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The Untold Truth of Being an Airbnb Host

I've been a host on several platforms for about 4 years. In that time, I've had the opportunity to meet some amazing guest. I honestly don't have any horror stories because people who book with us typically are business people who are coming into town to take care of business. We only use platforms like Airbnb as a resource.

With that being said, I truly believe platforms like Airbnb are great tools for the average person to make an additional stream of income. Learn more about hosting on Airbnb here. If you sign up with my link and become a host with your own space, I will give you an hour of complimentary consultation.

Starting an Airbnb or becoming a host can be a profitable venture for many people, but it's not without its challenges and considerations. Below I have listed known reasons why many struggle as an Airbnb Host.

"Feelin' relaxed, refreshed, and recharged."

Regulations and Legalities: Depending on your location, there might be strict regulations, zoning laws, and licensing requirements for short-term rentals. Navigating these legalities can be complex and time-consuming. Before you start your short term rental, I would suggest you check with municipalities to make certain you are in compliance.

Initial Investment: Setting up an Airbnb can be costly depending on how you go about it. There are cost associated with the start up like furnishing the property, cleaning supplies, amenities, and potentially renovating or updating the space to make it attractive to guests. This space should be comfortable and clean. This will almost certain assist you in jump starting your business. However, I recommend setting a budget and sticking to it. You don't have to go to the extreme starting out. If you are going to spend some money, make certain to get a comfortable bed. Lol!! A horrible night's sleep will cost you a good review.

Ongoing Expenses: Running an Airbnb comes with ongoing expenses such as utilities, maintenance, cleaning, insurance, property taxes, and possibly property management fees. These fees can add up. Especially if you don't have any guest. There's been times when it's been slow for us that we would not pay a utility bill or two until we had a guest. That's why it's so important that you plan in advance for slow days and don't be so quick to spend the money you make. In property management/Airbnb, you will have slow days.

Time Commitment: Hosting an Airbnb can be time-intensive. You need to respond to guest inquiries promptly, manage bookings, coordinate cleaning and maintenance, and ensure a seamless guest experience. This is also the difference between a great review and a bad one. The time commitment is totally manageable. Guest want to feel special and you can do that as a host by being absolutely responsive at all times. We've lost money sometimes by not accepting a booking fast enough before they've booked somewhere else. However, we do extensive background check because we want to make certain we get the right guest vs the wrong one.

Guest Management: Dealing with different guests can be challenging. You might encounter difficult guests, late-night check-ins, or unexpected issues that require your attention. I would rather lose money and have a piece of mind versus accept a bad guest. We've been blessed not to have many difficult guest with over 500 stays. We have had some late check in's, but we they haven't been too late that weren't available. There have been many unexpected issues. Too many to name, but we made certain to try to remedy the situation sooner vs later.

Property Wear and Tear: Short-term guests can put more wear and tear on your property compared to long-term tenants. Regular cleaning, maintenance, and occasional repairs might be necessary. Again., we've been fortunate to have had some great guest. We want people who will take care of our place like it's our home. However, it's best to make certain to buy durable furnishings so that you are not replacing often.

Income Variability: Airbnb income can be inconsistent. Depending on the season, local events, and market demand, you might experience periods of high occupancy followed by slower periods. I go back to planning. After you've been in the business a while, you will know when it's slow. For us it's always August - November. People are back at school and families have slowed down with work and vacation travel. Nevertheless, this is when you need to be strategic in your marketing efforts. Always be advertising. This never stops if you want to have consistent income.

Market Saturation: In popular tourist areas, there might be a high number of Airbnb listings, leading to increased competition and potentially driving down prices. So many people get into this business everyday. In every business you are going to have competition. My question to you, "what are you doing to make your place stand out"? There are too many "me too" host. Guest want an experience. They can go stay at a hotel and just get the minimum. Give them an experience and you won't have to worry about the competition.

Safety and Security Concerns: Hosting strangers in your property comes with inherent safety and security risks. You'll need to take measures to ensure your guests' safety and protect your property. If you screen well, you will have very little concerns as it relates to safety. If you stay in the home you host, it's best to take every safety measure and of course screen and always have a back up plan. We've been very fortunate to have great safety measure with consistency.

Privacy Concerns: As a host, you'll need to balance providing guests with privacy while also ensuring that you're meeting legal requirements and maintaining your property. Privacy can be a big deal. We've had entertainers and athletes stay with us. Some have registered under alias names and others just ask that we keep their stay private. And we are certainly okay with that. Our goal is to provide top notch, secure guest experiences.

Changing Regulations: Airbnb regulations can change over time. What's allowed today might be restricted in the future, potentially affecting your ability to continue hosting. This is why it's important to go to board meetings in the communities you have properties and always get to know your neighbors. Bad neighbors can kill your business and cause many problems.

Guest Reviews: Guest reviews can impact your reputation as a host and influence your future bookings. Negative reviews can be discouraging and may affect your income. The goal is to always deliver 5 Star customer service. If your rating falls below 4.87, Airbnb will remove you from Super Host status. Some guest pay attention to this and others don't. But nevertheless, providing excellent customer service will always keep guest coming back.

Income Tax and Reporting: Earnings from Airbnb hosting are usually subject to income tax, and you'll need to keep accurate records and report your earnings appropriately. Let's just stay if you make more that $600 a year doing this, you have a business and Uncle Sam expects you to report it. Staying organized with income made and expenses out is a necessity in this business.

Unpredictable Guests: Guests might not always follow house rules, and you might encounter challenging situations that require your intervention. Following the house rules need to be agreed upon prior to accepting the booking. This is mandatory for us. We want to make certain we protect our space and our neighbors at all times. This is why screening is important before you accept a booking.

Physical and Emotional Energy: Hosting can be emotionally and physically demanding. It requires a level of hospitality and customer service that might not be suitable for everyone. You must enjoy what you do. If not, hire someone who does enjoy this type of business. But don't lose total sight of the business that you don't know what's going on.

Before diving into hosting an Airbnb or any type of property management, thoroughly research the legal requirements in your area, assess your financial situation, and consider whether you have the time, resources, and willingness to manage the challenges that come with short-term rentals. It's important to weigh the potential benefits against the potential drawbacks to make an informed decision. Nevertheless, it's never too late to start, too much competition or a lack of money in this business. If you are serious about making this additional stream of income, feel free to reach out to me and let's talk. DM on Instagram and let's get started today. Don't forget to share this resource with someone else. Blessings and happy hosting!

If traveling through Missouri or Georgia, be our guest at Le Luxe One Accommodations.


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