A. Guest Requirements
Before your listing goes live, Airbnb like to ensure that hosts feel confident about every guest that arrives at their place. That’s why they require certain information from all guests before they’re able to book.
You begin by reviewing the Airbnb requirements that all guests must meet before they can book:
New guests must also acknowledge that each place is unique, that they will respect their host’s place, and that they will stay in touch with their host.
You also have the option of adding both/either of the following additional requirements:
- Government-issued ID submitted to Airbnb
- Recommendations by other hostsand having no negative reviews (new Airbnb guests who haven’t yet been reviewed will always need to send you a request to book)
These optional settings are intended to provide hosts with comfort and certainty around who they let into their homes and space. Keep in mind that more requirements can mean fewer reservations.
B. House Rules
In addition to Airbnb’s requirements, guests must agree to all your House Rules before they book.
Here you can let guests know if their trip is a right fit for your home. Airbnb provide some recommendations on common house rules. These include specifying whether:
- Your place is suitable for children (2-12 years)
- Your place is suitable for infants (under 2 years)
- Your place is suitable for pets
- Smoking is allowed
- Events or parties are allowed
You also have the option of adding any rules of your own too, such as quiet hours or no shoes in the house.
Hosts never have to host a reservation they’re uncomfortable with. If you’re ever uncomfortable with a reservation, you can cancel penalty-free before or during a trip. An example is if the guest makes it clear they’ll likely break one of the host’s house rules, like bringing a pet or smoking.
House rules are covered in greater detail here.
You are also provided with the opportunity of telling Airbnb any details guests must know about your home here. These include:
- Must climb stairs
- Potential for noise (and when it’s likely to take place)
- Pet(s) live on property
- No parking on property
- Some spaces are shared
- Amenity limitations (e.g. weak Wi-Fi or limited hot water)
- Surveillance or recording devices on property
- Weapons on property
- Dangerous animals on property
C. How Guests Will Book
Airbnb will then give you a summary of how guests will book with you. There is nothing you need to do here.
D. Successful Hosting Starts With an Accurate Calendar
Airbnb remind you that guests will be able to book available days, so you should keep your calendar up to date to avoid surprise reservations. They also remind you that if you cancel because your calendar is inaccurate, you’ll receive penalties and those dates will be blocked.
All that’s required here is ticking a check-box that says “Got it! I’ll keep my calendar up to date.”
Airbnb will ask you a few simple questions to help customize your calendar settings.
The first question Airbnb will ask you is have you rented out your place before? You can choose between: “I’m new to this” or “I have”.
The second question Airbnb will ask you is how often do you want to have guests? You can choose between: “Not sure yet”, “Part-time”, or “As often as possible”.
F. Availability Settings: Notice
You’re required to specify how much advance notice you would like before a booking. Your options are:
At least one day’s notice can help you plan for a guest’s arrival, but you might miss out on last-minute trips. If you choose Same Day, you also specify the exact hour that guests must book before.
You can also specify when guests must check-in by specifying a check-in window that includes:
- A “From” time: Any time between 8am – 1am the following day; and
- A “To” time: Any time between 9am – 2am the following day
You also have the option of making either (or both) ends of the check-in window flexible.
G. Availability Settings: Booking Window
You’re able to specify how far in advance a guest can book. Your options are:
H Availability Settings: Trip Length
You have the option of deciding how long guests can stay by setting a minimum and maximum trip length:
By default, there is no minimum or maximum trip length. Shorter trips can mean more bookings, but will require you to turnover your space more often.
It’s recommend that new hosts do not implement a minimum stay requirement when starting off on Airbnb. This will help build up your number of bookings as quickly as possible.
I. Calendar Sync
Here you have the option of automatically syncing your Airbnb calendar with other calendars that you may already be using to rent out your property. You can automatically sync any iCal calendar with your Airbnb calendar.
If you list your space on other websites, this prevents multiple guests from booking the same dates.
When your listing goes live, guests will see your calendar and be able to book available days.
Here you’re able to look over your monthly calendars and pre-block any days you already know you do not want to make your place available for bookings.
K. Price Settings
You have 2 options for deciding how you want to set your price:
Airbnb state that the “right price” can change as the number of searches for listings like yours goes up and down. They therefore recommend setting your price to adapt to demand. This is the default option unless you choose to fix your price.
Regardless of whichever pricing option you choose, you’ll still continue to get price tips from Airbnb to help you set prices for your listing.
If you chose ‘Price Adapts to Demand’…
You’ll be required to select a price range, with your price automatically adjusting within the range that you set. When there are fewer searches for listings like yours, a lower minimum price will be offered, which will help you get bookings.
You’re also required to set a default nightly price, which should reflect the space, amenities, and hospitality that you provide.
This base price is the price guests will see for reservations that are more than four months away (since Airbnb will provide a “dynamic” nightly price only for the upcoming next four months). Also, if you choose to turn Smart Pricing off, your nightly price will default to this figure.
When setting your base price, Airbnb will offer you a price tip which you’re able to accept or overwrite with your own default nightly price. The amount that Airbnb recommends is based on your listing’s qualities, nearby prices and demand. Price tip amounts increase for most hosts after the first booking.
Here you will also specify your relevant currency.
If you chose ‘Price is Fixed’…
Here too you are still required to specify a base nightly price and currency for your nightly rate. And here too, Airbnb will also offer a price tip which you’re able to accept or overwrite with your own figure.
You can always change your default nightly price at a later time in response to changes in demand.
For example, a higher price may help you earn more during busy travel seasons, while a lower price may get you more reservations when travel is slow.
Many hosts choose to start off with a lower default nightly price and raise it after earning a number of positive reviews. This helps them attract guests that may otherwise overlook them in preference for more established listings that may be perceived as more reliable or desirable.
Edits you make to your default nightly price will only apply to reservations booked after you make the changes. Changes do not apply to upcoming reservations that you have already accepted.
Determining your optimal nightly price is covered in greater detail here.
M. Welcome Offer
Airbnb provide you with the ability to give travelers extra reason to be the first to stay in your home by offering a 22% discount to the first 5 guests to book your place.
This will help attract your first guests, and help get your first reviews. Once you get 3 reviews, you’ll get a star rating in search results, which will help your listing stand out. New listings that get booked and reviewed in the first month appear more often in search results and get an average of 3.6x more bookings in their first 3 months.
Airbnb will let guests who are searching in your area know that they can save 22% if they book your home. This can help get more eyes on your listing, but only the first 5 guests who book will be eligible for the offer.The offer will be available to 5 guests. That way, you can get 3 reviews and your star rating. After 5 guests have claimed your offer, it won’t be valid anymore. If no one claims the offer, it’ll automatically expire after 79 days.
If you do not activate the welcome offer during setup, you will no longer be able to add a special welcome offer once you finish publishing your listing.
N. Length-of-stay prices
To encourage longer stays, some hosts set a weekly or monthly discount.
If you want your listing to appear in searches for reservations of 28 nights or more, you’ll need to set a monthly discount. Weekly discounts will apply to any reservation of 7 – 27 nights.
Travellers often search by price. To help increase your chances of getting weekly stays, try setting a discount. Most travellers staying longer than one month book listings with discounts greater than 25%.
Airbnb will offer a weekly and monthly discount price tip which you’re able to accept or overwrite with your own amounts.
O. Local Laws
As a final step, Airbnb will ensure that you’ve familiarized yourself with your local laws, as well as their Non-discrimination Policy.
Depending on your listing’s location, Airbnb may provide some general information on things such as local laws, taxes, rent regulation, zoning codes and business licences. Airbnb encourage hosts to consult a local lawyer or tax professional if they are unsure of anything.