Hosting Hotline: 7 Tips for First-Time Airbnb Hosts (Episode 324)

Airbnb Hosting Hotline: Help for Short-Term Rental Hosts

First-Time Airbnb Host? Follow These Pro Tips Prior to Launch

Welcome back to the Hosting Hotline! This is an Ask Me Anything where each week we’ll answer your questions on Airbnb, STRs, real estate, and everything in between.

Sandrine asks:

My partners and I are finally set to launch our first STR next month. We will certainly diversify our OTAs, but I would love to know any hot tips that you may have for newbies like us. As we do set up our Airbnb listing, what things do we definitely want to make sure are turned on, or off? Can you share any tips that will make us more appealing on the platform? Thanks so much.

Our Seven Pro Tips for First-Time Airbnb Hosts

We highly recommend you check out the full episode, but here are seven of our best tips for first-time Airbnb hosts at a glance:

  1. Professional photos: This might seem obvious, but we can’t overstate the importance of having high-quality photos in your listing. And remember the first five photos are the most important!
  2. Photo arrangement: Give a virtual tour of the property by properly sequencing the photos in your listing. The first five should showcase five different areas of your home. Then, provide a tour of your property through photos. 
  3. Calendar and cleaning fee settings: It’s vital to set these up correctly before publishing your listing.
  4. Pricing strategy: We recommend a thoughtful approach to pricing. Make sure to get a good grasp on your market. Demand for overnight stays can change day-to-day, so either invest in a dynamic pricing software, like PriceLabs, or create a spreadsheet and track your pricing at least twice a week!
  5. House rules: Establishing clear and non-discriminatory house rules is a necessity. Treat every potential guest the same. The best way to do this is to set your house rules and be very thorough. Then, anytime a potential guest has a request that you cannot accommodate, you can direct them to your posted house rules.
  6. The “truth-telling friend” stay: Consider staging a trial run of your Airbnb with a friend or family member to identify any potential issues. Ask them to be as honest as possible!
  7. Safety and insurance: Be sure to completely understand the proper insurance you need, along with any and all local regulations. Remember, AirCover is NOT insurance.

Additional Tips for First-Time Airbnb Hosts

Now that you’re an Airbnb/short-term rental host, you know there are way more than seven things you need to consider at all times. Other areas of focus for you as a first-time Airbnb host include understanding more about your local market, considering any and all guest communication strategies, perfecting your interior design style, staying on top of various repairs and ongoing maintenance, preparing for emergencies, and leveraging guest feedback for continued improvement (we can’t emphasize the importance of guest reviews enough!). 

There’s nothing more important than creating a welcoming and comfortable space for your guests, and all of these things will help put you on the path to a rewarding and successful Airbnb hosting experience.

Episode Timestamps

(00:02:00) Any Hot Tips for Hosts Just Getting Started?

(00:02:56) Importance of Professional Photography & Image Arrangement 

(00:04:18) Covering All the Details During Listing Set-Up

(00:05:47) Establish a Dynamic Pricing Strategy 

(00:07:02) Dialing in Your House Rules Before You Need Them

(00:08:01) Pressure Test, Pressure Test, Pressure Test

(00:09:29) Prioritizing Safety & Security for Everyone Involved

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions. To hear your voice on the show and send a question to Sarah and Annette, submit your burning hosting questions at:

Download a transcript of this episode.

Additional Resources for First-Time Airbnb Hosts:

Together, Annette & Sarah are the dynamic duo behind the wildly popular podcast Thanks For Visiting, co-creators of the Hosting Business Mastery Method, & seasoned short-term-rental hosts.

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