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The Airbnb guide: How one idea changed travel

Travel

I was reading a book called The Airbnb Story the other day by Leigh Gallagher. Not many people realise the hard work that went into building this now billion dollar industry, in fact many of us are not remotely aware of how they can benefit from using an Airbnb establishment. Airbnb specialist  Rowan Clifford of Airbnb Smart said it has changed the lives of homeowners worldwide, allowing them to monetise their property in new ways that have never been possible.

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An Airbnb listing in Barcelona. Picture. SuiteLife.Airbnb specialist  Rowan Clifford of Airbnb Smart said it has changed the lives of homeowners worldwide.


“Whether you have a spare bedroom in your home, a granny flat, tree house or even your entire home, Airbnb now gives you a way to generate an income from it.  

“Airbnb was not the first to try and harness the potential of unused space within a home.  Many have tried and failed before them.  However, Airbnb managed to solve the biggest problem of them all, trust,” said Clifford.

He said tourists and travellers were  now turning away from traditional accommodation methods of hotels and motels, in favour of a more intimate, connective experience that Airbnb offers. In essence, he says, guests can expect to pay a fraction of the cost for comparable accommodation at a hotel when they use Airbnb.  

“Travellers now have the ability to not just visit a city as a tourist, but to truly experience the city as a real local.

“Airbnb now boasts some of the most exclusive, unique properties in the world, from Castles to beach front Condo’s in 65,00 Cities and 191 Countries worldwide.  Airbnb has been particularly popular in many of the iconic tourist hotspots like London, Paris, New York, Barcelona and Berlin.  However, it has been so successful that some city authorities have implemented new local laws to prohibit people from using the service,” he added.


Interested in renting your house out through Airbnb? Clifford offers some advice:



  • Check whether the country offers Airbnb services. In  some cities Airbnb is not allowed or very restricted, notably Berlin, Barcelona and San Francisco.  So double check with the authorities in your area.


  • Income earned through Airbnb is taxable.  Keep any receipts for expenses, and keep your affairs organised.  


  • Check your insurance covers you for short term lets.


  • Subletting your rented home is often a breach of a rental agreement, so always check with the landlord before you get started.


Get the most out of your Airbnb listing:


Clifford said as a host he is  now obsessed with maximising the earning potential from his property. Here is some of his tips:


Money saving tips:


  • Remove any unneeded furnishings.  Yes they look pretty, but they will either get broken, or need cleaning.  Minimise these to avoid unnecessary costs.

  • Get some posh bottles for shampoo, soap etc, and refill with bulk purchased toiletries.  

  • Repeat above steps for tea, coffee, sugar and other items.

  • Create reminder notices for your guests to switch off lights, heating and other important devices.


Money making tips:


  • Invest in a good double sofa-bed.  Your property will appeal to a broader market, and you can charge for the extra guests.

  • Add special offers to any random single unbooked nights to maximise your occupancy.

  • Analyse your competitor's pricing strategy.

  • Do not use Airbnb’s price tips!  It sucks.


Optimise your listing to get more bookings:


A high ranking on Airbnb’s search results will get you lots more bookings.  There’s heaps of factors that go into your ranking position on Airbnb, but here are a few of the fundamentals to get you started:   


  • Answer all enquiries promptly.

  • Fill in all fields comprehensively within your listing.  

  • Only use great quality images in landscape orientation.  

  • Write a captivating listing title and description.

  • Add verification to your profile in as many ways possible.  

  • Create a friendly profile.  

  • Respond publicly to guest reviews.

  • Don’t cancel any bookings unless you absolutely have to.


For tips and tricks on how to make more money on Airbnb, you can check out Clifford’s blog:  www.airbnbsmart.com



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