How to have a successful Airbnb? If you’re looking to make money, renting out rooms to strangers is the way to go for this New Jersey couple. With their four-bedroom New Jersey house acquired in 2010, Vincent Brue and his wife Eve realized they had more room than they needed. Because they both work from home as video editors, they fell in love with the location, which is just 10 minutes from the beach and less than a mile from an oceanfront shopping and eating district.
Long-term residents occupied the Brues’ three unoccupied rooms rather than sit empty. However, after years of living with a rotating cast of housemates, the two decided to give Airbnb a go. They were able to increase their rental revenue from $15,000 to $30,000 after making the changeover.
‘After almost six years of longer-term rentals, we began Airbnb-ing the three spare bedrooms in our property in October 2016,’ said Vincent. “We found it to be much better financially and personally”. With us occupying the entire second floor, we’ve already made almost $90,000.
Here’s how the Brues have made money from an Airbnb side hustle, and what they recommend to others who want to do the same.
Learning from early mistakes
Vincent pointed out that becoming an Airbnb host might be a bit of a learning curve.
It’s crucial to be explicit to visitors about every aspect of the experience, including instructions to the property, check-in/check-out procedures, and house regulations. “We’ve learned a lot since we started”, he added.
As an example, visitors relying on ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft or unfamiliar with the area may become disoriented and impatient. Many GPS systems (including Google, Apple Maps, and Waze) were sending our guests to the erroneous location around the block from us, which caused confusion”, Vincent said.
Even if they have the correct location, they may be unclear about where to go because our house is set back from the street a little bit precisely where the road takes a severe turn, according to him. This is why we trained to offer extremely specific instructions to the house so that their stay gets off to a good start.
They also noticed that not all guests take the time to read the whole listing before making a reservation. Guests were taken aback — and occasionally horrified — when our large, affectionate dog Rocky came to meet them at the entrance, according to Vincent.
Because of this, the Superhosts, who have welcomed more than 500 guests since joining the website, included a photo of their dog alongside the phrase “puppy lovers a must” in their listing to help clear up any misconceptions “with a capital P to avoid any confusion.
The majority of our visitors adored Rocky, and we had a slew of bookings as a result, according to Vincent. The company of a dog was important to some of our guests who had their own pets at home and informed us that they particularly rented our place for that reason.
Turning a side hustle into a job
Even though the Brues are thrilled with their decision to become Airbnb hosts, Vincent stated that the best side hustles may require a substantial amount of time and effort depending on the season.
As Vincent mentioned, their busiest months are from May through September, when they have a lot of cleaning and washing to perform as well as yard and property maintenance to keep up with. This is followed by a significant amount of work spent on the app itself, such as updating the event calendar, creating nightly rates, answering questions from potential guests, ensuring that visitors who have already booked receive all the information they want, etc. A hotel guest is always on call when staying at a hotel, according to Vincent.
Because there is always something going on when people come, you can’t genuinely put your phone away or disconnect for an extended length of time, even if you are not formally “working”, he said.
When it’s high season, they spend between 20 and 30 hours a week working on their side company, while in the off-season they spend between five and ten hours each week. Up to this point, the Brues had done all of the work themselves.
They’ll be able to rent out their first house in its entirety now that they’ve recently purchased a smaller property. Because of the additional income, the hosts may decide to employ some help. Eventually, he plans to offer full-house summer rentals on a weekly or monthly basis and hire cleaning and landscaping workers to come in and take care of the property. “The two of us can’t manage to turn over the entire house in a short amount of time”.
Secrets of a successful Airbnb Superhost
If you’re going to take on a side gig, you want to be sure it’s worth your time and effort. These are the Brues’ top tips for being excellent Airbnb hosts and optimizing your earnings.
Set a fair price
One of the most important factors in deciding where to stay in the price per night. Since both you and your guests will benefit from charging an appropriate cost, you should do so.
Setting your pricing too high will make it less likely that you’ll be able to acquire bookings, and it will also put your visitors at risk of disappointment because they’ll anticipate so much more from the experience and will be less forgiving if they’re disappointed. You could receive more bookings if you set your pricing too cheap, but the work you have to put in might not be worth it.
How can you find the sweet spot in pricing? You’ll be able to figure out how much you should charge for your property by comparing it to similar listings on Airbnb and local hotels.
In the event that bookings begin to decline, Vincent said, “You may have set your pricing too high and need to lower it a bit.” ‘Price tips’ from Airbnb are available, but we have found that they are typically lower than the value of the additional information they provide.
Guests searching for a quick escape may be put off if an Airbnb requires a stay of more than one night. You’ll get more attention if you’re willing to be more flexible about the length of your stay.
It’s more work to change the rooms every day because of the one-night minimum, but there are many more bookings as a result, according to Vincent.
In the past, we also allowed same-day bookings and had a lot of business from travelers passing through or day visitors who elected to stay the night. However, because we no longer reside in that place, managing same-day appointments becomes more challenging.”
Accurately photographing your property
When it comes to drawing in visitors, having visually attractive photographs is essential. However, it is imperative that the property is depicted accurately. In order to capture the true character of each area, Vincent says, “we attempt to shoot photos that are indicative of the place”.
You don’t want your guests to be disappointed when they come to your event and find out that it’s smaller or not as lovely as they expected from the photographs.” We just stage the space, snap a picture, and provide it to you exactly as you perceive it. I’m not expecting anything bad”.
Start off on the right foot
Making guests feel welcome and at ease is an important part of being an excellent host. Make sure your guests have clear directions and easy-to-follow check-in instructions as a good first step.
Customers want to feel protected and welcomed inside their Airbnb regardless of whether they’re on vacation or on business, according to Vincent. Never fail to express yourself in a straightforward and courteous manner while remaining open to others’ ideas. It’s important for guests to get off to a good start, and this will lead to a much better review. There would be more bookings for you if you have a higher number of positive reviews”.
Go above and beyond
Guests love having a wide range of facilities at their disposal, even if they are renting a room through Airbnb. Clean bedding, towels, blankets, toiletries, and more await visitors at the Brues’ home.
Vincent said, “I try to go above and beyond as well”. “We always have fresh fruit, eggs, bread, butter, coffee, milk, and sometimes additional snacks available for our customers to enjoy. In addition to providing beach towels, chairs, and umbrellas, we also have board games, footballs, soccer balls, and basketballs for our guests to use”.
Offer information on local highlights
Even if guests have done their homework on the location, a local’s perspective is likely to be more valuable. As a result, the Brues offer suggestions for neighboring dining establishments, drinking establishments, retail establishments, and tourist sites.
Each room is equipped with a welcome packet that informs guests about the home and its regulations, as well as nearby attractions and activities they could like, according to Vincent.
In order to cater to the many interests of our guests from throughout the country and across the world, we make an effort to be as detailed as possible and provide a variety of alternatives.
Vet your guests
It’s a good idea to do some homework on potential guests before opening your doors to them. Brues advised checking out other Airbnb reviews to see what other visitors have to say. In the event that they don’t have any, ask them questions about themselves and their upcoming vacations. Vincent suggested not renting to them if you were unsure about it.
While renting to guests who may cause disturbances or damage to your home may be tempting, it’s not worth it because it will cost you money and disrupt your entire operation, he said. “The money might be tempting, but renting to guests who may disturb other guests, which will lead to bad reviews, or potentially do damage to your home, which will not only cost you money but disrupt the whole operation”, he said.
The Brues’ advice for would-be Airbnb hosts is to charge a reasonable fee, communicate openly with guests, and get positive ratings to increase their chances of getting additional reservations. For the foreseeable future, Vincent says the Brues will continue their side business. As a result, “We hope to keep meeting interesting people from all over the world and providing them with a comfortable and safe place to stay”.