How to become an Airbnb host

All you need to before starting to rent out your property or room on Airbnb

If you’ve got a spare room or an empty apartment that could be turned into a vacation rental, you must have wondered how to become an Airbnb host. The largest listing website for short-term rentals is made for those who want to turn idle spaces into a profitable side hustle – and here’s how you can do it too. Learn how Airbnb works for hosts and start listing your property in four easy steps!

1. Check local laws

Before listing a room or an apartment on Airbnb, you need to make sure that you’re legally allowed to rent it out. Every country regulates the vacation rental market in their own way, and it’s possible that your government has imposed laws that could get in the way of your plans.


There may be a restriction on how many days a year you’re allowed to rent out your property. You may also find that you need to register your property as a commercial one. In some markets, you may have to check with your homeowner’s association to see if you’re good to go. And don’t forget that you will likely be required to pay the tourist tax after each guest you host.


In case you’re thinking about listing a room in an apartment that you yourself are renting, you must remember to check your rental contract or ask your landlord for permission. Subletting an apartment can get you into trouble if you’re not authorized to do it.

2. Do market research

Before you can set a good price for your new vacation rental, you need to find out how much travellers are willing to pay for your property. The best way to do this is by looking at similar properties, mapping their prices and investigating occupancy rates – aka, doing some market research.


You can use Airbnb itself as a free tool to do your market research, or, if you want to be extra precise, you can opt for a paid tool such as AirDNA and base your pricing decisions on sophisticated data.


Here’s a quick summary of how to do market research on Airbnb: Look for rentals in the same area that are the same size and can accommodate the same amount of people as your property. Pick the one with the most reviews and see how much they charge. Ideally, you want to go a bit below that, since you’re the new kid on the block and you’ve got no reviews to back you up just yet. You can also calculate the average nightly price by adding up the nightly prices of all the listings similar to yours and dividing it by the numbers of listings.

3. Set your price

Once you’ve looked at comparable listing, you’re ready to set the price. However, before you decide ona nightly rate, keep in mind that you can also add additional fees such as:


  • The cleaning fee (you can include it in your nightly price or add it on top of it in your pricing settings)

  • Other fees (late check-in, pet fees, etc)


Airbnb also has a Smart Pricing feature, which automatically adjusts your rates based on the type and location of your listing, the season, demand, and other factors (like events in your area). Don’t worry, you won’t lose contol of your prices: you can set minimum and maximum prices, and you can turn Smart Pricing on or off whenever you want.


If you’re wondering how much money you can earn on a monthly basis as an Airbnb host, just go to Airbnb’s website, type in your location, property type and the number of guests you can host, and it’ll give you a rough estimate.

4. Create your listing

Now that you’ve set your price, it’s time to create your first listing. Once you’ve created an account, Airbnb will give you the option to upload a property.


Keep in mind that Airbnb has a number of requirements that you should take to heart if you want your listing to be successful.


  • Upload at least 7 attractive photos (min. 800x500 pixels in size, preferably landscape) that paint an accurate picture of your property. The more pictures you add and the better the quality, the more bookings you are likely to get.

  • Do not place any watermarks or text on your photos, and don’t make them look like they’re from an advertisement or catalogue – Airbnb users prefer a less commercial style.

  • List at least 5 amenities that your property has (kitchen essentials, parking, WiFi, etc)

  • Give your vacation rental a name of at least 8 characters (in the “title” field), but do not use any numerical codes or hashtags

  • Include a min. 50 character description of your property, but do not leave your phone number or email in the description field

  • Describe the types of beds in each room (single bed, double bed, etc)

  • Make sure you have an availability of at least 30 days over a 12-month period

What is the Airbnb Host Guarantee?

The Airbnb Host Guarantee provides $1 million of property damage protection. It covers damages caused by guests when the damage is greater than the security deposit or there is no security deposit in place.


However, the Airbnb Host Guarantee program is not equal to a homeowner’s insurance, so make sure you check what your insurance covers.


Damages to the following are exempt from the Host Guarantee program: cash and securities, collectibles, rare artwork, jewelry, damage to shared or common areas in the building, damage caused by pets and personal injury.

What is the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance?

Just like the Airbnb Host Guarantee protects your property, the Airbnb Host Protection Insurance protects you. It is a free liability insurance of up to $1 million to protect you against third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage.


A few liabilities that the program doesn’t cover include: pollution or mold damage, intentional damage or injury, loss of earnings.