The news that a property could be earning over €100,000 on Airbnb is probably encouraging people to think about doing it themselves.
Before you sign up your spare bedroom, think about what you want to get out of it. Are you looking to make a few extra euros by hosting the occasional guest, or are you looking for a stable source of a secondary income? Are you prepared to share your living space with other people? Or are you thinking of it as a serious business that could replace your main source of income?
(1) Make sure your property is eligible to rent out
If you own your property then there are few reasons not to take in guests or rent it on Airbnb. If you are in rented accommodation, you must get permission from your landlord to sublet. Some management companies of apartment blocks will not allow any short-term rentals, so check before you begin.
(2) Do your sums on potential income
If your rental is in an out of the way place you are unlikely to be full all the time. Estimate how much your property is likely to be booked. You can do this by looking at similar properties in the same area. The advance calendar will show how many bookings they have. Click on Book to see dates available or booked. Also it is a good way to assess pricing. According to AirDNA a US-based company that analyses the global market. The average daily rate for an Airbnb letting in Dublin is €154 compared with €108 for a hotel room
(3) Make sure you have time to be a landlord
Short-term lets are time consuming. How are you going to cope with changeovers, meeting and greeting people and handing over keys etc. Should you have a minimum number of nights? If you rent for two- and three-nights stays, that means cleaning and fresh laundry every few days. There are agencies that will handle all your bookings, cleaning, meet and greet and emergencies. They are Air Sorted, Homeconcierge and more.
(4) And time for the admin
Airbnb is a demanding platform. You must answer queries within 24 hours or you will be penalised by being offered fewer bookings. If you cancel bookings you will also be penalised and your rental will be blocked for the period you cancelled. If you continue to cancel there can be a charge. Consider carefully about using Instant Booking, particularly if you have more than one property. People will often have questions and all queries should be dealt with on the Airbnb site.
(5) Think hotel standards
Look at your property with objective eyes and see the flaws. What you might think of an idiosyncrasy, ie the bed creaks, could drive someone else mad . Repair, replace and renew where necessary. Think hotel standards, because that is what people are paying for. If you are moving out for guests try to put all your personal stuff away.
(6) Get your paperwork in order
Things like insurance must be considered. You should have content and public liability insurance in place if you are renting short term. If you are renting more than a few rooms, you will have to comply with fire standards and city council regulations on multi-unit properties.
(7) VAT and registration may apply.
If your expected annual income is likely to exceed €37.500 you may be liable for VAT and will need to be registered.
(8) Remember the neighbours
If you are in an apartment building where noise is an issue, consider carefully the type of people you allow to stay. Three-bed apartments are likely to attract bigger groups and the potential for noise is higher. Read reviews on the site, that will give you an indication of what guests are like.
(9) Now start applying
When you are ready you will need an official form of identification, passport, driving license, a photograph of yourself. Sign up to the Airbnb site and register.
(10) Adding your property
The process of adding your property to Airbnb is quite easy and intuitive but will take time. Go to airbnb.com and under "list my space" click to begin. Have your photographs ready to upload. You will be guided through the process. Make sure you have really good pictures, bright clear ones sell a property.
Add in some details about yourself, give suggestions of things to do in your area. Tick all the boxes for what is available for visitors, if there is a full cooker, an iron and board, whether you supply linens and towels, toilet rolls etc. Any little extras that make life easier for visitors will guarantee you bookings. Airbnb charges 3 per cent to hosts and 6-12 per cent to guests for bookings.