Starting on Airbnb: A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Hosting in Auckland

Starting on Airbnb: A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Hosting in Auckland
Airbnb Advice
June 4, 2018

Joining the fast-growing community of Airbnb hosts can be an extremely rewarding experience; for your finances, for the travellers you host, and for the New Zealand economy. But, it can also be tough to get started. There are several things to consider before you begin advertising your listing, and more to keep in mind while operating your Airbnb, to get the most benefits from your efforts. The most important thing about being an Airbnb host is offering a good experience for your guests. Your rating will play a huge part in the quantity and quality of enquiries you receive and as a host, it’s crucial to be honest, to be hospitable and to make sure your property is suitable for guests. Your success depends on a positive outcome from each stay and this begins with great planning, before you publish your listing. This post will help you towards becoming a successful Airbnb host and generating revenue from your investment; from creating a listing to managing an Airbnb property.

Creating an Airbnb Host Listing

Auckland City is the Best Place for Airbnb

Without a doubt, the location of your Airbnb will have the greatest impact on the revenue you receive on your listing. Guests search for hosts based on the area they want to stay in. For New Zealand, this means most visitors are likely to be looking for properties in the Auckland City area. Investors considering the best location for their Airbnb property should focus their energy towards higher-end central Auckland apartments, as these are the most popular to guests. Auckland is performing outstandingly well on Airbnb as it consistently attracts visitors. From tourists in peak times to business travellers all year-round, this area is your best bet when on the hunt for a profitable Airbnb property investment.

Setting Up Your Airbnb Host Profile

Your profile is one of the most important aspects of your listings. A friendly picture, and a humorous and informative bio will go a long way. Use this space to introduce yourself and your property, while encouraging the type of people you’d like to host. Putting effort and personality into your bio and title will help you stand out amongst other listings.

Smile and Say “Book Me”

The first step in creating your Airbnb host profile is to take a profile picture. Your photo is your chance to show your potential guests what you’re all about. This is one of the first things guests will see. Your Airbnb profile picture is the best way to convey what you’re all about and what message you want to convey to guests. While the picture is important, don’t stress about it too much, nobody’s going to be judging you on your appearance when they book your property – it’s more about showing your personality. A casual, smiling, high-quality photo is the best way to attract your guests.

Capture Attention with High-Quality Property Photos

Once you’ve got your personal photos sorted, you can start collecting images of your property. For this photoshoot, you want to capture your place at its best, without misleading your guests. So, decorate your property accordingly. A successful Airbnb apartment is fully-furnished, tastefully dressed and comfortable - think simple and don’t overdo it. This doesn’t need to cost the earth either. A quick trip to Kmart can get your place looking great and keep you within budget. Items such as: alarm clocks, cutting boards, rugs, hair dryers and indoor plants, are basic yet effective in creating a livable space for guests to enjoy.After you’ve put the finishing touches on your interior decor, you can begin taking photos. If you’re not a skilled photographer, it’s better to enlist the help of a professional. Sleek and sophisticated photos will help you generate the attention you’re looking for. After getting some eye-grabbing pictures, you can edit them to look their best by adjusting lighting and exposure. With some clear, tasteful shots of your apartment on your listing, you’re well on your way to enticing guests.

Your Listing

This is your opportunity to market your property to potential guests. In this section, fill out the information people need to know about your property. How many bedrooms you have, how many bathrooms, how many people are suitable, and what facilities you have available. Include any information you think is relevant and keep it truthful- it’s better to pleasantly surprise your guests with more than they were expecting than to leave them disappointed. Exaggeration of your properties features will likely end in a bad review, hurting future opportunities.

Questions to answer in your listing:

  • The exact location of your property
  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • How many people you can accommodate
  • The available facilities
  • Nearby amenities
  • Property rules (pets, smoking, etc.)

Include Verified Identification

Identification is important because it reassures guests that you’re a real person and that they aren’t going to be scammed once they’ve booked a stay. Airbnb allows you to verify your contact information and to provide further identity confirmation with your driver’s license and passport. Don’t skip this process or you could miss out on a lot of business. Guests need to trust your profile before they make a booking.

References Matter

Airbnb is powered by references and trust. Reviews left by previous guests will inform your prospects on how enjoyable their stay was. Much as you will check the references of your potential guests before you let them stay, they will consider your references before making a booking. Five-star ratings are crucial to the success of your Airbnb, but, it doesn’t stop there. The best hosts are awarded the Superhost Status which is guaranteed to draw the highest-quality visitors. If your guests forget to leave a review after staying at your property, don’t be afraid to ask. A great review is your reward for all that effort put into creating an outstanding stay for your guests. References have a massive impact in swaying a guest’s decision on their host choice.

Being a Good Airbnb Host

Effective Communication with Guests

A key aspect of Airbnb is communicating with prospective guests. Reliable contact information should be made clear on your profile, so guests can easily reach you and ask any questions they may have about your property. Reply to your guests as soon as possible and be approachable and friendly. Airbnb takes into account how fast you are to respond to guest enquiries when considering where to rank your listing in searches, so be sure to stay up-to-date with any requests. Keeping communication open is essential for a pleasant and profitable Airbnb experience. This is your chance to lay out your ground-rules and ensure a seamless service.

Keep Your Property Clean and Tidy for All Guests

A bare minimum expectation of your Airbnb property is that it’s clean. You should be sure to perform a full and thorough clean before all guests arrive. This includes linen, bathrooms, utensils and any other facilities listed on your profile. Hiring a professional cleaner that you trust is a sure way to keep your apartment at a high-standard. Remember that your host reviews are what will attract or repel guests from your booking. Getting even one bad review on Airbnb can have serious consequences on your occupancy. This means you’ll have to lower your nightly rates for a while to get back into the swing of things.

Delight Your Guests with Amenities

All hosts should have the basic amenities available for every guest. Guests should be able to arrive at a host’s property without having to worry about whether or not there will be fresh linen, WiFi, toiletries, cleaning supplies or kitchen cutlery. This is also a host’s chance to go the extra mile for their guests. By adding extra luxuries to a home, you can take your listing up a notch. Amenities like free parking, Netflix, flowers and helpful guest guides can all make a guest’s stay extraordinary.

Plan for a Seamless Check-In and Check-Out

Before your first guest has booked their stay, you will need to work out your check-in procedure. Discuss the details beforehand and stick to the plan. First impressions matter and this is your primary opportunity to impress your guest and set the tone for their stay. Greet your guest at the specified time and place, introduce yourself and your property and show them around. It could be their first time in Auckland, so they may want some advice on getting around and sightseeing. This is where a well-thought-out Guest Guide will come in handy. You should also use this first meeting as a chance to explain the check-out process and to answer any other questions they may have.Naturally, some guests may have specific needs for check-in and check-out times. Some guests will have to arrive or leave late at night, and this can be difficult to work around. You should consider whether you’re able to cater for these kind of requirements, whether it be with a self check-in option or an on-call policy for yourself. If this isn't an option, you need to make this clear on your profile.

Go the Extra Mile with a Guest Guide

A guest guide or house manual is the perfect way to help your guests feel comfortable during their stay. Your guide can include information about your home such as:

  • The WiFi password
  • Pointers for navigating your home
  • Information about any gadgets or tech
  • Check-in and check-out information
  • Local recommendations (restaurants, bars, places to visit)
  • Emergency contact

Your guest guide is how you introduce your guests to your home and neighbourhood. Again, remember that it may be their first time in Auckland, so, put yourself in their shoes and include anything you would like to know if you were in their situation. Having a great guest guide is just another way you can succeed as a host on Airbnb.

Setting Appropriate Pricing

Airbnb’s pricing system allows you to set your own rates and to change them at any time. Pricing requires continuous consideration and to keep making the most of your investment, you need to be ready to make changes. Airbnb hosts should research the appropriate rates for their property to make informed choices. While you don’t want to be charging too much for your listing and getting too few bookings, you also don’t want to charge too little and waste potential income. Careful planning will ensure you’re on the mark with your rates.

Screen for Bad Guests

Property damage, mess and noise complaints are a big concern for many hosts. You want to be sure you’re hosting considerate guests that understand and stick to your rules. Airbnb places a lot of emphasis on the value of trust for both guests and hosts. The review feature allows you to easily assess whether a guest is a good fit for your property, much in the same way as they will assess whether you are the right host for them. Always take note of a guest’s ratings and be sure to read their reviews so you’re not taking any risks by inviting them to stay with you.

Airbnb Property Management

Starting out as an Airbnb host can be complicated. It’s a big commitment to make and it takes a lot of work to execute properly and get the great results everyone hopes for. This is where Zodiak Management comes in. Our Airbnb services can take care of everything. With experienced, professional Airbnb management, we can help you generate outstanding guest experiences, fantastic reviews and the revenue you expect from your investment property. With the Zodiak Management team facilitating your Airbnb hosting, you’ll receive an efficient, safe and fruitful experience. Contact us today to find out more information.

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