- 8 May, 2019
- Pricing, Listing your property on Airbnb and Booking, Payouts and taxes, Short term rental
Whether we are a guest or a host, we pay airbnb fees and commissions when we use theirs or any other paltform…
Are you preparing an apartment for Airbnb? Here’s what you can do in advance to impress your guests and to get 5-star reviews.
A dwelling that will be given short-term should be renovated. The best option is a major overhaul to make everything brand new. If you’re preparing an apartment for Airbnb, an old home in not very good condition will not sell well. After a short time, all of its shortcomings will be marked in the reviews, even if you manage to cover them well in the beginning.
The bathroom must be either entirely new or relatively new. It is mandatory to be super clean. It is quite understandable that some guests are very picky about the bathroom. The walls in the rooms should have been painted soon, with no traces. The floor must also be in very good condition. If it is a natural type wooden floor I advise being polished and varnished. This changes the look and feel of the entire apartment.
Consider that if you are preparing an apartment for Airbnb, flats that sell well in short-term rental sites have very clean and minimalist designs. Get rid of absolutely everything unnecessary that will not be used by the guests. Make it look modern. Scandinavian designs, such as IKEA or JYSK, are very well received. Think about adding something to make your apartment original and artistic. Especially Airbnb guests like to stay in apartments that offer personality and are artistic or different with something. This improves their overall experience and they leave long and explanatory reviews of how good they felt in your place. Home comfort and cosiness are things that are extremely important. Guests like to feel at home. This is one of the reasons to choose an apartment instead of a hotel. Make your home original, warm and cosy!
The furnishings must also be new or in very good condition without any traces of use if you are preparing an apartment for Airbnb and other platforms.
In the bedroom, you should have a bedroom with a size of at least 140 x 200 cm if you plan to accommodate two people. If you put two separate beds then many couples will not prefer your place. But you will attract two travellers who are not a couple and do not mind sleeping in the same room. In my opinion, such guests prefer separate rooms besides separate beds. My advice is to use bedrooms, not separate beds.
The upper sheets are better to be separate, ie. each guest has a separate blanket and pillow. Select colourful sheets. Whites are kept very hard and have to change often. Choosing colourful sheets will save you a cover on the bed, which guests crumble, dirty and it is hard to keep clean all the time. Use waterproof mattress protectors, as well as pillows protectors. Do not buy very expensive sheets. For short stays, guests are not so pretentious.
If possible, the bedroom should be so placed as the guests to be able to walk around it on both sides. If possible place plugs and night lamps on both sides. Some people like to read while their partner is sleeping. Everyone needs to be able to charge phones when sleeping. Another thing you need in the bedroom is a wardrobe. It does not need to be big, most guests will not use it.
The kitchenette doesn’t need to be big, but you must have a refrigerator, hot water, a hob, an extractor hood/absorber. A cooker is optional, but if you will rent the apartment long term at some point, you will need it. So better put it now. Dishwasher in small apartments is not needed, takes place and is hardly used. In the sink, you have to keep a sponge, a towel, a soap and a dish cleaner. I recommend that you use liquid soaps and keep a large amount in the staff only place (see below). You must have a kettle for water. The kitchen must have a place to dry dishes, a full set of utensils, a pan, a cutting board, water cups, coffee and wine cups, salt, vinegar, oil, pepper. Tea and coffee are recommended to have, albeit cheap ones. You can maintain spare ones in the staff only place.
You should have a high dining table and chairs. The same table can also work for Laptop Space.
The washing machine is optional. But if you do have it, you can attract guests who are long stays or are in the middle of a long trip and need to use a washing machine.
Air conditioning is not mandatory if the apartment is not hot during the summer. But it is advisable to have one. In winter, you can also use it for heating and save you money for heating.
If you do not have enough space to put some sofa and make a small living room don’t worry, it is optional. If you have it, of course, it’s a plus. What you must have is good internet and TV! Even on vacation people stay at home and watch TV. Some people work from home so they need reliable internet.
I strongly recommend blinds or thick curtains. Many guests sleep during the day and are sensitive to light.
I strongly recommend you to have a very small staff only room/closet/cabinet that you lock. This is where you will store sheets and towels for you to have at your disposal. You can also store spare soaps, lotions, sponge, WC blocks, brochures and more. This will be your little storage place where you will have everything available when you need it. Here you can also collect used sheets and towels if you have more sets and, for example, wash sheets once a week. This is, of course, a matter of organization. Most cleaning products you can leave either under the sink or in the staff only place. If they are under the sink available to guests, they will also be able to use them if they need it.
Other things you should leave at the disposal of the guests are a mop, a small broom or vacuum cleaner. Keep them in the bathroom, on the terrace or someplace else in the apartment according to the room you have. Sometimes guests will spill something. Most of them will clean it themselves if you have left them a broom and some cleaning products.
Meet your neighbours if you do not know them yet and explain to them what you are going to do. They will sooner or later find out that you are renting your apartment short-term. New and unknown people will enter the building several times a week. You may have neighbours who mind short-term renting, disagree, and offer you plenty of arguments about how you do not have the right to rent your home this way. Keep in mind that this activity is completely legal and all you have to do is register your apartment. In some cities around the world, there are some limitations. But overall short-term renting is legal.
If you plan to meet your guests when they check-in and check-out, you may omit this section.
If you are going to use a self-check-in method, you should also consider this before you start renting. The options are several: a pin code on the apartment lock, remote unlock with sim card, key box.
The first option, you will have to provide such a lock or separate panel for the apartment front door and for the building front door as well. You will need permission from your neighbours. And the easiest way to get it is to pay for the repair.
The second option is to unlock by phone by calling a SIM card that opens the door. This option is not exactly a self-check-in method since you have to wait on the guests to tell you they are in front of the door and then open it for them. The plus is that you know that guests have arrived.
The third option is to mount a key box outside the building, most often before the front door, which neighbours usually locked. The guest puts a pin code he has received from you, opens the box and takes the keys. When leaving, he does the same in reverse order. I personally use this method. The minus here is that the lock boxes sometimes get stuck and you might need to go fix it manually. But his happens super rare, don’t worry.
When preparing an apartment for Airbnb it is extremely important to hire a professional photographer to do photos of your apartment. Such a specialist has the necessary equipment and knowledge for taking pictures of apartments, houses, interiors, which is a very specific matter. Depending on the size of the apartment, the price varies, but it’s not something I advise you to skip. Photos are the first thing the potential guest sees when he searches for accommodation.
Airbnb offers shooting by their photographer. It was free a while ago. It’s now a paid service, but prices are quite acceptable. If you take pictures with their photographer, you will get an “Airbnb verified photo” tag on your photos, which is visible to guests when viewing your property. When you make such photos, the Airbnb platform should give you minimal better positioning in their search results. Keep in mind that Airbnb will own the right over those images even though you have paid them and you are not allowed to use them anywhere else.