Hosting with Airbnb
Your Investment property is ready to go. But the market is soft, and you can’t get the price you want. So how do you keep your profit margins while you wait for the market to cycle back around? A great alternative to a traditional long-term rentals decision is to use the Airbnb short-term rental system.
Airbnb has set up an online marketing and rental transaction system that takes the major stressors out of your rental decision. You start by visiting the Airbnb web site at http://www.Airbnb.com and create a Profile account. You can use your account to Travel (book a listed property), or to create and Host a new property listing. Airbnb handles just about everything related to the renters (called Guests) from property marketing, to prospect screening, monetary transactions (including rents, security deposit, additional fees, government taxes, and damages collections), and guest communications & notifications.
It is all about creating a listing for the property in a way that attracts people who need temporary housing. You have control over what you offer, how much you get, and who gets to book, all without any face to face time with the guest. Let us give you an example.
The Highland house has just been remodeled and the market will not support the price we would like as a flip. Given that we knew from the start that this house it is a perfect candidate for an Airbnb property listing.
We needed to decide if we were renting a bedroom, part of the house, or the entire house. If you are renting the house in parts, you need to ask what parts: a single bedroom, multiple bedrooms, are they private or shared, and what parts of the house your guests are permitted to use as common areas.
We furnished the house with everything needed for someone to live there, albeit minimally. However, keep in mind the more you offer for use, the better the ratings, and the better your ratings the higher up on the marketing platform you go. Then, take pictures, write up listing details, set up policies and then select List. It is that simple.
Photos Grab Attention
15 is the recommendation
Your first impression is your lead photo, and captions. These are the selling points, so make them good. Many guests are just looking at photos to make up their minds on whether to book with you or not. Chances are they have already made their decision before they read the listing description based just on the photos.
Warning for photos: they must accurately convey what the guest is getting. Disappointments for false or misleading photos is a major point on which bad reviews are based. Bad reviews impact where your listing gets placed when guests are searching for properties.
What Makes Your Listing the Best?
After a guest checks out, they are prompted to write a review about their stay with you. If you have offered them the things that save them a trip to the store, they are more apt to ignore other inconveniences of being away from home and write you a better review. Some guests will even reject your listing if it does not provide them the things they can’t easily put in their suitcase. Be sure to put in your listing all the “extras” you have provided. Besides the basics of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and linens, you can add bottles of water, pre-made ice, hair dryers, extra bedding/towels, an iron and board, and hangers or hooks for their clothes. There are many things you can choose to add. Providing Beach towels and sand chairs may be just the thing they are looking for!
The Down Side
And last but not least, a word about the down side to using short-term rentals. Here are two that stand out in my mind.
*The guests are from all over the world and that means varying time zones. Expect to get requests and questions at all times of the day and night—24/7/365. Response times are important and impact not only capturing a booking but are used in your ratings.
*Wear and tear on your newly remodeled property, will impact your eventual resale values.