5 Critical Airbnb Hosting Tips Before Starting Your First Airbnb

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5 Critical Airbnb Hosting Tips First-Time Hosts Need to Know

These Airbnb hosting tips will tell you what to expect so that you can be prepared when (not if) things go wrong.

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I'm Sabrina, an Airbnb host coach who knows starting your own short-term rental biz can quickly get waaaay too complicated. But it doesn't have to be. I help first-time Airbnb hosts like you go from overwhelmed 
to "Yes!! Another  booking!"
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As you get ready to become an Airbnb host, you’ve got to know how you can be as successful as possible.

You need to know what to expect so that you can be prepared when (not if) things go wrong. The Airbnb hosting tips in this post will help you do just that. This is a no-nonsense and transparent glimpse into Airbnb hosting.

After reading this post, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of some of the most challenging aspects of hosting on Airbnb and how to successfully navigate them.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure policy here.

5 Critical Airbnb Hosting Tips First-Time Hosts Need to Know

#1: Do maintain control over your Airbnb pricing

As an Airbnb host, one of the hardest (and most time-consuming) things you’ll do is determine your Airbnb pricing.

The good news is that there are several Airbnb pricing tools that do the hard work for you.

The bad news is that, if you solely rely on these tools, you’ll probably lose out on thousands of dollars in revenue.

I’ve tested both Airbnb’s built-in pricing tool, Smart Pricing, and third-party pricing tools.

Both of them were a total disaster.

With Smart Pricing, my nightly rate was so low that I missed $10k in forecasted revenue.

With an automated third-party pricing tool, my pricing was so high that I missed bookings altogether.

After being majorly frustrated by these automated pricing tools, I finally started using AirDNA, a forecasting tool. What I love about AirDNA is that I maintain control over my own pricing.

With AirDNA, Airbnb hosts get TONS of data – including nightly rate suggestions – that inform (not dictate) your Airbnb pricing. Then, you decide when your nightly rate should be adjusted and by how much.

The best part is, you can try AirDNA for yourself by using its totally FREE revenue forecasting feature.

With an AirDNA subscription, you’ll get competitive data you wouldn’t have access to on your own, like average occupancy rates, booking lead times, and seasonality in your area.

Get all the details on how AirDNA helps short-term rental hosts optimize their nightly rate and maximize their revenue in this blog post.

#2: Don’t leave anything at your Airbnb you wouldn’t mind losing

Unfortunately, more things at your Airbnb are likely to break or go missing than you’d expect. The truth is, you have to be emotionally removed from your Airbnb property and all the items within it.

In my first six months Airbnb hosting, I found that a keyboard, mouse, and HDMI cable all vanished. (And, for some strange reason, a Swiffer and three extension cords went missing, too.)

One common misconception is that your cleaning crew will report these things to you right away.

If YOU were cleaning multiple strangers’ properties a day, would YOU remember that there was a keyboard on that desk last time you were there (which could have been weeks ago)?

I sure wouldn’t.

When items like these go missing, it’s unlikely your cleaning crew will report them to you. Their job is to clean as thoroughly and quickly as possible. Let them focus on what they do best.

Rather than expect your cleaning crew to report missing items to you, I recommend not leaving anything you don’t mind replacing at your Airbnb. Then, there’s nothing to worry about!

In addition to things going missing, many items will get damaged and need to be replaced, like your water glasses and bedsheets.

So, expect to replace easily damaged items throughout the year. Buy high-quality yet inexpensive versions of these items.

Better yet, use this room-by-room checklist so you don’t have to spend hours finding every item yourself. I did the hard work for you by curating over 100 Airbnb essentials.

Airbnb Hosting Tip: Add a small increase to your standard cleaning fee to cover the cost of replacing items throughout the year. That way, when an item goes missing or gets damaged, it’s not stressful! It’s just a part of hosting.

Getting ready to start your first Airbnb?

#3: Do proactive property maintenance every 3-6 months

Regularly checking on your property is an absolute must, especially during your first year of hosting.

You’ll be surprised by how many things need your attention like loose towel racks, broken closet doors, and broken blinds – just to name a few.

Guests will tell you about some of these issues (hopefully in a private message and not in a public review) but many of them you won’t find out about until you visit the property yourself.

So, it’s crucial that you address these issues before they become a problem for guests.

Proactive property maintenance will help you get more 5-star reviews, glowing written reviews, and Superhost status as quickly as possible.

It’s so important that I created this step-by-step guide to property maintenance. Honestly, a thorough property maintenance check is A LOT of work. This guide will make it easier and faster while ensuring you don’t miss anything crucial.

#4: Don’t let guests stay one night on weekends and holidays

When I first opened my Airbnb, I didn’t require a two-night stay on weekends or holidays.

And it was a nightmare.

The second guest I ever hosted stayed for just one Saturday night; trashed my brand-new, beautiful property; and disrupted my neighbors (who were then very upset with me).

It was awful. It caused hundreds of dollars in damage and countless hours (not to mention frustration) resolving the issues they caused.

Unfortunately, this is just the reality of Airbnb hosting. It’s bound to happen.

But it’s way more likely to happen with guests that stay for less than 24 hours on weekends and holidays because they’re more likely to book an Airbnb just to party.

Fortunately for us hosts, the fix is easy. Set higher minimum nightly stay requirements on weekends and holidays.

You can read all the details about what happened with my nightmare guest in this blog post.

#5: Do find your point of difference

One thing that can really help you maximize your Airbnb revenue is understanding your point of difference from your competitors.

Put yourself in the shoes of your potential guests. When they’re deciding where to stay for their vacation, they want to get the best Airbnb they can. And they want an Airbnb they know will suit all their needs.

So, do some competitive research. Search for comparable Airbnbs in your area. What do they highlight in their listing photos? What amenities do they have? If you were a guest, what would make you pick your property over theirs?

Maybe your Airbnb is updated and modern. Maybe you offer an exclusive amenity no one else has. Maybe you provide toys and books for young kids.

Whatever it is, make sure to highlight what makes your place special on your Airbnb listing. Show it prominently in your Airbnb listing photos, captions, and listing description.

Get 10 tips on creating an Airbnb listing that gets more bookings in this blog post.

Takeaway

That’s it! All five crucial Airbnb hosting tips you need to know before hosting on Airbnb.

I hope this post helps you prepare as much as possible so your business is a success right away.

Just know that there will always be more to learn! Embrace it. It’s all part of the journey.

Happy hosting!

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5 Critical Airbnb Hosting Tips First-Time Hosts Need to Know

Have any other Airbnb hosting tips? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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I made $85,000+ my first year Airbnb hosting. Now, I’m sharing all my Airbnb hosting tips so you can build your own insanely profitable business.

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I'm Sabrina,
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