Last year, Airbnb generated a whopping £502 million in economic activity in the UK. 80% of Airbnb hosts in the UK rent out only the home they live in and according to Airbnb’s website, the typical British host earns £2,822 per year by renting 33 nights per year. That’s serious money – and you can earn extra-cash tax-free up to £7,000! But how do you make your home the right fit for short term lodgers? And how do you avoid some of the horror stories we’ve all heard?
Since you’re effectively doubling up your house as a hotel, it’s a tricky balancing act. You want to make it homely and welcoming but at the same time, you’re conscious that one of your guests could unintentionally break or damage something you love or paid a lot of money for. Here are some tips on designing a versatile home for you and your lodgers that won’t cost the earth to clean or repair.
Simple is king
You don’t need to be an interior design deity. While making your place look palatial might allow you to charge a bit more per night, don’t get caught up in the idea of replicating a 5* hotel – the vast majority of Airbnb-ers are simply looking for a convenient and comfortableplace to stay. What people really appreciate is cleanliness, simplicity and space. Decluttered rooms photograph really well and ultimately, it’s the pictures people are looking at when they are deciding where to book.
Of course, don’t let your style be curbed. This isyour home and you want it to feel like one for the times where you won’t have a guest orlodger. However, if you have eccentric tastes, it might be an idea to pass on that Jurassic Park-themed living room. Simple spaces are ideal for Airbnband will allow you add in your more personal affects when you have the place to yourself again.
Drinks will spill, food will splatter, dirt will spread – as an Airbnb landlord, you must accept this.But there’s lots you can do toguard against accidental damage. Simply design your flat or house in a manner that makes it as easy as possible to clean after you’ve rented it out for a week or two. The emphasis should be on hard, easy-to-clean surfaces – wooden floors over carpets, blinds over curtains, leather sofas (or throws!) over bare material sofas. You don’t want to spend forever clearing up after your guests, so think about convenience every step of the way.
There is a definite downside of Airbnb and that’s the potential for your stuff to get ruined. Inevitably, people are less careful with other people’s possessions than they are with their own. It’s therefore prudent to stall on any big purchases, like an expensive rug or a costly dinner set. Of course, after you’ve banked enough of that Airbnb cash, you’ll be in a better position than ever to buy the things you really want. For the stuff that can’t be put off, however, you’ll need…
This is a no-brainer. You need a place to stash any valuables that you don’t want to leave out. The vast majority of Airbnb-ers are totally trustworthy but you can never be too sure, and it can help make that your more precious belongings don’t get damaged or broken.
You want excellent reviews – without them, you’re not going to get any future bookings! Nice little touches can be the difference between a four star and five star review, and the difference between raking it in, and sweating about whether you’re going to get any bookings whatsoever. Think about unexpected things you’d be chuffed with when staying somewhere, such as in-shower speakers or an espresso machine in the kitchen. And think about how nice it’d be to have those things for yourself anyway. For a minor investment, you can make your place that much more appealing for yourself and your lodgers!