Rent A Room, Fund Your TravelsBy Klara Racpan
Can you name the top 5 countries on your bucket list?
Spain… Rome… Africa… The Maldives…Hawaii?
Do you see yourself sipping red wine as you savor majestic views in Spain? Can you imagine yourself walking around the monumental ruins in Rome?
Or perhaps fancy a wildlife adventure in Africa?
How about sunbathing on your private island in the Maldives or catching some waves in Hawaii?
Feels good to imagine, doesn’t it? But it’s way better to live it.
Traveling is fun and exhilarating but lets’ face it, you need money to get around.
And if you want to sustain your excursions, then you will need a steady stream of income.
With your current schedule, it would also help to find a way that won’t take much of your time.
After all, life is about balance – you can’t travel if you’re too tired from working all the time.
Perhaps you’re earning enough from your day job and can set aside some savings.
But you also have bills to pay, stuff to buy and living expenses to manage.
Your travel fund then becomes secondary to all these necessities, assuming there’s still any left from your paycheck.
Now, what if you can earn extra without doing any heavy lifting?
Yes, it can be that easy.
Don’t worry, it’s not a scam or a get rich scheme.
With the internet’s rising popularity, there are more ways to earn now but only if you are willing to exert some effort.
The best part is, you won’t have to put up capital.
You can make use of what you already have and make money off it.
Curious to know what it is?
Okay, so you may have to do some furniture lifting and maybe a bit of cleaning.
Simply put, it’s renting your space on Airbnb.
If you have a spare room, condo unit, house, picnic area, sailboat, backyard or even a couch (some people get really creative), then you can rent it for as long as you like and use the earnings for your ventures!
Interested but don’t know where or how to start?
No worries. Below is a step-by-step guide to everything you need to know about hosting on Airbnb.
In-depth explanations based on personal experiences are provided for you to help you get started.
It’s a great chance to take advantage of this opportunity to earn.
I. Why you should do it
If there’s a way to make a few extra bucks, then why not! Especially if you have vacant space.
This will also be extremely helpful for properties that have monthly or yearly maintenance fees such as utilities, taxes, association dues, etc.
By renting out your unit, you can create a self-sustaining process for your property.
You can use a portion of the earnings to pay for dues while the rest may be set aside for your travel fund.
Worried that you’re not techie enough? Don’t fret! Their system is easy to use. You just sign up to create a free account, fill out your profile, upload photos of your place and add a description. That’s it! It’s just like setting up a Facebook profile.
Perhaps the best thing about setting up an account with Airbnb is that you will be registering with a renowned company. They have been in the hospitality business for a decade and have established their reputation worldwide.
You know that you are in safe hands and they will guide you throughout the entire experience. And if you need help at any time of the day, their 24/7 customer support has got you covered.
II. What are your risks
Okay so let’s cut to the chase. You’ll be renting your space to strangers, and that in itself is a significant risk.
How will you know if the guest is trustworthy?
How can you be assured that your furniture and appliances will still be intact after they leave?
How can you be sure that guests will take care of your property?
The answer is – there are no guarantees.
But that is the entire concept of Airbnb – it is a system built on trust. They have been in the industry since 2008 and have been growing since then.
Their continued success and popularity worldwide are social proofs to appease your doubts.
III. How you can minimize your risks
Easier said than done, but one can argue that trust can’t get you back lost items or property damages—which rarely happens by the way.
To keep your peace of mind, Airbnb gives you free host protection insurance worth $1MM for property damage on top of another $1MM for liability coverage.
Aside from that, contact details of potential guests are verified.
And if you wish to add an extra layer of security, you can also ask for your guest’s government-issued ID.
You are always in control of your property, so you decide who you want to welcome, how much you want to charge and for how long you want to rent out your property.
Your place, Your Rules.
Guest and host reviews are also available for public consumption which creates transparency and accountability for both parties. Nowadays, almost everything is posted online for everyone to see.
This highlights the importance of maintaining an impeccable reputation.
Remember, you’re still dealing with strangers, and although Airbnb verified some customer information, it is always best to stay on the cautious side. And it goes without saying to always keep your faith in humanity!
You’ll be surprised.
IV. How To Set-Up Your Airbnb Account
Ready to join the bandwagon?
Perfect. Now let me just remind you that you will exert more effort in the beginning for you to be comfortable.
But once you get the hang of it, it gets easier.
1. First things first, create your profile on Airbnb You can sign in with facebook, google or your email.
2. Next step is for you to create a listing or advertisement for your property.
This is the fun part. If you have a Facebook account, then this is exactly like creating a profile.
You will need to upload photos and add descriptions.
Presenting your property
No need to write a lengthy description. Just make sure to explain what you offer, what your guests can expect and highlight features that will make them want to choose your property over others.
Most importantly, upload realistic photos. Remember that time when you shopped for an item online but turned out to be entirely different?
Or when you ordered a delicious looking meal in a restaurant, only to be presented with a less appealing dish.
You know how it feels to be disappointed and you don’t want your guests to feel that way.
I’m not saying that you should put your best foot forward but just be honest so you can manage their expectations.
This creates transparency between you and your guest, which will also be reflected in your reviews.
It’s okay if your home is not as grand as a hotel. Remember, it’s all about making your guests feel comfortable.
Maybe just drop a line to check-in if they have arrived or let them know that you are just a message away if they have concerns.
These seemingly minor details will go a long way.
Setting a price tag
Curious about pricing? Generally, you get to decide how much you want to rent out your space. Be mindful of the going rate for similar properties, the quality of your space and its perceived value.
You want to earn from it, but you should also be reasonable. People will only pay more if they think that there is a premium (e.g., uniqueness, amenities, extra services, etc.)
Aside from these, rates will also depend on demand. Just like airfares, prices are likely to go up during peak seasons.
Rental rates may even go up during months when there are special events, concerts, and festivals.
Location is another determining factor. Properties that are near restaurants, malls, and nightlife are usually priced higher because of convenience.
Homes that offer great views and access to activities are often more expensive.
If you need further assistance, Airbnb helps you in setting rates by giving tips and suggestions. They conduct in-depth research and analysis to determine market prices.
Apart from that, their Smart Pricing tool is an automated system that sets recommended daily rental rates.
3. Once a guest books your property, it’s time to do some general cleaning.
Make your space as welcoming as possible. Best to provide towels, sheets, linens.
Some even give out toiletries and laundry soap.
While others have an instruction sheet for Wi-Fi, keys, directions and house rules plastered on the wall.
It’s up to you to add your special touch.
As you prepare your property, put yourself in your guest’s shoes. If you slept there for the night, would you enjoy your stay?
If you have the time, you can personally welcome your guests as they check-in.
Otherwise, you can also leave the keys in a mailbox or a lock box and leave instructions for the code.
Make sure to let your guests know where to return the keys as well.
Remember, excellent customer service is essential. Just check in every once in a while, to make sure that they are settled. Some even go out of their way to help with tourist destinations, maps, and directions.
Aside from making money, this is also a great chance to connect with others.
You never know, it might lead to referrals or reciprocated kindness.
4. Time to get your moolah!
Once your guest checks in, you instantly receive your payment via PayPal, deposit or wire transfer.
Airbnb collects payment from your guest and credits to your account. This relieves you the hassle of having to deal with money matters.
It also acts as a safeguard, ensuring that you get paid for your hospitality.
However, it is important to note that you are charged 3% of the price as a service fee.
Think of it as payment for advertising, website hosting, and maintenance.
It would have taken you more time, effort and money to advertise on your own so the fee is basically your payment for convenience.
V. Time to act
After all that you have read, does it sound feasible to you?
If you have space, then go for it! Hundreds of people all over the world are already taking advantage of this.
Airbnb is fast becoming a lodging option for most travelers which means that there is a niche for every property.
No matter how your space looks like and regardless of location if you present it well, then there will be someone willing to stay.
Hopefully, you were able to get a lot of information from this article.
If you’re ready to get started then click on this link Airbnb to create your profile.
Better act fast so you can go on that dream vacation!
Who knows, when you arrive at your destination, it might be your turn to book a room on Airbnb.