Turning your backhouse into an Airbnb, especially if you are not using it, is an excellent way to earn that extra income. Ask for advice from friends or colleagues who have invested in the business and succeeded. If possible, talk to a home designer on how to renovate your backhouse to increase its value. You have to consider factors and things to be done, including the costs, before turning your backhouse into an Airbnb.
Check on the legality
Before you start hosting, check if your local laws allow you to host guests via Airbnb. Since state laws differ, there are areas where short-term rentals are prohibited while others do not restrict them. Also, in some states, you need to obtain a license or get a permit before you list your property and take in guests. Breaking these laws will lead to a hefty fine which in the end becomes a loss.
Renovate the house
Before you start hosting, check whether your backhouse needs any renovations. If you have noticed a leaking or damaged roof, contact roofing contractors to fix it. Replace any broken items like a window or a table to make the house look presentable. If you have a leaking or blocked sink, contact a plumbing service provider to help you out with that. Kitchen remodeling increases your space’s value by over 50%, so you can earn more just by renovating it. Do a thorough inspection of the house and ensure that it is a safe place. Suppose you notice any exposed electrical wiring, contact an electrician to handle that. If your occupancy rate is high, you will earn more money, but you will have to repair and maintain items continually. For waterfront property owners, if your seawall has been damaged by erosion or adverse climatic conditions, then you need a seawall repair before you host. Remember, your guest will want privacy and to feel safe.
Clean and organize the house
You can either clean the house yourself or hire a cleaning crew to do the job for you. Pay particular attention to the bathroom and the kitchen, ensuring that they are immaculate. If you have the money, contact commercial kitchen cleaning services to help you with the job. Aside from cleaning every time a guest checks out, arrange for deep cleaning to be done several times a year. Deep cleaning involves cleaning inside the oven, fridge, and cabinets, shampooing the carpets, and cleaning closet corners. Remove any personal items like a camera, jewelry, shoes, and personal documents. However, things like books and magazines can be left behind since they make a room look more appealing.
Contact pest control
If you have had a problem with pests before or suspect that there are pests around, you need to contact pest control services. While purchasing a pesticide and dealing with the pests yourself may save on costs, you may also fail to eliminate the pests. Contact pest exterminators as they will do away with the problem completely. It will be very unpleasant if a guest writes a review of how they were harassed by mosquitoes, bedbugs, or roaches while at your rental. It makes your ratings go down.
Leave instructions behind on the Do’s and Don’ts to help reduce the number of calls that you will get from guests during their stay. Note down things that are not allowed, like having people over for a party, smoking or playing loud music, and disturbing other neighbors. Note down details on operating the TV and the remote, the cooker, the air conditioning system, the dishwasher, and the washing machine. If you have a Wi-Fi password, leave it behind too. Remember to put down the number of your local emergency services and directions to the nearest hospital in case a guest might need it. Finally, even with all these instructions, remember to leave your phone number and email address where the guests will reach you if they need anything.
Your neighborhood demand
It would be best to research whether the area you stay in is a hotspot for visitors. If you are close to attraction facilities like mountains, beaches, or national parks, they most likely receive many visitors. That means that your occupancy rate will be high, and hence you will get returns on your investment. Also, an area with few hotels means that your space will be in demand and therefore you can earn profits from it. However, you should also expect competition from other homeowners, especially those who have been in the business for a long period. Research on the pricing around your area, then lower yours by like 10%. That is likely to attract guests to your property. Keep track of the current trends that your competitors are coming up with and adjust not to be left behind.
The risks and liabilities
When you decide to host, keep in mind that you will be inviting strangers into your property. So you are putting your safety and that of your property at risk. Airbnb provides product liability coverage in case the guests damage anything or they are injured. You can also insure your property against loss or damage with your insurance company to minimize any risks. Sometimes guests can cancel last minute, yet you have already spent money on purchasing amenities that you and the guests agreed on. There is no reimbursement for that. Although this is rare, you should be prepared that at one point, you may lose money. Another challenge is that in areas where the occupancy rate is high, the maintenance cost is high. Also, since short-term renters will not take care of property and long-term renters, you will find that.
Before you consider listing your backhouse in Airbnb, is it your property, or are you also renting the house. If the house is yours, then you can go ahead. However, if you are renting a property, then you need to check with the property owner. Some do not allow subletting of their homes, and if you do, you could be kicked out of the place or even face legal issues.
Stock the kitchen
One of the significant things that guests appreciate is a kitchen that is stocked up. Ensure that all the basic cooking amenities are available for guests who enjoy cooking for themselves. Things like hand towels, soap wash, clean utensils, and dishware should be conveniently located where guests can identify them. The downside to guests cooking for themselves is that you may find dirty dishes on your sink when they leave. Guests are different; others will tidy up while others will leave a disaster behind. It is better to add a cleaning fee to the total cost of a listing to compensate for any cleaning that you will have to do after the guests leave. Airbnb also penalizes anyone who consistently gets low ratings on cleanliness, so ensure you maintain cleanliness.
Advertise your space
When listing your property on Airbnb, you need to give an accurate description of your property. As you list all the amenities that come with the rental, accompany them with photos. It is advisable to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your property. Remember that they are your biggest selling point. Also, the descriptions should be accurate, especially in terms of bathroom and bedroom privacy. Respond to guests as quickly as possible and accept reservations. Avoid canceling on guests, especially without prior notice, as you may be penalized. Remember that guests’ positive feedback helps you get more visitors for your property, so give them all the reasons to give you a five-star. Some things are not necessary, but the guests will appreciate the gesture anyway. They include a hairdryer, a stocked-up fridge, the area map, and beach towels, and a chair if you are near the beach.
Furnish the house
Furnish your rental space with comfortable and inviting furniture. If you cannot afford new furniture, you can upgrade some of your pieces that are old and worn out. You do not have to buy expensive furniture since this is not for you but for other guests. Functional and comfortable will do just fine. Add a house plant in a nice pot as a decorative piece. You can add some books or magazines to the coffee table to make the room more appealing. Ensures the table does not have any dust as that may be a turn-off.
Maximize on the amenities
One of the things your guests will want to see in your home description is that your pool is accompanied by the best pool houses they can get. Have some towels and lawn chairs in there that the guests can use as they enjoy the pool. If you have a pool table or a library, include those in your Airbnb listing to make it stand out. One of the things that you can provide your guests with is transport to and from the airport. Other homeowners have Yamaha dealerships where they use their bikes to pick and drop guests. You will need a valid license and safety equipment like a helmet to use it. When you are communicating with your guests, be specific that you will be using a bike to transport them and see if they still want it.
Paint the house
Painting a house can transform it, making it look new. You can go for neutral colors to create a timeless appeal. Bold colors tend to draw focus to the room, so try and blend them with neutral color furniture. You can also invest in unique framed photos and art to make your walls more appealing. Consider adding ornate mirrors as they add more life to a room.
Commitments to becoming a host
When you want to become a host, there are things that you will have to commit to. In terms of communication, you will have to respond to guests immediately when they choose your listing. Then guests will call you from time to time with inquiries or emergencies that you have to attend. You, therefore, need to be mentally prepared that your everyday life will be disrupted from time to time. Some homeowners with busy schedules hire property managers to attend to guests.
Your neighbors have the right to be concerned about their safety and their property if you are hosting guests in your home. However, you also need to be firm with your decision since you have ownership rights. Talk to the neighbors about any concern they might have and come to an understanding. Also, it is better to start with a few guests, like two, then grow from there so that the neighbors adjust with time. If you are already in a neighborhood where the community members want the city to ban Airbnb hosting, this may not be something.
Optimize on the pricing
Before you start hosting guests, research Airbnb rentals around your area, then decide the best price for your unit. However, your starting price will not be what you will always charge. To maximize profits, you need to keep up with the current market rates. Watch how the rates change when demand for accommodation is high vs. when it is low. Expect income fluctuations from time to time because there are times that you may not have guests at all. You can also have offers for special events to attract more guests.
Expect unforeseen costs
You will be faced with maintenance and repair costs that you were not prepared for from time to time. Guests will break items that you will have to replace. There are also cleaning costs that you have to factor in unless you are doing the cleaning. There will be the costs of toiletries, replacing beddings, and stocking up on kitchen ingredients. Keep in mind that having people in your home also means that you will have expenses depending on how often you will be hosting.
Just like any other home, an Airbnb needs proper maintenance. Also, it would help if you enhance the aesthetic appearance of your backyard by incorporating plants like flowers and landscaping.