5 Things To Consider Before Renting On Airbnb
Do you have an empty guest room or summer house that’s catching dust? If you do, you may be sitting on a potential gold mine, waiting to be tapped into by weary travelers. While posting a rental notice and waiting for renters to follow, there’s a more proactive measure you can take to ensure your space is best capitalized on. Airbnb has become one of the most popular lodging alternatives that the modern traveler chooses to escape the bleak and overly expensive hotel scene. The peer-to-peer rental marketplace is booming, and it’s about time you partook.
If you’re looking to make some extra dough and increase your mortgage or rent to salary ratio, listing your space on a vacation rental service like Airbnb is an excellent way to get your foot in the door. Covering everything from legality to housekeeping, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know before renting on Airbnb.
1. Can you legally host?
First and foremost, you must determine whether or not you can legally be an Airbnb host. Because local zoning and registration laws differ from state to state and even region to region, it’s important to be in the know about your local laws and regulation.
In addition to your local legal obligation, you may need to cover a few more bases. This is especially true if the space you want to list legally belongs to someone else or belongs to an HOA. Be sure to get all of the permissions and information you need to list with confidence and legal compliance.
2. Consider the inevitable ongoing costs
When you first dive into the short-term vacation rental game, you’ll quickly find out just how many start-up costs you’ll need to cover. The inevitable ongoing stream of essential consumables like soap, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper will need to be accounted for in addition to rising utility bills.
To save yourself the headache of heading to the store every other week, consider buying items in bulk. This will also allow you to save money. Do keep in mind that Airbnb allows you to charge cleaning fees to offset some of these costs, but if you’re looking to keep your rental prices attractive, this may not be the most viable option.
3. Some locales are busier for renters than others
If you’re like most aspiring hosts, you want to know the likelihood of your space being rented out. The more popular your city and the more central your location, the more likely it will be booked by travelers. While this isn’t always the case, it’s usually a good indicator of your expected success rates.
Do you live in one of the most booming U.S. cities for Airbnbs? Check out the list below to see if your city is among the most popular urban areas for rental hosts:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Las Vegas
- Washington D.C.
- New York City
4. Hire a property manager if you can’t do it yourself
If you’re renting out a summer home that’s a state over or across the country, it may be literally impossible to manage the property well for renters. By hiring a property manager, you can relinquish some of those essential in-person responsibilities and put your trust in someone who can do all of the hands-on work you can’t get to when caring for visitors and maintaining the space.
Property managers can do everything from arranging bookings and key exchanges to scheduling cleanings and unit restocking.
5. Your comfort levels
When hosting on Airbnb, you are quite literally inviting complete strangers into your home. There are few other cases where welcoming strangers in your house would be normal, so it’s fair to feel a bit uneasy about it. If you’re only renting part of your unit and plan on staying in your home while sharing with travelers, you’ll need to adjust your comfort levels to be okay sharing a wall with a total stranger.
If the idea of that alone makes you feel uncomfortable, renting out may not be the best decision for you.
Renting out on Airbnb can open up an exciting world of new wealth if you play your cards right. Between meeting new people and turning a pretty profit on your short-term rental efforts, there’s plenty of reward to be reaped when you become a renter!