How to Become an Airbnb SuperHost: Part 2

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Last week, I wrote an article about How to Become an Airbnb host…and more importantly if you should.  It’s not for everyone.  So if you haven’t read Part 1, take a minute and read that first.

If you’ve decided to become a host, let’s do it with excellence.   As with any venture, do it right and with efficiency in mind.  Don’t just be a good host…strive to be the best host in your community.  If you do, you can make some fantastic money. I am now considered an Airbnb “Superhost”.  According to Airbnb, “Superhosts are experienced hosts who provide a shining example for other hosts, and extraordinary experiences for their guests.”

Your goal is to become a Superhost quickly.  You get more exposure to guests and perks for being “the best”.  Here are my suggestions on how to become an Airbnb Superhost.

5 Steps To Becoming Superhost

#5 Treat it Like a Business

Why? Because it is a business.  You will receive a 1099 Misc Income tax form at the end of the year and the government will want their “share” of your income. (Like they always do)   Keep records, receipts, and approach each booking as not just a guest, but a paying customer.    Most Airbnb hosts who don’t succeed, will fail because they failed to recognize bookings as business transaction.

#4 Declutter Declutter Declutter

My sister’s beautiful guest room.

Paying guests don’t want to see your personal belongings.  Most of my guests are traveling with a lot of baggage.  They will relax if they feel this is “their” space just for a few hours. Clutter, random storage, your family photos, children’s drawings etc doesn’t make it “homey”…it makes it awkward. Lack of clutter also makes the space easier to clean.  And dust, grime and general uncleanliness is the #1 reason for poor ratings.

#3 Spend a LOT of Time on your Listing

Airbnb guests like detail. They want specifics and they want no surprises. Airbnb knows their clients and they encourages hosts to fill out their listing ENTIRELY.   Tell your guest exactly what to expect and the “culture” of your home.  For example, we rent our small guest room and we also have 3 young kids.   I am VERY upfront with guests about the possibility of “noise” and that we have small children.  Airbnb gives host multiple ways to describe a listing. Take advantage of every place to customize and add detail.   Manage your guests expectations and clarify any potential concerns (parking, noise etc.) upfront.  The more you clarify, the more likely you’ll have guests who “match” your style.     The MORE detail the better.  In my listing, I also stress the room is small and “cozy” and that it’s not suitable for a 3rd guest or small children.

#2 TAKE. GOOD. PICTURES

My tiny guest room

This one baffles me.  It confuses me (to no end) seeing listings with photos with laundry on the bed, trash wrappers on the ground or general untidiness. Don’t be gross. Take pictures with good lighting, straighten the sheets, open doors and make the space look clean, warm and welcoming.   You don’t have to Johanna Gaines and decorate to perfection.  However, I’d avoid taking pictures with mismatched pillows and second-hand appearing decor.  See point #5.   This is a business, remember?  Set a budget, purchase new supplies and take pictures.

I just have to show you these pictures.  These are real photos from one of my local “competitors”.   Lord have mercy.

I. Don’t. Understand.   Just wipe down the counter!!

Now – for the last tip. And it’s a good one.

#1 Personalize the Room

This is my number #1 tip because it’s awarded me the most stars.  My guests frequently say they felt “at home”, “wanted” and the room had lots of “little touches”.  Here are specific ways I have personalized the room :

  • I have a jar of toiletry items in case they forgot anything,
  • there is water, snacks, coffee maker inside the guest room,
  • a fluffy robe,
  • a small hidden, pull-out table for guests to do makeup or use a laptop,
  • guest book with restaurant instructions and house rules.

Finally, during the booking process you often get details about the guests and their visit.  If possible, try and tailor the room and experience.  Example, one couple was participating in the highly intense Spartan Race.  I left high protein snacks and a packet of Icy Hot in their room.  I assumed (correctly) they’d be sore and hungry when they returned.  Another guest was traveling with her boyfriend and it was his birthday.  I had balloons blown up in the room with a Happy Birthday sign.  It didn’t cost me anything but made my listing “personalized”.

Becoming Airbnb hosts was one of our best decisions as a family.    Once the listing was setup and “fine tuned” it’s easy to accept reservations and funnel extra cash into our savings account.

Again, hosting isn’t for everyone.  But if you’re adventurous and want to try ….start the application and let me know if you have any questions!

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