How to Start Hosting on Airbnb
We remember what it's like getting started -- it can feel daunting! Here is a quick overview with some of the next few steps you'll need to take before you host your first guests.
#1 - Do some research.
Look at you! You're already doing it.
Research includes: familiarizing yourself with what hosting is like, what resources are out there for hosts, and what you can expect as a host.
It also means looking at comparable properties. What are hosts doing that you love? What could you make your own about your listing, to really highlight who you are and what makes your property special?
You might consider staying in a few Airbnbs and thinking about what is working for you and what you might improve.
#2 - Make it legal.
Make sure you understand what permits, licenses, or taxes are required for where you live. Airbnb has a great page, Responsible hosting in the United States, where it has compiled some of the regulations for many of the larger metros in the U.S.
Another great resource will be your city/county/state website. Additionally, some communities have a short term rental alliance or similar organization.
If applying for permits feels daunting, don't worry! For us, it felt like one of the most challenging steps. Once you're permitted, you're more than half way there.
#3 - Equip your space.
Your space should have all the amenities and neatness of a nice hotel, but with the charm and personality of a home. Spend some time in your space. Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel pampered? You want your guests to feel welcomed and at home.
We include linens, and always make sure to have extra towels and sheets on hand just in case. We also provide coffee and a few snacks. If a guest is visiting for a special occasion, we provide a bottle of champagne, a card, and chocolates: just a little something to show we've put in some extra thought, and appreciate them choosing us for their special occasion!
And don't forget a guidebook! This can be a great way for you to share what makes your space and city special, and a way for guests to connect with you even if they don't get to meet you in person. Our guidebook is online and can be accessed here: Tiny House Guidebook.
Also, line up a few helpers in case you need them. Do you have a plumber, in case a plumbing issue pops up? Do you have someone on call who lives near the listing, especially if you're out of town? All of this is part of making sure your listing is set up for hosting.
#4 - Build your listing.
Once your property is decorated, equipped, and furnished, you're ready to create your listing. Airbnb has many useful posts on how to go about creating your listing, but my favorite is probably: Tips to make your Airbnb listing stand out.
But the basics are: take great photos, write accurate and compelling descriptions, and please reach out for help if you're unsure! I love looking over listings and providing edits that will help your listing shine. Not working with me yet? It's free: reach out today.
You'll also need to set up your calendar, rules, and messages. We love that Airbnb has automated messages, so you can make sure your guests hear from you each time you get a booking, or before check-in. That way, they're never left wondering about check-in information.
#5 - Finish strong.
As you wait for your first guests, spend more time in your space. Look for anything that seems untidy, or that can be improved. Try to leave guests a personalized message so your guests feel extra welcomed. And if you have any questions, please reach out.
Ask a Super Host (like me).
If all this feels like a lot, rest assured that getting started is by far the hardest part. And I'm here to help! Connect with me to receive 200 free days of mentorship.