The short term rental market is booming. Each year, tens of thousands of Australians list their properties on Airbnb to make a tidy buck on the side. Here are our top five tips on how to stand head and shoulders above your competition.

Most people who own an investment property prefer to rent it out long term. It’s more of a set and forget approach, if you like.

But for some, such as those who own one home and/or those who travel for long periods, renting out their property on platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz is becoming an increasingly appealing option.

In fact, in 2017 more than 30,000 people listed their homes on Airbnb across Sydney and Melbourne alone.

These numbers have made the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) sit up and take notice. So much so that the ATO recently declared they’ll be ramping up their enforcement activities and will undertake 4,500 audits of taxpayers they suspect may not be declaring Airbnb income.

Suffice to say, when the ATO starts paying attention to a marketplace, you know money is being made.

Here are our top 5 tips on how to make more money than the next person.

1. Professional photos

First impressions last, and these days the first impression is the webpage impression on your Airbnb listing.

You don’t see real estate agents walking around with outdated camera phones taking dank snaps of the living room. And neither should you!

A good photographer has the skills and equipment to highlight the beautiful little details that makes your property sing, and crop out the less than desirable qualities that may turn a potential guest away.

Obtaining high quality images from a professional real estate photographer costs between $150-$300 via websites such as Snappr or Airtasker.

If they get you just one extra two to three night booking they’ll have already paid themselves off.

2. The devil is in the details

There’s no point in having a photographer take wonderful photos of your property only for the guest to show up and feel like they’ve been conned by the old bait and switch!

You need to put in that extra bit of effort to make their stay memorable. After all, they’ve chosen your place ahead of a hotel, not to mention all the other Airbnb competition out there.

There’s a good chance your guest is visiting your local area to check it out. So try and include as much (classy) local artwork, local guidebooks, decorations and information as possible.

The bathroom should also always be spotless, make sure good quality tea and coffee is available for free, and ensure all the basic kitchenware is easy to find.

Other tips include providing menus for local takeaway, tips for local sightseeing, entertainment such as books and boardgames, all necessary electrical appliances such an iron and hairdryer, and some basic cleaning equipment and products in case something gets spilled.

3. Play host, but don’t smother your guest

It’s important that you’re available to your guest should they need to check anything.

That might range from “where is the frying pan?” all the way to “where’s the local hospital?”.

It’s critical that you never show irritation, no matter how trivial or inconsiderate a guest’s inquiry might appear.

That’s because one scathing review can undo a lot of the money, time and effort you’ve invested.

It’s equally important to give your guest the privacy they require. Be on hand to offer any simple tips or suggestions, but don’t pin them down for hours on end chatting to them about your own travels.

This is their holiday after all!

4. Consider using a property management service

If you’re going to be away from your property for a while it’s worth considering taking the hassle and stress out of trying to manage your property from afar by outsourcing to a professional service.

There are plenty of options out there to choose from, including (but not limited to) Hey Tom, Hometime, HomeHost and Airsorted.

Expect to pay about a 15% to 20% (+ GST) commission to them, however most boast that they can help increase your Airbnb income.

5. Thank guests for their reviews

Taking the time out to thank every single guest for their review shows you’re a super attentive host who’s always aiming to please.

The best thing is it also gives you the opportunity to further highlight the positive aspects of your property.

For example, if a guest writes in their review that they had great ocean reviews, reply: “Thanks for the review Craig! Stoked that you enjoyed the ocean views from your bedroom!”

The best thing about this trick is that it even works for negative reviews.

That’s because most negative reviews will also mention something positive about the property. So make sure you thank them for that, acknowledge their complaint and thank them for bringing it to your attention, and advise that you’ve taken steps to rectify the issue for future guests (and actually do so!).

This shows other guests that you’re a very reasonable person who takes all concerns seriously – and will be approachable if they need you during their stay.

Guess who else is approachable?

We are!

If you have any queries or questions about your property and think we might be able to help out, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to help out.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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