Increasingly, Airbnb hosts find that renting out their unused living spaces is an exciting way to open up new revenue streams. Research shows the average host makes $924 a month, which adds up to a lot over the course of the year. Hosts with spectacular properties, great locations, or on-point marketing efforts can expect to earn a lot more. However, there are drawbacks to renting out your property, one of which is the concern over safety. Anytime you invite strangers to occupy your space, there are questions about how they will treat the furnishings, landscaping, or neighbors. More than a few Airbnb hosts have had to deal with damages, theft, vandalism, and even legal issues. For that reason, it’s equally important for hosts to provide a safe experience while simultaneously protecting their own property and investments. Don’t let safety concerns keep you from making money off your property, but don’t allow guests to take advantage of you or your home, either. Put these protections in place to keep everyone involved safe:
1. Make Contact Early and Often
The Airbnb platform makes it easy for hosts and guests to interact before, during, and after a visit. Reach out early to answer any questions, and make yourself available while the space is occupied. Many times, preventing damage is as easy as making your expectations known, and then helping guests have the best stay possible by clearing up any confusions or frustrations they have.
2. Purchase the Right Insurance
Airbnb recommends you have appropriate insurance on your space to cover damages or liabilities caused by guests — and we have to agree. For instance, did you know you could be held liable if a guest is injured on your property? Oftentimes, these issues are not covered by a standard home owner’s insurance policy, so be sure to review your coverage and supplement it if necessary.
3. Use Neighbors as Allies
Lots of Airbnb hosts live nowhere near the properties they rent. (Note: if you don’t live near your property, check out our tips on how to secure your home when it’s not rented.) If this is the case, try to enlist a neighbor of the rental property or someone who lives close by to keep an informal eye on your home and the area. They don’t have to be overly involved or monitor everything, but they can alert you if something requires your attention.
4. Establish Rules and Penalties
Don’t hesitate to establish clear house rules and assign penalties if those rules are not followed. Guidelines apply in a hotel or campground, so they should apply when people stay in your home as well. Address issues like drinking and smoking on the premises, accommodating pets and extra guests, and areas or items that are off-limits. The more detailed and comprehensive you are, the better.
5. Use a Security System Selectively
Airbnb hosts have to balance protecting their property with giving guests their privacy. Installing security cameras or other monitoring devices in guest spaces is usually not advisable; however, installing them in spaces that are supposed to be off-limits to guests is not a problem. Motion-activated cameras only alert you when a guest is out of bounds, allowing you to document the incident and possibly intervene early.
6. Keep A Safe in the House
No matter how comfortable you are renting out your home, it’s a risk to have strangers around unsupervised. If there is anything in the home that needs to be protected no matter what, it belongs in a safe, where guests can’t access it or even know it exists. You could also consider offering a safe for the guests’ use if they have valuables they want to protect while staying at your home. Ultimately, everyone involved will have a better experience if proper precautions are taken and safeguards are put in place. Protecting your home is an important step that ultimately leads to a satisfying guest experience. If that includes adding a safe, work with the home security experts at Western Safe to find the right safe for your needs.