If you are looking for an Airbnb hosting checklist, Look no further than this guide.
I recently became an Airbnb host and I can truly say that I am happy with the outcome so far. Having an Airbnb checklist to make sure your space is ideal for guests can garner you the best ratings for your listing and help you earn even more as an Airbnb host.
This Airbnb host guide focuses mainly on how to prepare yourself and your space for guests. If you want more tips on how to optimize your hosting business, check out my post, Top Tips for Airbnb Hosts.
Ready to start making passive income as an Airbnb host?
Here’s a checklist of things to do and plus things you’ll need so you can be well on your way to super host status.
1) Check your income potential
The first thing you want to do is find out if your Airbnb rental business will be profitable. Check out what you could earn each month in your city as an Airbnb host. I’d take it a step further and check out listings in your zip code. Look at their pricing and availability to see what you could charge in certain seasons and neighborhoods.
If you enter a zip code or city that doesn’t seem to have many properties or bookings (or both,) it might be a sign that your area may not be ideal for Airbnb hosting. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t become an Airbnb host. You may just have to adjust your income expectations. Also, you can still be a host with a listing in another city if you decide to engage in Airbnb rental arbitrage.
2) Know the rules
Depending on where you live, Airbnb hosting may or may not be allowed. Sure, you could ignore the rules of your city or HOA but it could hinder your ability to be a good host (which impacts your income, too. ) You could be hit with fines, penalties or even be booted from your place of residence.
If you are engaging in Airbnb arbitrage, make sure you clear your hosting plans with the landlord. Though renting a place for the sole purpose of letting it out is a growing practice, it’s still now very common and should be cleared with the landlord, first.
3) Create and finish your Airbnb listing
This sounds like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at how many people sign up to be an Airbnb host but never complete their listing! You can create a listing in a little as 10-15 minutes. It might take a little longer if you have to add good pictures to your listing.
If you need help with good images, Airbnb’s photographers will come out to your space to take pictures that will make your space pop and get more bookings. Click here to find out more about Airbnb’s photography services.
4) Get a good business credit card
You might think that Airbnb hosting is something you can set on cruise control. For the most part, it’s truly passive income. But don’t underestimate your expenses with this endeavor. You’ll need to furnish your space and replenish it with supplies regularly. Then, there might be other expenses such as repairs, maintenance, and cleaning to cover.
I use a business credit, like the Chase Ink Business Preferred card to keep track of it all, accounting-wise as well. Connecting your card to an accounting app like Wave or Quickbooks will keep you much more organized and separate personal expenses from business ones.
I also put these expenses on a business card because of the travel perks. I use my Chase Ink Business Preferred to earn rewards points, then combine them in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal where I can redeem them for hotel and plane tickets with many travel partners like Southwest, Holiday Inn, Delta, American Airlines and many more.
Also, you don’t even need a corporation or LLC to get a business credit card, so you don’t have to worry about being super official. Just indicate your business activities on the card application and you should be set.
Free travel is just a perk of accruing points as an Airbnb host. So don’t forget to take advantage of this benefit by getting a good business credit card to earn points for spending.
Finally, pay your credit card balance each month to avoid paying interest. The interest you pay can easily cancel out your travel perks, so use your credit wisely.
5) Create a house manual
The house manual will help orient your guests to the space along with your rules for using it. Your house manual should reiterate any rules or notes you pointed out in your listing.
Common information found in a house manual may include:
- Wifi network name and password
- Policy on unregistered guests
- Neighborhood characteristics (i.e. Party-city or Quietsville)
- On-site amenities and how to use them
- Any prohibited activities
- Accessible versus inaccessible areas
- How to communicate when there are needs
6) Remove personal belongings from your
It can be a little weird to be in a home or space with someone else’s personal belonging. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make the space as “clean” as possible. This means removing all personal effects like toiletries, pictures or anything else that a guest wouldn’t need to use.
You want to make sure the guest doesn’t have to navigate around your personal items to be comfortable. Plus, your listing pictures will look much better if they don’t look “lived in.”
7) Provide convenient supplies & wares to give your bed a great experience
I like to put snacks, towels, chargers and other useful items in my spaces. Light, bright decor goes a long way in enhancing the space’s appeal and perceived comfort.
Here’s a list of things you may want to consider adding in your hosting space:
A security safe is a nice addition to a rental for the guest that wants extra security. When I travel out of the country, I definitely take advantage of this to store our passports. We don’t want to carry those around. Your guests may have passports, large sums of cash or electronics they want to store while they are perusing the town. Having a safe will have you well on your way to rave reviews for thinking about the little things, like guest security.
A luggage rack is a handy contraption for guests and will make your space feel like a real hotel. I haven’t encountered many Airbnb listings with these but I always feel their absence when it’s time to stow away my luggage or clothing. This rack is an inexpensive, yet classy addition to you rental listing that could make a big difference in your ratings, bookings and ultimately, your income.
It’s pretty likely that your guests will have their own charging chords and wall pieces, but it doesn’t hurt to have a charging station anyway.
Another great idea is to have a bedside table with an outlet or a bedside lamp with built-in USB ports. Whatever you choose, it can be a plus to have extra options for your guests to charge their electronics.
Keurig or Keurig-Compatible Coffee Maker
Giving your guests the option to make coffee or tea in their space is always a win. More than likely, they don’t want to brew an entire pot of coffee and would prefer to make individual coffee servings. This is where a Keurig or Keurig compatible machine would be handy. Don’t forget to get K-cups for your guests!
Related resource: Tips and Tricks for Airbnb Hosts
Mini-fridges are also a nice touch for guests who might want to store snacks or left-overs from their dining excursions. I like to stock mine with waters and ice. These “small” things can make a big difference to your guest.
Again, people traveling with limited funds or dietary restrictions will be very thankful for a microwave. This is especially helpful if your guest cannot have access to a kitchen for your listing. Here’s a popular microwave option on Amazon that could work for your Airbnb space.
Extra sleeping options
If your space can accommodate extra guests, you should offer different, space-efficient ways for handling sleeping arrangements for more people. Here are some products to consider for additional sleeping options:
I recommend making the bedding as comfy as possible. If the mattress is to firm or otherwise uncomfortable, it can lead to bad reviews for your listing. Bad reviews mean your listing won’t be shown as much and can result in lower bookings. Here are some things you can do to make your guests’ bedding comfy, yet sanitary:
- Vinyl, water-proof mattress cover
- Pillow-top mattress cover
- White sheets
- Microfiber duvet
- Goose down pillows
Cute, yet functional furniture
Don’t forget that you need to provide things like towels, toilet paper and similar things a guest would need as if they were staying in a hotel:
Decorating your room is the fun part. I like having a color scheme along with knick-knacks that have a theme like the countryside, the beach or even art that reminds guests of where they are (Chicago, Nashville, the Caribbean, etc.)
Here are some ideas to think about:
Hopefully, this Airbnb hosting guide will help you create the perfect space for your Airbnb listing. Are you ready to start earning money as an Airbnb host? Click here to create your listing in as little as 10 minutes.
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