Three Ideas for Making More Money with Airbnb

Many Airbnb guests are discovering what hoteliers already know – small conveniences add up to increased revenue. While you may not be able to command the extensive services of a Hilton or Marriott, the ideas these chains have perfected hold the key to making money with Airbnb.

Offer transportation assistance either yourself or by making it available to your guests. For instance, many travelers to your city will be flying in. Most hotel chains offer shuttle services to and from the airport – you can do this, as well. For a small fee, many Airbnb hosts will offer to pick up and drop off guests from the airport. As a host, this gives you a little bit of “face time” with your guest; as a guest, a small fee to have you delivered to your Airbnb and the convenience of being able to check in right from the airport is worth the extra bit.

If you live in a city with a high walkability or bikeability score, consider providing bikes for use. Enhancing your guest’s trip isn’t just good hosting – it’s a way of making money with Airbnb. A few dollars per day rental fee may not be much, but for guests who wish to enjoy your city like a local, bikes and a map of easy trails or roads with bike lanes would be a valuable service add-on. It doesn’t have to be bikes, either – enhancing our guest experience with small add-ons leads to making money with your Airbnb.

Expect Airbnb to assess a fee of 6 to 12 percent for these services. There are a few options for a “workaround” however. First, you can request payment through the Resolution Center, using the option for “Request payment for extra services.” You can also simply ask the guest to pay you in person for transportation or bike rental, skipping the fees from Airbnb yet still operating within their guidelines.

Charge for extra guests including pets. Not every hotel in your city will allow pets, nor will every Airbnb. If you’re able to accommodate pets, especially if you have a yard that’s dog-friendly or if you’re near a dog park or walking trails, make sure to highlight this in your listing. For just $10 to $20 per day, you can add a lot of value and set yourself apart from other listings in your area. Don’t neglect the pet at check-in, either. Consider having “guest bowls” available for food and water, in addition to a selection of pet treats. Make sure to have a waste scoop and bags prominently displayed near your guest accommodations, so you won’t have extra clean-up after the pets have departed.

Charging for extra people is typical in hotel chains, and can help you add value to your own Airbnb as well. For more than two guests, $10 per person per night is fairly standard throughout the industry. It’s not just increasing your chances of making money with Airbnb. This keeps your place from turning into a “party pad” and will also cover the additional cost for toiletries and utilities extra people will use. Although a good Airbnb photo will show that there isn’t room for many more guests, it’s still wise to appraise your bookings of both the extra fee for more people and how much space they can expect to share.

Airbnb doesn’t have an option for charging extra fees unless it’s an extra guest fee or a deep cleaning fee. For both the extra guests and the pets, you may use that extra guest fee feature, and simply disclose that in your listing, or in your communication with the guests.

Concierge services or packages bundled into your nightly rate are another way to boost your incremental revenue and make more money from your Airbnb listing. If you know that there is a popular concert or show in your city, consider offering tickets bundled into your nightly rate. Perhaps you’re an exceptionally gifted home cook? Offering a meal with the nightly rental is another way to add extra value and improve your ability to make money with Airbnb. There are a few ways you can add these services to your fee.

First, you can make a Special Offer when you receive a booking. For the initial inquiry, you simply add the cost of the additional services into the total price of the reservation. This can include cleaning fees and extra guest fees. If you are contacted with a reservation request, you need to decline the request and then make a special offer in the body of your response. Once the special offer is sent, Airbnb will add their guest service fee and applicable taxes if any.

Your other option is to add the charges in the resolution request module like you would for the transportation fees. Or, you can make an alteration request if the guest has already booked. There are more details on how to charge the rates to include amenities on the Airbnb help site.

Your limits to how you can enhance your guest experience while making money with Airbnb are only limited by your imagination and your willingness to put in the effort. The most successful Airbnb listings have a host who works the property like a business, borrowing tried and true Arirbnb secrets and best practices from hotels. Make sure to talk about the benefits your extra services will give a guest when you’re creating your updated listing, and watch the money roll in.

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