My life as an Airbnb Host What I've learned from hosting and how I make money using Airbnb

CategoryPricing strategy

Should you accept cash payments from Airbnb guests? and How to automate your Airbnb home.

S

Its January in London and cold and wet. The number of bookings I am getting has reduced and I have the occasional empty day. This is the same as last year i recall so I’m not worried. The low GBP will keep the tourists coming to London and I keep my prices low so I’ve always got a steady stream of customers. I have many ‘regular’ customers who found me on airbnb but have kept coming back and now pay me cash. Should I accept guests who pay cash? Nobody want to pay the airbnb service fee but that’s the price you pay for using their platform. Without the airbnb...

Should you have Airbnb guests on Christmas day?

S

Its December in London and the weather has been unusually mild for this time of year. Bookings have dropped off since the autumn and I’ve reduced my prices again for the new year. I’m now charging £28 a night for a double room for two people – this time a year ago I was hoping to be able to charge £35 a night by now, so its very disappointing. I have 200+ reviews and most of them have been positive but my five star review rate is still languishing at 64% and has been for about a year. I have noticed that there are more listings in my area and they are mostly double rooms at...

What should I do if I’m not getting bookings on Airbnb?

W

August has possibly been my worst month for new bookings. My calendar for the month of August was actually quite full but September onwards is looking pretty empty. I find that guests tend to book about 4-6 weeks in advance so to have so many blank spaces at this stage is not good. Some guests do book much further in advance of course but the main bulk tend to come in only about a month ahead. I do get a lot of last minute bookings due to my location in central London but I would prefer to have bookings all my bookings in advance given the choice even if it meant losing a few quid. Why have...

How to get rich using Airbnb?

H

Can you get rich using Airbnb? Some DO I’m sure. But how do they do that exactly? Most of the stories I’ve read about those who’s say they’ve made sooo much money using Airbnb go something like this – “I was taking a six week vacation (they are usually from the USA) and decided to give using Airbnb a try to rent out my apartment while I was away. I was making so much money I decided to quit my job and stay on vacation forever.” Or some bullshit like this. The obvious point they never seem to touch on is the fact they already own a apartment in a very...

When is the peak season on Airbnb and how to get rich on Airbnb?

W

I’ve noticed a reduction in the number of bookings coming through. I’ve got quite a few empty slots from the end of August through September and beyond (in my experience people tend to book only a few weeks in advance so it’s no surprise December is still empty for example). A quick look on the Airbnb Groups discussion page for London hosts and many of the comments there are saying the same thing – not enough bookings. What to do if your not getting bookings? I price my listings cheap and to have an empty room now and again is disappointing but no big deal for me. Those with expensive big...

So what’s it really like being an Airbnb host

S

I’ve been a Airbnb host now for nearly a year and have had over 150 guests in that time. Most guests stay for only a couple of days which suits me fine as the longer the guests stay I find they are more likely to hang around the house, and eat smelly takeaways in the bedrooms, instead of exploring the city. Weekly and monthly rates I choose not to offer a weekly or monthly rate for the reason that I don’t like longer term guests. I don’t offer use of the kitchen or living areas in my house so guests are limited to their bedroom and a bathroom. My ideal guests is a...

What is your Acceptance rate? Does it matter?

W

It’s April and the sun has finally come out over London and this has lead to an increase in bookings. Airbnb had been continually warning hosts that December to March is considered the low season and hosts should consider reducing their prices by 15%. Many hosts it seems didn’t reduce their prices or started to believe the low season would never end and started complaining of their being “too many hosts and not enough guests.”  Well it does look like we are all back in business. To me it seems there are good bookings and bad bookings, and in my opinion you have to take your fair share of the...

Checking out the Airbnb competition

C

Between changing bedsheets and checking-in guests I often peruse the listings of my fellow Airbnb hosts. Partly to get a feel for who’s charging what in the market, partly to steal ideas for making my listing look more attractive. A very price sensitive market How much of a price sensitive market is Airbnb? Very I feel. Especially at the sub £50 a night level. A simple search reveals a £5 increase per night from £35 to £40 the number of listings jumps from 149 to 317, more than 100% increase. For anyone looking to make some serious money being a airbnb host then this is not very...

Should I be charging a cleaning fee?

S

You have the option to charge your guests a cleaning fee on top of their booking fee. The fee is of course a one off fee added to the total. The question is should you be charging this fee? Airbnb Cleaning fee – Why I don’t charge it I don’t charge a cleaning fee. There is just isn’t a good enough reason to charge one. In fact I would say that if you do charge a cleaning fee then guests might well assume that they don’t need to clean up after themselves as they have paid for cleaning on top of their booking fee. If I were a guest I would personally find a large...

What will Airbnb charge me as a host?

W

Airbnb takes a commission for every booking your listing has. However how much of a cut depends slightly. What fee do Airbnb hosts Pay? Airbnb says it takes 3% of the hosting fee plus VAT (in the UK 20%) so If you charge £100 per night then the hosting fee will be £3.30. See here for more details on Airbnb help section. note – Airbnb will round up it’s figures so if your hosting fee is £6.60 this will be rounded up to £7. Airbnb guest fees The guest also pays a fee of 0-20% of the total price called the guest service fee. Which listing pay 0% and which pay 20% you ask? I am not...

Your first Airbnb listing

Y

New listings get a boost in rankings so you may find that you a few enquires on the first day or two. After that enquires might drop off suddenly and then you will need to work on your ranking. How many of my guests are first time Airbnb users? Airbnb is still relatively new to most people in the UK and Europe despite being very popular in the USA and some other places for a few years. Consequently many of your customers will be using Airbnb for the first time and will not have any reviews from previous hosts (I estimate that about 50% of my guests are Airbnb virgins). So you get an enquiry...

How do I price my Airbnb listing?

H

What price you should charge depends on your market but there may be other factors to consider what price you are going to charge. Other factors might be: The cost to clean the room and sheets Your free time taken up to meet the guests, check them out etc. The rent you could have received from a local long term renter Your location could determine the type of guest you will get no matter what service you provide My listing is in Newham, East London; a reasonably central suburb it is none the less the wrong side of London if you are a tourist (my main market). I could try and aim more towards...

My life as an Airbnb Host What I've learned from hosting and how I make money using Airbnb

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