Living for free. Paying down your mortgage. Generating thousands of dollars per year in extra cash. Putting your house on Airbnb could be the financial boost you need. Hosts average over $20,000 per year off a single rental, with many hosts pay as much as 81% of their mortgage with Airbnb revenue.
However, it’s not as simple as signing up as an Airbnb host and waiting for reservations. While renting space you’re not using in your home can be a lucrative income source, being a profitable Airbnb host comes at a price.
If you’re considering putting your house on Airbnb, this beginner’s guide is for you.
Before Putting Your House on Airbnb
Jumping on the Airbnb bandwagon could be disastrous without careful thought and planning. Consider the following before you commit your space to guests:
Where there’s money, there are legal regulations. Homeowners associations or city regulations may prevent you from being able to list on Airbnb. Your city may require you to obtain a business license or other registration for short-term occupancy rentals.
Also, your homeowner’s insurance may put you at risk of liability. Make sure your policy covers what you’re doing to protect your interests.
You must do your due diligence before listing your property to ensure you won’t be met with profit-draining fines.
Consider Your Future Financial Situation
Could a mortgage refinance be in your future? Would being an Airbnb host reclassify your home as an investment property? These things might not seem major right now, but in the future they could have financial implications.
For starters, some lenders don’t count Airbnb revenue as reliable income, which could affect your eligibility for additional mortgages or refinancing. A recent initiative from Fannie Mae is hoping to change this so borrowers can include short-term rental income.
Also, if your property becomes reclassified as an investment property, you might be subjected to higher interest rates when you refinance. This is a major consideration if you need to refinance to renovate your property to accommodate guests.
Getting Your Space Ready
Once you clear the legal and financial obstacles, you’ll need to prepare your space for guests before listing on Airbnb.
Check Your Area’s Listings
It’s a good idea to do a little local research to see what Airbnb rentals are going for in your area. This can help you price your rental and understand your competition.
Will you charge an additional cleaning fee or include it in the price? Airbnb’s platform lets you choose. In either case, make sure you factor in the costs of cleaning and other expenses when calculating your profit.
Most hosts will provide the basics, like towels, toilet paper, and sheets. Consider what else you will be able to provide and what your guests will be required to add to that list.
How will guests get their key? An Airbnb key lockbox? Collect them from you or a neighbor? Enter a code on the electronic lock?
A small investment in a coded door lock or key lock box can save time and frustration for your guests. Plus it means you don’t have to be on site when they arrive.
Consider how many guests your Airbnb can feasibly sleep. It helps to put yourself in their shoes and how comfortable you’d feel as a guest in the rental’s sleeping arrangement.
Even hotels have a code of conduct for guests. Consider making a few ground rules, such as quiet hours, thermostat settings, or smoking policies. These rules can help you remain profitable while ensuring a pleasant experience for every guest.
Listing Your Space on Airbnb
Once you’ve prepared your space, you can follow Airbnb’s simple setup to create your host account.
To start, head to Airbnb.com and sign up for an account. Then sign in and click the Become a Host button in the top right corner.
You’ll need to choose your home and room type, how many people your listing can accommodate, and your city. Make sure you pay attention to the item descriptions in each step. Having even small errors in your listing could cost you bookings.
Airbnb gives you the flexibility in choosing your availability. Whether you want guests to be able to book all the time or just on specific days or time periods, you can control when your listing is available.
Airbnb recommends a price based on the information you include, but you’re in control of setting your own prices. You might want to charge a lower price to attract guests and earn positive reviews, then adjust your price later.
Overview & Photos
Your rental overview and photos will help you stand out. Take time to craft a compelling description to attract guests.
Map & Amenities
Airbnb lets you include a map and list of amenities to bolster your description. Be as detailed as possible so guests know what to expect.
Start Accepting Reservations with Hosty
Taking the time to do things the right way can position you for a comfortable career or side gig as a property manager. With a strong listing and attractive price, putting your house on Airbnb can turn a pretty profit.
Whether you’re renting out a room in your home or you have multiple properties on Airbnb, Hosty can help you manage your listings and automate your short-term rental business. We’ve put all the features a property manager needs into a single platform. Gain visibility into every listing within seconds, from bookings to communication, and spend less time on profit-killing tasks.
Try Hosty for a free 14-day test drive to see how it’s simplifying property management and boosting profits for hundreds of users.