As Airbnb grows in popularity, you will see more of CEO Brian Chesky in the media. Here is an appearance Brian made on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show. He addresses the rare and extreme guest experiences that are in the media as well as touched on being a ‘disruptor’ in the hotel industry.

Another article I came across this week gave a summary of tips Brian Chesky learned by building Airbnb into a multi-billion dollar business that helps and empowers millions of entrepreneurs like yourself.

Below are the four tips that Brian Chesky thinks all entrepreneurs need to know. I will relate them to your Airbnb startup business.

Brian’s Tip #1: Don’t brainstorm startup ideas, solve a problem.
How it relates to Airbnb hosting: As you begin to host, you are going to start looking for ideas to improve your rental unit so that you can earn more money. Where many hosts go wrong is choosing what to work on first.
Inexperienced hosts start looking and brainstorming for the ‘unseen’ opportunities and totally ignore the easy opportunities that are right under their nose.
Instead of trying to find ideas, just solve the problems at hand. Have leaky faucets? Get them fixed. Backyard look kind of junky? Clean it up and add some decor. Not enough sleeping space? Add more beds.
Solving the simple and obvious problems will add the most value because these are essential needs of guests. In that same breath I will say, don’t forget to try creative things when you have the time. Start with the low-hanging fruit and if there’s time, try something new and exciting.

Brian’s Tip #2: Surround yourself with role models.
How it relates to Airbnb hosting: Don’t think you know everything. There will always be someone smarter than you and help/mentoring from that smarter person could be just a click or call away.
Whether you’re a new or a veteran Airbnb host, you should seek advice and help from other Airbnb hosts and mentors. Chatting with hosts is valuable because most hosts are more than willing to share their experiences and tips with you. One of the benefits of Airbnb is that it’s a community made of helpful people, so use that to improve your business acumen.

Brian’s Tip #3: Focus on a small but loyal customer base
How it relates to Airbnb hosting: Your space on Airbnb will most likely appeal to a certain demographic, also known as your target audience. If you try to appeal to too large of an audience then your place will end up not appealing to anybody.
Think about it this way: If your place is a private cabin in the woods that’s great for couples to retreat off to, don’t try to also tout that you have all the amenities for a business person.
For one minute just think: who do you really want to attract? Who will find your place most appealing? Pick one demographic of people and stick to it. In the example above, I say focus on the couples. When you specialize in a guest type you can focus your furniture, amenities, and other perks around them. Some Airbnb rentals can be used for more than one target audience, and that’s great. There is something positive to be said about having a versatile space, but don’t let your rental come off as having a split personality. It’s okay to have two target audiences, but do your best to stick to who your place is MOST appealing to.

Brian’s Tip #4: Get informed about your industry’s laws and regulations.
How it relates to Airbnb hosting: As you know, the laws and regulations about Airbnb/short-term rentals are up for debate and seeing a lot of change. To stay on top of developments in your area, consider attending city council meetings. While at the meetings, you will accomplish three things:

  1. You will be showing your support for Airbnb hosting. You can be a champion for the Airbnb brand by sharing the positive impact Airbnb hosting is having on your life.

  2. You will be there to have a say in what scenarios are considered when the legislators create laws that will affect your business. If you don’t show up, then these laws will be made without your input.

  3. Last, but not least, you will be able to stay informed about the exactregulations, their implementation dates, and any other details that affect you. I wish I could, but I cannot stay up on all of the local laws. This is something you will need to take charge of for your business.

You can check out the full article with Brian Chesky’s tips on Inc.com.


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This article originally debuted as an email newsletter to our Weekly Digest subscribers on 10/13/2015. 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.

The Coral Team