Maximise on your airbnb investment

You’ve invested in a property to earn an income through short-term letting, now it’s time to take your investment to the next level.

There are more than 191 regions listed with Airbnb across the globe. This translates into over 100 000 cities and over 7 million accommodation listings worldwide, meaning on average, at any one time over 2 million people are staying on Airbnb each night of the year. This is mind-blowing but not surprising. Airbnb is only in its 11th year and has managed to give the global hospitality industry a huge shake-up. Virtually anyone who has a property can list it on Airbnb making this one of the most accessible tourism assets in the world. Airbnb has not only created opportunities for new experiences in travel, but it has also created new income streams for the average Joe. Like Uber, Airbnb do not own any inventory yet, but they are raking in the cash and you, the property owner, can start raking the cash in too.

Location is key
Before you decide to purchase, it’s best to do the right kind of research. Where are you going to purchase? In Durban, it’s probably best to consider a place with easy access to the coast, or even direct beach access. Consider the needs of travellers (holidaymaker and businesspeople alike) and what makes a location more attractive than another. Questions like how do I reach the main highway? How far away is the airport? Where is the nearest mall and hospital? As well as surrounding amenities and security are likely to rank highly. With more and more options coming onstream, and residential estates being partially modelled around this growing short-term letting market, you’ll find there are quite a few options out there. But before you buy, do your research.

High season vs Low season
A wise host will adjust pricing to suit the season. Start by being proactive about what’s going on the calendar- when do schools break up? When do most people take leave during the year? Are there any significant events happening locally such as a tourism indaba or big sporting events like Iron Man and the Comrades Marathon? These are the events where accommodation is at a premium and many people plan well in advance to ensure they don’t go without. Once you know this, you can build an annual pricing calendar to forecast at least a few months ahead. Forecasting cleverly will also allow you market appropriately with the right messaging and positioning and on the most suitable platforms. There are quite a few pricing tools out there which can help you get this down to an art.

Superhosting
A Super Host is someone who has fulfilled a set of criteria as set out by Airbnb. It pays to be a super host because it means you’ll stand out from the crowd and therefore attract more business. To become a super host you’ll have had to maintain a 50% review rate (yes, guests can review your listing), have a 90% response rate, complete at least 10 trips or, 3 reservations totalling 100 nights; have had zero cancellations (unusual circumstances aside) and keep your rating at a 4.8 average overall.

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