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Want to Own an Airbnb? What You Need to Know

Airbnb (or Air Mattress Bed and Breakfast) is an online marketplace that connects people with short-term rentals (anything under a year) around the world. The company doesn’t own the properties on their site. Instead, homeowners “host” paying guests, giving them a chance to live like a local. With this unique approach to travel, it’s no wonder that Airbnb has quickly grown to be the world’s biggest and fastest-growing travel platform.

Airbnb in Central Florida

Just last month, the Orlando Business Journal revealed that Central Florida is one of the top destinations on travelers’ minds as we head into the spring peak season — which isn’t surprising considering that many areas are within a 30-minute radius of Disney World’s main gate. In fact, according to Airbnb, the Sunshine State is the number one vacation spot for both families and seniors.

Five Tips for Airbnb Hosts

For travelers, the concept seems fairly straightforward. However, if you’re interested in becoming an Airbnb host, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Read on for five tips to consider as you prepare for your first guests.

1. Prepare your Airbnb property. Think about guest requirements (including guidelines for visiting pets!), schedule, and prices as well as ideas for local fun. On that same note, it’s important that you’re ready to meet the high expectations of your guests. Many features that were once “nice to have” are now must-haves. For instance, you don’t want to skimp on all sleep-related items. From the mattress and pillows to the sheets and blankets, do everything you can to ensure that your guests are well-rested during their stay. Your visitors’ experience will dictate your reviews, which directly influence your reputation as a host.

2. Understand local Airbnb laws. To start, you need to register as an Airbnb host and obtain a permit or license before listing your property. Many areas are specifically zoned for daily, weekly, or even monthly rentals. Look into occupancy tax regulations as well, as it is calculated differently in each tax jurisdiction.

3. Set realistic expectations about your time commitment. Think of your Airbnb as a job: It won’t succeed if you don’t dedicate the needed time to it. Beyond the initial set-up on the Airbnb website, you also need to be available to check your guests in and out, handle unexpected problems, and ensure positive reviews. Or, if you’re in the position to hire a property manager, consider how that will impact your return on investment (ROI).

4. Determine your cancellation policy. Cancellations are common for both guests and hosts. As a host, consider setting a flexible cancellation policy, like allowing guests to cancel 24 hours before check-in for a full refund. Understand that this approach means you may lose revenue. Or, if you opt for a stricter policy, you’ll only be responsible for the cleaning fee, but you may turn away potential guests who need more flexibility.

5. Market to the right customers. Your property won’t work for all travelers, so it’s important that you market to the right audience. Is your house ideal for a solo guest traveling for business? Business travelers are generally willing to pay more for accommodations, but location is usually top of mind. If your home is located in a suburb, don’t target this audience. Similarly, if your property has multiple bedrooms and bathrooms and is located near tourist attractions, focus your marketing efforts on families or even couples traveling together.

Let The Urban Dog Group help you with your real estate needs. Contact Christine Elias at


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