Thinking of Airbnb-ing Your Home? Read This First
Traveling to exotic locales this summer? For those willing to take the leap, Airbnb offers an extra source of income to flesh out a travel fund or simply add extra cash to your wallet. We’ve highlighted a few pitfalls and tips for those considering the bourgeoning world of vacation rental hosting. Keep scrolling to uncover everything you’ll need to know before welcoming your first guest.
Before Airbnb-ing your home, get up to speed with the local zoning and short-term rental laws in your state. In some states, the fine print sways strongly in favor of tenants. California law dictates that any rental over 30 days grants a tenant rights to a month-to-month lease. In order to challenge, the landlord must engage in a formal eviction process. Other states, such as Massachusetts, may legally pursue fines if neighbors report a home operating as a “business zone.” Know your rights.
Turning a home into a vacation rental means budgeting for sundry items like fresh linens and cleaning supplies. It’s far simpler to invest in extra sets of guest sheets and towels than to hassle with constantly doing laundry. Anticipate your guest’s needs and be sure to stock up on necessities. Account for all the bare essentials, from toilet paper to soap to extra toothbrushes.
Fans of the service often cite the all-the-comforts-of-one’s-own-home dynamic as a primary draw, in addition to competitive pricing in stellar locations, of course. Guests expect amenities and that extra oomph of personal hospitality. Thoughtful touches in the way of a walking map, list of local hot spots, or bottle of wine go a long way and can impact your reviews. Create a “mi casa es su casa” kind of vibe.
Airbnb will send out a professional photographer for free to shoot listings. The site runs on pictures and reviews. Even without a stellar list of previous guest endorsements, listings with the best shots will book. Before you host, manage your listing and prioritize having beautifully curated shots.
Nothing will ding your reviews section like less-than-impeccable cleanliness. If your skills are lacking in army-grade precision, you may want to consider bringing in a professional housecleaning service between engagements. Without spotless, perfectly laundered bliss, your rental rating will never achieve its full potential.
Airbnb boasts an insurance policy that protects both renters and guests alike from theft, property damage, and general liability. In addition, your personal homeowners or renters insurance may offer additional coverage. If you have a primary insurance policy, Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance acts as secondary coverage. Discuss your individual liability coverage with your insurance provider before embarking. A word to the wise: As with most policies, Airbnb may require a police report in order to pay certain claims (e.g., theft and property damage).