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Rent YOUR Spare Room on Airbnb? Maybe…

You have heard about it – maybe used it…  Airbnb has become a phenom, there is no denying! An easy and inexpensive way to travel, Airbnb allows you to go online and find a room at a great price in someone’s home at your destination, rather than stay in a hotel. Maybe this isn’t your first rodeo and you are the Airbnb pro. Now, you want to take a stab at renting out YOUR spare room! Before you host, here are the top 5 things you should know:

1 – Familiarize yourself with Airbnb!

A no-brainer, right? There’s really quite a bit to know and quite a few great perks and protections from the website that you will want to study before putting your home in the mix. Learn what you as the host are required to provide your guest. Will you need a home insurance umbrella? Check out other host sites and see how they promote their spaces. Above all, if you are using Airbnb, STICK with Airbnb! Don’t be steered off the site to make ‘side deals’. You are safe sticking with the site. There is danger in murky water. Be informed before you dive in.

2 – Take Hot Shots!

It’s not just cliche’ – a picture really does speak 1000 words! Take a variety of shots from different vantage points in great light. Make sure ‘THE ROOM’ is clean, decorated, and has a few special touches in the photos. Have a rockin’ back yard? A swimming pool to-die-for? Grapefruit and lemon trees with ripe fruit? Be sure to promote it! Here’s a video to help you in taking great shots.Will the guest be able to park in your garage? Pimp that feature too!

3 – Be Clear About Amenities!

Be as descriptive as possible about your home. What size is the bed? Is there a bathroom attached? Are  there kitchen use privileges? Is there laundry room access? Will the swimming pool be available? Is there wifi and NETFLIX? The more you promote your amenities, the better.

4 – They Expect What They Pay For!

Be clear about the money. Do some research and comparison with others on the site. If you are a room rental virgin, you won’t have any reviews to back up what you claim, so a great listing price might be to your advantage. You might check out hotel rates in your area to see the competition… never a bad thing, right? And be clear! Be clear about your noisy neighbors, your street that gets 4 inches of water when it rains, and the loud garbage pickup at 6AM on Saturdays. You don’t want any nasty little surprises that ruin your guest’s stay – you want them to come back and bring friends!

5 – Note the ‘bnb’ part of Airbnb!

Bn’B implies hotel-style amenities in a home-like experience. So add some special touches! Include arrival snacks on a tray in the guest’s room with a carafe’ of Ice Water w/lemon. Add a magazine and a small stack of area menus, and attraction brochures on the nightstand. How about a few pool towels folded on the bed? Maybe a beautiful pitcher of flowers from your garden would be a nice surprise on the bathroom counter. In the morning, have a basket of muffins and some juices and water on ice in a little bucket on the kitchen counter. Keep a list of your favorite go-to local shops and restaurants in a plastic sleeve in a handy spot. The little things make the biggest difference!

Besides the perk of puttng a little extra cash in your pocket, you can have a terrific experience meeting people from interesting backgrounds when you share your home on Airbnb!