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AirBnB hosting can be beneficial for you regardless of if you’re home or if you’re traveling. Both will have you adding a little bit of extra funds to your trip, or just into your wallet in general (to save more for travel right?). But your first AirBnB hosting can be a little bit daunting. How much do you charge for price? Can you trust the person you’re hosting? What does a good hosting apartment look like?
I too have faced these questions, and though I wasn’t as successful as I would have liked to have been, it’s from my mistakes that you will learn how to avoid them, and what to do better. Here’s a little guide to help you prepare for your first AirBnB hosting experience:
Airbnb Hosting 101
In order to be the most efficient throughout the process I recommend following these steps that will guide you smoothly through your first AirBnB experience.
Make an AirBnB account. You don’t need to upload pictures right away, but create an account, upload a picture of yourself and write a bio. You can then browse through other properties that people are offering and start getting some ideas for prices. Look in your city, and in your specific area if there are any for the best price comparisons. You don’t want to be overpriced and not have anyone contact you.
Research. You can research through AirBnB, which is the best, but also see what other rental companies are offering. What is the cheapest hotel in your city offering? What do you have around you? Will you be home or away? Will they be sleeping on a couch or have a room to themselves? You can obviously charge more if you have a good location, and if you’re offering a separate room or if you’re away. List all the benefits of your property to help determine your price. When I was hosting I lived in the downtown Toronto core and asked for $830/month for my room, which was only 8 by 8 feet. That covered my rent, utilities, and internet.
Once you’ve decided on a price (remember you can charge monthly, weekly, daily, or offer all three) then you can get started on making your place AirBnB friendly. Obviously make sure your place is clean and decluttered. Put things away and move furniture if you have to because you’ll want to make the space look as big and inviting as possible. Take down pictures of yourself or family (and do this if you’re leaving your place while someone is staying). Then you’re ready to take some pictures! Take them in the daylight, on a sunny day to try to make your place look warm and welcoming. Take a few at different angles, and edit to make to the place look brighter if needed.
Sell your listing. Include all details as I’m sure you would never want to show up somewhere to find surprises. Then sell your best feature. When I had my room listed I mentioned how great of a location it was in, making it seem more appealing. I also made it clear that I preferred someone renting for three months, and prioritized those who were looking for that amount of time, which saved time since not as many people were messaging me asking for less or more.
Pick a guest! There is a message feature so you can talk to the guest(s) beforehand and get to know them. I also made sure my roommate was okay with them as she would still be living there while I was away. Don’t be afraid to say no. Prioritize your safety and how comfortable you are with someone over money.
What Tot to Do for Your First Airbnb Hosting Experience
I’ve learned the above tips from these bad experiences and from reading up on other bloggers experiences. So now I’m here to share the not-so-lovely fails of my first AirBnB experience.
In Canada internet is some of the most expensive in the world. Before you leave, or even if you’re hosting while you’re home make sure you put a cap on your internet. I got home to find a bill with over $400 in extra charges for internet. Luckily the company automatically caps their extra fees at $100 per month so I didn’t have to pay the full fee. I had a large internet package, but the girl I was hosting had Netflix running constantly, racking up my bill. When I asked her to pay me back she disappeared and I was never able to contact her again.
2. Add a Secondary Name
Again with the internet, but another issue came up as I was making my way to Barcelona. My internet provider was having issues and needed to speak to me. However to avoid long distance charges (which are absolutely ridiculous in Canada) I didn’t want to make the call, and I was the only one, therefore the primary name on the account. Luckily I had made copies of documents for my dad before I left and he was able to solve the issues by providing a copy of my driver’s license.
3. Get to Know The Person as Well as You Can
I had another fellow Canadian as my guest. She seemed nice, we got along over chat, but maybe I should have done some more Facebook creeping. She turned out to be a huge slob and at one point had wine bottles covering the entire kitchen counter (my roommate took a picture for me), left a stain on my mattress which she claimed was from makeup, and never cleaned a thing. She was also out late constantly and slept on the couch a lot, which my roommate didn’t like because she had to be quiet every morning to avoid waking her up, and she was into the drug scene. Big partier, big drinker, huge slob…not the ideal choice. But this can always be hard to know before meeting a person.
These were some nightmares that I would rather have not dealt with on the road, or when I got back, and I could have avoided not paying an extra $200 in internet charges. Regardless, there are more positive AirBnB experiences than bad, so I hope this encourages you to start making some extra cash and meeting some new people by hosting!
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What was your first Airbnb experience like? Ask any questions below!
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