Airbnb is extremely popular, and more and more people are choosing to prepare their homes to host guests there. Perhaps you have a whole property that you plan to let out on Airbnb, a granny annexe, or an apartment within your home.
Airbnb has opened up lots of opportunities for people to make money from their spare space but also provides the opportunity to spend some time living somewhere else in the world at minimal cost. Just think about it - let out your home to someone visiting your part of the word while you rent someone else's home in a different region or country. This is a great way to explore different countries to live like a local and see if you like it - especially if you are thinking about an international move.
Whatever your plan, you definitely can't just hand out the keys and expect the property to work. In fact, you might not get any bookings if the decor isn't right. Just a glimpse of grubby wall tiles, peeling carpet, mouldy windowsills or an unkempt garden could be all it takes for potential guests to waft past your property and book with a competitor. It is so important to prepare your home for short term guests so that they get good value for money, and give you great feedback. Your guests will expect:
- Furnishings that are clean and in good condition
- Little touches like a welcome pack, and at least one loo roll
- A place that is easy to stay in, with clear instructions on how to use amenities
It can seem like a big task, especially if you're currently preparing your home for Airbnb rentals and you've never had guests before, but it could be great. Here are some top tips to prepare your Airbnb to get guests booking, and hopefully leaving great feedback:
Before you do anything else, your place needs to be clean. The reason for this is, you won't know what changes you need to make until you see your property as it would be right now if guests arrive. That includes no clutter, no extra furniture or grubby rooms. For example if it is a place you have neglected for a while or a place you have bought specifically for this purpose, you might not know that the mould in the shower has stained the wallpaper or wall and so that wall will need repainting.
Your priority for renovations should be fixing anything dangerous like loose wiring or sharp tiling. If floor tiles in the wet room are broken for example, your guest could cut their foot or an outside light that doesn't work at night could result in your guest tripping on the path. This is definitely not acceptable and so, your budget should firstly go to fixing any hazards. Non slip floor tiles in the bathroom are not only highly recommended, but also a legal requirement in some countries. Check with your local planning department.
When redecorating a space for the purposes of short term lettings, you have two options. You can go neutral, play it safe and make the space fresh, nice and appealing to most. You could also decorate in a more unique style. This can work if it is done right but, it is a risk as it won't appeal to the masses. As a general rule, decorating to enhance key features of the property will work well. For example; if the property has sea views, then nods to the local area like photos of the harbour or photos of local landmarks will work well. Or if the property is rural then bring out that in the decor, for example slate effect porcelain tiles will give a rustic look at a good price. Try to think like a tourist. What might seem cheesy locally is a novelty for people who have never visited the area.
Consider the following additions for an attractive space for people to stay:
- New matching cutlery, cups and crockery
- New towels and bedding
- Some nice rugs
- New floor tiles or wall tiles where areas need freshening up. And remember that porcelain tiles make cleaning much easier for you after your guests have left!
- Fresh flowers
Once you have cleaned and redirected your place ready for a guest, you can then make your profile on Airbnb and prepare for your first guest. Remember the more pictures of the property the better, people don't want to see the local area. Remember to be accurate in your description and remember to create a really clear list of guidelines for the guests so they know the rules of staying at your place. You might also want to make a list of things to check when cleaning the place after each guest.
Hopefully you're now feeling prepared and excited about your new Airbnb venture. Remember to do extensive research and planning before starting a project like this, to ensure all involved have the best possible experience.