Turning your investment property into a vacation rental might seem like an easy way to make a few extra bucks but before you take the plunge it’s worth considering how much of your life will become consumed by your Airbnb.
Waiting to hand the key to guests who are running late. Answering dozens of emails each day from prospective guests. Washing the sheets. Vacuuming the carpets. Arranging for professional cleaners to come to your property. Repairs. Reviews. The list of your duties as an Airbnb host is endless and many hosts upload their property pics before really thinking about the commitment they are making when they list an apartment on Airbnb.
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How many hours?
Depending on the type of vacation rental you are running, you could be looking at spending 2-3 hours a day managing your property and between 5-8 hours on days where you have a change-over of guests. What takes so long, you ask? Here are some things that are likely to eat away the hours in your day…
Guest communication: When it comes to being a good host, Airbnb expects you to answer emails from guests in a timely manner – usually within a few hours but definitely within 24 hours. Depending on your profile settings, you are likely to receive enquiries from travellers with questions about your vacation rental or guests seeking approval for their stay. This often means taking the time to look at their profiles and read their reviews before accepting them. There’s also the communication involved once the booking has been made – like liaising about house rules and check-in times. If you plan on hosting several guests each week, you can see how this communication can become overwhelming.
Cleaning: Even if you decide to hire professional cleaners to save yourself a few hours of dusting and mopping – you will still have to let those cleaners into your vacation rental, give them directions as to what you want done, and manage their invoices/payments. For hosts who prefer to do the cleaning themselves, it’s worth noting that Airbnb guests have high standards when it comes to cleanliness. Doing a below-average job on the vacuuming could mean a bad review from an unimpressed guest.
Check-ins/outs: This might not sound like a very time-consuming part of running an Airbnb business but you have to remember that not all guests arrive when they say they will arrive. Some will call a few times asking for additional directions. Others won’t be able to follow the map that you provide. Check-ins can take up lots of your time.
Managing hiccups: Even the most experienced hosts will be called on by guests in relation to issues that arise during their stay – from broken hot water systems, to lost keys or noisy neighbours. In many ways, you need to be prepared to put your life on hold for your Airbnb. That means leaving a party or missing your child’s performance at school if your guest needs you.
There are ways to make your life easier as an Airbnb host – for example, by automating online communication as much as possible or by adding a co-host to your listing who can share some of the responsibility.
At the end of the day, if you want to avoid becoming a slave to your vacation rental ‘to do’ list, it’s worth considering a professional management company like GuestReady who can help with your Airbnb – allowing more hours each day for you to do the things you love. We are available London, Manchester, Edinburgh, to name a few cities.