Get-started guide: Opening a property for Airbnb

Last Updated September 2019

Converting an underutilized spare bedroom or rental property into an Airbnb is an excellent way to earn a little extra cash and supplement your income.

If you’ve looked into Airbnb policies and you feel ready to list your property on the site, there are some important things to do in order to prepare the space. We’ve put together some simple, budget-friendly tricks that will get your space ready and help you be the best host you can be (ensuring you’ll get the return on investment you really want).

Step 1: Prep and purge

First things first, you’ll need to empty the space completely and give it a deep clean. This means washing the walls, shampooing any carpets, and vigorously dusting and sweeping every little nook and cranny. This would also be an ideal time to throw on a fresh coat of paint if needed.

After the housekeeping session, you should only bring items back into the space that are useful and aesthetic. Get rid of any extra clutter, broken items, or saggy furniture that needs to be replaced. Also, remove any items that you wouldn’t want strangers going through.

Step 2: Address layout and decor

Something considerably more fun than cleaning your future Airbnb rental is perfecting the layout and adding new decor. The goal is to have a space that is both inviting and functional. Here are some tips for achieving the optimum accommodation:

  • Keep outlets visible and accessible.

  • Find decor pieces that double as storage. A decorative ottoman acts as extra seating and can hide loose cords, or extra blankets.

  • Provide clear, dedicated areas for coats and shoes.

  • Use dimmable smart lights to conserve energy.

  • Use decorative chalkboards or whiteboards to clearly display important information like WiFi passwords, emergency numbers, local restaurant recommendations, and more.

  • Use mirrors to make small, dark areas feel bigger and brighter.

  • Add houseplants and fresh flowers to make your space feel lively and welcoming.
     

When you’ve finished setting up an inviting, cozy space, take high-quality photos to advertise your property online. Nice pictures will attract more guests and increase your earnings by up to 40%, according to Airbnb.

Take note: Airbnb provides up to $1,000,000 for any damages to your home. However, this amount does not cover things like stolen or damaged artwork, jewelry, cash, or other collectibles. If you have valuable items lying around, consider storing them in a locked safe or somewhere offsite.

EXPERT TIP

Use white sheets and towels in your Airbnb. White is a classic and fits in easily with most decor. Additionally, you can bleach them clean in case of spills or stains.


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Step 3: Stock up on amenities

Providing essentials like toilet paper and clean towels is actually a host requirement, but there are a few additional amenities you can provide to truly elevate your guest's experience.

  • Make sure your WiFi connection is strong. If there’s a weak zone in your space, consider adding a WiFi extender to the room.

  • Ensure guests have a place to enjoy their morning coffee. A kitchen (or kitchenette) also provides a space for them to cook instead of going out. Fill this space with appropriate dishes and appliances.

  • Leave a list of local recommendations and directions to nearby attractions for your guests.

  • Provide access to laundry and an ironing board. They can come in handy for business travelers or guests attending a wedding — both valuable potential clients for any new Airbnb host.

Step 4: Create a simple check-in process

Check-in is essentially a guest’s first impression of your space and of you as a host. Nothing about this process should be complicated. Consider a keyless entry solution to make check-in seamless. This allows you to be off-site while your guest checks in. Smart locks or even a simple lock box that houses a key are excellent options.

Shopping list for new Airbnb hosts

  • Storage ottoman: This is an attractive and functional addition to your Airbnb property that allows you to store extra items and provide additional seating options. Simpli Home Distressed Leather Storage Ottoman is made of vegan leather and its modern appearance improves the looks of any space.

  • Charging Station: If the outlets in your home aren’t easily accessible, a central charging station for your guest’s electronics will be an appreciated touch. This Faster Charging Station by AYEPOW offers enough connections for a family to power up all their devices at once.

  • Single cup coffee maker: A single cup coffee maker is a simple way to offer a variety of easy-to-prepare coffee options to enhance your guests’ experience. A nice stainless steel model is available from Hamilton Beach, which you can use with regular ground coffee instead of expensive pods.

  • Smart Locks: To make check-in quick and easy for your guests, consider installing smart locks on your home, like August’s Smart Lock Pro + Connect, which makes it easy to open doors for guests using your smartphone.
Written by:
  • Amber
    Amber
    Writer