Going away this summer for a week’s holiday? Have a spare room that you’re not using? Make some extra cash by renting out your home on Airbnb. That holiday to Spain just paid for itself!
You might think your local high street isn’t much of an attraction, but to a family from the States looking for a typically English holiday on Airbnb or a couple from Germany who’d like to explore the region you live in, it’s a great reason for a visit to the UK. Prepare a simple ‘welcome pack’ ring binder with some printed out fact sheets listing the local attractions and pop in any leaflets or flyers from fun places for family days out such as amusement parks or historical castles that are in driving distance from your house.
It’s important to lay down some house rules. This is your home, but you also want your guests to feel like it’s their home for the duration of the stay, so don’t be too strict. It’s perfectly fine though to ask them to wash up and wipe down kitchen surfaces after they’ve cooked or to give the shower a quick spray with some bleach when they’re done in the bathroom.
It’s all about the Wi-Fi
Typically Airbnb guests are in their twenties and thirties, so having reliable and fast Wi-Fi will be an essential. Some guests may even want to work from their laptops while they’re away, especially if you live in a major city or near an airport, which may draw in business travelers from abroad. Even if you’re just renting a room, to avoid guests having to ask for the Wi-Fi password make sure everything is clearly written down and put into the ‘welcome pack’ so they can refer to it when they need to.
Map it out
Don’t forget to include some maps of the local area in your welcome pack and also include 999 and other emergency numbers. Add local bus and train times too, as well as some leaflets about car rental agencies. If you’re renting out your house while you’re away – or staying with a friend – don’t forget to leave your contact details so if there are any emergencies the guests can get in touch with you.
Make it personal
Add some personal touches to make your guests’ stay really special. Airbnb is all about the reviews, so if you want your place to stand out and get great reviews, you need to go the extra mile. Whether it’s leaving a bottle of wine and a welcome card for your guests, or adding some Union Jack cushions and blankets to your lounge to add that British touch - these small efforts will all help you to make big bucks from your Airbnb side-business!
Keep it clean
A thorough clean before your guests arrive goes without saying but you may also want to get a professional cleaner to come in. This can be charged back to the guests, just make sure you list it clearly on Airbnb. Make sure you provide fresh towels, clean and ironed bedding and toiletries. The Airbnb site is really easy to use and very clear when it comes to allowing you to list what you are and are not providing. Most guests expect at least shower gel/shampoo and towels to be provided and any extra touches, like mini toiletries or extra cushions and blankets on the bed will certainly get you those all-important good reviews.
Whenever you are earning money from renting out a property on Airbnb, to protect yourself, there are a few questions you should answer first:
1. Should I be paying tax on any money I earn through Airbnb?
2. Does my home insurance allow me to rent my property out on Airbnb?
3. Do I need to tell my landlord, mortgage provider or freeholder that I am renting out my property on Airbnb?