Should I set up an Airbnb?

Why do you want to set up an Airbnb?

Airbnb has exploded in popularity since the online hospitality service debuted in 2008. It’s become a major source of income for many people and it is among the first choices for holidaymakers in search of accommodation.

Providers of accommodation (hosts) for Airbnb tend to fall into one of three categories:

  • Those who want to make a little extra cash with their available space
  • Those who want to use Airbnb hosting as a secondary income source
  • Those who want to want their Airbnb business to grow into their only income source

Before you set up your Airbnb, it is important to consider what kind of host you will be - is this a serious long-term career goal for you? Or is it merely a way to make a little extra money outside of your current career? Is being an Airbnb host something that can fit comfortably into your lifestyle or will it require significant changes to your personal schedules and work hours? All of these are questions that you will need to answer before you start setting up your Airbnb business.

Are you comfortable letting strangers into your home?

If the answer to the above is no, then Airbnb is probably not the correct venture for you unless you have another property.

Airbnb does let you vet potential guests by communicating with them over the messaging service, so you can make sure your guests understand any guidelines or rules you have set out for them during their stay.

How much time and money can you invest into Airbnb?

Even the most basic Airbnb hosting takes a significant amount of time and money on a host’s part. Every Airbnb host should expect the following responsibilities:

  • Frequent, clear and constant communication with guests
  • Smooth check-ins and check-outs
  • Extensive cleaning of the hosted rooms

However, the amount of time spent on your property will differ greatly between hosts who let out their primary residence and hosts who let out dedicated units. If you are letting a property or room which is not your residence or local to you, you will also have to factor in commute time and costs to your overall schedule and budget. This can quickly add up, especially if you are managing lots of short lets and need to regularly travel back and forth to the property. If you are hiring professional cleaners or management services to check your guests in and out, you will also have to consider this cost.

Marketing your Airbnb property will also take a considerable amount of time, even if you are only advertising via the website. It’s important to make sure your listing is as accurate and up-to-date as possible – which may be time-consuming - and if you are marketing the property anywhere else, this will only add more time onto the process of setting up your adverts.

Does the demand for your Airbnb exist?

It’s very important to consider the location of your property when deciding to let, as this can greatly influence the popularity of your listing as well as the amount you can expect to charge guests per stay. If your property is located in a big city with great transport links nearby, or a popular holiday destination in the country or by the coast, then you can expect to have a steady stream of interested potential guests, and can afford to charge higher prices for their stay.

However, if your property is situated in a more isolated area with little tourism or facilities, you may struggle to find guests at all, and should adjust your expectations accordingly - in this case, is it worth the time and effort of setting up an Airbnb in the first place?

Do you have the correct insurance?

Airbnb has its own host protection insurance policy - all hosts have the protection of liability insurance of up to $1 million to protect against third party claims for personal injury or property damage. However, as Airbnb state, you need to carefully consider whether the host protection insurance offered covers everything you need. Read the terms, check the small print – and decide what level of risk you can afford.

Airbnb host insurance from Towergate

Airbnb is the modern way to let rooms and properties – and it needs modern insurance. Towergate’s Airbnb host insurance includes buildings, contents and liability cover if you rent your property out using Airbnb.

Please note restrictions do apply when your guests are in the property – so for instance theft and accidental damage will be excluded for these periods. See our Airbnb host insurance product page for more information or call 0345 266 8582 for a quote today.

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