Becoming an Airbnb host is exciting, and often rewarding. For many property owners wanting to enter the short term rentals market, there is a huge deal of misconception at what the job entails. Many people still believe that making it big on Airbnb is as simple as putting up a spare room for rent and getting paid to meet interesting travellers from abroad. If you are looking for extra pocket money and you like the idea of meeting strangers, then sure… renting out an extra room makes sense. If however you are serious about holiday rentals and want to succeed as an Airbnb host, you will have to put a bit more thought into how to proceed.
Every new property investor makes mistakes at some point along the way. This is, after all, how we learn. It can be extremely useful however to know which mistakes you should look out for when getting started. Making mistakes early in the game could end up nipping your dreams of becoming a successful Airbnb host even before you’ve even gotten started. On the blog today, we’re looking at some of the biggest rookie mistakes to show you what not to do.
Avoid These Major Airbnb Host Mistakes
You will very likely hear from at least one or two people about how easy it is to make a fortune on Airbnb. That is not completely far fetched. You may well find that you do extremely well even without making much effort. Most people however will soon find themselves with a room or property that stands empty unless they put in a bit of effort into hosting. Some of the biggest mistakes that can make or break your chances include:
1/ Poor photographs
Like so many other platforms, Airbnb is all about visuals. This makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Would you want to book a room at a hotel or guest house if the photographs make it appear dark, gloomy, dingy or otherwise unwelcoming? Probably not. With this in mind, think very hard about your listing photographs. Do they clearly show the property’s features? Is the lighting good enough to appeal to viewers? Do the photos look professional, or have they been hastily snapped with your phone? Have you made any effort at all to style your property before photographing it, or have you simply snapped away and called it done? Even the smallest touches, such as fresh fruit, flowers or carefully arranged cushions can help to create an inviting atmosphere. The photographs of your property are the very first thing that people see when landing on your listing. You have a matter of seconds before viewers decide to book your property or move on to another listing. How can your photographs encourage bookings?
2/ Badly written listings
On a very closely related note, the wording of your listing is also important. This may sound strange, but what visitors are really buying when they select accommodation is a lifestyle or experience. Sure, they also want a place to stay. You could simply give the basic details, or you could make them long to have a holiday at your property. Spelling mistakes, missing information, incorrect, outdated or blatantly false information and unimaginative language all makes for less than stellar listings. If you can afford to hire a professional copywriter, this will go a long way in ensuring that your listings are expertly crafted. Even more effective than that however is to consider a managed holiday rental solution that includes marketing. That way, you can be 100% sure that your listings are expertly crafted every time.
3/ Trying to do it all alone
And that brings us to the final, most significant mistake… trying to do everything yourself. You can likely handle one guest now and then if you are renting out your spare bedroom or garden shed. Chances are good though that you have a regular job, or at the very least, lack the time, effort and experience to handle guest services around the clock. The single biggest reason that serious Airbnb hosts use a dedicated manager to handle all day to day maintenance, marketing and bookings management is that a manager has the ability to promote your property while also managing it, dealing with guests and making sure that everything is running smoothly. It takes just one bad review for you to lose your shot at becoming a super host. Being on call 24-7 is something that most property owners are unable to do. It is far harder to provide guests with a world-class experience when you are juggling the myriad tasks involved in Airbnb hosting.
Keen to know more about working with an experienced, highly skilled holiday rental property manager? Totalstay helps you become a better Airbnb host, by working with you each step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer.