Becoming an Airbnb host may seem easier than starting another type of business. However, there are a lot of bits and bobs involved in starting an Airbnb, so the process can quickly become overwhelming.
Whether you’re looking to bring in some extra income or even turn it into a full-time business, we broke down the eight essential steps you should follow to kickstart your new venture and turn it into a success.
Define Your Budget
Your earning potential as a host will depend on how much time and money you’ll invest in equipping, decorating, and maintaining your space. So, you should define how much you’re willing to spend on your business. Factor in the costs of acquiring a property and furnishing it. Also, keep in mind the ongoing expenses such as cleaning, maintenance, and upgrade expenses.
Write a Business Plan
A comprehensive plan is a key to success. It helps you map out the details of your business and pinpoint any weak points. A good Airbnb business plan should outline the start-up and ongoing costs, as well as the business’s earning potential. Moreover, it should define your target customer, and include industry and competitive analysis. Finally, the plan should contain a comprehensive operations and management strategy, as well as an ongoing marketing plan.
Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses
As a small business owner, you need to comply with local regulations. Be sure to check with your local clerk’s office and obtain all permits and licenses needed. Some states have zoning laws that may require you to pay a fee or obtain a special license before being able to operate a rental property. Likewise, if your property is part of an HOA, check if there are some restrictions regarding renting your home on a short-term basis.
Find and Prepare Your Airbnb Space
If you’re yet to obtain your Airbnb space, search for a property with solid income potential. Make sure that it’s in a desirable location, easy to reach, and close to tourist attractions, stores, cafes, and bars. Then, take time to prepare the space. Remove any personal items, enhance the curb appeal, buy toiletries, and provide kitchen essentials. Have extra sheets and towels in hand, so you don’t have to depend on laundry. Finally, consider installing a lockbox or a smart lock to provide a self-check-in option.
Form a Legal Entity
If you want Airbnb to be your full-fledged business, you should form a business entity. You can consider sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, and corporation. LLC is the best option as it protects you against being held personally liable if your business is sued. Additionally, forming an LLC gives you better tax options.
Open a Business Bank Account
Having a business bank account simplifies tracking your business expenses and tax work. If your rental generates over $20,000 or you conduct more than 200 transactions in one year, Airbnb will send you a 1099-K form. With a separate business account, you can also build business credit and get financing with better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
List Your Space
A good listing is the foundation of any successful Airbnb. Include accurate descriptions and essential details about the space. Inform the guests about the number of rooms and bathrooms and their amenities on disposal. Additionally, share the property’s location and what’s nearby.
Give specifics that might affect guests’ experience, such as stairs and parking. Moreover, curate a captivating title. Think about what sets your property apart and include that in the title. Finally, take professional photos of your space. Be sure everything is cleaned beforehand, use good lighting, and take pictures with landscape orientation.
Launch Your Airbnb Business
Once you’ve officially launched your Airbnb business, you need to ensure guests have a positive experience during their stay. That way, they are more likely to leave a positive review on the platform, which would help you grow your business.
Ensure you’re always responsive to guests’ requests, answer their questions promptly, and address their concerns. Work on improving your host rating by listening to the needs of your guests and upgrading your space accordingly.
The diverse options, competitive earnings, and easy-to-use platform have launched Airbnb to stardom. Nowadays, there are more than 4 million Airbnb hosts, and each earns on average $9,600 a year. If you want to join this thriving community, follow our step-by-step guide. Start with a detailed business plan and then find and prepare the rental space, curate an appealing listing, and you’ll be good to launch your business.