Inspiration, Enthusiasm, Energy, Creativity by Danielle Braun
What if you could have a beautiful home that helps pay its own mortgage?
Two years ago I took the leap to join Airbnb. My neighbors told me I was nuts. “You’re going to let people sleep in your bed? Touch your things? What if they steal something?”
But let’s backtrack before we hit the panic button:
How many robes have you stolen from hotels? Can you count how many televisions have you broken on girl’s weekends? How many houses have you burned down?
The answer, I’m guessing, is zero. Odds are that your guests aren’t going to leave your home a pile of burning rubble either.
My father was a hard-working immigrant carpenter and my mother liked to design houses and shop. I am a blend of both of them. I love the smell of sawdust as much as I appreciate a new purse but I do try to do my best follow my father’s advice.
One: Never over extend yourself financially. And two: If you don’t have cash, you likely don’t need it.
Enter Airbnb #sidehustle
Where to begin?
It seems overwhelming at first, but once you get in the groove and you’re sipping aperol spritzers in Reyjavik with your besties you’ll thank me.
- Start by joining the service. Airbnb walks you through the entire process from listing to setting a price and even has hosting forums where you can share, learn, and ask questions.
- Next, be sure to check-in with your town to ensure you are compliant with local regulations. (Our town requires a fire inspection and that you post the town ordinances for your guests.)
- Last, get the house ready. Declutter, and then declutter again.
The goal is to earn outstanding reviews
Listen to your guests. Think about what you would expect on a great vacation. Visitors want an experience. If they simply wanted a bed they’d be down the street at the motel. They rented your home so they could cook, congregate, and share in what your city has to offer. Treat them as your personal guests. Remember, they are paying for your vacation, tuition, killer new shoes, etc. so go the extra mile. Don’t cut corners — I assure you, it will pay in dividends.
Aim for 5 star ratings. Why be average when you can be AMAZING?
With so many homeowners getting on the Airbnb bandwagon, you’ve got to be better than the next neighbor to make your listing a stand out.
- Start with a clean house
Really clean. Not just wipe the counter clean, but clean like your mother in law is coming. Give your guests the “hotel experience.”
- Provide the Basics
Supply fresh ground coffee, a coffee maker, paper products, laundry detergent, and linens. Leave out a basket of bathroom necesseties. Are you near the beach? Given them beach chairs and beach towels.
- Get technical with Wifi, Netflix, Streaming Music, and Keyless Entry.
I use internet tv and leave all the passwords for my guests along with an iPad they can use to play music, work the lights, or surf the web. Set up a charging station. Install a key pad for easy entrance (and your own security).
- Communication is key.
Be available to answer questions. Offer insider tips, i.e. shortcuts to the beach or where to find the best pizza, sushi, and espresso martinis.
- Offer a few perks.
Gauge your audience. If I have a family in residence, I leave sticks and s’mores for the fire pit. Girl’s weekend? Rose and chocolate. Wedding party? Bubbles and flowers.
Knowing you’ve put together a comfortable and beautiful space for your guests with all the essentials will put you at ease, garner positive reviews, and make you a great host!