

at forty per night with no cleaning fee

many guests will book for 1 to 2 nights

while the $30 listing is more likely to

get week-long rentals you might look at

rentals in your area and say these are

too cheap for me I guess I can't do

Airbnb well first you should try it out

at a basic price a few times just to see

if you like air B&B then you can always

list your place for more money because

you might still get a few bookings and

here's why the hotel industry is famous

for having wildly fluctuating nightly

rents each city has a few weekends a

year where there's a big event in town

and all the hotels are charging top

dollar and all the cheap Airbnb places

were booked up a long time ago so your

place may look like a great deal even

though it's usually too expensive for

communication you should reply to all

messages right away because response

times are tracked by Airbnb send all

your guests a personal confirmation

message so they know that you were

paying attention to your Airbnb listing

this is very important if you allow

automatic booking because then you may

not have talked to your guests yet by

the way automatic booking worked great

for me but you should be cautious about

enabling this initially

because you want to know who your

typical renters are first the day of

arrival I text guests a photo of the

house and a map so they don't get lost

and they ask what time they expect to

arrive this is very important if you

have neighbors with similar houses to

you because guests can get annoyed and

neighbors can get annoyed quickly if

guests keep coming to their door and you

don't want to be unneighborly of course

also if you're a tenant or your landlord

has special rules for short term leasing

this might be a problem so check with

your landlord your lease agreement and

your homeowners association first okay

so back to communication for check-in

try to be home to give guests an

introduction to your place though if

you're not available there are things

you can do for example you can put a key

hidden under the door or better yet get

a lockbox like real estate agents use

for extra security and then just text

gets the access code as far as how to

greet your guests and welcome them well

I have no specific advice but just try

to be nice and welcoming and point out

all the things like amenities light

switches and thermostats that they may

want to know about also write a one-page

summary of all the information about

your place probably things you've

already told them but print it out and

put it on the desk like Wi-Fi

information house rules tips suggestions

for places to go and things to do your

name your phone number and alternate

person and their contact number and any

frequently asked questions or

suggestions from other people who have

stayed I save this topic for last

because I wanted to cover the

substantive suggestions first and deal

with some of these overdramatize

concerns later it seems to be human

nature to think that new is scary and

different is offensive we saw the exact

same thing with uber and lyft every time

there was one bad story about one over

or lyft driver it made national news

even if these problems happened

frequently with taxis also for

ride-sharing we heard people say things

like ooh why would you have a stranger

sit in your car well for Airbnb one of

the things that people often say is if I

let people in my house won't they steal

all my stuff and of course this doesn't

make any sense if I

wanted to steal your stuff I would just

break into your house after you left why

would I pay you money and stay with you

and share my name address credit card

etc and personally meet with you in

order to steal your stuff there's just

much less risky ways of being a thief so

guests committing crimes is one of the

exaggerated fears of Airbnb also I want

to distinguish true safety issues in

which you need to call the police from

simply having guests stretch or not

follow your house rules if it's not a

true safety issue always try the easy

interventions first like talking to your

guests and explaining the situation most

people are pretty reasonable of course

the easiest way to avoid problems is to

check the ratings of your guests first

to see what other hosts have said about

them and then always be careful if they

don't have any reviews yet from this

video you can see that it's easy to get

started with air B&B and there's a very

low barrier to entry I really like

Airbnb and the sharing economy idea in

general because it allows anybody to

benefit from all levels of a business

for example to make money as a

traditional hotel owner you would need a

few million dollars at a hotel first to

make money as a hotel manager you would

probably need a degree with work

experience to make money as a hotel

janitor that doesn't take much

experience but it doesn't pay any more

than minimum wage Airbnb however allows

anyone to make a little bit of money at

all levels of the business process well

whenever you talk about making money you

always need to think about legal areas

like regulations and taxes you'll likely

need to pay taxes and should be aware of

your local laws on short term renting

you may find however that local laws and

regulations are uncertain or out-of-date

for example in some cities you have to

be a fully licensed Hotel in a

commercial zoned area just to rent a

couch for somebody for one night if your

local laws are not favorable to Airbnb

you should get involved in the political


unfortunately hotels are already active

here and are lobbying legislators to

restrict Airbnb because they believe

you're taking a piece of their pie

if you're able to start on Airbnb a

single bedroom can add hundreds of

dollars a month in rental income with

relatively little time investment by

estimating 30 minutes of prep time and

$40 of net income per day you can

theoretically make $80 an hour for my

apartment I estimate this is closer to

$50 per hour which is still very good

considering how easy it is to get

started so if this video helped you or

motivated you to get started be sure to

like it and share it with others if you

have your own Airbnb tips or tricks

write them in the comments below