How to Be an Airbnb Host: 14 Tips for Fast Success

We tracked down several Airbnb experts to explain how to become a host for Airbnb with minimal fuss and maximum profits. They quickly pointed out that managing a short-term rental business is not for everyone — or every property — but can be highly profitable.

Follow these host tips from the experts, and prepare to put in some goodold' fashioned hard work along the way.

“Before you become an Airbnb host, calculate whether the additional effort is worth the mone, compared to what you could earn if you rented out the same space on a long-term lease.” The sharp mind behind Afford Anything, Paula Pant, uses Airbnb and short-term hosting for some of her rental properties. But not all.

Run the Numbers

Price Against Hotels, Not Other Rentals

Al Williamson, arguably the top expert on Airbnb rentals in the country, urges a counterintuitive approach to pricing. “Your Airbnb pricing should have nothing to do with what you could charge for a long-term rental. Don't even price your nightly rates based on other nearby Airbnbs!"

For example, one study found that half of the Airbnb listings in New York City are illegal. San Francisco only allows people to list Airbnb units if they live in the property themselves at least 275 days per year on the other side of the country.

Know Your Local Laws

Approach Short-Term Rentals as a Complete Hospitality Business

What they should be doing is launching multi-pronged marketing campaigns. Registering with travel websites like, posting on Craigslist, leveraging their website and audience,and  even using hyper-targeted Facebook ads to reach extended-stay business travelers.

Buy used furniture, and make sure it's in good condition. Craigslist, Freecycle, garage sales, Goodwill, the Facebook Marketplace, and used furniture store are options.

Furnish Affordably (But Tastefully!)

Your listing photos are not the right place to show off your Photoshop skills. Your listing description is not the place to wax poetic. By all means, show off the property's strengths. Brag a little. But when it comes to your property's weaknesses, be honest.

Never Misrepresent the Property

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