How to start on Airbnb and what do you need to know?

How to start on Airbnb and what do you need to know?

If you want to advertise your accommodation through the Airbnb platform, you must first make sure you have everything you need to be a successful host.

This site is specific because the focus is on giving guests a local experience of the place, making them feel at home and having everything they need for a relaxed stay. For that reason, it is important to define what kind of host you will be: will you be there for your guests or will you just hand over the keys to them. People who are there for their guests and are responsive to requests get a more privileged position which is reflected in better reviews, and thus in a better ranking on the site itself.

Airbnb will help you by being insured in case of damage (but not in case of any kind of damage, so inquire well in advance if you have any valuables in the apartment). Also, in case the guest does not come, the money will certainly be paid to you, if you have specified so in your issuance rules, and you can always refund the funds to the guest.

Transactions via Airbnb are made only via a payment card by Airbnb charging the guest a night, deducting their commission and sending you the net amount to the account you have set up. But it also protects your guests, because the money will not be paid to you until the guest is accommodated in the apartment. This reduces the possibility for the hosts to forget about the guest, to post fake pictures on the site and expect to make money from it, and the like.

How to stop overbooking (double reservations)?

Once you have become acquainted with your rights and obligations as a publisher, a listing is a next step. For this step, you need to have photos of the apartment in the best possible resolution, preferably taken by a professional photographer.

The accommodation should be equipped with all the basic things for life – as if you wanted to move and at that time think carefully about what you need to function comfortably. My advice is for the photos to be bright, wide shots and to show the equipment of the accommodation. After the photos, save a good description of the accommodation, local attractions, the area where the accommodation is, and most importantly – form the prices.

Airbnb prefers the instant booking option, so guests can automatically book your accommodation without first checking to see if it’s free. This is a problem for those who advertise on multiple sites because double bookings can easily occur if your calendar is not updated or if you happen to receive reservations from two sites for the same dates while you are awake or not on your device to update your calendar.

In that case, I recommend using the channel manager system, which will control all calendars for you and make sure that you have instant reservations everywhere without the possibility of double reservations.

If you don’t have an updated calendar, know that Airbnb has a strict cancellation policy, so cancellation can cost you up to $ 100 if you reach for that option! That is why it is very important that you have an up-to-date calendar and take care of your reservations, there is a channel manager your best partner.

Commission fee on Airbnb?

This site offers two options for charging a commission:

  1. An option that almost everyone goes for, in which Airbnb takes 3% commission from the host, and takes up to 20% commission (service fee) from the guest. When the guest looks at the price, this option does not show him that additional service fee, but when he reaches the last step for booking, he is also shown that option. In our experience, that commission per guest can be higher than 20%.
  2. Option followed by a smaller number of hosts, in which there is only one commission as on other booking sites. This commission is fixed at 14% and nothing is taken from the guest afterward, but everything is included in your price.

In order for a guest to make a reservation, there must be enough funds in the account, because when you book the desired accommodation, Airbnb automatically charges the funds. Depending on the policy you have set, in case the guest cancels, you are entitled to a certain percentage of funds, and in case of no-show, to the entire amount.

In the event that a guest arrives after 24 hours from check-in to your account, Airbnb pays the money remaining after deducting their commission. To which account do they pay? And there are two options for this:

  1. In the first option, you can set up your foreign currency account for foreign exchange inflows from abroad. I personally do not recommend this option because banks often charge fixed fees per transaction. Thus, on a reservation of € 40, the bank can take a € 15 commission and it is not worth it at all. In case you decide on this option, you must have an IBAN and SWIFT payment instructions. You enter this information in the payment setting. When Airbnb pays the money, that money goes to the interbank abroad, which deducts its transaction processing fee and places the money in a foreign currency account at your bank.
  2. This option is not often chosen by issuers, but it may be more advantageous about the first option – payment to Payoneer payment account and Mastercard card. Funds for users from Serbia are paid in dollars, and this is a payment institution located abroad. When you fill in all the information, you will open a free international account in Payoneer, and in 15 days you will receive a Mastercard card at your address, which you can use to withdraw these funds or pay in stores, online… The withdrawal fee is about 2 % plus the exchange rate if the banks have an additional charge because in Serbia you can only withdraw dinars. Either way, it pays off more for you either to withdraw more money at once or to use it predominantly for payment or when traveling. Plus it can also be useful as a savings account 🙂

A good review is worth more than a gold

When you have any questions for Airbnb it can be quite tricky and you often have to call directly to San Francisco, which can cost money or text messages to their first-time junior agents. customer and guest support line. The site is great, but if you have a lot of apartments, it can give you a headache if there is a problem, but it’s more or less the same as other reservation channels.

And finally, ask your guest to leave an honest but also good review so that future guests can see what to expect. Good reviews will help you rank better, which leads to more bookings, and this further leads to higher revenues and a greater choice of guests.

After a certain time has passed, if you managed to wait for a minimum of 10 trips or 3 long stays, and the percentage of response speed is above 90%, while your rating is above 4.8, and you have not had guest cancellations, you get the opportunity to become a Superhost. This title on Airbnb brings the benefits of getting more reservations, you enjoy a reputation among other hosts and among guests on the site.

In addition to the guest leaving a review for you, you must also leave it for the guest, because when one party makes a review, the other party cannot see it until they leave feedback themselves. This rating system is great because you can also see what kind of guests have booked your accommodation and whether they have caused problems for some past hosts.

And so – take care of your guests, arrange accommodation, install a channel manager and you will be ready to feel all the benefits that Airbnb offers!

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