Airbnb guests are now a major driver of the Australian tourism industry and contributed over $1.6bn to the country’s GDP in 2015-16, according to a Deloitte Access Economics report.
Across Australia, property owners rely on income generated from hosting on Airbnb to meet their living expenses, pay down debts, and boost savings. With many Aussies feeling the pinch following the holiday season, many are turning to short-term rental sites to generate extra cash.
However, recent media reports about destructive and unscrupulous guests have highlighted the risks that could befall property owners who open their doors to short-term tenants.
MadeComfy offers the following tips for those thinking of listing their property on short-term rental sites:
1. Screen your guests properly.
Hosts need to understand the purpose of the visit, as well as the make-up of the group. Don’t approve large groups if they’re unsuited to your home, check out previous guest reviews, and use photo IDs for verification.
2. Make sure your STR (short-term rental) insurance is in order.
Aside from getting STR insurance, understand the difference between valid and invalid claims. Broken windows, holes in the walls, and damaged furniture may constitute valid claims, whereas broken appliances due to normal wear and tear may not.
3. Present your listing honestly.
While guests expect you to highlight the best features of your property, don’t stretch the truth. Nothing guarantees complaints and bad reviews faster than overpriced accommodations that look nothing like the listings.
You should also set your pricing appropriately. “Understand the supply and demand of Airbnb listings in your area for the time you are renting out to set a right price that maximises your returns and occupancy,” MadeComfy said.
4. Pay attention to detail.
Strive to make your guests’ stay as comfortable as possible. Do you have a coffee machine? Make sure there are enough pods. Is there a TV and air-conditioner? Make sure the remote controls have batteries.
“Great guest experience means great reviews for your Airbnb listing, and that brings more future bookings and enables you to charge a premium,” Airbnb said.
5. Invest the time and commitment.
Your property cannot function on autopilot mode. Unless you can commit the right amount of time and energy to running your Airbnb property, it’s better to consider other ventures. Alternatively, you could get in touch with a reputable property management service to manage the whole process for you.
According to Quirin Schwaighofer, co-founder of MadeComfy, a short-term property management specialist, potential hosts who’re thinking of joining Airbnb should understand what’s involved before listing their property online.
“According to Airbnb, the average income for Australian hosts is around $5000 a year, which can make quite the impact on the hip pocket,” he said. “But it’s really important for property owners to read the fine print and understand their responsibilities before listing a property on a short-term rental site such as Airbnb or Stayz."
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