How to rent out a property on Airbnb: A step-by-step guide

Established in 2008, Airbnb has revolutionised the tourism industry. Whereas in the past holidaymakers have relied on hotels for accommodation, Airbnb allows normal people to rent out their homes to tourists.

This has proved to be a great system. For hosts, it’s a way of monetizing unused property. For customers, Airbnb offers accommodation which is affordable, comfortable and convenient.

However, advertising on Airbnb can be a daunting prospect. There’s lots to consider, from pricing to pictures. To simplify the whole process, we’ve created a step-by-step guide explaining how to rent out your property on Airbnb.

Create a free account on Airbnb today.

Step #1: Choose what to sell

The first thing you have to do is decide exactly what exactly you’re putting up to rent. This may sound obvious, but you do have a couple of options at your disposal.

If you’re renting out a single room within a larger property, you need to decide which room you’re letting.

Here are some things to bear in mind when choosing which room to rent out:

– Is it spacious enough?
– Is there an en-suite bathroom?
– Is there a window?
– Is there somewhere to store clothes?
– Is there a safe?
– Is there a TV?
– Will they be able to access the room at all hours?

It’s important to consider these things. They don’t all have to be ticked-off, but the more the better.

Alternatively, you could be looking to rent out an entire property. This option is also available on Airbnb.

Step #2: Download the Airbnb app

The Airbnb application is available on Android and iPhone and is completely free to download.

The website is also accessible on any internet browser.

Step #3: Take some great photos

Having great photos of your space is key to generating sales. You could have a beautiful space being sold at a great price, but if the photos are dark and of low quality, you’re far less likely to attract customers.

Tidy up This may seem obvious but it’s surprising how many people upload photos of rooms which are dirty and messy. Not only does it make the property or room less appealing, but it reflects badly on you as a host.

Pick a good time Make sure you take your photos at a time when the sun is bright and illuminating your property. This will make the rooms look more spacious, airy and comfortable.

Shoot into a corner When taking photos of rooms, make sure the corner is at the centre of the photo. This is a tried-and-tested way of making the room appear bigger.

Take all your photos in one go People often make the mistake of taking different photos on different days or at different times of the day. This makes your photo gallery appear mismatched and inconsistent. If possible, take all your photos within forty minutes.

Highlight unique features If your property has a beautiful grand piano or a huge speaker system, make sure these features are included in the photos. Although they may seem irrelevant to you, unique characteristics can really entice customers.

Step #4: Name your price

When you choose the price of your rental, it’s important to strike the balance between affordability and profit. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to gauge what is a fair price. Here are some tips which will help you decide on a good pricing structure:

Price in relation to other properties The best way of getting an initial idea for cost is by looking at airbnbs in your area. Find properties of similar size, with similar amenities, and use their pricing as guidance.

Offer discounts early on Undercutting your competitors is a great way of getting some early bookings and building up your reputation. One of the biggest challenges faced by new Airbnb hosts is the lack of reviews on their property. By enticing customers with low prices, you can accumulate positive reviews. Once you’ve done this, you can begin to raise the price.

Adjust for demand The value of your property does not stay the same. In fact, it could vary drastically depending on the time of year, local events and even weather. Pay attention to these trends. If there’s a huge music festival just down the road, raise the prices for that weekend. If you live by a beach but it’s too cold to swim during winter, drop the prices for that season.

Use an Airbnb pricing tool There are various applications available which save you all this hassle. For a fee, automated algorithms will analyse local and global trends and suggest different prices to you at different periods. Click on this link to discover some of your available options:

Step #5 Write a description

The description is where you introduce yourself, your property, and explain why your rental is a good option.

Airbnb provides you with subheadings which you use to structure your description. These are:

The space

This is where you really sell the property, describing what it looks like, how big it is, and what its best features are.

First, explain what type of property it is. Is it a detached house, an apartment, bungalow or something else?

Mention the dimensions. E.g. 12m2 x 7m2.

Next, describe your amenities and mention anything that you think sets your property apart from competitors. This could be anything and you, as the host, know how to sell your apartment better than anyone.

Do you have a beautiful view? Is there a nice balcony? Do you have a games console? When it comes to this description, more is more. Don’t slack on the detail and make sure you do your property justice. A minor detail, like a coffee machine, might be what makes someone choose your property over another.

Finally, some hosts talk about the local area in this section. Or, you could save it for the ‘the neighbourhood’ heading. Skip ahead to ‘the neighbourhood’ for some tips on how to describe your local area.

Guest access

In this section, you’ll explain which parts of the property they’ll have access to and how they’ll access it.

If you’re renting out an entire property to one set of people, you’ll most likely be giving them access to everything. However, if you’re renting out one property to several different customers, here you’ll explain who has access to what. For example, they might have designated bathrooms, bedrooms but a shared kitchen area.

You should also explain how they’ll get in and out of the property. Do you provide them with a key? Will you have to provide them with an access code before they arrive?

The neighbourhood

Here you should explain what the local area is like.

Begin by explaining what the area is known for. Is it a quiet residential area or is it in the lively town centre? If the neighbourhood has an interesting history, mention this in one or two lines. Remember, you’re trying to capture people’s imagination.

What is there to do nearby? If there are there any famous museums, nice restaurants or cool nightclubs nearby, make sure you include these.

Finally, offer some assurances that the area is safe. If there are some dangers, mention these and give advice about how guests can minimize the risk of getting into trouble.

Getting around

Here you will cover questions about transport. How close is your property to the major tourist sites? Are there train stations or bus-stops nearby?

You need to show customers that your property is a convenient base from which to explore the surrounding area.

Interaction with guests

In this section, explain how you’ll communicate with your customers once they arrive.

Will you be there in person or will you be available via the phone? How will you help them in the event of an emergency?

Step #6: Publish the listing

Once you’ve finished all this, you’re ready to publish your listing. Having done this, it’s good to regularly return to your listing to edit out any errors or add details that you may have missed. Be patient. It could be a while before you get your first booking. However, once you get some good reviews under your belt, you can expect a lot more interest in your property.