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Everything You Need to Know About Becoming an Airbnb Host

Ready to share your home with the world and earn extra income? Get started today with our guide to the basics of becoming an Airbnb host.

Whether you live on a catamaran or warm your boots by the fire in a log cabin, or own a home in a big city or charming town, chances are your space has the makings of a successful Airbnb venue. As of September 2020, the platform’s listings span more than 220 countries and every type of dwelling imaginable-and some of the most popular venues are also the most modest, proving you don’t need to own a luxury penthouse to hang out a shingle in this market.



Airbnb’s protection program supports hosts in the rare event of an incident. Most bookings include property damage and liability insurance of up to $1 million USD.

According to Airbnb’s global head of hosting, Catherine Powell, there’s no such thing as an ideal venue. She points out, "The key is to create a listing that’s an honest portrayal of your space-be it a rustic yurt or historic landmar-and maintain prompt, clear communication with guests."



Airbnb’s head of global hosting, Catherine Powell, says thoughtful gestures like fresh flowers or a bottle of wine make visitors feel welcome.

Seasoned hosts will attest: Listing a space on Airbnb is a great way to meet new people and enrich your social life. Or, if you’ve just built a home and feel proud to share it with the world, the platform makes it simple to open your doors to guests while earning extra income to offset any accrued building expenses-or you could pay off your mortgage faster, finally go to art school, or send junior to that prep academy.

Ready to take the leap? Airbnb insider Catherine Powell shares her tips for getting the most out of the hosting experience.

Do Some Research


Many cities have specific rules around length of stays or require special registration when it comes to home sharing. Powell recommends checking local regulations for short-term rentals in your neighborhood or building. Airbnb’s extensive online resource for hosts makes it simple to understand and navigate your region’s guidelines.



Airbnb offers hosts flexibility in terms of setting rates and availability. Hosts can also set house rules to ensure a great experience for all.

Prepare Your Home


Are basic amenities covered, such as sufficient lighting and storage for guests’ belongings? Are there soaps and other toiletries, bed linens, and towels? Be sure to stock up on these essentials, and then consider upping your game: "Adding that extra touch to a spaceขlike placing flowers on a table or leaving a bottle of wineขwill ensure an inviting welcome," says Powell.



While amenities are appreciated, they aren’t required for a memorable stay. According to Airbnb, one in four guests reviews in 2020 emphasized the host’s good communication.

Make It Irresistible


When it comes time to list your home, presentation mattersขbut don’t worry if your space isn’t a midcentury-modern gem. Even down-to-earth accommodations like this converted Airstream can book up months in advance when captured in great photography. That means shooting in natural light and from all angles (landscape orientation is best). Be sure to call out special details, like pools, gardens, soaking tubs, or parking.



Airbnb’s complete hosting guide covers topics such as crafting your listing to stand out, taking great photography of your space, and upgrading your interiors to be more guest friendly.



Price It Right


As of April 2021, the average annual earnings per host is an estimated $9,600. Despite the range of accommodations on the platform and different regional economies, deciding what to charge for your venue doesn’t have to be baffling. Powell suggests doing some market research in your area and consulting Airbnb’s guide to pricing strategies, which accounts for key factors such as reservation lead time, seasonality, and review history. Hosts can modify their venue rates at any time and choose how and when they would like to get paid.

Popular venues on the platform come in all shapes and sizesขfrom comfy daybeds to tree houses.

In addition to Airbnb’s free webinars and tutorial videos, the platform offers venue operators the ability to chat one-on-one with experienced hosts and Airbnb personnel.

"We understand the art of hosting and are here to help," says Powell. "Emerging from the pandemic, there’s pent-up desire for travel and gathering with loved ones. Our hosting program provides the right tools for people to successfully share their homes and meet the demand."

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