list your home in airbnb and vrbo

How to list your home on Airbnb & VRBO for extra cash?

If you ask me the best investment opportunity that works right now, I would say it is vacation rental. A new shared economy concept that is blowing up right now.

Last year my vacation rental made about $40k a year. In financial sense it is almost 100% ROI on the investment I made. 

This year it is heading down even better returns. So it is one of the best investment decisions I made last year. Let’s see how it works. 

If you have a spare room or second house which you don’t live in. Then you are potentially having a gold mine which is not discovered yet.

Renting out a spare home on Airbnb and VRBO is a great way for some extra cash. You just have to list your home fill out the details on Airbnb as the guest comes in, so will your cash.

So today, I will tell you how to extra cash using Airbnb. VRBO is the same concept, so once you know how Airbnb works you can do the same with another one. 

Create an Airbnb account

Open Airbnb webpage and sign up. It’s pretty straight-forward and easy.

Click here to signup for an Airbnb hosting.

Some quick tips about filling your profile

  • Fill the form and be as specific as you can. An incomplete profile gives a negative vibe for guest and usually guest turn down such barren profiles. Airbnb always reminds the user on what to include.
  • Original Details – Try to get verified soon and include a clear headshot of you. This will help confirm your identity and build trust among guests. You can verify yourself by adding a scanned passport (not made public) or connecting your mobile phone(not displayed publicly), or linking your social media handles such as Facebook or Google.
  • Set up your entry – Airbnb will force you through the entire process and you have to answer these following questions.
  • How much should I charge per night? Don’t worry, Airbnb will calculate this for you depending upon on the # of rooms, amenities, location, tourist season, prices of other listings near you, and whether you’ve had any previous guests. Once Airbnb calculates the price you can adjust it and change according to the dates, weekend and more.
    If you want, you can list the house on certain dates as well. You will be provided with a calendar where you can fill the number of dates for your rent. 
  • Listing out your amenities and space – While listing out your amenities or describing the space, keep yourself in the guest’s shoes and image your house vibe. Is it too open? Can someone eat in the balcony? Do you have a great collection of books?

Remember: Your description should be tempting so that they choose you over someone else and honest.

Some of Airbnb host amenities:

Provide honest descriptions:

Be as accurate as you can. Because you’re renting price depends on previous reviews as well. Inaccuracies will lead to lower reviews and lower payment. 

It’s easy to get great feedback! Be honest, mentions any turn-offs for guests in the descriptions. Don’t hide any major lead downs. Counter the negatives tactically and post some perks as well. 

How to address downfalls tactically?

Now, most of you might look down at your house and deemed it to be undesirable but trust me, there are lots of people who would pay to live in your house.

You just have to be honest in your description and guests would come in, expecting what they read.

Here are a few examples of how to deal with some downer:

  • Noisy neighborhood? Include this but also state the reason for. A prime location in the city or near a train station or airport. A busy nightlife which causes noises.
  • “Boring” residential area? No problem, some people like nice and quiet. Quickly list the local shops and cafes. If the home is far, you could list transport option with distance and time. To give the guests a realistic understanding of your location.
  • Small living space? Use words like cozy, intimate, minimalist to describe the space. If you have a vibrant neighborhood, you can quote “This is a small space with a bustling neighborhood at yourdoorstep”.
  • Older house? If so use words like charming,historical, retro, or cozy. This will help you tell the truth without soundingtoo boring and uninviting.
  • Pets? Some People are allergic to animals. Soit’s better to list them up front and their needs.

Provide perks

People often travel with fewer luggage, so it’s better if the host provides them with some in-house perks which add a sense of invitation and are low-cost investments for your earning.

Here are a few suggestions

Must Have’s

  • Internet
  • A kettle
  • Coffee & tea
  • Sugar & Creamer
  • Towels
  • Extra Linens
  • Iron

Bonus Perks

  • Toiletries (shampoo & conditioner, soap)
  • Basic breakfast (yogurt in fridge, juice, granola bars, muffins and/or bread)
  • Organic teas, hot cocoa, or fancy coffee
  • A list of your suggestion where to eat
  • A map of the city/town

These are low-cost investments but signs of a good host which will bring you good reviews and more money.

List all nearby attractions & activities

Make a list of all the fun spot around your house (try to include as many places as possible even the boring ones) also list the transport and walking details from your house.

  • Parks (national and local)
  • Walking trails
  • Popular neighborhoods/areas
  • City center
  • Shopping malls
  • Markets
  • Public transit
  • Grocery stores
  • Cafes
  • Restaurants
  • Tourist attractions
  • Look-outs/viewpoints

Post clear photos of your house 

The guests will make the final call after seeing the photos. Don’t post blur or unattractive images showing your home.

Here are quick tips for posting photos:

  • Clean your apartment (tidy up overstuffed shelves, clean the house using a vacuum cleaner, dress the bed with unwrinkled bedsheets and place the pillow in order)
  • Take photos in natural light on a sunny day and with open curtains.
  • Use Landscape or panorama to get a wider shot of the room and snap the most attractive aspects of the room such a large window space or beautiful balcony.
  • Also, add a few photos of the neighborhood to give the guests a feel about the place.  Even one photo of your street can help guests envision their visit.

Addressing ugly rooms

As I told before, be honest in your description and listing. If you have an ugly room, don’t omit photographing it. It will also result in bad reviews.  You need to add a bit of a activeness to the place by keeping a vase of flowers, colorful candles, or a vibrant shower curtain. Just to lighten up the mood.

Place with words while describing each room especially with potentially not-so-great rooms. If your space is small, call it “cozy” or “petite”. If it’s old and tired, dub it “vintage”, “retro” or “well-loved”. You are being honest without being overtly negative!

But what if someone’s steals or break something?

Airbnb’s host coverage insures up to $1,000,000 in damage or loss (this comes under the 3% Airbnb booking fee for guests and hosts covers). Even though, theft or damage rarely happens. But I would advise you to check previous reviews of your guest before accepting.

How to become an Airbnb Super host?

Being a super host on Airbnb is a step up from the normal host. It is a sign of recognition by Airbnb. It acts as a major attraction point for guests and increases your earning as well. This badge is achieved mostly by consistent booking and positive review.

Other criteria for becoming a Super host are:

  • High overall rating (4.8 stars overall or higher)
  • High response rate (90% or higher)
  • Active user (10+ stays per year)
  • Reliable (0 cancellations)

Airbnb reviews each of its hosts every 3 months on these criteria. Here’s a quick tip on how to become a SuperHost without any hiccups:

Keep a balanced acceptance rate and keep your calendar up-to-date

Your acceptance rate basically means the number of times you accepted a booking. Keep your calendar up-to-date so that you don’t cancel on aguest because of unavailability. You can obviously decline a guest, but the ratio is tracked in your profile and frequent refusal deters guests. 

Maintain a strong response rate

A response rate is based upon how frequently and quickly, a host replies to messages on Airbnb. Any guest wants a host which can be reachable for the most part.

But there is a glitch in the system. If the host doesn’thave the last message in a conversation, it results in a non-response to thelast message, bringing down your rate. So I would suggest, you end the conversation always with a simple “thanks!” or “great!” to counter the glitch.

Review your guests 

Airbnb allows both the host and guest to leave a review about each other (But you can’t see it for 14 days after it’s published). Leaving a review is a sign of a responsible and courteous host.

Any potential customer can read all of your reviews (Both which you have written and ones which are written about you), so be respectful and detailed.  As people will judge through them.

Leave an emergency contact for the guests

Always leave an emergency contact, who can deal with any issues, the guests may face. This number should be provided up front to the guest with “just in case”.

Any problem can arise from clogged sinks to internet flops. These things may happen, so you need someone to address them. Because such problem with an unreachable host’s is a nightmare and will definitely ruin your reviews.

Click here to signup for an Airbnb hosting.

List it on VRBO

Once you have listed your house on Airbnb, go ahead and do the same in VRBO as well. VRBO is a network of sites and combination of Airbnb and VRBO will get you a lot of bookings. 

Final thoughts

Renting a house on Airbnb is easy and simple (you get a $50 as a host if you use a referral link). Just follow the steps given above and trust me, you will extra cash without any hassle like me.

Like I said earlier this is one of the best investment opportunity. Either you can rent a room or you rent the entire house. 

I would even go and get a separate house and list it on these sites. It will not only pay for itself but you will make a ton of money too. 

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