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News Room

6 Tips To Renting Your House On Airbnb This Season

Melissa Cohen
Are you planning on going away this festive? Have you considered putting your home on Airbnb for short-term rental? Here are some tips.
With the holiday season just around the corner, holiday makers from around the world are looking for the most value for money place to stay. International accommodation site, Airbnb, makes finding a place to stay super quick and easy. If you are planning on going away over the season and want to put your place on Airbnb for short-term rentals, there are a few things you need to know. Its not as easy as just uploading your pad and letting the cash roll in. We breakdown the ins and outs of short-term rentals. We also provide you with some top tips to ensure that your first rental experience is simple and hassle-free. Here's what you have to know as a first-time Rentrepreneur:
Do you know is the best and worst insurers in South Africa? We found out!

1. Competition Is Key

Before you upload any information about your crib, you need to do some research on your possible competitors. This is very important because you can get a good idea what previous visitors like and dislike. Not only that, but you can get an idea of competitive rates. Best would be to go onto the Airbnb website and search for places that offer the same features as your place as well as their locations. From this, you will be able to get an idea of the type of guests you can expect and what you should possibly add to make your place just that much better. If you know your neighbouring competitors, ask them how rentals are going and what makes them so appealing. There's nothing wrong with doing a bit of market research before you dive straight in.

2. Lay Down The Laws

If you are a first-time renter, it is important to remember that not everyone lives like you do. It is really important to set clear rules and regulations when it comes to people staying in your house. A basic set of house rules needs to be made clear on the Airbnb post so that potential guests know what is expected of them before they book. You don't want to come home to a place that is completely trashed. A good idea would be to look at other competitors and see what their standard house rules consist of. Airbnb has their own standard set of rules that could be useful when you create yours. They include the following:
  • No smoking;
  • No pets;
  • No parties or events;
  • No children between 0-12 years old;
  • Check in only after 2pm;
  • Keep noise levels down after 11pm.
They also added some other areas that you should consider should this apply to your place:
  • Extra Guests - will you allow extra guests stay? How many?
  • Smoking- If smoking is not permitted inside, are guests allowed to smoke outside?
  • Eating- Are guests allowed to eat anywhere in the house or are there certain "eating-zones"?
  • Cleaning and Laundry- What are the rules when it comes to laundry and will there be a free cleaning service?

3. Make Sure You Are Covered

Many people are unaware that if guests stay in their place, even if its for a day or two, they need to insure it. This in case of damages to property or personal injury caused by the structure. The thing that many people don't know, is that your personal home insurance will not cover any of this. The reason for this is because you aren't the one staying in the house when the issues occurred. You need to declare that people will be staying in your place for money, otherwise your insurance company will find out and won't cover you. If you plan to take part in short-term rentals on a regular basis, you need to apply for commercial insurance. This is because you are technically running a business. This type of insurance will cover you in the case of the guests burning the carpets or setting the curtains alight. The only problem is that business/ commercial insurance is extremely expensive as it is classified as 'high-risk insurance'. This means that the chances of someone messing something up and the owner claiming is very high. If you are renting the place you want to put on Airbnb,  remember to get an approval letter from your landlord. If you don't do this, you could find yourself in serious legal trouble.
  Make sure you are covered for any scenario, get combined home and car insurance today!

4. Know Your Guests

Remember that you are catering to a certain type of guest. Not everyone is going to want to stay in your pad, as it might not be what they are looking for. Airbnb recommends that you do some research into who your target audience is. The first thing would be to take a look at the surroundings and the neighbourhood. You need to see whether or not it is family friendly area or rather suitable for a group of young people. Next, you need to see what the draw cards to the area are. Whether it be a popular shopping mall, a theme park or the city's trending nightlife. Potential guests will choose the area because it is close to their favourite attractions. The next important thing to check is how many hotels are in the vicinity. If there aren't too many, you might stand a good chance of getting lots of business, however if there are, you need to highlight what makes your pad unique in your description.

5. A Good Image Always Helps

When there are lots of places to choose from, you need to separate yourself from the rest. A good first image on Airbnb will make for more bookings and inquires. Airbnb recommend that if you are uploading accommodation to the site you take into account the following aspects:
  • Updated Calendar - make sure that your booking listing is up to date so that people know when there is availability;
  • Make Your Title Different - make sure that your title is catchy and inviting, not just 'one bedroom apartment for rent';
  • Endearing Description - create a description that will lure your potential guests in and make the deal sound irresistible;
  • Good Quality Pics - your photos are a make or break factor, so make sure you have great photos with excellent lighting to showoff your home's features;
  • Instant Book Button - add the instant book button to the description so that guests can book straight away.
Read More here about the top tips to home improvements that will increase the value of your property

6. Be A Real 'Rentrepreneur'

Airbnb have coined the phrase, 'Rentrepreneur'. This basically means that you rent your place out on a regular basis for cash. There are three types of hosts according to Airbnb:
  • A host that is just hosting guests to make a quick buck or two;
  • A host that hosts guests in order to make a stable secondary income;
  • Someone who wants to make a serious business out of hosting guests on a regular basis.
In order to qualify as a Rentrepreneur, you must ensure that you get other people to help you in your success. This means employing staff to clean the place and do the laundry. Airbnb have also listed some qualities of a Rentrepreneur. Check out this link to see if you qualify. So now that you know the tips and the tricks of short-term renting, upload your pad and rent like a pro!
  Did you know that combining your home and car insurance will lower your insurance premium! Get a quote today!
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