You took the leap and are running your Airbnb unit. Great!
But sometimes it seems more that Airbnb is running your life.
It can be a lot of work: Taking inquiries, checking guests in, and cleaning/maintaining the rental unit. This is ALL on top of trying to live your everyday life.
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with Airbnb hosting, I want to help you save money and time.
First things first
If you want to save time as an Airbnb host, you have to keep a record of what tasks you spend most of your time on. Here are the major categories of tasks you will do as an Airbnb host. Write down how many hours you spend on each per week.
- Guest Communication (Pre/Post Booking)
- Writing Reviews
- Buying Supplies
- Property Maintenance
- Listing/Calendar Updates
Now that you know where you are spending your time, let me give you tips for how to cut down your time spent on each.
Many guests ask a lot of the same things such as: How far are you from here? How many people max? Are you pet friendly? Try the copy/paste trick. Take your answers to the 10 most frequently asked questions you receive and store them in a Word Document. Then when you’re asked a FAQ, you can simply copy and paste the answer. Note: you may have to do some customization to your copy/pasted text depending on the question.
Instead of having only 1 or 2 sets of sheets and towels, buy 6 or 8 sets. Then you don’t have to rush and wash them before each guest check-in. You can batch wash the linens to save time, water and soap. Take it a step further and drop your laundry off at a fluff and fold spot.
Cleaning your rental yourself can be tiring and gets really old, really quick. Consider having a cleaning service do your cleaning turnover. I suggest getting a service instead of an individual cleaner because if the individual cleaner calls off, you’re in trouble. With a cleaning service, they will send another cleaner if yours can’t make it.
Here is a link to an article I wrote about Airbnb Cleaning:http://learnairbnb.com/airbnb-cleaning-service-programs/
This can be a painful part of hosting if you don’t have a good system. Instead of waiting around all day for your guests to arrive, try getting a key lock box with a code.
A key lock box can hang on your door handle or even in a hidden area in your front yard/main lobby. Guests type a code, get the key and they’re all set. When they are ready to leave, they can just drop the keys in and take off. Here is an article I wrote about Airbnb key exchange: http://learnairbnb.com/easily-exchange-keys-renter-airbnb/
Airbnb Pro Tip: Put two keys in there and make sure they only take one when they check-in. Then if they are locked out, they have access to a spare key.
There aren’t many ways to make this go faster because you should be personalizing every review for each guest. They will do the same for you. My one tip is that you write the reviews quickly. The experience of their visit is fresh on your mind and you can write faster. Here’s a post I wrote why your current Airbnb reviews suck:http://learnairbnb.com/airbnb-reviews-suck/
There are certain things you need to buy like toiletries, snacks, welcome gifts, etc…. Don’t go buy them every week, instead buy them every month and try to use a service like Amazon so you don’t have to even go get them. Also, purchase these separately from the stuff you use in your personal life so that you have clean receipts for tax deductions.
Your Airbnb rental will be used more like a hotel than a home. Guests will put more of a strain on your place than you would, so being proactive in maintaining your Airbnb is crucial. If you catch an issue before it becomes a problem, you will save time and money. Create a list of things to inspect once per week. Include things such as faucets, doors, light switches, locks, heating/cooling, pool/jacuzzi, stove/oven, and anything else that moves or that the guest will interact with. If you see an issue in your apartment’s common area, submit a maintenance request ASAP.
Listing and Calendar Updates
Your listing should be updated with new amenities and as you learn what guests appreciate most about your place. When you think of an update, jot it down and save it in a list. Then, once per week spend only 30 minutes editing and updating your listing. Note, you may have to make immediate updates such as some pictured amenity becoming unavailable, but most updates can wait. Don’t obsess over your listing.
For updating your calendar, you can do this two ways. The first way is to manually go in and update your availability and pricing daily. For accurate pricing you need to look up any upcoming special events and holidays. This can take a lot of time and you may be leaving money on the table. The other option is to try automated pricing. Automated Airbnb pricing will increase your price when demand is high and decrease your price as demand dips to help you book more stays. This is different than the Airbnb pricing tips you see on your Airbnb dashboard. Automated pricing companies use detailed algorithms to help you make the most money possible. Here is an article I wrote about Demand-Based Airbnb Pricing:http://learnairbnb.com/demand-based-pricing-airbnb/
Now it’s time for you to go and optimize your Airbnb business. Good luck!
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This article originally debuted as an email newsletter to our Weekly Digest subscribers on 09/15/2015. If you’d like to receive our weekly newsletter featuring hosting tips, tricks, and resources please subscribe on our home page.
This article was written by Jim Breese. Jim is an Airbnb expert and creator of LearnAirbnb.com, a premium source of information to help you become a smarter Airbnb host.