It's March in London and we just put the clocks forward one hour which means only one thing - spring is on the way. We are now out of the worst of the Airbnb low season and things are already picking up. I've had several bookings as far in the future as August but still most of my reservations come in less than a month before the actual booking date.
Airbnb Guest Review 'Issue Categories'
I've noticed that the guests reviews now reveal the actual number of stars you received from that guest (it's between 1 and 5 stars). When I first started hosting this was not actually revealed to you. The only way to know for sure what star rating each guest left you was to keep track of the number of stars you currently had before the guest arrived and check it after they left and then do the math. This new system does make the whole thing easier to follow and can alert you to issues you may have quicker.
If a guest leaves you less than 5 stars for any category (cleanliness, check-in, accuracy etc) then they have the opportunity to be more specific what was not up to standard. My main negative feedback point is LOCATION and SIZE OF HOME. These are not a surprise to me as the area I live in although is relatively close to central London it does look a bit shabby. The other issue is 'size of home' which I can only guess is because the guests are sometimes surprised that I have more than one room in my house on airbnb and either it feels less private or less safe.
Adding a Airbnb Co-Host
For those Airbnb hosts who are just too busy to stay on top of their bookings a co-host could be very helpful. And more importantly can help avoid income tax. If like me you get booking requests and guests questions at the wrong time of day (in my case when in am asleep) then a co-host could be the answer. I currently do not use a co-host but I like the idea and may start using it soon. My wife would be my obvious co-host but it may make sense to have someone else you trust but who has very different financial circumstance.
To all those people out there who think the money you make on airbnb is not liable for income tax you are 100% completely and utterly WRONG. In fact ALL earnings must be taxed - except in certain circumstances. Yes there is the rent-a-room allowance (currently £10,000) which is free of income tax but beyond that your going to have to pay. That is unless you can shift the income to someone else who is already not using their full tax free threshold (currently £11,500 a year). Say some stay at home relative who has no other real income. Someone who you can co-host with and pay them for the excellent service they are doing for you (or pay them anyway even if they do nothing). After your co-host has taken their tax free income they might want to give you an early birthday present in cash?