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Turning Your Airbnb Into A BusinessThe Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Airbnb Hosting

Don’t Waste Time Setting Your Airbnb Up The Wrong Way

We have been in the short-term rental business for a while and have helped set up numerous properties on Airbnb and other booking sites. If you have considered setting up an Airbnb business and are unsure where to start, we are here to help. Read on for our essential guide on getting started with Airbnb.

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First, how does Airbnb work?

Airbnb is an online platform that connects people worldwide and allows hosts to rent their property short-term. Airbnb tends to work out cheaper than hotel rooms and offers guests more privacy and personalisation.

Hosts can put their entire property, private or shared rooms, unique spaces, bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) or hotel rooms up for let on the platform. Then, it’s your job to ensure you’re seen and fully booked.

Learn what you would get from a short-let service.

edinburgh flat

Before you start

When setting up online listings on Airbnb, we know the laws and regulations that ensure our partners are legally allowed to sublet their properties and under what conditions. We can even help obtain permission from your landlord, co-op board or homeowners association if relevant. In addition, some building association contracts have restrictions regarding subletting, so you must ensure you know these rules.

We also urge you to reflect on your schedule and ensure you have time to manage a property successfully. Renting your property on Airbnb is time-consuming, so if you are already struggling to go to the gym, we recommend considering a management company like us.

We know the ins and outs of local laws, and our staff are dedicated to ensuring you and your guests have the best experience possible and are experts at maximising revenue.

View our short-let onboarding guide.

how you respond can have an impact on your guests' experience and listing rankings

Preparing your Airbnb space

Whether renting your whole property or just a room, you must prepare the space you intend to rent.

Here are some costs to consider:

  1. Installing keyless locks to make check-in easier.
  2. Buying things that make the space more comfortable for guests, like fridges and microwaves.
  3. Stocking the space with clean sheets, towels and toilet rolls. Plus property maintenance.
  4. Paying higher utility bills.
  5. Providing cleaning services between reservations and deep-cleans periodically.
  6. Covering taxes and Airbnb host fees. Tax tips for short-lets.

You’ll need to go above and beyond basics for your guests to score high ratings. Avoid these mistakes. OR learn the hospitality mindset of good hosting.

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Setting a price

The price you charge guests can dramatically affect your booking rates. We advise you to think about affordability, audience and market.

> Learn more about pricing strategies and approaches.

We utilise Airbnb to create passive income streams: to ensure you are maximising your revenue, you must make several considerations when setting your prices, like mortgage, maintenance costs, taxes, Airbnb fees and more. The Airbnb fee for most hosts is 3% of the booking subtotal.

Like any other service, your Airbnb will have competition. When searching for an Airbnb, guests will look for properties whose price reflects value. The value of your property depends on the amenities you offer and the kind of property you are offering. If your price does not reflect the property’s value, you are less likely to get bookings and, therefore, less likely to make a profit.

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How do you receive payment?

Airbnb charges guests before arrival – either at the time of booking or in instalments if available. The money is sent to you according to the method of your choice (e.g. PayPal or direct deposits) 24 hours after your guest’s check-in.

Cash is not accepted as payment for your Airbnb. However, you can accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, debit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. When working with HelloGuest, we’ll pay your returns monthly from the several platforms we work across. Learn more.

establish the type of business structure under which you are going to run your Airbnb business

Listing your property – property details

You will be asked to fill in the primary property details, which include the type of home (flat, house, etc.), location and type of property. You will also clarify how many guests your property can accommodate, mentioning the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, beds and other spaces.

Finally, list all the amenities your property offers: this is a great selling point, and guests will actively look for reasons why your property is better than others. Also, make your house rules clear.

Pro tip – don’t forget to include and define your USPs and to update your listing seasonally.

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Property description and photos

Get your copywriting skills ready. Once your property is prepared for guests, it’s time to create a live listing that entices customers. First, discover how to create a listing.

The description and photos are essential elements of your Airbnb business. The quote ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is not applicable when choosing somewhere to stay, so you want to ensure your property looks as good as possible.

You only have 500 characters, so write a catchy description to entice guests and inform them about essential parts of your property.

Investing in the image of your property is a required method of attracting more guests. We recommend hiring a professional photographer to get the perfect photos: they know how to make your space look inviting to prospective guests and produce high-quality, bright pictures.

Hiring a management company is a great way to ensure your property profile looks the best. One of the benefits is that they know how to create descriptions that guests respond positively to.

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The technicalities

Setting rules is relatively easy and should not be overlooked when listing a property. For example, Airbnb asks whether pets, children, parties, smoking, groups of young adults and more are permitted within the property.

The booking calendar outlines how many nights guests can stay, the check-in and check-out hours and important notifications before guests arrive. The availability of your property on Airbnb is entirely up to you; dates you don’t want to accept guests can be blocked out within the calendar. To be a host, you must make your property available for at least 30 days within 12 months.

Airbnb will ask if you want to offer a 20% discount for your first 3 guests to help you get booked faster. We recommend doing this as it can help attract more visitors and establish yourself as a host.

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Interested in getting started?

If you are considering starting your short-term rental business and may need help managing the property, contact HelloGuest for more information on growth and management.

We handle everything from communicating with guests, advertising your property on sites like Airbnb and booking.com, organising a professional cleaning service and ensuring a smooth check-in and check-out process.

Contact us today for a free earnings assessment.

Stop wasting effort, time and money

Other Airbnb management services in the capital and beyond usually take a commission fee between 13-20%. HelloGuest only charges 12%. Is now a good time to switch? Learn more about our management fees.

    Photo of Toby France CEO

    Toby France

    Income Growth Manager

    Toby’s main role is managing clients with large buy-to-let portfolios, ensuring they hit KPIs and maximise their monthly turnover.

    Photo of Veronica Tribolati Co Founder

    Veronica Tribolati

    Guest Communications

    Being a natural extrovert and a go-getter, Veronica is a great communicator and is the face behind HelloGuest, which means she’ll be there to help you onboard or switch.