You took the leap and are running your Airbnb unit. Great!
But sometimes it seems more that Airbnb is running your life.
It can be a lot of work: Taking inquiries, checking guests in, and cleaning maintaining the rental unit. This is ALL on top of trying to live your everyday life.
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with Airbnb hosting, I want to help you save money and time.
First things first
If you want to save time as an Airbnb host, you have to keep a record of what tasks you spend most of your time on. Here are the major categories of tasks you will do as an Airbnb host. Write down how many hours you spend on each per week.
- Guest Communication (Pre/Post Booking)
- Writing Reviews
- Buying Supplies
- Property Maintenance
- Listing/Calendar Updates
Want to see what your effective earnings per hour are?
- Multiply your weekly hourly inputs by 4 so that you get a months worth of hours.
- Find out what you make on average per month with Airbnb.
- Divide your monthly average earnings by your average monthly hours and there you go…your Airbnb earnings per hour invested.
Now that you know where you are spending your time, let me give you tips how to cut down your time spent on each major Airbnb task category.
Airbnb Guest Communication
Many Airbnb guests ask a lot of the same things such as:
- How far are you from here?
- How many people max?
- Are you pet-friendly?
For starters, try the copy/paste trick. Take your answers to the 20 most frequently asked questions you receive and store them in a Word Document. Then when you’re asked a FAQ, you can simply copy and paste the answer.
Note: you may have to do some customization to your copy/pasted text depending on the question.
Better yet, start to automate your guest communications with SmartBNB (see below).
Airbnb Rental Cleaning
Instead of having only 1 or 2 sets of sheets and towels, buy 6 or 8 sets. Then you don’t have to rush and wash them before each guest check-in. You can batch wash the linens to save time, water and soap. Take it a step further and drop your laundry off at a fluff and fold spot.
Cleaning your Airbnb rental yourself can be tiring and gets really old, really quick. Consider having a cleaning service do your cleaning turnover. I suggest getting a service instead of an individual cleaner because if the individual cleaner calls off, you’re in trouble. With a cleaning service, they will send another cleaner if yours can’t make it.
Here is my suggested Airbnb cleaning company.
This can be a painful part of hosting if you don’t have a good system. Instead of waiting around all day for your guests to arrive, try getting a key lock box with a code.
A key lock box can hang on your door handle or even in a hidden area in your front yard/main lobby. Guests type a code, get the key and they’re all set. When they are ready to leave, they can just drop the keys in and take off.
Airbnb Pro Tip: Put two keys in your lockbox and make sure guests only take one when they check-in. Leave a note if necessary. Then if they are locked out, they have access to a spare key.
Learn more about:
Writing Airbnb Reviews
It used to be that there weren’t many ways to make this go faster because you should be personalizing every review for each guest.
Yes, you should write reviews quickly. This is because the experience of their visit is fresh on your mind and you can write faster.
But even then, it can be a drag if you have significant booking volume.
Here’s why your current Airbnb reviews suck.
But now, you can even automate the reviewing process with SmartBNB (more on them below).
There are certain things you need to buy like toiletries, snacks, welcome gifts, etc… Don’t go buy them every week, instead buy them every month and try to use a service like Amazon so you don’t have to even go get them. Also, purchase these separate from the stuff you use in your personal life so that you have clean receipts for tax deductions.
Need help with Airbnb taxes?
Your Airbnb rental will be used more like a hotel than a home. Guests will put more of a strain on your place than you would, so being proactive in maintaining your Airbnb is crucial. If you catch an issue before it becomes a problem, you will save time and money.
Create a list of things to inspect once per week. Include things such as faucets, doors, light switches, locks, heating/cooling, pool/jacuzzi, stove/oven, and anything else that moves or that the guest will interact with.
Note: If you see an issue in your apartment’s common area, submit a maintenance request ASAP.
Airbnb Listing and Calendar Updates
Your Airbnb listing should be updated with new amenities and as you learn what guests appreciate most about your place. When you think of an update, jot it down and save it in a list. Then, once per week spend only 30 minutes editing and updating your listing. Note, you may have to make immediate updates such as some pictured amenity becoming unavailable, but most updates can wait. Don’t obsess over your listing.
For updating your Airbnb calendar, you can do this two ways.
The first way is to manually go in an update your availability and pricing daily. For accurate pricing, you need to look up any upcoming special events and holidays. This can take a lot of time and you may be leaving money on the table.
Utilize Automation Tools
The other option is to try automation tools for pricing, messaging, reviews, and communications with staff.
For automated pricing, we highly recommend that you checkout Wheelhouse–this dynamic pricing tool, takes billions of pricing data points and recommends the best pricing for your listing in your marketing for each day, based on what it’s detecting in terms of availability and pricing at the moment of booking. No, you can’t do this on your own. Yes, it’s totally worth their 1% fee. Some hosts see as much as a 10-20% bump in revenue due to Wheelhouse’s smarter pricing.
For ultimate in hosting automation (and by far the best ROI for hosts), SmartBNB helps hosts automate practically everything, allowing hosts to become a “4 Hour Host”. If you’ve started hosting and are doing all of the hosting duties on your own, you know that Airbnb hosting is anything but passive. Now you don’t have to aim to be a completely passive host to utilize SmartBNB. It can help free you up from the repetitive tasks that could end up taking 2+ hours a day–think responding to guest inquiries, sending communications to cleaners, logging to update your calendar, etc…
While there is a bit of a learning curve, SmartBNB can help hosts automate up to 95% of the guest communications. They even have an AI that you can train to spot similar questions and to automatically answer! And the automation can be specified by listing. It’s hard enough to keep a 100% response rate on your own but how do you maintain a sub 5 minute response time? The answer is SmartBNB. There is no way you can answer guest inquiries when you’re asleep.
Also, it’s believed that Airbnb favors listings that are frequently updated by their hosts–pricing and calendar–and SmartBNB can give your listing a “heartbeat” login activity every 5 minutes.
Once hosts get past the initial two-week learning curve, we’ve found that hosts could expect to save upwards of 20+ hours a month.
Do you have any Airbnb hosting optimization tips? Share them with us in the comments below.