The basics of hosting on Airbnb

Here’s how to start earning money as a Host.
By Airbnb on Nov 20, 2019
3 min read
Updated Nov 8, 2023

People start hosting on Airbnb for many reasons, like earning money and meeting travelers from around the world. You can host any type of space you have available, whether it’s an entire home, a spare room, or a guesthouse. Here are a few things to do to get started.

Create your listing

One of the first things you’ll need to do is set up your listing. Accurately describe your space, share what’s unique, and set clear expectations for guests. This is your opportunity to entice guests to book your place.

  • Photos: Upload multiple photos of each room from different angles to show what guests can access. An AI-powered tool can help you organize photos by room to create a virtual tour. Add details to each room, like sleeping arrangements and accessibility features.

  • Title and description: Try to capture what guests should know about your space. Use inclusive language to make it clear that you welcome people of all backgrounds.

  • Amenities: Select from the initial list of options as you’re getting set up. After you publish your listing, browse the full list of amenities and add everything you have. Include helpful details, like whether your place has accessibility features.

  • House rules: Use your house rules to set expectations, give a preview of your hosting style, and share essential info—like a no-smoking policy—with potential guests.

Set your price

Your nightly price is entirely your choice. The suggested price shown during Airbnb Setup is based on factors like location, amenities, guest demand, and similar listings. You can stick with that price or set a different one, and you can change it anytime.

Understanding local demand can help you price your place competitively. Check the average prices of similar listings booked nearby right from your calendar. You can also try our Smart Pricing tool, which automatically adjusts your nightly price based on demand.

Discounts and promotions can attract guests in specific situations. These include the new listing promotion, which takes 20% off your nightly price for your first three bookings, along with discounts for weekly and monthly stays.

How and when you get paid

Airbnb charges each guest directly before they check in. We send the money you earn from hosting to you about 24 hours after each guest’s scheduled check-in time. Exactly when the funds arrive in your account depends on the payout method you choose.

Payout methods—bank transfers, PayPal, Western Union, and Fast Pay, to name a few—vary based on your location. You can set up your payout method now and change it at any time. Learn more about how you get paid for hosting.

Prepare to welcome your first guests

Guests expect your place to be clean and stocked with the basics. They also expect you to share helpful information. Here are a few ways to get your space ready and communicate effectively:

  • Set up a smooth experience. Add clear, step-by-step instructions for check-in and checkout, with photos of the check-in process.

  • Reach out at key moments. Send guests scheduled messages with timely info when they book, before check-in, after arrival, and upon departure.

  • Be meticulous about cleaning. Create a checklist to focus on high-traffic areas, always refresh every room, and be on the lookout for stains, hair, and dirt.

  • Stock the basics. Guests expect your place to have essential amenities like soap, linens, and towels.

  • Add a few extras. Consider providing a welcome gift and offering items like power adapters and board games to make your space more comfortable.

Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.
Nov 20, 2019
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