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Much like Uber and Lyft encouraging us to share our cars (and our rides), AirBnB has become an increasingly popular way for people to make money by renting out a space they’re not using to travelers and other guests, often at better rats (and higher quality) than a nearby hotel stay.

Maybe you have a spare bedroom because the kids are at college, or you finally renovated that guest room nobody ever used, and you’re looking for a way to make a little extra money. Using a room as an AirBnB is a great way…but where do you start with getting it ready for your guests? We’re glad you asked:

 

  • Fix any obvious hazards: Both inside the room you’re renting and any space that will be visible to your guests (entryways, hallways, bathrooms, etc), make sure to repair any visible, obvious damage that could prove harmful. Exposed wiring, loose steps, leaky pipes, and the like.
  • Safeguard valuables: If the room you’re renting is inside your home (as opposed to a vacation space or apartment you’re not currently using), try to keep your valuables and personal possessions safe. Odds are your guests are just going to be some nice twenty somethings on vacation, but it’s better safe than sorry—keep expensive jewelry, family heirlooms, and similar items in a locked safe in an area of the house they can’t access (or in a safe deposit box in a pinch).
  • Declutter for company: Think about your AirBnB customers the way you’d think of a houseguest: you’re going to want to tidy up a little bit first—especially in the room they’ll be staying in, but it’s good to keep in mind for all areas of the house they’ll see during their stay. Try to remember to dust, clear off tables, toss out old magazines, and the like. Again, a good rule of thumb is to pretend that you’re getting ready for company to come over, except they’re paying you to be there.
  • Provide for your guests: Ask yourself: what would you like to see in a hotel when you get there? Now, imagine that hotel is a room in someone’s home—what’s changed? Try to provide the creature comforts you’d expect from staying in what is essentially a guest bedroom, such as bedroom dressers, nightstands, and the like. This sort of thinking could extend to the rest of the house depending on how much room you’re renting out; a little extra living room furniture and bathroom shelving could go a long way towards keeping your guests happy (and willing to drop those 5-star reviews).
  • Safety first: Not unlike leaving your kids alone for the night with a list of emergency numbers, try to make sure your guests can reach you if needed. Leave your contact information in the event of an emergency like lost keys, mark everything with your address and phone number, and make sure things like smoke detectors are up and running.
  • Leave a little extra: If your AirBnB setup is big enough to include a bathroom and kitchen, try to drop some amenities where you can. Soap, toothpaste, hand lotion, condiments in the fridge, and so on—they’ll remember it for next time.

 

Have you started renting out part of your home as an AirBnB lately? Leave your tips below!

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