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Six Questions to Ask Before You Host Your Home on Airbnb

Six Questions to Ask Before You Host Your Home on Airbnb

Many homeowners have found that hosting their homes on Airbnb can be a great way to generate some extra income—income that can be directly applied to a monthly mortgage payment, home renovations or other expenses. However, renting your home out on a short-term basis might not be the ideal option for every homeowner.

If you have been considering becoming an Airbnb host, here are six things you need to consider first:

Are you OK with allowing strangers into your home – whether you’re there or not?
When you become an Airbnb host, you are giving the OK for complete strangers to stay at your home. In some instances, you might be sharing your home with a random stranger. In other instances, you’ll be trusting that a random stranger will take care of your home in the same way that you would. If you have any concerns, know that you can screen your guests before they stay in your home.

Are there local laws or homeowner association rules against renting out your home?
 A short-term rental through Airbnb could require you to apply for special permission from the city or municipality where you live. In addition, if you belong to a homeowner’s association, renting out your property could be against your organization’s rules. Make sure that your rental will comply with local rules and regulations before you list.

Do you have adequate insurance to cover your home?
If you are planning to rent your home or parts of it for a short term, you’ll want the peace of mind in knowing that you are properly protected. You might need to take out additional insurance coverage before listing your home on Airbnb, so be sure to review your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Will you have to face disapproving neighbors?
Though a few gripes from neighbors might not be enough to deter you from hosting your home on Airbnb, you might want to consider how your neighbors will feel with strangers living amongst them at any given time. It is likely that your neighbors are at least aware of your current living habits, which means they’ll be sure to notice if something changes, due to an influx of new neighbors that come cycling through your home. Extend at least a courtesy in letting your neighbors know your plans.

Are you prepared to handle your listing?
When you host your home on Airbnb, you’ll need to manage your listing. This means that you’ll be responsible for recruiting guests by sharing the details that will make your home/their stay unique. It also means that you’ll have to field inquiries and schedule bookings. Make sure you have the time and patience to manage your listing before you decide to host.

Can you stay competitive?
Hosting a home on Airbnb means constantly monitoring market conditions to make sure your home stays competitive – you know, people want to continue renting out your available space. To make sure this happens, you’ll need to set competitive rates compared to other properties listed. You’ll also want to note the times of year when rental properties seem to be in demand. This can require quite a bit of research on your part. Alternatively, you could hire a third party to help you manage your listing and stay competitive, but obviously, that would take away from your overall profits.

Hosting your home on Airbnb can be a great way to increase your income, but it also can present certain challenges. If you are considering hosting your home or even just a few rooms of your home, be sure you can answer these six questions first.