Nine must do's before listing on Airbnb
Whether you’re planning on going away for a while, have a granny flat on your property, or simply have a spare room, why not let your house make you some money? There are close to 11,000 Kiwi’s currently using Airbnb across Wellington and Auckland to make a little extra cash. At Kiwi Self Storage we have a number of customers who have cleared some space in their homes to get their property working for them.
There's a bit of work to be done before listing your space. You'll need to initially invest in things like extra sheets, towels, soap, etc. Anything you’d expect when going to stay somewhere. You should also create a guest folder with house rules, local attractions, and emergency information. Other details could include the Wi-Fi password, your contact number, and current events in the area. Your listing pictures usually sell the space, so be sure they're enticing and high quality. In your listing description be sure to keep it short but descriptive. Focus on the property highlights and unique features.
Understand the time commitment
Starting out hosts are often surprised by the amount of time and effort needed to consistently deliver a positive experience for their guests. You don’t just list your unit and then money starts to come in. There’s not just the time making sure your property is prepared. It also takes time to talk to potential guests who ask questions before they’re willing to book your house. Don’t worry though. Once you get the hang of things, the processes will become faster and more efficient.
Know your competition
Take a look at other properties in your area. Take notes from similar properties to your own which are doing well. Mimic what they are offering and try and add your own unique touch. You will also need to make sure you price your place accordingly.
Don’t just list on AirBNB
Listing your property across more than one site increases your chance of being seen. Local sites, including Bookabach.co.nz, and Holidayhouses.co.nz have excellent coverage across major centers like Auckland and Wellington, as well as all the regional holiday hot spots.
Keep it short
If you’re wanting to maximise your profits, short term rentals are the way to go. Although you lose the stability of a traditional long-term rental, you will look at earning close to 50% more than you would with the longer rental agreement.
Smart locks that is. You may not always be available to great your guests when they arrive. If you don’t feel comfortable just storing a set of keys around your property, you should look at investing in a smart lock. These are becoming very sophisticated, with the ability to set up temporary access, and control and monitor activity with your phone. I have always been impressed with the easy to install August smart lock range. You will need to purchase it off Amazon at this stage as no one directly imports them to New Zealand. If you would prefer to buy locally, Yale has a few options at Mitre 10.
Protect your valuables
When opening your house to the public, you will want to make sure you have notified your home and content insurance provider to let them make the appropriate adjustments to your policy. You’ll also probably want to pack away your valuables and personal items. Hiring a small self storage unit from a company like Kiwi Self Storage is a good way to protect your belongings, and not have them clutter your living space while renting out sections of your property. If you need to few tips on how to pack various items away take a look at our How To Store guide.
Be selective with your guests
The great thing about Airbnb is that you can see how guests have been rated by other hosts. Be sure to avoid any dodgy characters.
Be a good host
Your guests won’t expect hotel like service and will usually enjoy the more personal interaction with you, their host. Always treat guests politely. Greet them as they arrive and make sure they have everything they need. You can then give them their space. If they have your contact information in the guestbook you provided they'll reach out to you with questions. You don’t want to become too intrusive in their stay. If any issues arise during their stay, own up to the issue and do your best to resolve it.
Whether you’re just getting started or have been renting out your property for a while, be sure to make use of Airbnb’s website resources. Most people do not take advantage of them, but Airbnb offer their own forums, blogs, help centre, all about being a good host and maximizing your income.