Hello to all the new Airbnb hosts in the Community Center, and welcome to Airbnb! Now that you’ve published your listing, you probably have a few questions about what comes next. This 5-step guide is designed to help you create a successful Airbnb listing and attract your first guests. Read on—and congrats on becoming a host!
Step 1: Perfect your listing
Details matter. Guests tend to give better reviews to spaces with accurate, detailed descriptions of about 180 words. If you want your listing to stand out to potential guests, follow these three guidelines:
Accuracy is important here, as well. Your description can help guests decide if your space is a good fit for their needs. So be sure to mention if there’s a long staircase they have to climb, any pets, a nightclub downstairs, a shared bathroom, or whatever else could affect their stay. And remember that a detail one guest may not love could be the reason others choose to book your space.
Here are tips for describing your listing from Joy, a successful Airbnb host in San Francisco, California.
Step 2: Use great photos & captions
Quality images are key to succeeding on Airbnb. Photos are the first thing prospective guests see when they look for a place to stay, so they can help you attract guests and help those guests know if your space is a good fit for their needs. Aim to include 2 to 3 photos of every room in your listing and group them by room, so potential guests can take a virtual tour of your home when they view your photos. Be sure to write captions that give them even more details, too. Guests have told us they find captions useful, so you don’t want to skip that part.
We offer professional photography in many locations, but with plenty of natural light, you can shoot excellent listing photos on your smartphone, too. Here are some tips to get you started. And here are some more insights from host Joy.
Step 3: Set up your calendar & settings
Block out any dates in your calendar when you don’t want to host guests. You can also use your calendar settings to set minimum and maximum limits on length of stays, block a day or two between bookings (to give you time to clean and prepare for your next guests), avoid same-day requests, and other options. Once your calendar is set up, be sure to keep it updated often, so potential guests can see your space’s true availability.
A few other settings to check out as you’re getting started are Instant Book, which lets you automatically accept reservations, and House Rules. Guests must review and agree to your House Rules before requesting a reservation with you, so it’s a good place to set expectations and boundaries, such as if you have a no-smoking policy or any rooms in your home that are off limits.
Watch below for more calendar tips from hosts Giuliana and Sandor.
Step 4: Name your price
How much you charge for your listing is completely up to you. Keep in mind that guests often prioritize price when searching for a space, so consider whether your listing is a good value for the location and amenities you offer. As a new host, you may opt to start with lower than average rates until you have a positive review or two. You can also take advantage of the Smart Pricing feature, which adjusts your price automatically based on demand for listings like yours.
You may want to add a security deposit and cleaning fee, as well. You can also choose to charge extra if guests want to book your space with additional guests or for events, such as bachelorette parties or weddings. Host Tim uses Airbnb’s price tips to help him choose prices based on demand. Hear his advice in the video, below.
Step 5: Choose how you want to get paid
How do I get paid? is one of the top questions from new hosts. Here’s how it works on Airbnb: Guests pay through the website, and then you get the money directly through whichever channel you choose. Most hosts opt to have the money directly deposited into their bank accounts, but you can also elect to receive the money through PayPal or Western Union, for instance. Here are some tips for adding specific payout methods. You can expect your payout to show up about 24 hours after your guest’s scheduled check-in time. And as host Tim mentions, below, you’ll get an alert as soon as your payment is ready.
We hope these tips and resources gave you the answers you need to feel empowered to start hosting. To recap:
Check out the next two articles in our “How to be a successful Airbnb host” series:
Thank you for sharing this useful information. I have a question about blocking dates. Do I block dates on my calender once my guests have confirmed their pre-arrival? I got confused as to how it works. Should I wait for their 24 pre-arrival decision or block the dates when they show interest? Thank you in advance. Costas
I usually keep mine open and dont block the dates until they fully confirm. Once they confirm the site blocks it automatically.
I wish I had this step by step Guide when I listed.
It's most helpful.
Well done & thanks to those Hosts who are featured in this feature Guide, you are an inspiration to others.
All the Best newcomers to Airbnb & see you in here again in CC.