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12th August 2019

7 Tips for Renting Out a Room on Airbnb

Renting out a private room on Airbnb is a little different to renting out an entire home. As you will also be living on the property, you’ll most likely be interacting with your guests a lot more and as such, will need to be aware of a few things to ensure the stay goes off without a hitch. While this doesn’t mean you and your guests will be living in each other’s pockets, having someone else occupying your home calls for awareness and care to be the best host possible.

With the right steps and information, renting out a private room can be immensely profitable, especially in areas where accommodation is in high demand. Working to get 5-star ratings and reviews will put you in a great position to make extra income from a spare room, in the same way people can earn from entire properties. 

Here are our top 7 tips for renting out a private room on Airbnb:

1. Clean Your Entire Home Before, During and After Each Guest

Providing a clean and tidy room and home is one of the most crucial aspects of Airbnb hosting, regardless of if you are renting out a single room or entire property. At a bare minimum, the place needs to be spotless with clean linen, towels and facilities. As you’ll be living in the same space as your guests, you’ll also need to ensure you behave respectfully and maintain a tidy environment for the duration of your stay. Slipping up in terms of cleanliness can have some dire consequences for reviews, as this is what everyone values when paying for accommodation. Placing special attention here is necessary and will always have a positive impact on your reputation as a host. 

2. Complete Your Host Profile in Full

Attracting guests on Airbnb is a key part of the process. To do so, you’ll need to complete your host profile and listing in full with enough detail to make guests want to book a stay with you. Make sure to include any information your guests should know and highlight the positives about your place to capture attention. You should also include two forms of identification to verify yourself and give your guests peace of mind. 

3. Make an Effort to Capture Appealing Photos

Appealing photos are fundamental on Airbnb. It’s these that grab attention from search results pages, so it’s important to make sure they offer a good representation of your room in the best light. While you may not have experience in photography, getting great room photos can be easy with the right set-up – it is even possible to just use your iPhone camera. 

You can find out more about taking appealing Airbnb photos here

4. Get Your Pricing Right

Pricing is another vital consideration in the Airbnb hosting process. While you don’t want to set it too high and risk no one booking with you, you don’t want to set it too low either, as that puts you at risk of hosting less-serious guests that may cause issues. To figure out how much you should be charging, you should evaluate your competition. Browse listings in your area offering similar features to yours to gauge what the expectations are for nightly-rates. In the beginning, you may find it necessary to set a low-rate to attract the initial attention from guests while you don’t have a catalogue of reviews. However, as you gain more experience and become recognised as a great host, you will be able to set a higher price and still continue getting bookings. 

5. Outline Your House Rules Clearly

House rules set your expectations for guests before they start staying with you, they keep everyone on the same page and ensure you’re protected if things go belly-up. It’s important to write these clearly and cover everything you need to. Your smoking, extra guests, and check-in and check-out policies should all be covered so that misunderstandings don’t arise during the stay. 

6. Vet Every Guest Before Accepting Them

A lot of aspiring hosts worry about the potential for unpleasant guests to book stays with them. This is a commonly spoken about topic and strikes fear in the heart of many who could be profiting from Airbnb rentals. However, it is something that is easily avoided with the right screening process in place. Vetting guests is simple on Airbnb. With past reviews visible to hosts, you can see how their past interactions have gone off with others like you, allowing you to assess whether they are the type of person you would like to accept into your home. While you can never guarantee how interactions will play-out, screening guests gives you a pretty solid understanding of their history on the platform, allowing you to avoid anyone who has abused their accommodation in the past. 

7. Understand Your Obligations

Airbnb income is subject to taxes and other obligations in New Zealand, so it’s important to stay aware of your requirements when hosting on the platform. For the most part, this will only matter if you’re renting out an entire property. However, it’s still crucial to stay updated to ensure you’re not being pinged further down the track, should regulations change. 

More information about Auckland Council’s ATPR rates can be found here.