If you've been thinking about investing in Airbnb, or are already an Airbnb host, you'll want to read on. These 5 tips will help you run a successful Airbnb business. Whether you're just starting out or looking for ways to improve your hosting strategy, these tips will help! So without further ado, let's get started.
I hope you really enjoy this information because it's going to be the cumulative of about five years of my life in just a few minutes. I get this question all the time. How are you managing successful Airbnbs? Whether it's clients, families or friends? They're wanting to get into the business. And I've really narrowed it down to these few bullet points. So make sure you get a piece of paper. Take a couple notes. I promise you this is going to get you to Airbnb, hopefully Superhost!
You've got to start with location. And here is where I would say dream a little bit. Guys like have some fun. My husband and I are always looking at places that we want to go to visit. That's a good start. That's a good indicator. If you yourself are wanting to go somewhere to stay. Start researching. That's typically when I pull up my Airbnb app and start looking at how many properties are in the area. What are they renting for a night? How often are they rented? Is this a place that tourists want to go? Combine that and look around that area for local accommodations, hotels, places like that. If there's not a ton of hotels, not a ton of accommodations, this is a place that you want to go and visit yourself. If so then, of course, there's probably going to be a need there for Airbnb.
A couple of mine I've got two Airbnbs in Big Bear, California. That's a great little mountain town. There are like no hotels in the area. Almost every other cabin is an Airbnb because you have to stay in a cabin almost to stay there. There's nowhere else to to live for the weekend. Besides that, we have another cabin in Duck Creek, Utah, sits right in between Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Tons of hiking, lots of outdoor activities. Not a ton of hotels. So these are just a couple examples of places that I wanted to go and visit. My husband wanted to go and visit. There wasn't a ton of accommodations. I look on the Airbnb app. Sure enough, there's a couple in the area, not a ton.
If I'm going to finance a property while I'm looking at the Airbnb, if I'm going to finance a property, let's say I want to put down 25% on it. So I'm going to carry a mortgage. If I can take that mortgage and break it down into a monthly amount, look at the calendar and go, Oh, I only have to rent this property out for seven to ten days a month to make my mortgage payment. That is a great location to be looking for an Airbnb.
Now that we've picked the location of your Airbnb, it's time to outfit that Airbnb. And I've got kind of a broad range of financials for you on this one because it's just going to depend. A few of the cabins that I currently own are two bedroom, one bath, two bedroom, two bath, three bedroom, two baths. So we're all looking at about 2000 square foot or less. So my numbers are going to be tailored to that. Of course, if you go buy a monstrosity of a cabin somewhere, your numbers may be a little bit different.
When you close on a deal, you are going to have to furnish an entire property. One thing that I love looking for, we're looking for real estate for an Airbnb is if the seller is open to negotiating on some furniture, even a few of the big pieces helps.
I closed on an Airbnb two years ago in Big Bear, California, in the middle of winter, January to be specific. Two foot of snow. But they were willing to sell that home with some of the furniture. I got a couch. I got all the beds, I got a coffee table. And that was huge for us not having to truck that one up and down a mountain and two through snow into the property.
Right now I've got about three Airbnb guys that I am managing myself too, in Big Bear, California, one in Duck Creek, Utah. I am also a full time mother. I am a wife to a firefighter. I'm a realtor and I'm an investor so I've got plenty on my plate and I'm still able to manage that. I hope that that lets you know that you two are able to do this from out of state.
It's completely, completely doable.
Once you find the location and once you select your property, that initial setup is going to take a lot of energy. So make sure to block off some days on the calendar to get your property set up. Maybe call in the forces, call in some friends, you've got furniture to set up. You have to think about décor. People are really wanting a space that's going to captivate them on their Airbnb app that's going to look fun in their photos that they get a post on Instagram. So you've got to find funky, stylish ways to do that in the Airbnb. The ability to use a fully stocked kitchen, I get the best reviews about my kitchens because my kitchens look just like my home kitchen. They have everything. Everybody's responses are constantly like, That's the most well-stocked kitchen I've ever stayed. And kitchen accessories that normally cost me about $1,000 just for plates, cups, utensils, blenders, toasters. The list really goes on when you start creating one furniture, linens, pillows, towels, all of the things that you're going to need to live, you're going to need to outfit your Airbnb with.
Currently, I would say that between my Airbnbs now, mind you, mine are about 2000 square feet or less. So I'm talking about a very specific size. If you buy a very large property, your number is going to be bigger. But for the size properties that I have, it typically takes me about $5000 to $10,000 to outfit an Airbnb!
If you're one of my friends or you follow me on Instagram, sometimes you'll even see me do a post. Hey, you just got a new Airbnb if anybody has a toaster they're getting rid of or a blender that they're getting rid of. It's kind of funny, but at the same time, those things add up to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in savings by taking somebody's second hand appliance. So keep that in mind.
I still hope that you're following along at this point, because I'm going to get into probably the most important piece of an Airbnb. The most important piece of an Airbnb we've talked about location. We've talked about outfitting it. Now we have to talk about the people that are going to help you maintain that property. You have to have a good cleaning staff. That's probably number one. And you're going to have to have a handyman of sorts, somebody that can come and fix a leaky toilet quick, quickly, or something of that nature. Occasionally, I need landscapers And in the case of one of my properties up in Utah, we need a snow removal person in the dead of winter because we've got a humongous driveway.
So depending on location, you may have some kind of those variables, but your cleaning staff is huge. I went through three cleaners before I found the one that really cleaned the property to my liking. And as a consumer, I want to come in and the bathrooms need to be clean. When I open the refrigerator, no food should be left in there.
The refrigerator should smell new and look new. These are things that are quick tip off. If this one is really being maintained, your cleaning staff is huge. Don't be afraid to pay good money. There are plenty of times that I actually pay my cleaning staff more than I charge. On Airbnb, for example, on my Utah cabin, I'm currently charging people $125 for a cleaning fee.
In reality, I'm actually paying my cleaning staff $140. That may seem like a lot, but again, this is a rural cabin. It's not easy to get two and they are phenomenal. They've been with me for years, and when I need them on those last minute turnovers and things like that, they are there. So I am okay with paying the 140 and paying that spread a little bit, then charging the client a kind of higher cleaning fee I'm okay.
I'm okay with paying that gap to get a better service. So cleaners, cleaners, cleaners. In the world of short term rentals, they actually say that cleanliness is close to godliness and that is the truth. So you've got to have a good cleaning system, you've got to have a good handyman. And in the case of needing some nuances like snow removal, you're going to need landscapers and people like that.
If you're planning on managing these properties yourself, you're going to want to have kind of group tech spreads that are consistently going and excellent communication with your cleaning staff. So I've got multiple cleaning staffs in different states, and I'm able to manage my Airbnb just fine because our communication is on point. I give them a monthly overview of the cleaning schedule and they also have access to my Airbnb app so they can take a look at it too.
If anything's been changed, cleaners and handymen, you're going to need the best of the best if you're going to survive in the Airbnb world.
And now I want to talk about what makes you unique what makes you the place that they want to return to. So I would say that when I've stayed at an Airbnb, if I may have mentioned let's talk about furry friends for a second.
If you're going to allow pets in your Airbnb, that's a huge one. I would say do it. I think that it's huge. People love their fur babies just like they do. They're real babies and they mean the world to them. When I have come into an Airbnb and I've brought in my dog many times, I will be greeted with a little treat bag or something for Nico, and I instantly feel spoiled. I feel like I'm special. I don't feel like I'm another turnover client for them. In the Airbnb, I'm unique so what makes you unique? I would say to look for something like handwritten thank you cards that your cleaning people can do. If it's somebody birthday, you're going to get information on the back end of the website that's going to tell you if all we're visiting with my family, it's my husband's 30th birthday. Great. Note that in the thank you card, note that we hope you have a great time at Wexford's retreat and we hope that your husband has a wonderful 30th birthday.
You pop in a bottle of champagne and they now feel special that not only is going to get you your five star review, hopefully because five star reviews in the world of Airbnb are huge, right?
But that may also get you return guests return clients and they're going to tell their friends, I've been in the business long enough now to not only have return guests, but I definitely am getting referrals from those brave turn guests. So as people are checking in, hey, just so you know, my sister stayed with you last winter. She had a great time.
That's what you want. You're not going to get those return guests if you're like the average Airbnb. So I would say after you've got it all set up, sit back and think about what it is that's going to make you unique to get your return clients and hopefully even referrals from your return clients. There have been times that I've created specific gift baskets and I've stashed them in closets.
So as my cleaning staff is turning over the property, they can take a pre-made gift basket, put it out and label a thank you card with the next person's on coming name in it. So nice to walk into a property and have your name written on something. Welcome Rexford family. Thank you for staying with us. It instantly makes somebody feel special and that's the reason why they've chosen to pay more for your Airbnb than the hotel down the street. So again, those those little unique things are just huge. I've done the gift baskets.
I currently have a little popcorn tin, so I've got a popcorn ten that sits there. It's got a laminated letter from me with my personal cell phone number. If they have any issues with the property, welcoming them to the cabin, reminding them that they're not dealing with the management company, that they're actually dealing with family owned and operated.
There's no managers here. Just Falisha Rexford. Right. And in that popcorn bin is also premade snacks, a couple sodas, a popcorn and a couple of Eminem's things of that nature. My cleaning staff has them. They're already completely made ready to go. They pull them, they put them in the popcorn bin. And again, that kind of gives that cabin, that unique entry that that wow factor when they walk in that make them feel special.
So my fifth and final takeaway for today would be excellent communication. Who doesn't like excellent communication in whatever it is in life, especially when you're trying to book and come up with a game plan for a vacation. If it's you and your family and you're wanting to stay somewhere, don't you want to know in advance address how to access the property? Local recommendations? I'm usually the one doing the research. If you can give that stuff to a guest up front, that's huge. Airbnb does time you with your responses, so they actually track how quickly you get back to each and every question and how good your communication is. On the flip side, on the consumer side, they will see
Falisha Rexford gets back to her clients. Within one hour. 99% of the time. That's truly a stat that I have on myself being a super host. So it's rating me.
And of course, we're all human sometimes I'm off with my children at the beach. I don't have service or what have you. I'm going to get back to your text message a little bit later, but in all reality, if you're trying to manage your own Airbnb yourself, you're going to need to know that that's not something you can put off.
They are actually going to time you on quick and timely responses and excellent communication besides people loving my fully stocked kitchens. The next thing that is always highlighted on my reviews is host had excellent communication, and that's something I truly, truly pride myself with. Remember, they are your clients, they are your top priority. They are the person that is renting out your hopefully investment property.
You are also profiting off of this. You owe them a service of excellent communication location, outfitting the space to make it look cute, finding a great cleaning staff and possibly a good handyman, making yourself unique and standing out with those little touches. And of course, excellent, excellent communication if you found this information useful, which I hope that you did, please, for myself and everybody else out there that wants to learn about Airbnb's hit the subscribe button below and head on over to any of my social profiles and drop a comment letting me know you found this useful. I love interreacting with all of you on my social profiles.
I can't wait to get the conversation going and I'm sure I will be seeing you as a super host soon.