Sharing your space: Joining the share economy with AirBnb

Have you considered opening your home to AirBnb guests?  It seems like an easy way to be part of the share community, but what does it really take?  Let me walk you through what we did.

We have a four bedroom boutique hotel that we also list on AirBnb, it’s a little different than having our home open, but the concepts are the same.

Instead of immediately focusing on the AirBnb needs, focus on your guests.  If you frequent hotels, what are your expectations?  I look for the following:

  • White linens
  • Multiple pillows (with different levels of firmness)
  • A comfortable bed
  • A place to charge a USB cord
  • Clean corners and floors
  • A lamp (vs. an overhead light)
  • A refrigerator
  • Coffee maker
  • A television
  • Wi-Fi
  • A private bath

When we refurbished our hotel rooms, we looked to add those items and a few more.  Each room is unique, but we could do that because we are a boutique place, we didn’t have a hundred rooms to furnish so we could be creative.  The same can happen in your rooms.

Think creatively, but don’t go overboard.  That can backfire, cutesy kitch can get them there the first time, but won’t get you great reviews.  And as much as we wish it weren’t so, reviews are key to your success.

AirBnb is Review driven.  If you perform well to your guests’ satisfaction, you will get great reviews and be promoted on the AirBnb website.

If you don’t have a separate hotel like we do, what can you do?

Do you have a second home that isn’t used all the time?  Second homes make ideal spaces for others to use when you aren’t there.  There are some things to consider if you aren’t nearby, like what happens if your guest needs assistance, or who cleans up after they’re gone.  But none of those things are insurmountable.

What about a spare bedroom? If it has a separate bath or a separate entrance, it’s a no-brainer.  But even if it doesn’t you aren’t out of the running.  A private bedroom is usually enough to be able to host guests.  There are some who have shared rooms, think hostel style, but those are not typically U.S. based.  Others host in motorhomes or on boats, this can be acceptable if you meet some additional requirements from AirBnb.

So now you’ve looked around, decided you have the space, you’re ok with having people in your home. Now what.

  • Take some pictures of the space. If it includes a whole house, take photos of it all.  Make sure you have good lighting so the space is easily seen.
  • Have a list of your amenities. Do you provide shampoo and soap, a hair dryer, a desk?
  • Know how people will check in, will there be a key exchange, can you put an electronic door code on, do you need to be there?
  • Look at your calendar and decide when the room/house will be available. It doesn’t have to be every day.  Set the schedule so it’s not a hassle for you.  If you’re busy or have a personal guest staying in your spare room, know that.
  • How much is the room worth? It makes sense to look at other AirBnb rooms in your community and see how yours compares and set your pricing relative to the other rooms.  You don’t have to be the cheapest to get reservations, but you need to be realistic.  Once you’re seen what it’s worth, think about if that is worth it to you.
  • Start the process online. You can come back to it if you don’t finish the listing, but get your listing started.  Set aside about an hour to get the listing completed.

The next listing will have details on what to put in there and things to be wary of, but if you’re a self-starter, go ahead and get it done.  Get signed up, who knows, you may meet some incredible people and earn a little extra income on top of that!  Get started HERE 

2 Comments

    • AirBnb is kinda cool, I find there are whole groups of people who search there first before even looking for a hotel room. It’s a different mindset, one that values experiences over a bed to sleep in. If ever I can help get you set up, I’m happy to.

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