Whether you’re lucky enough to have a second home or you’re moving abroad and want to make some money from your house instead of selling it, Airbnb can be a great way for your mortgage to pay for itself and for you to make some extra money in the process. We’ll run through everything from location to pricing, how to prepare your property and extra services required like hosting and cleaning.
Location, Location, Location
Not every property is suitable for holiday/business letting but the vast majority are. If your property is located in a city centre then you will be able to achieve very high rental values as you will be able to target both tourists and business travellers. The main UK cities like Manchester and London will achieve the highest prices followed by places like Newcastle, Birmingham and Cardiff. London is without doubt the best both from the achievable price but also from how busy it will be throughout the year. The beauty of having a property in London is that you aren’t just relying on seasonal travellers in the summer months, you’ll be getting them all year round. People visit to go and see shows in the West End, football matches or go sightseeing whilst picking up some London souvenirs in the process.
If your property is more of a holiday home and somewhere people would be more likely to go in the summer months then you’ll be getting maximum value if it is anywhere near a seaside resort, national park or point of interest. Houses in the Lake District, Snowdonia and Scotland always tend to do well. The price at which you can rent your property out at is determined by the size of it and its location, the best way to accurately price it is to look at comparable properties on Airbnb and go along with what the competition are doing. Always make sure you account for any additional fees, taxes or service requirements when pricing it.
Preparing Your Property For Rental
If you have bought your property to let it and that is the sole purpose of it then some of this isn’t applicable. If however you are turning what was once your home in to a property to let them you need to make sure you go through it with a fine toothcomb and remove personal possessions that you wouldn’t want to lose or people to see. This can be a big job if you have lived somewhere for a while but it is worth doing well as you don’t want to lose any family heirlooms when people start staying there. The best thing to do is either move it with you or rent a storage container and put it all in there so that if you ever change your mind and decide to live there again, you can move it back easily.
The next step once you have removed everything is to make it viable as a place to let, that means that whilst they may look nice, certain items of furniture or accessories might not be a good idea. For example, you’ll want a sofa that is practical, made of faux leather so it won’t cost as much but is easily cleanable for any spills. A suede sofa would be the worst thing you could use. The same applied to towels, bedding, lamps and appliances. You want things that can be cleaned and changed with ease so even something as simple as using fitted bed sheets can make your life a lot easier.
Don’t just pay attention to the inside as well, make sure if you have a garden that you have practical furniture that is easily cleaned and replaced. If you allow dogs to stay in your property then artificial grass is a much better idea than real grass as it’s far easier to clean and pick any dog poo up from. When you’re pricing your property it is important to take in to account that you will need to replace things on a regular basis, they are being used constantly and when it isn’t your own house, people tend to be a little less caring when it comes to using things so they will break much quicker than they would if you were living there.
After you have set up your property for rental, the only other thing you need to look at is any additional services you may need. If you’re happy to clean the property yourself after each guest has stayed then that is a big saving you can make but most people tend to hire a cleaner in. There are many cleaning companies set up directly for use with Airbnb, they have access to bookings and then just automatically send a cleaner to your property when someone has checked out, this makes life really easy but is the most expensive option as they don’t come cheap. It will all be down to how much your property is being rented for and how much profit you make out of it, sometimes this is viable and other times it isn’t. The middle ground is just to get your own cleaner and let them know ahead of time when people are staying so that you aren’t paying extra for an agency in the process.
The other thing that some of the higher end properties do is hosting (and again you can get an agency to take care of this for you). This means when a guest arrives there is a person there to let them in, show them where everything is, hand the keys over and be a point of contact if they need anything. The more cost effective version of this is to have a drop box for keys when guests check in or out and just spend some time putting together a very thorough manual instead of requiring a host. The manual will contain everything from how to turn the heating on to how to work a microwave, dishwasher, TV or anything else in your property that may require instruction. The more detail and information you put in, the easier it will make your life in the long run but it is very time consuming to begin with.
Hopefully you have found some useful information when it comes to setting your property up for listing on Airbnb, it can be a lot of work to set up but once it is up and running it can be very profitable and a good way of getting some extra income with minimal effort.