Airbnb, originally named Air Bed in Breakfast, is a rental service platform for anyone who wants to look for a temporary abode on his/her travels. Bed and Breakfast services like Airbnb offer a plethora of activities for the visitors, such as guided trips into the city, seasonal recreations that are local to the place, and some excellent quiet alone time from the strictness of every day’s routine as a breather.
But apart from the benefits offered to the guest, the hosts of these places also have huge stakes in this business and in sharing their property. These homeowners who open their doors to guests share their space for the guests' relaxation, and ultimate comfort is also benefited from using this platform. So let's look into how Airbnb incentivizes the host to share their place with a stranger and all the added benefits that come with it.
The first step for any accommodation owner is to understand how to sign up for your Airbnb account to then afterward, list your property and its details on the platform.
The first step is to go to the Airbnb website and sign up using your Google account or email address. Add your date of birth and go through the terms and conditions which generally include and promote non-discrimination towards guests according to caste, race, creed, sexuality, and etc.
Listing your property
- List the type of property you want to rent out, which means specifying if it’s a house, a bungalow, apartment, etc.
- Include the exact location and the maximum number of guests you can take in.
- Add the exact address and attach a map pin on Google Maps so that guests can get the right directions through GPS navigation systems.
- List house rules and amenities and specify what kind of extra spaces around the place the guests can use.
How to set the perfect description?
The description, usually of a few lines, is the accommodation's best selling point and the differentiating factor from other competitive renting platforms around. Every guest, looking for a temporary place to detach from a redundant everyday life, focuses on whether his getaway abode has all the qualities he's looking for. The host should constantly update their description if there are any changes to keep potential guests updated on current offers and amenities.
Steps on how to update your description
- Set the primary scene of how your place looks from the outside and the inside.
- Attach pictures of the exterior as well as the rooms you are listing, bathrooms, or any extra space which the guest can use.
- Insert a few lines as property description.
- Confirm the guest requirements.
- Read through the $1 million host guarantee message, which includes coverage by the Airbnb platform in case of property damage.
- Specify if you are a new host or already existing.
- List exact pricing according to the number of days the guest wants to stay. Add discounts for first come first serve guests and other offers.
- Check the legality of renting a place in your particular area and go through the laws and regulations.
- Last but not least, and a very significant point at that, set up an identity verification system for the guest.
Once these steps are done, the host's place is successfully listed on the site for the guests to request to book. Let's move on to what happens when the guest is approved.
Once the host receives requests from potential guests, he/she can communicate directly with every guest to decide whether to approve or decline him. As the guest’s approval is up to the host, the host can read the reviews about a potential guest of his experiences with other hosts as the Airbnb website allows hosts to access reports from other hosts. By doing this, one can ensure that the potential guest is someone they can trust their place.
A guest and a host are given a time of 14 days to jot down a review on the Airbnb website. The system is a 5 point rating system which accesses criterions like
- The preciseness of the description listed by the host
- Services offered
- Value for money
- Additional benefits, if any.
How the guest confirms his booking?
Afterward, after approving a guest, the platform holds onto the payment until 24 hours after the guest checks in. This makes sure that if the guest has to cancel due to any circumstance, there's no hassle in it. The guest can pay via wire transfer, using PayPal, credit cards, or a direct bank deposit.
There is an added option called the "Host Early Pay" for bookings, specifically in the United States, where the payout is allowed 2 days after a confirmed booking. A minor fee is charged when choosing this option.
Payment options and dates
As much as these rental platforms are beneficial for the guests and make finding a temporary abode on their travels more comfortable, it also holds significant monetary benefits for the owners renting out their place.
In Airbnb, the process starts as soon as a booking is made. The host sets a base price, which is your default price if smart pricing is turned off. If there are no exceptional conditions, the price the guest has to pay is exactly this and is generally an average of the maximum and minimum amount the place can be set on.
Smart pricing, which is recommended, and you can turn it on and off accordingly so that your rental place's price remains competitive according to the demand. If the option is turned on, it gives you two criteria depending on your place's demand
- Low demand when the tourist destination isn’t in season
- High demand when more people are looking for a getaway place
The Airbnb site asks the host to set a minimum and a maximum price so that the minimum amount is set automatically when the market drops. Another scenario is that the highest price is set if the demand is increased, which can happen due to an influx of customers because of the festivity season.
Fees the host is charged
The consumer is charged five to 15 percent of the reservation subtotal, which is usually refundable for a limited time if the booking is made well in advance. The amount depends on various factors and is shown to the guests before they confirm their reservation on the checkout panel.
At the same time, Airbnb also takes out a 3 percent commission as guest servicing fees from the host for a visit, so the rest is the owner's to keep. The price can be set according to a night's stay or a week or even a whole month. Another option given to the guests is to avail the Experiences option, and then they are charged a 20% service fee from the hosts.
Payment plan corresponding to dates
After the guests confirm the booking, he pays an advance there and then and afterward, pays the remainder of the total fee before checking in. To avail this option, the guest has to agree to the terms and conditions of the Payment Plan, which allows the guests to pay after checking if they are eligible, which is related to what their payment process was. If one chooses this Payment plan, he would be notified during checkout and will occasionally send reminders of the next payment's schedule. On the due date, Airbnb would automatically charge you from the service you initially used to book. If the guest himself makes any modification in this plan, respective changes in due payments and schedule would be made accordingly by the Airbnb platform.
What is an Airbnb superhost?
In general terms, Superhosts are the best hosts that Airbnb has to offer. They are the hosts that provide exceptional services to the guests staying and have a distinguished position due to reaching a specific performance goal. Once you fit the Superhost criteria, a badge will appear on your profile, and it will help the guests identify you. The criteria is to have an overall good record on your account, and the Airbnb platform measures your previous 12-month progress and all the listings, reviews, etcetera. The host, however, doesn't need to have hosted for a year to qualify for it. The profiling activity is evaluated every quarter to ensure that it is up to par with the quality standards required to be met by a badge holding super host and under the terms and conditions.
- You completed a minimum of ten booking trips or three reservations that come to a total of 100 days. The situation in which you book lesser guests, but for a more extended period, the 3 reservations totaling 100 days makes up for that.
- Have a 90% or higher response rate to profile visitors; this means that you have to reply to 90% of the messages sent in the 24 hours, after which a potential guest asks the question. Keeping a mobile app, using an auto responder, or hiring an assistant to reply to queries is one way to achieve that.
- Have a 1% of lesser cancellation rate, which means 1 booking canceled per 100 confirmed; this is a requirement to ensure that once a booking is made, the host doesn’t cancel without a particular reason. In case there is something major, there is an extenuating circumstances policy by Airbnb.
- Have an average of 4.8 ratings according to the date the guest left a review analyzed in the past 365 days. A tip to get higher ratings is to write the description which exactly matches your listing and deliver accordingly, causing no hindrances for the guest and providing in every best way possible.
One doesn't need to apply for the Superhost status or do anything particular apart from providing a comfortable experience for the guests. The quarterly evaluation is conducted on the first date of January, April, July, and October. It is reevaluated whether a new host is to be given the super host status, or if necessary, taken away.
Rewards earned as a Superhost
Apart from the validation of being a super host, certain rewards are given by the Airbnb platform exclusive to super hosts.
- Higher visibility
This is a very major benefit as it can potentially increase bookings. Apart from giving a profile badge, the Airbnb platform promises to provide exclusive features to super hosts when a guest searches for rental accommodation. This means that your overall reach will increase, and more people will visit your profile, thus increasing bookings. Also, there is a search and filter feature called "super hosts only," which means that potential guests can search a place by filtering and thus getting only super host properties in their results.
- More earnings
With increased visibility from research, a directly proportional fact is increased bookings, which would bring higher income to the host and substantially increase revenue.
- Further rewards
There is a guaranteed referral boost given to the host once they promote the Airbnb platform to their friends and family. However, super hosts get an extra 20% further bonus on top of the referral bonus that is given to every host. Moreover, if a host can maintain his super host status for a year or more, he's given a $100 travel credit as a reward.
In Airbnb, there are three standards types of policy offers from flexible to strict, which the owner can choose accordingly. The circumstances in which each procedure is implemented is according to the hours after which the guest cancels. There are three central cancellation policies: flexible, moderate, and strict. Other subcategories are based solely on different circumstances such as super strict (for 30 days), super tight for 60 days, and long term. Let's talk about these in detail:
The flexible option is implemented when you can avail of free cancellation if you cancel your reservation 24 hours before checking in. If you cancel less than 24 hours before, the first night of your booking is non-refundable. Once after checking in, the guest decides to cut his trip short, then the nights not spent one day after canceling are entirely refunded.
For a complete refund of the rate per night and no cancellation charges, the guest has to cancel five days or 120 hours before the check-in time, as written on the email confirmation. If canceled after the 5day deadline, the first night is non-refundable; however, half of the cost of the rate per night of nights not spent is refunded.
This option is implemented if the guest cancels in 48 hours, 14 days before checking in. Afterward, if the guest cancels 7 days before check-in, 50% of the rate per night is refunded and the cleaning cost but not the compulsory service fee.
Which one do the guests prefer?
Most people prefer choosing the Flexible option before reserving a place for themselves because that makes the cancellation and booking process the most flexible and secure. On the other hand, this can bring both a probable advantage and disadvantage to the host. It increases the guest's chance of getting reserved. The occupancy rate maximizes but also is a profit loss. It gives extra flexibility to the guest to cancel whenever, and then the guest might face problems in looking for a replacement host to make up for the lost profit.
Other factors that make Airbnb a top rental platform
1. Popularity scope
Airbnb is popular in the sense that it has over 7 million listings in 191 countries throughout the world. It dominates the short term rental accommodation business as even people who can't rent out their entire place can rent a particular part or a few private rooms on Airbnb. Since the launch, Airbnb has entertained around 400 million guests, which means that it is a top priority for anyone looking for a place. However, due to a concentrated amount of listings, the competition can be higher, so the base price, description, and services have to be up to the mark so that the host can build a rapport with the clientele.
2. Experiences service
This is a particular feature that offers a plethora of local services that the host can introduce to the guest to increase the mingling and the overall adventure near the Airbnb location. These can range from art workshops to language learning classes, trips to native museums, and exposure to indigenous music, traditions, and history. This is a very appealing quality to both the hosts and the guests as the natives can educate and show off their culture, which would bring publicity to their place and allow the guests to learn more about the world and its people.
3. Pet policies
Airbnb offers a non-discriminatory policy for pets, let it be for pleasure or service/assistance animals. Their policy is mentioned here, which shines light upon how empathy and a comfortable environment for every guest should be appreciated to make it seem as homely as possible. This is what also gives bed and breakfasts an upper edge over hotels.
4. User Interface
Airbnb boasts a friendly user interface, making it easier for both the guests to list their property, manage pricing, guest reviews, occupancy, and booking. Stay in touch with the platforms' policies; the interface is specially designed keeping guests and hosts ease of use in consideration.
On an ending note, hosts can ensure a few factors that will build up his accommodation's rapport with the customers—building credibility by legitimizing your identity and making the process transparent, minimizing cancellations, adding competitive prices that the host would appreciate. Updating your profile, assuring quick responses, and, most of all, providing a fantastic experience to the host will make sure that people visit your destination again and again. You harbor a strong connection with them.
The guidelines and tips mentioned above will ensure that any new host, looking to rent out his place, has no difficulty starting. Knows all the benefits and impediments that come with it, and the guests also have a clear idea of which option to go for, which would best fit their requirements.