Is Your Live-in or Investment Property Ready for Airbnb?
Airbnb (pronounced Air b-n-b) has taken the traveller’s world by storm, creating an online accommodation marketplace of unique homes where travellers can experience the truest way of living like a local. In their own words, they’ve created the foundation for ‘magical end-to-end trips, including where you stay, what you do and the people you meet’.
With its continuing threat to the hotel industry, Airbnb provides a fantastic product to both the traveller and the host. Is Airbnb right for you and your space?
Who can put their property on Airbnb?
Airbnb is growing hugely popular in Australia’s major cities, with an 87% rise in total listings in Australia over the past year, according to ABC. Not only does Airbnb provide a way for travellers to explore the world through the homes of locals, but it allows homeowners of all shapes, sizes and locations to monetise their space, and become ‘holiday entrepreneurs’.
You can rent out a room, part of a home, or an entire house on Airbnb, making it not just a way for property investors to profit. It allows people with extra space like a spare room or granny flat, or those who might not stay at their main home 24/7, to utilise their home and earn extra money. You may even be able to sublet if you are renting a property, though it’s imperative you check with your landlord and look through your tenancy contract.
Regulations apply to each city and country, so your listed property must adhere to these. Check with your local government about taxes, zoning rules, and building and housing standards before you list your property.
If you want consistent income from a tenant who stays months or years, Airbnb may not cut it due to many guests wanting short stays. If you want to utilise your space sporadically, or just gain some extra income when you can, it may be the right route to go down.
Airbnb prides itself on the level of standards and expectations on both sides. You might be ready to host Airbnb guests and gain an income, but is your home or investment property? To ensure your guests’ safety, you must take measures to minimise hazards, and put emergency procedures in place.
Hosting Airbnb guests comes with a high level of commitment – read more about responsible hosting in Australia.
How does Airbnb work for a Host?
Listing your space
List your space for free on Airbnb, making sure to accurately describe it, including pictures, and details of the location. List House Rules such as no pets or no smoking to keep control over your property.
Checking in your guests
You must provide a check-in guide, which explains how the guests get to the location, how they enter the property (if you will not be there to greet them), and any quirks of the property (for example, “pull the door handle up to start unlocking or locking the door”).
Hosting expectations – cleanliness and communication
It’s important to ensure that cleanliness is maintained between bookings. You don’t have to be locally available during your guests’ stay, but it’s important to nominate a local point of contact for cleaning or communication if you can’t do this yourself. You can include a cleaning fee with your listing to cover these costs and time.
As an Airbnb host, you are expected to support your guests throughout their stay, maintaining open communication for any questions, and providing helpful touches such as a map or brochures of places to visit during their trip – even the use of bikes – to make their stay a truly great experience.
When you accept a reservation, it doesn’t mean you’ll be paid there and then. Airbnb holds payment until 24 hours before check-in. Airbnb is paid 3% of the fee from your booking.
Every host and every listing automatically qualifies for property damage protection of up to 1 million USD. This does not take the place of home or renters insurance, so it could be logical to invest in this too.
The Airbnb site is simple to use, and they offer many tools and tips to help you on your journey as a host. If you want to rent out your property for short-stays and utilise the space you have or the time you’re not there, Airbnb may be a good way to earn some extra money.
We talk more about how to improve rental income from a property on this blog here.
At Mortgage House, we’re no strangers to the homeowner’s journey. It’s a long (but rewarding) one.
But don’t worry, we can help with that.
If you’re thinking of buying an investment property, you can contact us for information about the best options for you when it comes to your mortgage.