“Become an Airbnb host” is often the first thing you’ll read if you’re looking for tips on how to increase your income or how to make use of a spare room at home. While it’s definitely a great idea, it’s also something that’s easier said than done.
Whether you want to become an Airbnb host simply to make a small additional income or see it as an opportunity to make a comfortable living – which is possible if you have more than one room or live in an area or property where you can charge higher prices – you need to ensure your home is prepped to wow your guests.
Your Home is for You. How Can You Make It Hospitable for Guests?
The biggest thing to consider when preparing your home to become an Airbnb host is that you’re moving from what you find comfortable and acceptable to something that a guest would want to find on arrival. Even if you’re something of a “neat freak” and spend a lot of time on keeping your home clean and tidy, if you’re inviting guests into your home your attention to detail will need to increase even further. It’s also a cert that your odd days of not vacuuming or leaving the washing up on the kitchen worktop will have to stop!
Consider hiring a professional cleaner to work in your home for a few hours a day, to take care of the guest room as well as the property in general. You may find this especially helpful if you work full-time and have different guests staying on consecutive nights. You don’t want them to have to wait while you tidy up, and who knows what guests may leave behind.
With cleanliness taken care of, you can start to think about what you need to do with the room to make it welcoming for your guests.
Making Your Spare Room an Airbnb Dream
While you need to ensure your entire home is welcoming for any Airbnb guests, clearly the most important area is going to be the room they’re paying you to stay in.
The first thing you need to do with your room is remove any personal or valuable belongings from it. When we say personal belongings, it is up to you whether you leave things like books, CD’s, and DVD’s in the room. Often these are a nice touch for guests who may want to entertain themselves. However, things like your clothes, any personal documents, personal hygiene belongings, and things like your iPad and digital camera, shouldn’t be in the room.
Although many Airbnb guests choose Airbnb because they want an alternative to a hotel, you should think “hotel” when preparing your room and your home. Anything that a guest wouldn’t find on arrival in a hotel room doesn’t need to be in there.
Now we know what shouldn’t be in the room, let’s look at what should be, and the questions you need to answer.
Does My Room & Home Provide Comfort to my Guests?
Do you have a comfortable bed for those guests who just want to come back and go straight to sleep? Is there a sofa or chair in the room for guests who perhaps wish to read or watch TV? If you don’t have the space in your guest room for an additional sofa or chair, do you have sufficient seating in your living room where your guest can relax if they don’t wish to be in their room all the time?
Does My Room & Home Provide Convenience to my Guests?
Some elements of this will be dependent on where your home is and are features that you should think about when writing your Airbnb advert. These elements include things like being in a quiet neighbourhood, or having excellent links to the road network and public transport.
In terms of the convenience of your own home, think about how you can cover every potential scenario for your guests.
- A desk and comfortable chair in the room would be convenient for guests who need to work or who will eat in their room.
- A guest bathroom means they can go about their business (and you about yours) without inconveniencing each other.
- A selection of vegetables in the fridge and cereals in the cupboard means guests can cook themselves something or have a quick breakfast if they need to leave quickly in the morning.
If you are treating your Airbnb hosting as a business opportunity you might even look at renovating your guest room and bathroom, or even building a guest bathroom if you don’t already have one.
What Information Can I Provide My Guests?
Whether your guests are staying with you and travelling for the purpose of business or leisure, there is plenty of information you can look to provide them.
What would someone visiting your neighbourhood and town or city for the first time need to know?
You could provide things like:
- Maps of where the nearest shops are.
- Telephone numbers, website, menu, and address of nearest takeaway food outlets.
- Timetables for public transport services, and even highlight key routes and connections.
- Leaflets of popular tourist locations.
- Places to eat and drink in town. Your guests will probably have looked on Trip Advisor but nothing beats a personal recommendation.
- Other personal local knowledge. Is a specific road always busy but you know another quiet route into town? Is there a local community of joggers that meet in the park every morning?
As you become an experienced Airbnb host and learn about different guests’ needs you could even start to tailor the information you give them for their stay.
What are the Essentials a Guest Would Need for a Stay?
Let’s say your guests will spend little time at your home, simply checking in, sleeping, and leaving in the morning. Or, that they’re going to stay for a few days but you may not be around because you’re working long hours. Ensure there are enough things like towels and other essentials available for your guest to use. This is another area where hiring a cleaner could come in useful.
Spending Now to Profit Later
It doesn’t matter whether you are treating Airbnb hosting as a small additional income or as a larger revenue opportunity. When it comes to investing in your room and home to ensure the comfort of your guests, you shouldn’t cut corners. Particularly at an early stage of your Airbnb hosting “career”, one negative review from a guest could mean you struggle to receive bookings in the future.
You should ensure your home is set up so that guests can have a hassle-free trip and don’t leave wishing they’d stayed at a hotel instead.
We’ve already explored some of the things that should be a given in the room itself, like a comfortable and sturdy bed, a desk, and a chair, but what else might you include in your guest room?
You’ll probably already have a lot of this at home, but you may want to consider buying new items specifically for your guests’ use.
Guests Will Remember Their Sleep
Whether guests are staying with you during a holiday or a business trip, one thing you should always assume as an Airbnb host is that they’re going to want a peaceful night’s sleep. While certain scenarios are unavoidable, there is plenty you can do to ensure your guests’ comfort when they’re trying to rest. Don’t neglect this area: all the hospitality in the world won’t be worth anything if all your guests’ remember when they review you is that they had a dreadful night’s sleep.
Buy Blackout Drapes or Blinds
Blackout drapes or blinds are an inexpensive no brainer to ensure your guests aren’t disturbed by street lighting or the sunrise. Avoid going for dark, thick curtains as a solution here, as you’ll end up with a room like an oven. Combine a blackout blind with a traditional blind if you wish, and give guests the choice of how much light they would like to let into the room.
Invest in a Feather Filled Mattress Topper
There are so many different types of mattress that you’re never going to find one that all of your guests will find ideal. Instead, go for a feather filled mattress topper so they’re guaranteed comfort. It’d be a very harsh guest who marks you down in a review for an uncomfortable bed if you have one of these!
Provide Expensive Sheets
We all know the feeling when we climb into bed at a hotel and can tell that despite paying $250 for the room the bedsheets aren’t exactly of the premium variety. By spending money on high quality bedding and sheets, this is one area where you have a real opportunity to stand out and make guests feel a million dollars with the ultimate in comfort.
Different Duvets for Different Seasons
A common tactic is to have the thinnest duvet possible, and then to provide additional blankets for guests to layer up if they find your room is cold. While this is a sound idea, many people don’t like the feeling of sleeping under extra weight. Two or three extra blankets – particularly thick ones – can feel much heavier than a thicker duvet. Provide extra blankets, but also invest in two or three duvets. Change the duvet depending on the weather and help keep your guests comfortable as well as warm.
If Your Room Isn’t Air Conditioned, Buy a Fan
When it comes to reasons we cannot sleep, being too hot is right near the top for irritability. It’s also something that doesn’t need to happen to your Airbnb guests. If your room isn’t air conditioned, buy a small fan that will keep the room cool and comfortable for your guests. They’ll appreciate it!
Provide an Eye Mask and Ear Plugs
These aren’t an essential, but keep them on hand to offer to your guests.
Welcoming Your Guests to Your Home
You’re now ready to welcome guests to your home. If you need to make improvements and renovations to your home, or invest in new furniture, prior to getting started with Airbnb, NOW FINANCE may be able to help. We offer home renovation loans and home furniture loans that may help you have the home you want and make even more from your Airbnb hosting.
Disclaimer: This article contains general comments and recommendations only. This article has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before taking any action you should consider the appropriateness of the comments made in the article, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If this article relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular credit product you should obtain and consider the relevant disclosure documents before applying for the product.