Airbnb has grown exponentially in recent years, revolutionizing the travel industry and creating even more competition for hotels as well as the need for legislation and regulation in some markets.
While listing your home as an Airbnb is often touted as a great way to make additional income, there are a lot of considerations when going this route. Here are five things to think about before listing your home on Airbnb.
First and foremost, you need to discern whether or not you’re allowed to list your home on Airbnb based on where you live. The biggest concern is from those who rent an apartment or house. One could argue that it’s not technically your property to offer; it belongs to your landlord.
In response to the rapid growth of Airbnb, many landlords are incorporating rules into their leases about listing the property on Airbnb. In some areas, the issue has been raised to a governmental level, asking for regulations to be put in place surrounding this issue. Be sure to do ample research about your area before listing your property.
In many cases, listing your place as an Airbnb isn’t as simple as posting a few pictures and seeing what happens. To be successful, you have to be willing to market your space. Furthermore, you need to make arrangements to ensure the property is well-managed and that your visitors are able to get what they need. This eliminates some of the perceived flexibility of listing on Airbnb.
Airbnb Property Management services have become a trusted way to list a property and ensure everything is well handled while traveling the world or doing whatever else you want to be doing. Evaluate how much time you can realistically invest and how you can outsource to improve your offerings.
In some locations, like New York City, shared listings are the norm. In other areas, especially vacation hotspots, people often prefer to have the entire property to themselves. If you plan on listing the entire property, you’ll need to find other sleeping arrangements for when people are in your place. As sleeping at a hotel or renting an Airbnb yourself doesn’t make financial sense, this may not be a feasible option for you.
It’s also important to consider your comfort level with the situation. Are you comfortable leaving your home in a stranger’s hands while you’re gone? Alternatively, are you comfortable welcoming them into your home while you’re there?
It’s important to consider your goals when listing on Airbnb. What do you ultimately hope to achieve? Some list their property with the goal of making a bit of income on the side, while others look at it as a way to acquire property and pay for their investment.
Having a realistic goal can help you formulate a plan about how to achieve it. Your ultimate goal may be to have your house rented out every summer so you and your family can go on a long vacation. Knowing this goal helps create a roadmap to get there within a few years (because nothing is immediate).
For your Airbnb to be successful, you have to acknowledge that it’s a business and treat it as such. That means thinking about pricing and marketing efforts, knowing your target customer and your competition, considering your accounting efforts and how it will impact you during tax season. You’ll have to consider liability insurance and re-evaluate your approach on a regular basis.
Listing your home as an Airbnb can be a profitable endeavor that gives you freedom and flexibility to invest and travel. However, it’s a business opportunity that needs to be given the care and consideration of a traditional bed and breakfast, with a modern twist.