Becoming an Airbnb Host: Why You Should and What You Need to Know
Airbnb is the online accommodation booking site that has served over 60 million “guests” (as it likes to call its consumers) in over 190 countries and counting. By creating a space in which people can open up their homes to travelers, Airbnb has facilitated the connection between people from all walks of life, from all across the globe. Not only do guests benefit from an authentic living experience in a new city, but the transaction between guest and host creates a symbiotic relationship wherein a foundation of trust and a little give-and-take, if you will, can make this a positive experience for both parties.
Why You Should Host on Airbnb
Hosting on Airbnb can be a viable source of income depending on how often you rent your space. Many hosts have found that using Airbnb has made it easier financially to stay in their house or apartment. In Orange County, we especially have great real estate for hosting on Airbnb as many guests actively seek properties near the beach and all of the attractions our county has to offer. Airbnb postulates that by renting out your entire place in coastal Orange County, you could earn a weekly average of $497, or, even just renting out a private room in your space could earn you a weekly average of $299; a sizable amount of money for a room you were not even using in the first place.
Besides the money, one of the main reasons that people continue to host with Airbnb is to meet new people. It allows you to connect with guests from far off regions with far different experiences from your own so that you’ll feel like you’ve traveled continents without ever leaving your living room. By sharing our homes with others, we are creating a network of people that forges a newer, more tolerant, world.
What You Should Know
So you want to be a host on Airbnb. Here are the things you should keep in mind before posting your home.
Maximize Safety and Minimize Hazards
Having emergency contact info, first aid kit supplies, fire prevention, and a properly marked fire escape route readily available for your guests are all things necessary to ensure their safety. You should also establish safe occupancy limits, ensure your home is safe for children, or else notify a guest of potential hazards, and make sure that your home is properly ventilated and that temperature control is marked and functional for the guest comfort.
Be Mindful of your Neighbors
Ensure that you relay to your guests building rules (if applicable), noise ordinances, if your home is smoking or non-smoking, if it is pet-friendly, and any parking rules.
Be sure to consult any contracts including HOA or Co-Op Board regulations to make sure there is no prohibition against subletting. So this means to read your lease agreement and check with your landlord, if applicable. Also, consult any roommates or neighbors that may be affected by your hosting.
You should also look into any local regulations that may apply to you. Taxes, permits, rent control/stabilization, can all affect you when looking to host on Airbnb.
Check With Your Insurance
While Airbnb does have a Host Guarantee, which protects you to $1 million, it does not take the place of homeowners or renters insurance. So review your policy to make sure you have adequate coverage.
How to Become a Host
Once you’ve made all of the necessary arrangements, becoming a host is quick and easy. You first have to sign up on the Airbnb website, then the rest is up to you! When listing your home, you provide some details by filling in a description, then you take and upload some photos, and, finally, pick a price.
You’ll also want to clean all of the spaces that a guest will be using and provide essentials like clean sheets, towels, and toilet paper, which will make the guest feel more at home and happier with their stay. Which moves us to one of the most important points of being an Airbnb host, the reviews. Reviews based on guests’ experiences can either make or break your hosting endeavor, so it is important to make a good impression on all of your guests. For this, Airbnb has created a list of “Hosting Standards” that will help you to be the best host you can be! You will be reviewed by these standards:
- Updated Availability
- Timely and Effective Communication with your Guests
- Commitment to Reservations
- Check-in Procedure
- Accuracy of Listing Information
- Overall Experience
Hosting with Airbnb can be a rewarding experience on so many levels. So open your home and your heart and we can share our beautiful coast, together.