Thinking about listing your house, apartment, guest room, garage, walk-in closet, or garden shed on Airbnb? There’s definitely a right way to make sure that your space is Airbnb ready… and a very, very wrong way. So if you’re hoping to make your Airbnb space an absolute Mecca for travelers then here’s what you need to do.
Blank Slate Your Space
The best thing you can do is to start out with a completely blank slate. Take a good, hard look at your potential Airbnb space. Take note of all the things you love about it. Now get rid of all of those things. Don’t worry! You’re not kicking them to the curb just yet (unless it’s a lava lamp – it’s time to let go of the lava lamp). It’s important to get down to the bare bones of your space so that you can decide what your guests will actually want and need. Airbnb guests will always prefer a more minimal, decluttered space than something that looks like the closet where you keep your holiday decorations. You’ll also want to remove any personal (and we do mean ‘personal’) hygiene products from the bathroom or wherever else you’ve squirreled them away.
Take Better Photos
Listing your space on Airbnb is like creating a Tinder profile for your home. If you want people to ‘swipe right’ then you’re going to want to show off all your best angles. The biggest Airbnb turnoff is when a listing has photos that look like they were taken by a forensics team documenting a crime scene. Smart phones make it so easy to take good photos that there’s no excuse for bad photos on your listing. The key to a great photo is to have as much light in your space as possible – you never want to have to use the flash setting. You’ll also want to take as many wide shots as possible. Back yourself into a corner, step into an adjacent room, or use the panoramic mode on your camera. This will help capture the full size of your space. Save the artsy photos for instagram.
When someone decides to stay in your Airbnb space they’re also deciding to take a small step into your world. We mentioned earlier that you should remove your personal items from the space, but that advice mainly relates to your embarrassing personal items. Now it’s time to add items to the space that give it its soul back. Things like artwork, books, Blu Rays, and vinyl records are great items to keep stocked for your guests. It gives them a taste of your style while also giving them something to enjoy during their stay. Artwork is a great way to dress up your space without being too overwhelmingly personal. Try to keep the number of cool items reasonable – there’s nothing less cool than desperation. Three vintage action figures? Cool! 300 vintage action figures? Now you’re Steve Carrell from ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’. See the difference?
Comfort Is King
The most important thing that your Airbnb space needs to offer is comfort. Having a cool looking space might get you a booking, but your guests are going to leave 1 star ratings if the bed feels like a rock. Comfort is always king. The problem is that people have wildly different ideas about the definition of comfort. The solution is to have lots of pillows, throw pillows, blankets, throw blankets, fresh towels – I could go on but I think you get the idea. The more options people have for comfort the happier they’ll be. This also means that you’ll want to satisfy their creature comforts (no, not like that you weirdo). Everyone needs their coffee or tea in the morning and their beer or wine (or both) at night. Stock your kitchen with these extra amenities and you’ll have some very comfortable guests.
Knowledge Is Power
Your Airbnb guests are going to be traveling from out of town to come stay at your place (unless they’re those cute couples who can afford to go on “staycations”). That means that they’re going to really appreciate a little bit of guidance from you, their host. Go above and beyond for your guests by creating a guidebook filled with restaurant recommendations, take-out menus, cool local attractions, directions for public transit, rules for your space, and the password to your Wi-Fi (because we all know that that’s the real MVP for your guests). Having all of this information at their fingertips will mean that you won’t have to field an endless array of questions every time you have guests stay at your place. It’s a real win-win.