What is Airbnb and how does it work?
Airbnb is an American company that operates an online marketplace for lodging, primarily homestays for vacation rentals, and tourism activities. Based in San Francisco, California, the platform is accessible via website and mobile app.
Airbnb began in 2008 when two designers who had space to share hosted three travelers looking for a place to stay. Now, millions of hosts and travelers choose to create a free Airbnb account so they can list their space and book unique accommodations anywhere in the world. And Airbnb experience hosts share their passions and interests with both travelers and locals.
You could earn up to $1,063 a week by hosting
Becoming a host on Airbnb is fairly simple. You decide when to make your home available and at what price. Listing is always free, and you can individually approve potential guests. In setting your price, you’ll want to consider the going rate in your area by looking at competing listings. You’ll want to consider the costs of hosting—including cleaning, higher utility bills, taxes, and Airbnb’s host fee, which is 3% for payment processing.
Your guests pay Airbnb’s 6% to 12% booking fees. Make sure you understand Airbnb’s hosting standards for listing accuracy, communication with guests, keeping your reservation commitments, cleaning your place for each guest, and providing basic amenities such as soap and toilet paper.
Is your place within walking distance of public transit? Is it located near great restaurants, nightlife, or cultural activities? What amenities can you offer: wireless internet, a fully stocked kitchen, cable television, an outdoor patio? Your listing will be displayed on Airbnb’s website, and you can also cross-promote it through social media or your own website.
The Airbnb website walks you through the process by asking you questions about the property or room you plan on hosting. The main steps you’ll need to follow in the setup walk-through are:
- Provide info on the rental, such as location, number of rooms and features
- Upload photos
- Create an availability calendar
- Add house rules
- Choose prices
- Review local laws about rentals
If some of the points on the list seem overwhelming, don’t worry. Airbnb makes the process simple by offering tutorials and guides that help you make an informed decision. For example, the website may have information on laws in your city or town about hosting.
Once you become an official host, you’ll start receiving booking requests. Before you decide on whether to accept a booking, you can review the person’s profile to see past ratings from other hosts. You can also communicate with the guest through Airbnb’s messaging platform.
AirCover FREE protection for every Host.
AirCover is top-to-bottom protection for Hosts. It includes $1M Host liability insurance, $1M Experiences liability insurance, and $1M Host damage protection, with new coverage for pet damage, deep cleaning, and more:
- $1M damage protection. We cover damage by guests to your space and belongings, including valuables.
- Pet damage protection. Not to worry: unexpected damage done by four-legged guests is covered.
- Deep cleaning protection. We compensate you for unexpected cleaning costs.
- Income loss protection. Airbnb reimburses lost income if you cancel confirmed bookings due to damage.
- 14-day filing window. You have 14 days to report damage—even if you’re booked back-to-back.
- Quicker reimbursements. Hosts get faster reimbursements for guest damages (9 days on average).
- Faster track for Superhosts. Superhosts get access to a dedicated support line with priority routing.