The ultimate guide to Airbnb Hosting

Follow our tips to get the most income out of your listing.

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Airbnb is one of the worlds biggest marketplaces, where hosts are empowered to advertise their home, space or local expertise to potential renters. This could literally be a sofa bed in your lounge room, a boat moored to a jetty or an entire castle.

Like the Uber of the travel world, Airbnb provides it's hosts with access to a large pool of potential guests. But like Uber, there are some key steps to make sure you're setup properly so you can earn income.

How much money can you make on Airbnb?

It varies based on your property, location and how well you list it. The one factor that stays the same however is the fee that you're charged.

Updated December 12th, 2019
Name Product Type Estimated Earnings (AUD) Fees
Airbnb
Airbnb
Property rental
$300 - $14,000 per month (depends on the property)
3% of booking

Compare up to 4 providers

About this guide

For this guide, we spoke to three actual hosts to uncover the best practices to maximise your income.

Picture not described: raeleen.png Image: Getty

Raeleen Kaesehagen

Founder of Mudputty

How they got into Airbnb hosting:

Raeleen was interested in understanding how the Airbnb marketplace worked before building Mudputty. She tested her own investment property on Airbnb.

How much did she make?

$970 per week on average.

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Tom Rawlins

Owner of Raw Lens Media

How they got into Airbnb hosting:

As a travelling photographer, Tom often had a vacant home. He tested Airbnb to see how it would fair versus the traditional property market.

How much does he make on Airbnb?

$700 per week on average .

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Angela Carrick

Owner of Air Design Australia

How they got into Airbnb hosting:

Angela was a real estate agent who decided to rent out her own property on Airbnb as a test. Her business now focuses on property management for Airbnb listings.

How much do clients make on Airbnb?

One property she manages makes $1,200 per week (after being fitted out).

Video: Tips and mistakes with Tom Rawlins

List my property on Airbnb

3 tips to to maximise income on Airbnb

While it might seem like a lot of work, you don't need to give up your day job to be an Airbnb host. Here are our key tips to maximise how much money you can make:

Couple listening to vinyl records Image: Getty Images

1. Work out how much you should charge

Using the map function on Airbnb or its price comparison tool, look at what other people are offering in your area. Of course, if you're planning on renting a private room for example, filter your search to private room accommodation.

Compare similar properties

To make sure you get the most for your accommodation, make sure the properties listed are also similar in terms of location, cost and amenities. For instance, if you happen to live nearer to transport links than competing properties, then you might be able to raise the price of your accommodation. It's also important you consider amenities like shared or private bathrooms and look at who else has them in your area.

Vary the price during the year

After you've calculated the average nightly rate, make sure the cost listed by other hosts is actually representative of what is listed. A lot of hosts put some dates at a low rate for only a few days a year so that Airbnb lists it at this price. However, they will generally have higher rates throughout the rest of the year.

"I manage pricing differently for on and off-peak seasons. For example... Sydney festival, Chinese New Year, etc", says Angela Carrick from Air Design Australia.

I manage pricing differently for on and off-peak seasons. For example... Sydney festival, Chinese New Year, etc.

Tip: Traditional lease and short-term rentals earn different incomes

While traditional leasing generally guarantees a more steady income, if managed properly, the potential income of a short-term rental is significantly higher.

Having said that, there are some added expenses you'll need to factor in that you otherwise would not on a traditional lease. These include supplies, utilities such as electricity and water and cleaning costs for each guest.

Matured woman relaxing Image: Getty Images

2. Beef up your listing to get more bookings

Professional photos are a must.

Take pride in your home and sell its uniqueness. Unlike hotels or hostels, your home has personality, which is a huge selling point for Airbnb. What does your home say about the suburb, town or city you live in?

It's all in the photos

Whether it's a passion for art or you're a huge animal lover and have a pet dog, don't be afraid to show that off. You can do this by taking lots of good photos. Raeleen from Mudputty explains "It's about getting seen, so professional photos are a must."

Prospective guests want to be assured that where they're planning on staying is clean, tidy and comfortable. Your photos should reflect this as well as your home's personality. Photos should make your home or room look as welcoming, light and spacious as possible.

Here's an example of how Angela Carrick styles a room for photos:

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Focus on the quirkiness of the property such as the decor and soft furnishings...One property I manage has a vintage record player with vinyls for example....Indoor plants work a charm!

If photographs aren't your strength, getting a professional to take them is highly recommended.

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Photo: Angela Carrick

Happy family playing Image: Getty Images3. Make your guests' stay amazing to get good reviews and become a Superhost

While pictures are important, they need to live up to expectations. Becoming a Superhost can really boost your profile and help you stand out. Here are some of the tips worth following to reach this status.

It's hospitality at the end of the day, people expect hotel service.

Create a listing today

If you want to maximise your profit you have to be ready to allow last-minute stays and one-night stays. This means you are on call.

- Raeleen

House interior Image: Getty Images

Picture: Getty Images

How much time do I need to put into Airbnb?

Becoming a host can be time-intensive if you're also working a busy full-time job or running a business. You need to be flexible enough to get to the property whenever guests need your help or you risk neglecting them.

If you work far from the place you're renting and aren't able to leave, or if you need to travel for long periods of time, you might consider using a property manager for Airbnb. For a percentage of the fee you're charging, a property manager will take care of everything while you're gone.

What if I don't have a property?

If you don't own a property, you can ask your landlord for permission to sub-let your room. If you can't sub-let, there are other ways to make make money on Airbnb too.

Becoming an Airbnb experience guide

Airbnb isn't just about renting out your house or a spare room; you can also make money as an Airbnb experience guide.

If you have an experience you think is unique and might enhance a tourist or visitor's stay, you can host an experience. It can range from showing visitors around town to taking a cooking class.

The most important thing is you plan your experience, know it inside out and try and deliver something unique. Put in just as much time and effort as you would for your Airbnb listing, taking the time to put together a detailed itinerary and pictures showing your experience off.

Risks to consider

Before becoming a host, it's worth considering some of the following risks and how you can avoid them:

  • Safety: While it's unlikely, you don't want to give guests the chance to steal valuable possessions or your identity. That's why you should always find a safe place to put any sentimental possessions, bank statements and tax returns. It might be worth investing in a safe for some of these things for peace of mind.
  • Insurance: While Airbnb provides insurance for property damage, it isn't a substitute for home insurance as it can't protect against personal liability or theft.
  • Guest refunds: You may be required to refund a guest's payment if you're responsible for making a mistake, such as forgetting to leave a key, misrepresenting your listing, cancelling at the last minute or leaving your home dirty.

Become an Airbnb host


ALSO READ: Check out the full analysis of over 2000 suburbs

ALSO READ: The 8 most bizarre places you can rent on Airbnb Australia

ALSO READ: Is Airbnb covered by your travel insurance?


Sources

  1. SGS Economics & Planning 2018: What impact does Airbnb have on the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets?

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Frequently asked questions

Register with Airbnb and learn more

How does Airbnb compare to other property rental services?

Updated December 12th, 2019
Name Product Type Fees
Airbnb
Airbnb
Property rental
3% of booking
Stayz
Stayz
Property rental
5.5% of booking
VBRO
VBRO
Property rental
$700 annual subscription fee

Compare up to 4 providers

Read more about Airbnb

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