Are you a new Airbnb host looking to put a rental on the market, but you’re afraid of the risks (not to mention the utility bill)? Here are six foolproof tips touted by experienced Airbnb hosts to maximize your profits and keep your Airbnb in the black.
1. Get insured.
Airbnb’s insurance policy will only take you so far. The $1 million liability coverage might sound generous to a newbie, but in the event of a catastrophe or a serious accident involving more than one person, paying a small monthly premium for private insurance will give you added protection and peace of mind.
2. Go green.
Standard incandescent light bulbs might cost you pennies on the dollar, but in the long run environmentally friendly LED bulbs will save you time, money, and trips to the hardware store. LED lighting also expends less energy — a boon for your electricity bill!
3. Automate, automate, automate.
Humans leave the lights on. Humans leave the water running. Whenever possible, take out the human element and automate your home to keep it temperate, hospitable, and safe for guests. From motion sensors to automated smart locks, smart home technology will help you curb costs on nearly every utility bill in house while doing a solid for the environment. Video doorbells like Ring are a great security measure for rentals, and Ecobee thermostats are a smart solution for automated heating and cooling on a budget. We’d be remiss not to mention Flo by Moen, which will alert you to household leaks, saving you thousands of dollars (and untold gallons) on your water bill and water damages each year.
4. Keep inventory.
Even the most trusted guest might get a little laissez-faire when it comes to someone else’s property. No need to ration the toilet paper, but definitely buy in bulk (it’s cheaper) and keep extra supplies squirreled away from sticky-fingered guests. Remember to take inventory of items (everything from toiletries to furniture), note average usage per guest, and provide enough generous amenities to make guests to feel at home.
5. Repair it now.
It’s more cost-efficient to fix problems now rather than later. A frayed wire could turn into a spark down the road — better to replace a $20 lamp when it starts to show its age. Be proactive! Repeat customers are the bread and butter of any business, so keep your rental in clearly consistent shape.
6. Institute a minimum stay
The biggest hidden costs of every Airbnb are the cleaning and laundry services. It makes sense to institute a minimum stay — three days, for example — to cut back on cleaning and laundry you could otherwise be paying for daily. If you’re really DIY and your Airbnb is only an occasional enterprise, you might want to cut out the cleaning service entirely and do it yourself. Just make sure to keep it up to your own personal standards.