Whether you’re renting out your spare room, or you’ve got an entire apartment or vacation home on the market, Airbnb can quickly become a lucrative side hustle. Here’s how to make the most of your extra space and keep guests coming back.
Step 1: Identify Your Audience
The first thing you’ll want to consider is who exactly do you want to host in your property? Is it families, business travelers, budget-minded backpackers or something in between? Take stock of the area you live in and consider its proximity to local attractions. For example, if you live next to a popular college, you’ll likely be hosting prospective students and their families or families visiting their sons or daughters in college. If you live next to the beach, your home will likely be rented out to those looking for a beach vacation. Once you understand who will be potentially staying at your home, you’ll be able to invest in items that will appeal to them.
Step 2: Be Smart When Decorating
Your décor is a key selling factor of your home. Guests are looking for an authentic local experience, which is why they are choosing an Airbnb instead of a hotel. When decorating, you’ll want to choose a theme and stick with it. As much as you can, try to incorporate different aspects of the surrounding area into your rental property. If you live in a woodsy area, feature cozy accents and play up the rustic décor. If you live in a city like Brooklyn, incorporate fun artistic elements to mimic the playfulness of the area.
When choosing accent pieces, start with one statement piece like a painting or a colorful piece of furniture and use this to select other items in complementing colors. Be sure to use accent pieces sparingly as not everyone’s taste is the same.
You’ll also want to remove any personal items such as family photos, clothing and toiletries from the home, unless you are doing an apartment share. This will keep your guests from feeling like they are intruding on your space and will make them feel more at home.
In addition to smart decorating, be sure you are choosing sturdy, well-thought out furniture when decorating your space. No one wants to jump into a bed only to find that it squeaks with the smallest movement. Opting for sturdy, comfortable bed furniture really will make all the difference in your rental. Plus, a good nights sleep by your guest will give you a higher chance of a stellar review!
Step 3: Add the Comforts of Home
Within minutes of walking into your home, your guests will have formed an initial impression—and of course you want this to be a positive one! One way to instantly do this is by adding in comforts of home to your space. In today’s day and age, Wi-Fi is like water and most guests expect this amenity. Make sure your Wi-Fi name and password are easily accessible. We suggest creating a guidebook for your home. This can include things such as how to work the heat, air-conditioning and lights as well as local attractions in the area. Also include things like: your favorite place to grab a coffee or where to pick up last minute toiletries.
Remember that your guests chose your home so that it feels like home to them too! Make sure to have plates, utensils, cups and extras like a wine opener, a coffee machine and a kettle so they can make themselves at home. It’s always a great idea to include a welcome gift like a bottle of wine, a basket of fruit or a plate of freshly baked cookies. After all, it’s the little things that go a long way!
Step 4: Carefully Consider the Sleeping Arrangements and Maximize Your Accommodations
Sleeping arrangements make or break your home and in order to maximize your Airbnb, you’ll want to make sure yours outshines the other options in the area. Maximizing the number of beds will increase rental income, but you’ll want to do so in a way that makes sense to the design of your home.
If you only have room on the ground, consider an adult bunk bed, which come in sizes like queen over queen, king over king or twin over full. This option makes it easier for families with kids to stay in your room or for two full-sized adults who aren’t comfortable sleeping in the same bed. Plus, it won’t be taking up any extra floor space. You’ll instantly be turning a two-person room into a four, which will up your appeal instantly.
If you’re really tight on space and you’re renting out an apartment or small room, you can always opt for a loft bed. This will maximize your space without sacrificing design appeal. This also will give you the option to accessorize the space underneath with a sofa, lounge area or wardrobe, making your room look larger.