Many Airbnb hosts have seen their rental revenues take a big dip.
But it’s not all bad news. Domestic vacation rentals are up. The secondary market is heating up. People are flocking to the suburbs for more space.
Some cities are even seeing an uptick in rental prices at a time when fewer people are moving around due to travel restrictions.
That’s all good news for Airbnb hosts navigating their way through new realities by enhancing cleaning procedures and trying to entice reluctant renters amidst the lockdowns. These hosts are looking for ways to recover from recent losses and boost rental revenues going forward.
Related: Airbnb Hosts Feeling the Effect of the Coronavirus
Here are a few ways innovative Airbnb hosts are pulling in profits in this difficult market:
1. Become a live-in Airbnb host
You can really drive down the costs of a new property if you make it your primary residence.
If you can qualify for an FHA loan, you’ll secure more favorable loan terms (as low as 3.5%) as compared to standard mortgages that demand a 15-20% down payment.
That puts more cash in your pocket upfront.
Assuming you don’t mind renting out the other rooms in your house, it’s a pretty good deal. Not to mention you’d be able to rent out your own space whenever you aren’t home. Most Airbnb hosts are more than able to cover mortgage costs with just a few guests each month.
Related: House Hacking with Airbnb: How to Live for Free
2. Take on co-hosting or hire an Airbnb co-host
Co-hosting has been a great addition to Airbnb’s features.
Hosts that need support with the day-to-day management of units can hire a local co-host to help them manage things.
On the other hand, if you’re already experienced with managing Airbnb rental properties and can afford to throw a few more onto your plate, you can become a co-host yourself as a way to pull down some extra cash.
It might even make sense to try both options over time as your needs and schedule change. Whether you’re giving yourself more time to go earn elsewhere or picking up some extra dough through co-hosting for other hosts, it’s a great way to reach economies of scale in the Airbnb rental game.
3. Level up to Airbnb Superhost
If you’ve ever been a guest in someone’s home before, you know what makes a great host.
They’re problem-solvers. They offer thoughtful touches. Great hosts personalize the stay.
Anyone can rent an apartment and toss a bed in there. But not everyone is cut out to be a Superhost. That’s because Superhosts earn more through better reviews, increased volume, and higher rental rates on the platform.
Becoming a Superhost can take time, but it’s doable. How? By continually adding value to your rental and focusing on improving guest stays.
Try moving from easily-lost keys to a modern keypad for easy entry. Invest in high-quality bedding. Make sure you choose an excellent cleaning service (especially these days). All of those little extras make the guest experience more memorable.
If you want to attract better guests and more valuable stays, get into super hosting.
4. Drive down the cost of hosting on Airbnb
The costs of maintaining an Airbnb rental can really add up over time.
If they’re not careful, Airbnb hosts can end up seriously eating into their profit margins by paying out too much to just maintain their rental properties.
Here’s how to address it and keep costs low:
- Get your essential household supplies in bulk. Things like laundry detergent and dish soap can be purchased in quantities that make them cheaper and last longer.
- Ask your cleaning service to include cleaning supplies (at a lower cost than you’d get in the store) as part of their regular service. If they restock your rental each time they clean it, that’s one less thing to worry about and could save you a few dollars.
- If you own multiple rentals, ask a few cleaning services to compete on price for a contract to clean them all. This allows you to secure a more competitive rate and reduces administrative burdens by bundling multiple rental properties under one cleaning contract.
- Cleaning fees are an art and a science. Set your cleaning fee to an appropriate level that encourages longer stays. That way, the money you spend on turning over the rental goes a bit further. This also reduces your costs for household supplies.
- Upgrade your household appliances like investing in high-efficiency washers or Nest digital thermostats to control the heating and air conditioning. These household features can become major cost centers if you’re not careful.
A little investment and planning up front can help save you money in the long-run when it comes to these ins and outs of hosting on Airbnb.
5. Use your rental as a storage space
If your Airbnb bookings are down, offer up your space for storage rentals.
Here’s an example: Lots of people in the Los Angeles area have cars, but not all of them have a secure place to store them. If you’ve got a driveway or garage, put that extra space to good use.
With more people working from home recently, there’s a greater need for car storage for many people and they don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a fancy corporate garage spot.
Related: What Airbnb Hosts Can Do with Their Rental Properties During the Coronavirus
You can also offer storage space for household items within your rental property. Just like cars, lots of people would prefer to store their stuff in someone’s basement or attic in a home instead of a giant warehouse.
Make the most of your space and bring in some extra cash through storage.
This article has been contributed by Paul Perry from Neighbor.