Top Money Saving Tips For Smart Airbnb Hosts

24 August 2021 | News

Top Money Saving Tips For Smart Airbnb Hosts

If you’re searching for top money saving tips for Airbnb hosts then you’re not alone. According to recent data, Airbnb boasts a whopping 2.9 million hosts worldwide, with 14,000 new hosts joining the platform every single month. Sound like a competitive industry? It is. 

But with Airbnb themselves claiming 2 million people stay in an Airbnb every single night, and the average monthly profits of hosts falling in at $924 a month, it’s clear there is money to be made in this industry. And who doesn’t want to make an income from inviting interesting strangers to stay in their homes?So, whether you’re just starting out as an Airbnb host or you’re already well established in this thriving industry, you’re going to want to look at every possible way to stand out from the crowd and maximise your earning potential. 

To help you stay a cut above the rest, we’ve put together the top advice from successful Airbnb hosts and businesses thriving in the hospitality sector. These money saving tips for Airbnb hosts will mean you can price your stays competitively, use the extra cash to invest in your business, panic buy bread on the first snow fall of winter, or whatever else your heart desires (we won’t pry). And the great news is, they’re all super quick and easy to implement – you can thank us later!

#1. Get Smart(er)

You might religiously turn off the lights in your home, not leave the tap on while you brush your teeth, and adjust your home to the optimum temperature at every opportunity. We applaud you. Sadly though, not everyone is as efficient as you, and even less so when they’re on holiday in someone else’s home and know they won’t be footing the bill! 

Smart home automation is the future for Airbnb hosts. Not only will it help to provide a safe, homely, and relaxing environment for your guests (5* reviews here we come!) but it will also give you as the host a huge amount of security and peace of mind, along with saving you money of course.

From motion sensors to automated smart locks, smart home technology will help you cut costs on nearly every utility bill in the house. Smart home lighting solutions can be automated to turn off when someone leaves the room, a Sonic leak detector can help you locate water leakage before your water bills get out of hand (shameless plug intentional) and Tado thermostats provide automated heating and cooling to keep your bills on budget. 

#2. Get Insured

We know, it’s not the most interesting of topics, but one of our top money saving tips for Airbnb hosts is to invest in private insurance for your property. Airbnb’s insurance policy will only take you so far and the £600,000 liability coverage might sound generous, but Airbnb themselves admit it is no substitute for private insurance. It’s important to note too, that their insurance won’t cover you for the times your house isn’t booked out.

Paying insurance each month might seem counterintuitive when trying to save money, but a small monthly fee can save you literally millions in a worst-case scenario. Holiday let properties are unfortunately more likely to be targeted for burglary or suffer damage. Careless guests and the potential for your property to be empty for periods of time can make your home more vulnerable.

Make sure you buy insurance that will cover you for Airbnb lettings – many traditional home insurance policies are no longer valid when you rent out your home so read the terms and conditions carefully.  Our top tip is to keep an eye out for new insurers coming to the market who are working on integrating their service with the Airbnb platform – meaning that you will be covered the moment your guests check in to the moment they leave. One of them is Locket who, we’re told, is quietly building a pay-as-you-use type of service that’s smart, cost-effective and designed specifically with Airbnb hosts in mind.  

#3. Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Alongside using home automation to lower your utility bills, consider investing in smart technology that will detect problems in your rental property before they get serious.

Video doorbells like Ring are a fantastic security measure for Airbnb hosts, along with automated locking systems and lights that can be controlled remotely or set to come at certain times.  Smart smoke alarms will send alerts straight to your phone so that you can deal with issues remotely.

Most of us know the importance of protecting homes against fire and burglaries, but what you might not know is that water actually causes more damage to properties than fire and burglaries combined.  Not only will you be left with expensive damage to your property but you’ll also be stung with the loss of business it will cause, and it’s unlikely insurance will cover these costs to your income.  With this in mind, we’d be remiss not to mention our own Sonic by Hero Labs.

Sonic uses HD Ultrasonic technology to detect even the smallest leak in your water system and can alert you of problems straight to your mobile phone so that you can take the required action immediately and from anywhere in the world. The smart shut-off valve can even control the incoming flow of water to isolate incoming water in seconds. Sonic is the ultimate money saving appliance for Airbnb hosts, preventing the number one cause of expensive problems before they even begin.

#4. Don’t Put Off Repairs

Be proactive with your maintenance. A little time spent fixing something when it first breaks can save you huge amounts of precious time and money further down the line. That kettle with a frayed wire could turn into a spark (or worse) further down the road. The wobbly garden chair that needs a screw tightening could easily fall apart beyond repair if it’s not seen to early. Fix things as soon as you notice they’re damaged or aging and you’re well on your way to becoming a savvy Airbnb host.

The even longer-term benefit of keeping on top of any necessary maintenance is that your guests will thank you for it. A well-maintained home will attract great reviews and repeat customers, ensuring your Airbnb property is always fully booked and bringing in money!

#5. Pick your cancellation policy carefully

What’s worse than a guest cancelling on the day of your wedding?  An Airbnb guest cancelling the day before arrival – for a full refund. No Airbnb host likes to see that cancellation post ping up, especially the last-minute ones. Airbnb has recognised this and allows hosts to pick from three cancellation policies – flexible, moderate, and strict.

Under the flexible policy, guests will get a full refund if they cancel their booking more than 24 hours before arrival. Although this cancellation policy may encourage more people to book your Airbnb property, it will also mean that you’re left out of pocket if you’re cancelled on repeatedly.

Think carefully before choosing this cancellation policy and consider choosing the moderate instead, with a full refund for cancellations of five days or more. The strict policy gives a 50% refund until one week before arrival and is a great option if you frequently fill up!

#6. Bulk is Best

Your Airbnb rental property is a business and should be treated as one. Make sure you invest a little time into finding the best deals on products you’ll need to buy over and over again such as toilet roll and cleaning products. Be prepared to change brands when different offers become available and shop around frequently to make sure you’re still getting the bargain you should be! 

Another great money saving tip for Airbnb hosts is to buy in bulk (though you’ll need to make sure you have space for storage first). Contact suppliers directly to find great deals or use shops such as Costco who offer lower prices for bulk buys.

#7. Apply A Minimum Stay

It might not surprise you to hear that the biggest hidden costs to the host of every Airbnb are the cleaning and laundry services. Luckily, Airbnb has a system in place that can really help you with this. 

Put in place a minimum stay – three days for example – and you’ll really cut back on the amount you need to spend on cleaning and laundry. You can do this when you list your home for rent on the Airbnb website, and guests will only be able to block book for a minimum number of nights set by you.

You can change this as you wish, so if business is quiet and you want to try out a shorter minimum stay to attract more customers you can do this easily in your settings. Applying a minimum stay to your property is a quick and very easy way to save money as an Airbnb host. Plus, when your guests see your home in all its glory, they’d be kicking themselves if they’d only booked a one-night stay… so you’re doing them a favour really!

#8. Reduce Labour Costs

Outsourcing work related to your Airbnb rental business can be expensive. Depending on how much free time you have or how many rental properties you are juggling, you might want to think about taking on the bulk of the work yourself.

Consider doing the cleaning and laundry, and taking on any additional services you offer such as transfers or meet and greets. If you’ve followed the advice above and put in place a minimum stay this will really help you to manage your time when taking on these extra jobs. If you’re handy with a screwdriver and a plunger then tackle basic maintenance and repairs yourself too (check out our top plumbing tips for a helping hand) Just make sure if you choose to do this, that you maintain high standards to keep those guests coming back happy and wanting more!

Another top tip is to use Airbnb’s automated software to help you manage your bookings and save you time. You can use their automation software to do things like send emails, structure your bookings and manage your calendar. It’s all relatively easy to use and will save you doing the task yourself or even hiring someone else to do it for you – another simple and easy money saving tip for Airbnb hosts!

#9. Be the Host(ess) with the Most(ess)

Making your Airbnb stand out from the crowd doesn’t have to be about Egyptian cotton bed sheets and deluxe coffee makers. Save some money on home furnishings and still get awarded those top reviews every time with some basic hosting skills that will go an awfully long way.

·          Adopt a friendly approach. Make sure you introduce yourself and the property area when they book. Offer suggestions for getting to your property. When possible, try to be flexible on check-in and check-out times, greet them at the door and help them lug their cases up the stairs – and do it all with a smile.

·          Save money on a welcome present. You don’t need to leave a bottle of expensive wine to welcome them to your property. You’ll stand out more if you leave some freshly baked bread, or eggs from the farm down the road, or even a bunch of homegrown flowers. Most people will appreciate the effort put into homely welcome gifts rather than expensive ones.

·          Consider supplying a few little extras to make your guests feel at home. Provide an iron and hairdryer on request. Leave a small selection of books or DVDs, and board games always go down a treat. You could even provide a free bicycle for guests to potter around on. You might be wondering how this is saving you money. Our top tip is to source these extras from somewhere like Freecycle, where people give away unwanted goods for free as long as you pick them up. These extras will secure you more business further down the line and cost you nothing but a little time and effort!

·          Respond promptly. Response time appears in your listing, so replying swiftly to all inquiries is crucial.

·          Write your own guidebook. This is free to do and will give you and your property huge bonus points. One of the big attractions of staying in an Airbnb over a hotel is the tips you get from your local host. Provide information about restaurants and take-aways in the area, top activities with opening times, or information about offers on tickets, taxi numbers, and so on.

·          Find ways to politely enquire about their plans for the duration of their stay and make helpful suggestions that they might not have considered. Help them plan how to get there, or let them know the best times for their visits. Little bits of local knowledge go a long way!

So, there you have it, our top money saving tips for smart Airbnb hosts that will save you money and keep your guests coming back for more.  And who knows, perhaps we’ll be booking into your Airbnb soon.  But not to worry, we promise to stay a minimum of three nights.  And we certainly won’t cancel last minute.  Or leave the lights on when we leave the room.  Or forget to turn the bath tap off – though thankfully your smart leak detector would take care of that even if we did!