LISTING YOUR SPACE ON AIRBNB
A. Manage Your Guests Requirements
Before your listing goes live, Airbnb like to ensure that hosts feel confident about every guest that arrives at their place. That’s why they require certain information from all guests before they’re able to book.
You begin by reviewing the Airbnb requirements that all guests must meet before they can book:
- A profile photo
- A confirmed email address
- A confirmed phone number
- Payment information
- Agreement to your house rules
- Send you a message about their trip purpose
- Confirm their check-in time if arriving within 2 days
New guests much also acknowledge that each place is unique, that they will respect their host’s place, and that they will stay in touch with their host.
You also have the option of adding both/either of the following additional requirements:
- Government-issued ID submitted to Airbnb
- Recommendations by other hostsand having no negative reviews (new Airbnb guests who haven’t yet been reviewed will always need to send you a request to book)
These optional settings are intended to provide hosts with comfort and certainty around who they let into their homes and space. Keep in mind that if you require another host’s recommendation, first-time Airbnb guests won’t be able to book instantly, which may mean fewer bookings.
B. Set Your House Rules
Only guests who agree to your house rules can book. Here you can let guests know if their trip is a right fit for your home.
Airbnb provide some recommendations on common house rules. These include specifying whether:
- Your place is suitable for children (2-12 years)
- Your place is suitable for infants (under 2 years)
- Your place is suitable for pets
- Smoking is allowed
- Events or parties are allowed
You also have the option of adding any rules of your own too, such as quiet hours or no shoes in the house. In the rare event a guest breaks your house rules, you can cancel online 100% penalty-free (i.e. no fees, no blocked dates, no loss of Superhost status).
House rules are covered in greater detail here.
You are also provided with the opportunity of telling Airbnb any details guests must know about your home here. These include:
- Must climb stairs
- Potential for noise (and when it’s likely to take place)
- Pet(s) live on property
- No parking on property
- Some spaces are shared
- Amenity limitations (e.g. weak Wi-Fi or limited hot water)
C. Successful Hosting Starts With an Accurate Calendar
Airbnb remind you that guests will be able to book available days, so you should keep your calendar up to date to avoid surprise reservations. They also remind you that if you cancel because your calendar is inaccurate, you’ll receive penalties and those dates will be blocked.
All that’s required here is ticking a check-box that says “Got it! I’ll keep my calendar up to date.”
D. Getting Started With a Couple of Questions…
Airbnb will ask you a few simple questions to help customize your calendar settings.
The first question Airbnb will ask you is have you rented out your place before? You can choose between “I’m new to this” or “I have”.
The second question Airbnb will ask you is how often do you want to have guests? You can choose between “Not sure yet”, “Part-time” or “As often as possible”.
E. Set Limits on Trip Length
You have the option of deciding how long guests can stay by setting a minimum and maximum trip length:
By default, there is no minimum or maximum trip length. Shorter trips can mean more bookings, but will require you to turnover your space more often.
It’s recommend that new hosts do not implement a minimum stay requirement when starting off on Airbnb. This will help build up your number of bookings as quickly as possible.
Minimum stay requirements are covered here.
F. Choose How Much Notice Guests Must Provide
You’re required to specify how much advance notice you would like before a booking. Your options are:
At least one day’s notice can help you plan for a guest’s arrival, but you might miss out on last-minute trips. If you choose Same Day, you also specify the exact hour that guests must book before.
You can also specify when guests must check-in by specifying a check-in window that includes a “From” time (8am – 1am the following day) and a “To” time (9am – 2am the following day). You also have the option of making either (or both) ends of the check-in window flexible.
G. Choose How Far Out Guests Can Book
You’re able to specify how far in advance a guest can book. Your options are:
H. Do you Want to Sync Your Airbnb Calendar With Another Calendar?
Here you have the option of automatically syncing your Airbnb calendar with other calendars that you may already be using to rent out your property. If you list your space on other websites, this prevents multiple guests from booking the same dates.
Instructions for importing your external calendars is covered in greater detail here.
I. Update Your Calendar
When your listing goes live, guests will see your calendar and be able to book available days.
Here you’re able to look over your monthly calendars and pre-block any days you already know you do not want to make your place available for bookings.
J. How do you Want to Set Your Price?
You have 2 options for deciding how you want to set your price:
- Price adapts to demand: You set a base priceand price range. You tell Airbnb’s Smart Pricing tool to automatically adjust your price based on your settings.
- Price is fixed: You set a base price. Airbnb gives you price tipsthat you can accept or ignore.
Airbnb state that the “right price” can change as the number of searches for listings like yours goes up and down. They therefore recommend setting your price to adapt to demand. This is the default option unless you choose to fix your price.
Regardless of whichever pricing option you choose, you’ll still continue to get price tips from Airbnb to help you set prices for your listing.
Many hosts choose to start off with a lower default nightly price and raise it after earning a number of positive reviews. This helps them attract guests that may otherwise overlook them in preference for more established listings that may be perceived as more reliable or desirable.
Edits you make to your default nightly price will only apply to reservations booked after you make the changes. Changes do not apply to upcoming reservations that you have already accepted.
Determining your optimal nightly price is covered in greater detail here.
K. Kickstart Your New Listing With a Welcome Offer
Airbnb provide you with the ability to give travelers extra reason to be the first to stay in your home by offering a 15% discount to your first guest. New listings that get booked and reviewed in the first month appear more often in search results and get an average of 3.6x more bookings in their first 3 months.
Airbnb will share your offer with some guests who’ve searched in your area. Dozens of people will see your home, but only one person will be able to claim the offer. Your first guest can use the offer to book any time in the next three months. If no booking is made, you can cancel the offer by editing your calendar. Otherwise, it will automatically expire after one month.
If you do not activate the welcome offer during setup, you will no longer be able to add a special welcome offer once you finish publishing your listing.
To encourage longer stays, some hosts set a weekly or monthly discount.
If you want your listing to appear in searches for reservations of 28 nights or more, you’ll need to set a monthly discount. Weekly discounts will apply to any reservation of 7 – 27 nights.
Airbnb will offer a weekly and monthly discount price tip which you’re able to accept or overwrite with your own amounts.
Discounts for longer-term stays are covered in greater detail here.
M. Review Your Settings
You will then review the settings you have just specified for your place, which includes:
- Your guest requirements
- Your house rules
Upon review, you have the ability to go back and edit any of these should you wish.
N. Summary of What to Expect Once You Publish
Airbnb will summarize what you can expect once you publish your listing.
You have the ability to go back and edit your calendar, guest and booking requirements.
It is important to note that for receiving bookings you have two options for deciding how you will allow guests to book your place:
- Instantly: You allow guests to book instantlywithout needing your consent to their reservation request
- By Request: You will review and respond to each individual reservation requestafter deciding whether you wish to accept or decline it
By default, this is set to Instantly. If you wish to require all guests to book only by request, Airbnb will require you to confirm that you understand…
- You’ll only have 24 hours to respond to requests without penalty
- Your listing will be ranked lower in search, so you may get fewer reservations
- You’ll lose some host protection and controls, including penalty-free cancellations for reservations you’re uncomfortable with
Airbnb remind hosts that guests prefer to book instantly and that over 600,000 hosts let guests book instantly because they can get up to double the bookings with less work.
Airbnb’s Instant Book feature is covered in greater detail here.
O. Your Local Laws and Taxes
Depending on your listing’s location, Airbnb may provide some general information on things such as local laws, taxes, rent regulation, zoning codes and business licences. Airbnb encourage hosts to consult a local lawyer or tax professional if they are unsure of anything.