How to be the perfect Airbnb host: it's all in the detail
In the year to January 2018, Australian Airbnb hosts turned over $978 million in revenue, from over six million guest arrivals.
Sydney currently sits in the top 10 cities worldwide for Airbnb listings, rising from about 5000 in November 2014 to a peak of almost 28,000 in December 2017.
Glowing stats like these reflect the booming market in short-term rentals, as Australians cotton on to the financial benefits of renting out part or all of their property.
While the upside is obvious, too often people jump in without being fully prepared for the risks, effort and time involved in running a successful Airbnb operation.
So here are my top three things to consider before you jump in.
1. Make your listing stand out
The competition is stiff, so you have to convince potential guests to choose your property.
Add as much detail as possible and emphasise what makes your property unique.
Don't hide obvious shortcomings. If it's on a busy road, then say it; don't wait for guests to arrive and then post a negative review. Your description should accurately reflect your property.
Have great photos and lots of them. Thoroughly outline the amenities and features, as well as any rules or expectations of guests.
2. Aim for Superhost status
There's a tick list of requirements that will earn you Superhost status (an average 4.8 overall rating, 50% review rate or higher, etc).
Potential guests look for this badge. From the very first contact right through to when your guests leave, you're aiming to be the perfect host: helpful, accommodating, responsive to all issues... you're after that five-star review!
3. You need to work it
You don't just "set and forget" as you might with an investment property and long-sitting tenant.
Running a successful Airbnb enterprise requires constant monitoring of booking requests. You need to jump on these as quickly as possible and scrupulously manage your calendar.
Adjust your prices according to peak and low periods. And maintaining your property in sparkling clean, tip-top shape doesn't just happen by accident; it needs permanent vigilance.