Earning a bit of extra cash on the side is becoming increasingly important for most people. The old days of earning an income from a single source are increasingly becoming a thing of the past as the recession coupled with the increased cost of living means that it is harder and harder to make it to the end of the month with any cash to spare. One of the most simple and hassle-free ways of earning a bit of extra cash is through something like Air B&B. But just how easy is it and how do you go about setting yourself up as a B&B host? Here are a few tips to help yourself get set up.
Keep it simple
Remember that you are not running a five-star hotel, you are simply renting out a room at your house to a visitor. So it doesn’t need to be the most lavishly furnished place. You are doing this to earn extra cash after-all, so don’t go and spend so much money setting up the room that it takes forever for you to recoup the outlay. A cheap bed and mattress, a fridge and a microwave and maybe a writing desk and a chair and you have all that you need. It should be comfortable, but don’t go overboard.
Make it easy
Most travellers need a few basic things and if you can supply these then there are unlikely to be any complaints. A television, internet and access to a hot shower are pretty much all that is needed. These are in fact selling points and if you can provide them – and perhaps access to a pool and off-street parking, then you suddenly have a very desirable location for a budget-conscious traveller.
Understand the App
Air B&B is not rocket science by any stretch of the imagination, but if you have never used it before it might take a bit of getting used to. It is important to know what your floor price is but it is also important to compare what other people in your area are renting out rooms for. You need to be competitive and you need to understand how demand-pricing works. In short, you want to allow the Air B&B app to be flexible with the price points if you want to ensure maximum occupancy rates. Make sure that you get the balance right because if you are too rigid you will either find that you only get bookings during peak periods or that you are full all the time, but woefully below market rate.
Don’t be too invasive
Be sure to greet your guest and to be friendly and welcoming but also find out how sociable they are and what their expectations are in terms of social interaction and lifestyle. Some guests like to interact with their hosts – this isn’t a hotel after all – but others prefer the privacy and to simply keep to themselves. So chat about this at check in time. Let them know what works best for you and find out what they will respond to – a comfortable guest is one who will stay for while.