Renting Out My House: Listing Your Home on Airbnb Tips
It’s the right time to be an investment property owner. Home equity is on the rise, and people are making time to take vacations. The good news for the Airbnb crowd — vacationers are most interested in accommodation space, personal amenities, and value. Gone are the days that hotels are top of mind. Their rooms are too small, and the pools are too crowded. Homes make more sense — spatially and financially — so why not put your second home on the growing vacation rental market?
As you prepare to list your property, consider these tips from our Airbnb hosting guide:
Get the right insurance
Insurance is dependent on how you use your home. Your answer to the “home use” question will help with deciding the types of insurance you need, including homeowners or commercial insurance. Similarly, you’ll want a clear understanding of liability issues. Airbnb offers liability coverage to participating hosts, but it’s always in your best interest — especially if you're a first-time Airbnb host — to speak with your insurance agent to see what additional coverage may be needed.
Consider a property management company
What kind of a host do you want to be? Can you manage maintenance and repair on your own, or should you outsource? Maybe you look at hiring cleaners and handymen on an as-needed basis. But then there’s listing optimization, handling of keys, even transportation to and from your home, among many other considerations and amenities. So maybe it’s worth looking at a property management company like Effortless, Manorshare, Vacasa, or TurnKey. With help from a property management company, you can wow your guests with a stocked fridge while also being able to provide 24/7 problem solving, concierge service, and a smiling face to introduce guests to your home.
Be strategic with your pricing
The price needs to be right before you list on Airbnb. You’ll want to consider the market, competing properties (especially hotels), and what’s going on in the area (major event or concert) because booking fares can fluctuate based on time of year and day of the month. Don’t let your property be priced considerably higher than others. Pricing too low can also be detrimental. Try looking at Airdna first. You can get a full market intelligence report for your area. Or, you can identify comparable Airbnb rental properties within your city and see what they charge. Learn more from Renting Your Place, which offers a well-thought-out strategy to capitalize on your pricing.
Know your customer
Where is your property? Are you located in a college town where parents often visit their children? Maybe a coastal town that's popular among family vacationers? What about a major metropolitan where business travelers may choose to have an extended stay? Know your market, and advertise to your target demographic!
Start your page
Now that you've thought out your strategy. It's time to list your home on Airbnb! Head to Airbnb.com and select "list your space" to begin your account creation. You'll need to be prepared to describe your:
- Home type (apartment vs. house vs. bed and breakfast)
- Room type (entire home vs. private room)
- Accommodations (how many people you can cater to)
You'll also need to have your calendar ready, illustrating what days your listing is available, and the pricing you'll charge for each night. Don't forget to change your rates during the holidays!
Craft an enticing listing
This isn’t just any writing assignment. It’s about making a memorable first impression and growing your business. When possible, use headlines and bullets to break down all selling points into easily digestible info. Ask yourself the following questions:
What featured amenities can I offer my guests?
Are my photos attractive enough to make my property stand out?
Have I highlighted my property’s location, surroundings, and nearby entertainment/nightlife?
Have I included reviews that illustrate my customer experience?
Can I offer a deal to create a sense of urgency in booking my property?
Is it easy for my guests to book?
Show your guests that you are a real person and not a scam. Profile verifications are a way to connect your Airbnb profile to other information about you. So, it's essential to have your Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc. accounts verified.
To add verifications to your account:
- Go to your Airbnb profile
- Click Trust and Verification
- Under "Add More Verifications" choose a verification to add
Understand taxes and deductions
And not to be forgotten — understand tax time essentials. Depending on your account status, your taxpayer information, and other factors, Airbnb may provide you with a tax form. To learn more about tax brackets, visit the Airbnb website.
Keep in mind, taxable rental income is the gross amount of rent received, less any allowable expenses. Therefore, you may be able to deduct advertising, utilities, cleaning services, repairs, mortgage interest, and property taxes — among other things. Be sure to keep your receipts and to work with a knowledgeable accountant to ensure you get the best return on your investment.
Don’t forget to discuss available Airbnb tax breaks, like interest deductions, with your accountant. You can deduct the interest of up to $750,000 in mortgage debt, as long as that money was used to acquire or improve your first or second home.