If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I am always on the lookout for ways to save money and, most importantly, make money! If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area where potential travellers or holiday goers need accommodation, renting out your spare room as an AirBnB could be a great way to bring in some extra cash.
Opening up your living space to Airbnb guests is not only a practical way to make some money, it can be a rewarding experience and introduce you to people from all over the world.
When you’re considering your own space, what you can offer and how to prepare, these tips might help:
Deep Clean Everything
This goes without saying really, but we’re saying it anyway. At home, it’s easy to overlook small things or get used to flaws to the point where we don’t notice them anymore. Examples could include grease spatters in the oven, scuffed skirting boards or discoloured carpet edges.
Things don’t need be brand new for Airbnb guests, but they do need to be spotless. In particular thoroughly clean bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens.
The options are to do the cleaning yourself or hire professionals to do it for you. With cleanliness, first impressions really do matter and you don’t get any second chances. This holds true whether you’re letting out your entire house while you’re away (or have a second property for Airbnb guests) or just your spare bedroom.
Look Twice at Your Furnishings
Lots of us live with a bit too much furniture or with items that don’t really fit in or serve a purpose. We work round them because they’re special in some way, have family history, or are valuable.
Take a fresh look at how your Airbnb guest space is organised and furnished, and be honest about whether you’d be comfortable if this was your holiday accommodation. At the same time, consider whether you want to make your special items available to guests who might not appreciate their personal value. Accidents happen even with the best of care.
If you need to make some practical compromises about furnishings, for your own peace of mind and for guests’ comfort, consider using storage units for items you need to move out. These places are usually conveniently located, and the storage rooms are varied in size so you don’t pay for more than you need. You can declutter and preserve your best furniture or anything that doesn’t fit, making your home guest-ready at the same time.
Stock up on Linens
You’ll need fresh, good quality sheets, duvets, pillows and towels for each guest. For towels, provide at least a bath towel, hand towel and a wash cloth for each guest. In between guest arrivals, you’ll need to wash and change all the bedding, so make sure you have a good supply including spares in case of accidents. It’s best to have supplies that are separate from your personal, family linens.
Gather Some Useful Information for Guests
Tourists to your location will appreciate some first-hand, local knowledge. Going the extra mile by providing a welcome pack of useful information will help guests enjoy their stay. Useful information can include:
- Local interest beauty spots or historical sites.
- Bus or train/tram times and taxi phone numbers.
- Museums, costs and opening times.
- Short day trips.
- Restaurant menus, or recommendations of good places to eat.
Provide information about your home, too. If you’re there to welcome guests, give them a guided tour and point out necessary items such as the washing machine or microwave – especially if they’re not in plain sight such as tucked away in a utility room or behind doors in a built-in kitchen.
Prepare some explanatory or instructional notes on how to use things, pointing out any quirks that you take for granted but which will confound guests. Examples here might include unconventional placing of light switches.
As you’re deciding which notes to leave, make a list of things that need fixing before guests arrive. Easily overlooked items include light bulbs that have blown or smoke alarms that need new batteries.
Final information to leave where guests will notice are the rules of the house.
- Can they smoke or vape?
- Are parties allowed?
- Can they bring pets?
There’s no need to labour the point, just let people know what you expect.
Prepare a Warm Welcome
As the day approaches for your first guest to arrive, decide how you’ll welcome them. Stock the fridge with basics, buy some flowers for the room, leave a bowl of fruit or a bottle of wine (don’t forget glasses) for guests to enjoy on their first night.
A final preparation is to keep a set of toiletries in reserve, just in case anyone has forgotten a toothbrush.
It may seem daunting at first, but if you plan ahead and take things slowly you can prepare a comfortable, cosy space that will have guests leaving rave reviews and coming back to stay with you again.
*This is a collaborative post
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