Today, as the manager of several guesthouses and villas in Sri Lanka, I can say that airbnb is the most convenient and profitable service for those involved in the delivery of housing, from the sofa in the room to the mini-hotel. Unlike booking.com, hotels.com and others, which are designed more specifically for hotels, Airbnb is just perfect for renting a single and unique accommodation, allowing you to maximize its special aspects. Airbnb is not the only one in this niche, but the most popular all over the world. For example, the average annual distribution of guest sources for my lodging is as follows: 55% own sources (website, instagram, groups in social networks), 35% airbnb, 10% booking. And for those who do not have their own sources of obtaining bookings, the percentage ratio may look like 70% of air to 30% booking. I also tried many other services, but without receiving a single request in more than a year of operation, I closed these accounts in order not to waste time and pay for the channel manager

Getting started with Airbnb

First you need to register, to do this, use my invitation. This page is very clearly written about what Airbnb is, what advantages it gives you and where to start, so I will not just duplicate this information here. All processes, from registration to publication of your ad go step by step, with a sufficient explanation of what you need to do at each step. After passing them for 30 minutes (assuming that you already have good photos of the property you are going to rent out), you will receive a ready-made ad, which your potential guests will be able to see immediately.

This can be the way to complete the preparatory work, but I still recommend that you go into editing an already finished ad and fill out as many details as possible available on this page. Firstly, it will give a better imagination for ​​your guests about your accommodation, secondly, it can positively affect the ranking of your ad in the general list, and thirdly, you will be able to set the booking conditions that are suitable for you (check-in / check-out time, minimum reservation time to prepare for a new booking, etc.). In the future, also do not forget to periodically review your ad and make the necessary edits, update photos.

How will guests pay you?

This aspect is most attractive in airbnb, in my opinion. As soon as the guest (or you, if you do not use an instant reservation) confirms the reservation, a total amount will be deducted from his card, which will be stored on the balance of the system until guest arrives to your property. You will get money within the system or to your bank account immediately (depending on settings) on the second day of your guest’s stay. In addition to withdrawing money to a bank account, transfer via Western Union and withdrawal to Payoneer card are also available. And here I want to pay special attention to the option of the prepaid payoneer card, because it is the most convenient and profitable option.

What is the advantage of using Payoneer card?

  • The card itself (MasterCard) you can order for free by registering on the site. You will have to pay $ 25 for the service (they will be charged automatically after the first payment is received to you), but after registering with my link, you will receive them back as soon as you receive payments totaling more than $ 1,000.
  • The card is accepted worldwide, in shops and ATMs. When paying via terminals or online zero commission.
  • You can keep your money in accounts in dollars, euros or British pounds.
  • Withdrawing money from Airbnb without a fee and instantly
  • You can also  use your payoneer account to receive payments from other services (UpWork, Amazon, gettyimages), which will be especially useful for freelancers, or you can issue invoices if you  work with American and European companies

Airbnb useful tips

Smart prices

Absolutely stupid thing, as for me, but affects the ranking of your ad. So it is better to enable this option, but set the minimum and maximum prices based on the analysis of prices in your area (preferably with a slight interval). And do not pay attention to the recommendations, which, it seems, do not take into account features of your property and its location, but focus only on the demand in the region within the system.

System commission

The guest, when booking, pays the price indicated by you, plus the system fee. And this, in contrast to booking and all the others, airbnb shows openly! Respectively consider this if you are located on multiple sites. It is worth noting that, nevertheless, the system additionally takes a small commission from you (about 3%), but the total commission from the total price does not exceed 15% (and it is minimum on booking and in any other system)

Instant booking

Also affects the ranking, and the default filters in the search for housing ads without instant booking off (I hope this will change). So it is better to include this option, but be sure to check the relevance of housing availability in your calendar, because cancellation penalties are quite tough.

Cancellation Policy

In general, everything should be clear. Ads with strict cancellation rules (without a refund) may scare away some guests, but with soft rules, it is likely that you will lose profits if guest cancel reservation, especially long-term and made in advance for a time of high demand. From personal experience, I can say that cancellations on airbnb happen extremely rarely, which cannot be said about the booking.com, where, with free cancellation, up to half of all reservations are lost.

Reviews

Leave reviews for guests! For example, I really do not like to leave reviews, but it is necessary to do this, because the likelihood that guest will leave a response review much higher! By experience, you may not receive any feedback at all, especially positive, if you do not write reviews for guests. And reviews affect the attractiveness of your ad and again its ranking.

Property location

Now Airbnb allows you to show the exact location on the map before booking, and this is very good. So try to put the point as accurately as possible. And if in your country, like here in Sri Lanka, it is sometimes impossible to find something by the address, then describe in detail how guest can find your place, because, oddly enough, not everyone is able to use maps.

 

If you have questions or want to add something to this material - write in the comments to this article. Answers to interesting questions and useful tips will be added to the article.

How to get from the Colombo airport to Hikkaduwa

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