The San Diego Real Estate BLOG
Hosting an Airbnb
There is no way to sugar coat it, Living in San Diego is EXPENSIVE.
However, this cost IS offset a TON of benefits including:
– Some of the best weather anywhere in the county
– An amazing plethora of dining, shopping, recreational, and cultural experiences
– A virtually recession-proof real estate market
– Friendly locals
And while it is not as pricey as say, Manhattan, the cost of living in America’s finest city is well above the nation average and that leaves many San Diego residents looking for anyway they can to save a few bucks or earn a little bit of extra income on the ides.
This is especially true for San Diego home owners, and one of the ways that many have found to add a little extra cushion to their bank accounts is by Hosting an Airbnb in their residence.
This can be a polarizing idea. Some welcome the idea of a little extra money and the opportunity to meet new people, while others balk at the idea of having complete strangers sleeping in their home.
While this idea might not be a great fit for everyone, many have found it to be a wonderful, and profitable experience.
This week on the San Diego Real Estate BLOG, we walk you through exactly what goes into operating an Airbnb out of your home, some tips and tricks on how to “do it right,” and what you can typically expect so that you can decide for yourself whether is opportunity is a good fit for you.
Before You Host
Before you even create a profile and start advertising for guests, there is definitely some setup to be done.
Check Local Laws
Some areas don’t allow Airbnbs at all, some of specific rules regarding them, some only allow them under certain circumstances.
Do you due diligence before setting up shop to avoid problems down the line. A quick visit to Airbnb.com will help you here.
Be A Good Neighbor
Nothing can kill an Airbnb faster than hostile neighbors, so let yours know your intentions before you start having random people showing up at your house on a regular basis.
Noise complaints are the biggest issue, so be sure to give your neighbors your phone number so they have a 24-hour a day hotline to you so they can address potential problems with you before they elevate things to the next level of calling the police.
Doing It Right
So now you have done you due diligence, let the neighborhood know about your intentions, you have created a profile, and are looking for guests. Here are some pointers on how to do it right.
Do NOT Photoshop Your Photos
You SHOULD hire a professional to take pictures of your home in its very best light, but you should NOT have them “clean up” your photos beyond normal lighting and color enhancements.
Guests will be very disappointed (and rate you lower) if you make a false representation of what you room has to offer or what condition it is in.
Just be honest. Many people on Airbnb are not looking to stay at the Hilton, they want to stay at someone’s home. Just let them see what your place has to offer and you will most likely book plenty of guests.
Adopt a Business Mindset
The above being said DO anything within your power and budget to make your listing more appealing.
There is actually a fair bit of competition out there already. So beyond the basics of always having clean towels, toilet paper, a spare key, and not showing up unannounced, you should add anything you can think of to make you listing appeal to more guests. You can offer things like a lower rate for a longer booking, or free coffee in the mornings.
But keep in mind that no two Airbnbs are the same, and that you shouldn’t strive to be like “just like” other listings. People who book on Airbnb are looking for something more personalized than a hotel room. Making your listing TOO generic or homogenized will hurt you as well. Just let your list be itself.
Adjust Your Pricing
Just like all markets, the prices for Airbnb stays are always in flux. You can’t just “set it and forget it” when it comes to your pricing.
Do a little bit of market research by looking for similar listings in your area from time to time and adjust your prices accordingly. You don’t want to be pricing yourself out of the market or leaving money on the table.
Set Maximum Night Stays/No Auto Booking
To help avoid any potential clients who think they can take up residence, set a maximum number of nights any guest can stay, and having to manually confirm your bookings takes a bit longer but gives you a much greater degree of control.
Handle All Payments and Messages Through Airbnb App
To help avoid any potential clients who think they can take up residence, set a maximum number of nights any guest can stay.
Greet Your Guests in Person
Greeting your guests in person tends to lead to higher reviews as well as giving you the chance tell if someone is a potential problem client right from the start.
Setup a Concierge Station
Set up a concierge station in the kitchen with coffee, important contact info, an possible even information about the local area.
Dealing with Potential Problems
No matter how well prepared you all problems will sometimes arise. Here is how to deal with a few of the more common ones.
While the VAST majority of Airbnbs guests and hosts report a positive experience, you may occasionally have to deal with an angry guest.
The Airbnb app saves the day here again. Airbnb will step in to help solve disputes, often getting the customer re booked somewhere else without negatively affecting your ratings and reviews.
Consider Getting Extra Insurance
Consider picking up some supplemental insurance to be paid out of your profits.
while Airbnb has a $1,000,000 blanket policy to cover you in case of personal or property damage, it doens’t cover everything and you want to make sure you are protected.
We hope you enjoyed this post on hosting an Airbnb. Done properly, it could bring you some much-needed extra cash on the side.
Do you love the idea of hosting an Airbnb, but need a home to do it? Check out our BLOG on the first step in the home buying process:
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