5 Ways to Ensure the Long-Term Success of Your Airbnb
Here’s how to knock your renters’ socks off (and protect yourself in the process).
Regardless of which city you call home, running a successful Airbnb can be the difference between scraping by and saving for your next vacation. As long as your building or strata permits short-term rentals, allowing visitors to enjoy your property can be financially rewarding for both amateur and expert homemakers — but crucial decisions will make the difference between your rental being a hobby or a long-term business.
With a little time and attention, your listing could be the one that guests are recommending to their friends and loved ones on a regular basis. Here are a few tips you can use to secure your spot as a well-loved overnight accommodation.
Choose the right furniture
Many renters choose personal rentals over hotels because they want to feel at home. It’s up to you to help them feel that way, and clever interior design is a great first step. While making your space beautiful is important, it’s crucial that any short-term rental be functional as well. If you’re looking to fill a small studio, find pieces that are multi-functional — think a headboard with built-in storage for your guests’ smaller belongings or a pull-out couch or murphy bed for larger groups. Choose durable fabrics and furniture items for the space as well. For instance, a glass table is an elegant piece, but it’s more likely to get chipped or damaged with the comings and goings of guests; opt for solid wood instead.
Pay attention to detail
If you want to keep your rental rating high, you’ll need to make sure that your guests have everything they need for their stay. This includes the little things, like coffee, tea, salt and pepper, and extra blankets.
To streamline communication and make your guests feel more at ease, hang a corkboard somewhere in the unit that includes your email and cell number, the wi-fi password, and any other important information. You can even leave a guest book to add a warm, personal touch and learn from any feedback guests might have for you.
Make sure you’re protected
Renting your property out through Airbnb means inviting strangers into your rental home, which, unfortunately, could lead to unexpected costs. The coverage provided by Airbnb or other short-term rental sites won’t cover you for anything except damage caused directly by a guest, or up to $1,000,000 in liability insurance if a guest is injured in your unit. All other liability coverage and compensation for theft or damage isn’t included, which means it’s smartest for you to supplement your coverage and protect your rental income.
BCAA Home Insurance offers flexibility for short-term rentals. Additional coverage can extend your policy and be tailored to your needs, such as the type of unit you’re renting, how many units you have, and how many days you plan to host annually. The coverage protects against loss of rental income, loss or damage to belongings and buildings, and any liability rising from short-term rentals.
Play the tour guide
One of the most effective ways to make your guests feel at home is to put together a guidebook full of your recommendations for what to do in the neighbourhood. Including the staples — like your favourite restaurants, bars, and grocery stores — is a great start. Think about family-friendly and adult-only activities and be sure to include some local secrets to add a little excitement to the mix. If you get creative with your suggestions and consider guests with all sorts of tastes and personalities, you could leave a real mark on their stay.
Stay in touch
Even if you follow all these rules, there’s always a chance that something might go wrong. Before check-in, talk to your renters about how they’ll be getting into and out of the property. Ask them if there are any special accommodations they might need, tell them what the best way to reach you is, and keep your phone ringer on for the duration of their stay. Be sure to send out a quick, appreciative follow-up message to your guests after they check out as well. This thoughtful gesture may very well be the thing that gets them to write you a good review or recommend you to their friends.
Long-term success as an Airbnb renter is easy to accomplish if you take the time to plan, properly furnish, and prepare for whatever might be in store. Hopefully, you’ll end up with a beautiful property, a better reputation, and a little extra income that’ll stay steady well into the future.