Airbnb hosting tips – Airbnb your home to fund family travel

by Mags Nixon
Airbnb your home
Are you able to emotionally detach from your family home? Do you want to maximise your property’s potential whilst sitting empty? Consider using Airbnb to fund your family travels!  Our Airbnb hosting tips below will help you get set up on this popular platform.

 

Airbnb hosting tips to get you started

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DO

                                               

 

 

 

1. Do – Inform your Home Insurance
The first of our Airbnb hosting tips is very important. Be completely upfront with your house insurance provider that you will be accepting paying guests into your home.

 

Our Higos policy (underwritten by Aviva) fully covers us for having paying guests stay in our house.  Yes, our premium went up slightly after informing them but the peace of mind while away on holiday is worth it.

 

Policy exclusions during renting periods include exclusions for theft (except by forcible or violent entry). Aviva, Axa and More Th>n state once informed, they will agree to cover occasional Airbnb hostings.

 

 

advice on how to rent your home with airbnb

Renting out your home whilst on your family holiday can be a great way to fund a holiday – croyde beach

 

2. Do – Be aware Airbnb’ing could affect your capital gains
It’s worth knowing that renting your family home for any period of time could affect your capital gains when selling your house.
Occasional Airbnb’ing would probably only make a miniscule difference, but do read up on this grey area before proceeding.

 

3. Do – Get a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate

Our next Airbnb hosting tip is to get a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate. It’s a legal requirement if you are renting out your home – even for 6 weeks during the summer holidays.

A Landlord Gas Safety Certificate costs approximately £70 and is easily arranged through your local gas plumber.

 

4. Do – Get a good housekeeper & set a budget

I can’t emphasis this enough! Getting a good housekeeper who you trust is a must.

The last thing you want when travelling the world with your family, is worrying about your property back home.

Interview candidates thoroughly!

Another of our top Airbnb hosting tips is not to penny pinch when choosing a housekeeper.  Consider their flexibility, common sense and experience, as well as their fee. A good housekeeper is worth their weight in gold.

Supply them with a list of local tradesmen who know your property.

Expect to pay between £70-100 for a 3 bed/2 bath turnover & linen service in the UK.

Airbnb your family home

Airbnb hosting tips – Take good photos by “dressing” your home before taking shots

5. Do – Take good photos & write an accurate profile for your property
This hosting tip is hugely important to attract guests into clicking on your Airbnb profile.  Taking appealing photos of your property is essential.
Tidy and ‘dress’ your house by adding finishing touches such as a vase of flowers, a couple of wine glasses, or set the table.
Guests will make 80% of their decision to book based on your photos alone.
Take LOTS of photos – some guests want to even see a photo of the loo before booking.
Don’t forget to include photos of local tourist spots eg your nearest beach or viewpoint.
Have a look at other property profiles before writing yours – you will easily spot profiles which shine or others that don’t.
Make sure yours shines by giving clear descriptions of rooms including size of the beds (or height of beds if not standard), facilities (dishwasher, washing machine, microwave etc).
Include any house rules ie no smoking, no pets as well as arrival and departure times. Don’t forget to choose your cancellation policy. We opted for strict, which means that guests can’t get a refund if they cancel within one week of their holiday.

 

6. Do – Buy DARK guest linen
A great Airbnb hosting tip that was passed onto me by a cleaning company I interviewed is to buy dark linen.
Unfortunately I had just bought brand new white linen and many times since, have regretted it. If you’re in the UK, I’ve heard Asda mentioned time and time again for affordable, good quality towels.

 

7. Do – Get a good key safe to allow guests to self check-in
Key safes discreetly attached to a wall of your property securely stores property keys for changeover days.
Doing away with meet and greets, key safes allow guests to arrive at any time and self check-in.
We use a Master Lock key safe and have been very happy with it.
8. Do – Fit fire & carbon monoxide alarms
Fire alarms need to be on every floor of your house & carbon monoxide alarms near open fires and boiler.
Check they work before leaving for your holiday.

 

9. Do – Inform your mortgage lender
This Airbnb hosting tip is a tricky one. Whilst everyone should check with their mortgage lender before letting out their house, many people don’t for the simple fact that most mortgage lenders will say no. Letting your house, even on such a short-term basis as weekly through Airbnb, may well breach your mortgage conditions, and so you could be made to re-pay your mortgage in full if your lender found out, although this is extreme. A warning, a fine, or an interest increase are more likely.

 

10. Do – Consider providing welcome extras
We provide fresh flowers, a small organic milk, coffee, tea, sugar, a bottle of wine, a couple of bottles of local beer, a chocolate cake, a couple of dishwasher & washing machine tablets, new dishcloth, new scrubber, washing up liquid, 1 x spare bin liner, spare toilet rolls, and an organic bar of soap.
Small touches can really make the difference to a guest’s stay and encourage repeat bookings.
airbnb hosting

Consider providing welcome extras – small touches can encourage repeat Airbnb bookings & won’t break the bank

 

We’ve talked all about the DO Airbnb hosting tips, now lets the consider the DON’TS.

 

DON’T

                                               

 

 

1. Don’t – WORRY while you are away!
The first time you rent your house through Airbnb you’ll understandably be apprehensive.
If you’re of a nervous disposition or if after a couple of rentals you’re still fretting, then maybe Airbnb just isn’t for you. 
No 4 above plays a key role in minimizing your stress – we can’t emphasis enough getting a good housekeeper. Not only will worry less, you will slash the chances of being bugged by your Airbnb guests whilst you are on your holiday!

 

2. Don’t – Contact the guests too much once they’ve arrived
It’s ok to contact guest on the first day or so to ensure they’ve arrived okay, are happy with the accommodation etc.
But remember your guests are on holiday too and generally want to just get on and enjoy it, not being badgered by an uneasy host.

 

3. Don’t – Leave packing to the last minute
Our top Airbnb hosting tip is to get your property ready early.
Believe me, it is stressful getting your family home ready for Airbnb.
There’s a lot to do from de-cluttering, packing for your family’s holiday and cleaning your home from top to bottom.
START EARLY – I can not impress this enough.
If it’s your first time hosting with Airbnb, start months ahead. 
De-cluttering will take the most time. If you don’t know where to start, start with one drawer a day. Have a charity bag and a bin bag. My advice is to sort with speed – 20 seconds over each item. The rule is if you haven’t worn it for a year, it goes. What have the kids grown out of? Have a trying on session after school to see what still fits and give the rest to charity.  If you’re umming and erring, create a “6 month box” & chuck it in the loft. Re-visit it in 6 months – chances are you haven’t needed any of those items at all, and if it’s not a sentimental keepsake, get rid!

 

4. Don’t – Forget the garden!
If you’re renting for the full 6 weeks of the summer holidays you’ll need to consider a gardener or include some gardening jobs for the housekeeper. 
I try to minimize the impact of the garden by preparing well. I weed thoroughly and then put a deep layer of bark down. This suppresses most weeds reducing weeding to a minimum.
Lawns will need to be mown once a week.
We also have a vine that becomes triffid like during the Summer months entangling the path if not pruned back once a week so I pay my housekeeper extra to tackle these exterior duties. 

 

5. Don’t – Forget to leave a Guest Welcome Folder
It’s essential to include instructions of how everything works. Maybe you have a temperamental shower or there’s a knack to get the dishwasher to work – make sure you detail these to prevent guest melt down.
Also leave wi-fi codes, restaurant takeaway menus, restaurant recommendations, bus timetables, local traffic short cut tips, local attraction leaflets. A map of the area is also appreciated.
Always leave the address of the property in large font on a kitchen noticeboard. Should there be any emergency or even just for a takeaway delivery, guests will need it.
top airbnb tips

Don’t forget to leave a guest information folder with property instructions and local recommendations

 

6. Don’t – Forget to keep all your receipts
Housekeeping fees, cleaning & welcome products, gardening expenses etc will be tax deductible. Keep them! 

 

7. Don’t – Forget recycling and rubbish day information
We leave the council timetable on the notice board along with a large sign indicating which days are what. Of course, some guests won’t see it, won’t remember or won’t be bothered to take out the recycling. But some will.

 

8. Don’t – Forget to tell your neighbours
It’s a good idea to have an extra pair of eyes on your property whilst you are away.
Make sure you give your neighbours your contact details and if they see anything suspicious to call you immediately.
99% of Airbnb guests are fantastic, although there have been a couple of cases of entire household content theft!
Airbnb has a “host guarantee” which covers any damage/theft caused by a guest during the rental period, up to £600,000 so you can relax a whole lot more that you are protected. 

 

9. Don’t – Forget to check your guest’s profile

 

Always check a potential guest’s profile before accepting a reservation. Do they have a photo, are they verified, have they got any reviews?
We don’t accept any guests that are not verified on the Airbnb platform. It’s completely acceptable to write back to an enquiry from a potential guest to say that you don’t accept verified guests and tell them how simple it is to get verified and that you’ll keep their dates for them until they’ve uploaded the necessary documents.
Airbnb also have certain pre-requisites you can can check to only accept guests. Verification is one of these. This is necessary if you will only accept verified guests through instant book.

 

10. Don’t – Forget to put keys in the key safe!
You’d be surprised how many people forget to actually put a spare set of keys inside the key safe.
Imagine arriving excitedly at your holiday let after a long drive, only to have the frustration of not being able to get in – not a good start.
Buy a large key ring emblazoned with the local beach or tourist town name and pop them on there.
Remember don’t put your property name and address on the keyring! If they get lost, and fall into the wrong hands, you could have your property at risk.
I hope our Airbnb hosting tips have helped you consider some areas you might not have thought of when setting up your home for rental.
 

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2 comments

Trish Burgess 6th November 2017 - 9:15 am

Very interesting to see things from the other side: I happily go self-catering but had no real idea of what’s involved for the person renting the property.
As a potential guest, I would agree about the photos – I make my mind up in seconds based on grotty snaps!

Reply
Mags (The Family Freestylers) 9th December 2017 - 3:03 pm

Thanks for your comments Trish. I’ve actually never been on the guest side of Airbnb either – so I guess I should give that a go!

Reply

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