Airbnb started in California back in 2007. Since then, it’s become a global business worth around $74.79 billion (£59.95 billion). In the average year, there are around 800 million guest stays, which means there’s an enormous market to tap into. If you don’t know already, Airbnb is an online accommodation marketplace that allows “hosts” to list their space.
There are all types of residential properties on Airbnb, ranging from spare rooms to fully-furnished houses. If you’ve got a spare property (or room) essentially collecting dust, you can learn about starting an Airbnb business below.
The Demand for Airbnb
There is a clear demand for Airbnb, and it’s only expected to grow further. Even though the global pandemic stalled Airbnb's growth, we’ve now entered a period where peoples’ holiday needs are different. For example, instead of choosing to stay in a hotel or hostel, many people are opting to stay in a self-contained Airbnb. Additionally, where other parts of the travel industry crumbled during the pandemic, Airbnb prospered because of an increase in domestic trips.
Earning Potential of Airbnb Hosting
Earning revenue as an Airbnb host will depend on how popular your listing is and how much your monthly outgoings are without guests. Therefore, according to data compiled by Airbnb, the hosts can earn anywhere from around £800-£8,000 per month.
Naturally, the way you decide to run your Airbnb business will determine how much you make. For example, if you take care of everything from marketing to maintenance, you may earn less because your time is stretched further.
Whereas, if you choose to use an Airbnb management company like UpperKey, you can rest easy knowing that your rent is covered for a set period and your property will be used and maintained to the best extent.
How Does Airbnb Hosting Work?
Before starting an Airbnb venture, you have to understand how everything works. The very first step is learning how to list your property on the Airbnb for hosts platform. You will need to make it look fantastic by taking well-lit pictures, listing its incredible features, and mentioning why it’s a fantastic location.
Next, you need to decide how much to charge for your property, which can fluctuate depending on the time of year/changes in demand. Within the platform, you’ll discover smart tools that will automatically adjust your rental price depending on the area. There is zero cost to post a listing on Airbnb, but you will be charged a 3-5% commission once a reservation has been made.
To cover potential damages to your property, Airbnb has a standard rate of cover for all hosts. However, you may wish to look into adding an extra cover or exploring other avenues. For example, if you use UpperKey, AirCover offers host damage protection up to $1m.
Considerations Before Starting
There’s no denying that Airbnb made possible by hosts, which means you need to gauge your level of commitment and seriously consider whether you have the capacity for success. Firstly, you need to make sure that you have the time to dedicate to making your Airbnb a success, which will include answering booking queries, checking guests in, cleaning the property, and ongoing maintenance.
If you haven’t got the time, don’t be afraid to secure a co-host for your property. If you’re a busy host, you can always add authorised persons to your listing, which will allow them to access the host platform. Your co-host can be anyone you trust, but it can also be an Airbnb management provider like UpperKey.
After you’ve learned how to start an Airbnb business UK, you’ll understand that there are significant costs involved. Before you enter into a partnership with Airbnb, you need to make sure you’re fully aware of all potential costs. For example, depending on how your Airbnb is set up (whether it’s your residence or not), you will be liable to pay income tax or business rates.
Considering this is an additional cost on top of managing your Airbnb, it will be well worth using UpperKey, which guarantees your rent is paid and save you have to pay up for property maintenance, marketing, and everything else involved with securing the best guests possible.
To make your Airbnb business successful, you’ll need to take measures to beat your competitors and manage your outraging carefully. Throughout the rest of this article, we’ll tell you what steps you will need to follow to start your business.
Your listing needs to give prospective guests a reason to click “book now”, which means going deeper than basic room information and photos. For example, if you want people to know that your property is 100% accessible, then let them know what measures are in place. For example, parking spaces close to the door, ramps, and lifts.
When it comes to taking photos, you have to appeal to your guests’ needs. If you take an obscure picture in a crowded room, you won’t be showing off its best assets. Therefore, make sure you clean up, open the curtains, and find the optimal point to snap the photo.
Boosting Your Rating
To cut through competitors on Airbnb, you need to bring in positive reviews to boost your rating. The aspects of your property that will bring in positive reviews, according to Airbnb, are the quality of amenities, cleanliness, listing accuracy, seamless check-in processes, and concise communication.
To get the best reviews, you’ll need to build an appropriate rapport with your guests. Make contact before they arrive to introduce yourself, reiterate your rules (no parties), and find out if they have any questions or special requests. Making this initial contact allows you to gather the level of contact they’d like going forward.
After you get into the flow of hosting through Airbnb, whether that’s managing the property yourself or using a co-host like UpperKey, you can begin to think about expanding. For example, if you want to spin more of a profit from Airbnb, you can put any revenue into investing in additional properties to add to your roster. Alternatively, you can focus on your existing property by adding facilities and building extensions.
No matter how you plan to grow your business, it’s important to make sure you have an effective business plan in place, which will keep you grounded and guarantee you can afford the additional expenses.
Now that you know how to host Airbnb and how to start an Airbnb business UK, it’s time to start creating your property listing, choosing the type of guests you want to attract, deciding how you’re going to manage the property, and embarking on a profitable journey.