In a nutshell, Airbnb is a new kind of accommodation available to travellers, and a great way to make money if you have spare space in your home. The website itself is home to an online community that connects hosts with users seeking short-term accommodation; whether it’s an apartment, room, or even just a spare bed. Airbnb manages the transactions and takes a small cut on both sides.
The concept was born in San Francisco when Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia couldn’t afford the rent on their loft. Taking advantage of their sought-after location, they transformed the loft into a makeshift bed and breakfast using airbeds. The idea soon took off, prompting them to launch ‘Airbed and Breakfast’ which later became Airbnb.Today, Airbnb have more than half a million active listings across over 190 countries.
So what could Airbnb do for you?
Well, if you have an extra bedroom or a second home that often goes unused, or even a portion of your own home that you would consider renting out (perhaps while you yourself are away on holiday), you can become an Airbnb host.
There are a few details to consider, such as when, or even whether, people travel to your town or area. Does your home or location offer the kind of amenities a traveller would want? Are there restaurants nearby or parking? Would visitors have enough privacy? Their own bathroom perhaps?
Once you have decided whether this is something that could work for you, you can create a simple listing on the website and start making money from your extra living space.
What should a listing include?
It takes a relatively short amount of time to create an Airbnb listing, but the more time and consideration you put into it, the more likely you are to attract users. For example, make sure you:
- Use an enticing and informative headline.
- Write a detailed, and honest description.
- Take great photos; lots of them!
How can you ensure repeat bookings?
Just like any other accommodation for travellers, good hosts get good reviews and that leads to more bookings. With more than 550,000 properties listed on Airbnb, the competition is pretty fierce so make sure you tick all of the boxes, and try to set yourself apart:
- Be friendly and responsive, polite and quick to reply; guests like to be sure you are trustworthy and value their business.
- Keep your space clean, especially the bathroom, sheets and towels.
Remember that personal touches go a long way!