Are you thinking of becoming an Airbnb host? While it’s a lot of work to start an Airbnb, the rewards of being a host (and eventually a Superhost) make it all worthwhile. Plus, with these helpful tips, you can bypass hours of unnecessary work and stress, and only focus on what’s important.
In this article, we are going to walk through the steps of becoming an Airbnb host, as well as give you some tips for buying an Airbnb investment property and becoming successful in your Airbnb business.
How to Become an Airbnb Host: 4 Steps
Below are a few steps that you can take on to become an Airbnb host:
Do Your Research
The first step in how to become an Airbnb host is research. It sounds boring, but this can be a surprisingly fun stage of investing in Airbnb. This is where you will brainstorm what area you might want to invest in and what kinds of experiences and even decor are popular with the visitors of that area. You get to imagine your own unique piece of the world that you will share with people from all over!
Make a Business Plan
The next step in becoming an Airbnb host is to make an Airbnb business plan. This is where you’ll have to make some decisions.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How much time do I have to invest in maintaining my Airbnb rental property?
- Do I want only one Airbnb, or would I like to expand my portfolio?
- How much legal protection do I want in my Airbnb business?
This is a good time to consider whether you can manage your Airbnb on your own, or if you’ll need to hire an Airbnb property management company. Or, you might only need to invest in cleaning services, etc.
Also, think about how serious of a commitment this is. Are you giving it a shot for the experience? Or do you want to make a full time living by becoming an Airbnb host? You might opt for the legal protection of an LLC if you plan on developing an extensive Airbnb portfolio. Either way, it’s good to set some goals and determine the right business structure for you.
Find the Perfect Airbnb
The most exciting part of becoming an Airbnb host is searching for Airbnb for sale. Although it can feel like a thrilling shopping spree, remember that you are not buying your dream home. Airbnb investment property is just that: an investment.
While it should look nice, this is not the most important thing when buying property. You can always change the look of a place later. What are the three rules of real estate? Location, location, location.
If you don’t choose a profitable location, you’ll never make any money, no matter how beautiful the wood trim is, or how much you like the porch. Luckily, Mashvisor has an easy solution for real estate investors that allows them to find the most profitable Airbnb locations and properties fast, which we will discuss later in this article.
Once you narrow down your search to a neighborhood, you can hop onto Mashvisor’s Property Finder. Our database contains listings straight from the MLS and other valuable sources. The property data is taken directly from Airbnb and all of our Airbnb analytics are verified by hosts.
Get Your Listing Just Right
Finally, once you have your investment property, the last part of becoming an Airbnb host is listing it. This is a critical part of the process that can make or break your success. Without an outstanding Airbnb profile, even the most amazing rental properties won’t get booked.
Making sure your listings are comprehensive, giving enough information, and using high-quality photos that show off the Airbnb’s best features are some of the most important ways to get your Airbnb noticed.
Avoid Failure by Following These 6 Tips
Make Sure It’s Legal in Your City
You don’t want to be the real estate investor who makes this mistake: buying an Airbnb in a city that has banned short term rental properties. This is a crucial part of your research phase, and we recommend verifying with the city itself before purchasing. Using information from internet articles is no guarantee that you’ll avoid legal trouble. The rules are always subject to change, and secondary sources may be outdated.
Conduct Neighborhood Analysis
Another big mistake investors make when becoming an Airbnb host is not doing neighborhood analysis. Researching and finding out that a particular city is profitable for Airbnb is not enough. Why? Because that information is an average. Just because a city performs well on average, doesn’t mean each neighborhood within it will be profitable.
For this information, the best real estate investment tool is Mashvisor’s Real Estate Heat Map. It will show you the most profitable neighborhoods in each city using visual data, and it breaks the data down into both traditional and short term rentals.
Use an Airbnb Calculator
Unless you get an Airbnb calculator, you’ll have to make longhand calculations and rely on Airbnb spreadsheets to keep track of data. This is a long and tricky process, and if you make a mistake in your calculations, you can end up purchasing the wrong investment property.
With Mashvisor’s Airbnb analytics tool, you can instantly:
- Estimate Airbnb income
- Find the Airbnb occupancy rate
- See the cash on cash return
- Find the cap rate
- Estimate Airbnb expenses
- Estimate an overall ROI
No investor should go without the accuracy and convenience of real estate investment software.
Create an Unforgettable Experience
One of the lessons you can take from the most successful Airbnb hosts when first becoming an Airbnb host is to create an unforgettable experience. Not only will it show through in your listing and get you more bookings, but your Airbnb guests will more likely want to return. They may even recommend your Airbnb rental property to friends and leave you glowing reviews.
Some things you can do to amp up your Airbnb are:
- Decorate tastefully and artistically
- Make sure everything is sparkling clean
- Leave a basket with snacks or a bottle of wine on the table
- Place flowers on the table or throughout the house
- Leave a booklet of things to do in the area
- Create a unique space, like a pergola lit with string lights, a cozy nook, or a spa-like bathroom
Start With Below Market Rates
When you’re first becoming an Airbnb host, the most important thing is to get bookings and reviews. According to Superhost experts, the fastest way to do this is to list your Airbnb at 50-70% of the market value. Once you’ve got the momentum going, you can up your rates to full price.
Take Professional Photos
Your listings are your future guests’ first impression, and visuals are everything. Avoid taking pictures with your phone, and instead, invest in a high-quality camera for your Airbnb photos.
Some good tips for Airbnb listing photos are:
- Make sure you have proper lighting
- Capture the room from a corner angle to make it look spacious
- Clear away any clutter
- Edit photos to bring out the colors and warmth present in the room. Sometimes these get lost in photographs. However, don’t over-edit or change the appearance of the room via photo editing.
Owning an Airbnb is a huge commitment, but the payoff is even greater. Not only can you make plenty of money, but the experience of being an Airbnb host is truly unique, and it’s something many Airbnb hosts enjoy.
Ready to get started? To begin looking for and analyzing the best Airbnb properties in your city and neighborhood of choice, click here.