Whether you do it for fun or for funds, hosting guests in your home from places like Airbnb (or Roomorama, etc.) is a rewarding experience. However, there can be times when it feels a little overwhelming - after all, you are running a bed and breakfast all on your own! We wanted to share some tips to help you share something you love (your home) with everyone like a pro.
Handling a micro subletting property can be broken down into three main components: setting up, managing and generating revenue. Generating revenue is where we bring in sophistication.
Setting Up the Property
Setting up has everything to do with your photos to description to amenities you are going to provide. Below, we have listed a few critical trends we have observed (and statistically deduced) in successful listings.
- Photos: We can’t emphasize the importance of this one enough. Photos are the first peek your customers get into your listing – so you need some great clicks on your page. Embrace the uniqueness of your listing – whether it is the grandfather clock in your living room or the toy car set. Airbnb and many other listing sites provide you with a free photographer. Just make some time (30 minutes) and get this done. The photos look great and have a ‘verified by Airbnb’ logo on top that makes your listing more authentic to users.
- Description: Include a detailed list of popular attractions in your neighborhood. Keep the description warm and friendly.
- Amenities: Decide on amenities you are going to provide - breakfast, towels, toiletries etc.
Managing the Listing
This piece is everything to do with being a host or a property manager - from replying to emails to making sure your guests are comfortable
- Email: Be prompt in your replies, set-up email templates for information that you need to send frequently. Create a welcome packet that has information about what guests can access, your WiFi password, any TV or lockbox settings, neighborhood coffee shops and eateries, etc.
- Cleaning: Do it yourself or find a cleaning service. Check taskrabbit for some value-for-money options.
- Install lockbox: If you are managing multiple properties or if guests show up late at night, having a lockbox is extremely useful.
- Customer service: Meet your guests if possible. Leave a thank you note with a wine bottle or some other welcome gifts.
Generating Revenue/ Occupancy
This is where data analysis and we come in. You have two goals here, appear higher on the search and find the right rent to charge:
- Write an appealing title: Include potential search term in it. Use terms that people typically search by Chicago downtown, Lincoln Park, or North Av beach etc.
- Enable instant booking: These listings get ranked higher.
- Respond to requests promptly: Airbnb’s search engine grades you on how fast you respond and how often.
- Don’t cancel on your guests if possible: Airbnb’s algorithm gives you negative points for cancellations and negative reviews.
- Update calendar often: Updating calendar often tells Airbnb that you are an active host. Since we update prices daily, we help with this too.
- Set a competitive nightly rate: Airbnb’s suggested price is a good place to start, but look at what your competitors are charging. Sometimes you might want to charge more or less depending on the circumstances.