With a market value of more than $70 billion, Airbnb has clearly established a solid business model. It aids travelers in finding lodging alternatives to hotel rooms. It also enables property owners to make extra money on the side or even earn a full-time income with their real estate investment.
Travelers looking to stay at unique places love Airbnb. They can rent a cabin in the woods or go glamping for a night or two. They are able to enjoy quaint towns and areas where there might not be many large chain hotels.
While searching for accommodation online, travelers frequently read reviews before deciding. They often save time by selecting a property that AirBnB has identified as a top rental with their Superhost badge. This way they know the place has been vetted by others. They benefit from other travelers doing the homework for them.
On the flip side, a SuperHost badge can help your properties appear higher in searches and result in more bookings. If you’re a real estate investor, property owner or manager, here are four ways you can earn the coveted Superhost badge.
When someone pays for accommodation, the basics should be a given. Whether you hire a cleaning service or get out the mop yourself, the space should be spotless. Don’t skimp on crisp sheets and fresh towels. For tired travelers, these essentials set expectations for the remainder of their stay.
In most climates, a well-functioning heating and/or air conditioning unit is also non-negotiable. No one wants to shiver or sweat all night long. The thermostat should be easy to operate in case guests need to turn the temperature up or down. Keep extra blankets in the closet or on the foot of the bed just in case.
Make sure your property is up-to-date on the basic necessities or go beyond with technology on your side. You could also install a thermostat that’s controlled by a smartphone. This lets you save money by switching off the air conditioning remotely if the guests leave it on. If the property will be vacant for the next few days, you won’t have to go over there right away.
If the dishwasher or television in your Airbnb is operated in some special way, state this clearly. You might print out instructions, laminate them, and place them near the appliance. Or you can include them in your email after someone has booked.
Superhosts are on top of their game when it comes to responding to queries. They need to have a 90% or higher response rate. You don’t have to respond immediately, but the quicker the better. This is because many guests may have contacted multiple hosts. The one who responds the quickest might get the booking.
This doesn’t mean you need to remain stuck to your computer all day replying to emails. You can see what kind of questions you get the most and address them in a FAQs section in your listing. Alternatively, you might save snippets of answers and just copy/paste them each time.
You can also showcase great communication by leaving a nice welcome letter at your real estate investment property. Be sure to include the Wi-Fi password, garage code, and housekeeping rules. Use a free online template and then just edit the guest’s name each time.
Frills are not necessary, but they help set you apart from other places where your guests may have stayed. Including some themed rooms with paint and strategic styling can cause there to be more interest in your property. Depending on the season and region, you could leave some popular local fruit or snacks. A basket of Georgia peaches, Florida oranges, or New York bagels will pleasantly surprise your guests.
Apart from food or decor, you could also leave a few brochures or coupons for local attractions. You’ll be helping your guests find things to do and supporting local businesses at the same time.
Having a few phone and tablet chargers available can be very handy. Consider some useful amenities like a deluxe coffee maker with pods or high-quality local hair and body products. Every place may have a standard bar of hand soap, but your local shampoo and conditioner offerings could leave a lasting impression.
All these frills can prompt guests to leave excellent reviews. Reviews are very important in the short-term real estate rental industry. To get — and maintain — a Superhost badge, you need to have a 4.8 rating or higher. The system automatically checks ratings four times a year to see whether you may maintain your status. This means you must ensure a consistently good experience.
Hosts also review guests, which assists other property owners and managers. It could also deter guests from leaving your place in poor condition, as a bad review could prevent them from getting a future booking. Guests need to be accountable, too. When reviews go both ways, it helps everyone.
Other requirements to become a Superhost include having at least 100 nights of stays in a year. That means you need to be a high-volume host. However, in order to do so, you need to maintain a pristine place and always exceed expectations. It might seem like a chicken-and-egg situation, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you want the Superhost badge, focus on making your Airbnb a serious business. Once you put effort into sprucing up the place and maintaining it, the good reviews will pour in. If they don’t, ask why. Sometimes just small adjustments will convert a fair review into an exceptional one.
Becoming a Superhost is not impossible. Solid basics, good communication, and a few frills can get you the coveted badge and the income that comes with it.