Is Airbnb for me? How to get started…

You, me – everybody can list a property on Airbnb. Whether it’s your own home, a holiday home or an investment property… From a day, a weekend, a month or longer. It’s a great way to earn extra – and often significant – income.

Airbnb is a safe and secure platform that gives you complete control over who stays, when and at what price. Here are some top tips from Airhost For You to get you started...

Setting up

Set up your account and get government id. verified; don’t worry, it’s easy. This enables you to insist that your guests are always government id. verified. You'll need to tick a rather hidden box and Airbnb will take care of the rest. Don’t forget to add your bank details so Airbnb can pay you.

Create your listing

Make sure you have professional photography. Good photos sell and you need to stand out from your competition. Write comprehensive content – fill in all the boxes and don’t forget a snappy heading. Try and include the top 2-3 features of your property in this. Carefully set your pricing and minimum nights, both of these will need to fluctuate according to your locality, seasons, events etc. so make sure you maximise every opportunity. Don’t forget to add a cleaning fee, a deposit and house rules; be firm but fair.

Guest Experience

Plan your guest stays by considering access/self check in, cleaning, linen provision and replenishment. Prepare a house manual and local guide for your guests.

Be clear and transparent on your offering so you can manage guest expectations. Think about your space, type of property (what floor are you on etc.) and location. What else can you offer? E.g. a parking space, garden or terrace, or some added extras like an Amazon Alexa or travel cot. Consider the type of guest you are targeting, is it a couple’s retreat or family friendly home? What would work for your guests?

Your Listing is Live

Assuming you’ve done everything right so far, enquiries will come in thick and fast! Respond at the speed of light. Provide clear and plentiful information (used Airbnb’s Saved Replies for the most common questions). Answer all questions carefully and re-iterate your house rules. Communicate before, during and after the stay. Don’t be shy and ask your guests to write you a good review.

The Financials

The opportunity and ease with which we can earn extra income on Airbnb can often be overwhelming. But there are a number of important considerations to make. You still need to pay your utilities and council tax. Your cleaning, linen, replenishment and maintenance need to also be accounted for. On the flip side, you may qualify for the Rent A Room allowance. Qualifying as a furnished holiday let (FHL) for accounting purposes is an extremely tax efficient way to proceed, And, if so, you may be able to make a successful Capital Allowances claim making your income from your Airbnb tax free for up to 5 years.

Any questions? Need help, guidance or advice? Get in touch or come along to our scheduled Brighton Airbnb Meetups.