After experiencing being Airbnb guest in few of our travels, I decided to list one of my studio unit in Quezon City.
In 2016, my mom and I plunged into this Airbnb world without any clue what is ahead of us .
I am working overseas in Malaysia and my mom is in the place where my house is – Metro Manila. So the plan is for me to accept guests through my Airbnb account, communicate and negotiate with them and my mom will be the one meeting them in person,giving the keys, cleaning the house and everything I suppose to be doing as a host.
I don’t know what to expect on this kind of arrangement at first but It worked! Thanks God!
It took a lot of trial and error and first time experiences in order for us to realized what helps and what doesn’t .
After hosting nearly 100 guests, now we know that we can do this for a long time. Most importantly we are actually enjoying it!
Since then, our unit almost didn’t have vacant Day! Always fully booked! Yey!
We also listed my second unit and I am so excited about it. Check my post about becoming super host here 10 Tips on how to be a super host .
And a side note because of this little business me and my mama had, we talked more often through phone (thanks to the internet it’s free) and have something similar topic we are excited about and because of that I am truly grateful. Even though we are miles away we can be working in same project together and it makes us bond even more!
( psssst..If you are still in the process of preparing your unit for Airbnb and haven’t really started hosting, Read here )
So going back, I’m far from being expert in Airbnb but I want to share some of the helpful things we’ve done in order to have guest keep coming and to even have long-term guest:
1. Take a risk.
Do not think to much and just start it. If you have an extra unit or a room that you think you can share and earn money from, why not try to do it?
Sign up here and list it!
You will never know till you try. You can always stop if you start getting uncomfortable.
2. Be willing to learn something new.
By simply starting this little business in Airbnb I did learn a lot of things!
Aside from the experiences I have, I read a lot of things about Airbnb blogs, tips for new host , and even use Airbnb help desk if I’m stuck and don’t know what to do. You need to EXPLORE.
I read a lot during my first months of being a host. A lot of experiences of people who have been there are in the internet. Just find the resources and ideas will start flowing.
3. I Needed to trust more.
So I remove my deposit fee and my reservation went up! At first I feel very unsafe but I eventually need to trust that people are more good than bad and now I’m totally relaxed about not having any deposit.
Not having a deposit will also attract those people who don’t really trust much. And those without much cash on hand. They may think that you will not give back the exact amount of deposit so naturally they will find a listing without a deposit first. (Airbnb will hold the deposit and not the host anyway but still) At least that’s what I do if I am Airbnb guest somewhere. So try to understand how guest thinks. Not everyone will agree on this, so just stick to what is comfortable to you. Also if you feel like your house have a lot of breakable items (unlike mine) then this advise is not for you. Don’t follow this is you are not comfortable!
*** there’s a lot of scam now a days so it’s up to you if you want to have more security turn the deposit on.
4. Photos are everything.
You know this already but I need to say it again, you need to excel in this one. If you are not getting a lot of reservations, check the quality of your photo listing and see if it reflect how awesome your place is or not. Always update your photos.
You need to use the complimentary professional photography by Airbnb. It’s awesome! Go to the photo part in listing and you will see in the bottom about complimentary photography then go and request. Airbnb will connect you to a local photographer in your area and he will arrange appointment within a week. It will take about 4 weeks to process and upload the photos in your listing. (Update: Airbnb no longer have the free photography service , now you need to pay 98usd to avail it ). You can also ask around who do home photography for a fee. You need to think of it as part of your investment.
I also decorate my place in a way that it will look good in a photo. I will imagine it being in my listing photo. If I’m a potential guest, will I love it? If yes then I will go for it.
5. Be yourself and be comfortable about it.
The most fun thing in Airbnb is that I can decorate my place in whatever I want thinking about aesthetics but at the same time considering the need and comfort of my guests.
The more you own your place the more people feel at home.
Travellers like me sometimes get tired of plain normal safe hotel-feel room (in short same old boring) we are looking for a unique, with personality, cozy and comfy place that can makes us feel at home even though we are traveling. What I did is I printed my own travel photos as part of my wall decor. It looks amazing!!
But if you don’t take lots of photos and If you want more modern artsy photos and cheap uniques Ones that you can print.
, Just be yourself and not to think that you need to copy everything about the listing you’ve seen that is really really awesome with great reviews. Just be comfortable with your style and taste and have fun making your place a beautiful home. Soon guest will come appreciate and love your place because you do.
< b>6. Communicate. Give your best in this one.There’s a rating when it comes to communication and I really believe that this should be the easiest part and I should not fail this one!
Make sure to always have a 5 star rating on this. So I will be very prompt and patient in answering my guest queries and what not.
There was this one time I got lax about replying messages and my guest put down my ratings when it comes to communication, I feel terrible as that should be the last thing I will not excel with. Prompt replies means happy costumer and the higher probability of them confirming a booking from you.
7. Reviews are your best friend.
pictures are important, reviews are more. If we book a hotel we tend to trust the reviews more than the photo.
Also do not argue with your guest and try as much as you can to give in to their request as much as possible. So if the guest did very badly, just score them a low ratings but let go. Do not send mean rude things excessively. Getting into fights can make you feel like hosting is bad or not worth it. So always keep your cool.
Then after that I actually thought, why not put a guest book where people can put their feedback and vent out in there and doesn’t necessarily in my Airbnb account? So I did put one.
8. Look for best deals when shopping.
You need a lot more things than you thought you need. I learned in my first unit because my mom bought lots of things because it’s emergency, the guest needs this or the guests needs that definitely more stuff than we thought. So if you are in a rush shopping, you will always end up getting expensive ones.
What I did for my second unit is to list down everything a guest will possibly need. From bedsheet to sewing kit to flashlight. Imagine yourself being the guest in your own home. What do you need? What level of hospitality do you expect from your host? This will help you know what do you want and need in your house.
So what I do now is that everytime I see a SALE in the home store and I know I will be needing it, I’ll get it.
9. Everything white. <<<<<<<<<<<<<
this thing important for long term is this. Use white Towels, bedsheets, comforters… why? So you don’t need to buy often when your colourful sheets faded after few years. If it’s white you can just bleach it and it will make it look new again.
I have some nice colourful sheets that is now starting to fade. It also will look good in your listing photo as white will make your space looks bigger.
10. Do not overprice.
Make sure to research and see the price of your competitors around your neighbourhood. Do that by simply browsing Airbnb. No matter how good is your unit if your price double than your neighbor, you will not get the bookings you are hoping for.
Usually Airbnb will suggest price, I normally don’t follow their price but I will play around those figures, a little bit higher but not lower.
Hope this little sharing helps you
Enjoy being a wonderful host as you are already!
Thank you for reading
Xoxo , Jackie
< b>For more tips join my Airbnb Group: Airbnb Philippines Hosts Only
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