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Christmas bonanza: Your home can earn you big time

By Ritah Mukasa

Added 21st December 2019 11:21 PM

I shared with a couple of friends, I discovered that some Ugandan homeowners had been making a killing silently out of Airbnb. Sorry to them for busting the bubble.

Christmas bonanza: Your home can earn you big time

Ensure your clients are comfortable. Having a high rating (four or fi ve stars) will inspire confi dence in future guests. Photo/Courtesy

I shared with a couple of friends, I discovered that some Ugandan homeowners had been making a killing silently out of Airbnb. Sorry to them for busting the bubble.

CHRISTMAS    BUSINESS

KAMPALA - About two years ago, while lazily browsing through the internet, I came across a business concept which I will call a deal. Reading on, I was convinced to give Airbnb a second thought.

Airbnb is where one rents out their home or just part of it for a few days.

Meanwhile, I am not a ‘deals person' and neither do I have any bone or passion for business; having tried in vain and resigned. However, this onegot my attention. Surprisingly, when

I shared with a couple of friends, I discovered that some Ugandan homeowners had been making a killing silently out of Airbnb. Sorry to them for busting the bubble.

Now that we are already in the festive season, why not consider earning from this deal? Many families are jetting in from around the world; some without permanent homes.

Once you list your home on Airbnb, you are sure to earn some good cash, even if you are renting.

According to Airbnb.com, you can rent out your home for a few days to individuals and group of people, such as families. This is so, because some people are more comfortable with residential accommodations than hotels.

But there are also some who cannot afford hotel fees and, therefore, settle for cheaper options, Airbnb being one of them.

In the same way, one can also make use of Airbnb when travelling around the country and abroad. It works for all homeowners and allows people to list their homes for rent, much like a hotel room. Airbnb has over one million listings in 190 countries, Uganda inclusive.

Interestingly, no one dictates the fees that you charge. You ask for what you please.

With Airbnb, you are in full control of the price, house rules and how you interact with your guests. You can set check-in time and handle the process in a way that is convenient to both parties.

However, there might be other listings in your area, so, there is need to do some research to find out how much you should be charging or check on hotel prices for guidance.

Alternatively, Airbnb will help you pay your rent. If you have a friend you trust, a boyfriend or girlfriend you do not live with, you can list your rented home or apartment on Airbnb. When you get a booking, stay with the other person and share the profits.

If at all you are not comfortable hiring out your bed, Airbnb can rent out your couch or sofa set for up to $40 a night.

Simply clean up your sofa, take a picture and list it for any amount you want. If the listings go up, then feel free to raise the price.

 ake irbnb a serious business by ensuring your home meets the standards Make Airbnb a serious business by ensuring your home meets the standards

 
What it takes to earn

According to the website, it is free to list your property on the site and the process takes a short time.

You do not have to worry about the size of your home because even without a spare room or guest wing, you can still host and earn.

Besides, you can rent out a bedroom, children's room or the quarters. For multiple guests, put beds in a room like a dormitory or hostel and collect rent.

On the other hand, if you love making international friends, Airbnb will work for you. All you need is a friend, a backyard or even a couch.

Airbnb works in two ways; you can choose to stay with the guests by renting out part of your home or move to a friend's place and leave your home to the guests.

More to that, you will be surprised to find guests who prefer to pitch tent in your yard and still pay for the days they spend there.

Remember to make this a serious business by being creative and hospitable. Also ensure that your home qualifies to be listed on this arrangement.

Travelers are attracted to homes with amenities, such as running water, power, a functional kitchen and internet (Wi-Fi). It should also be close to public transport with security.

To stand out from the millions of homes on Airbnb, provide flowers, a bottle of wine for your guests when they arrive or avail them with information about your hometown.

An exceptional Airbnb experience often revolves around small details, such as useful pamphlets, a map or personal recommendations that allow your guests to explore your village, city or country.

How to be a good host

Airbnb.com advises one to come up with some criteria for the guests you want. For example, show if they do not want guests with children or guests of a certain religion, tribe or age group.

Meanwhile, get to know your guests before they arrive by messaging them or screening their profiles on Facebook and other social media platforms.

However, Airbnb verifies information about guests and hosts by asking for a profile photo, confirmed phone number and email address.

To attract more clients, offer a free service, such as breakfast or transportation from the airport or bus station.

Other critical factors potential guests will consider include the rating that previous guests left about you. In fact, this is one of the most important features of the Airbnb community. Having a high rating (four or five stars) will inspire confidence in future guests.

Nevertheless, most hosts clean the spaces guests can use and provide essentials, such as clean sheets, towels, and toilet paper.

When the guests arrive, welcome them, show them around the house before handing over the keys.

Also make sure they are comfortable before you leave. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they will not find at commercial properties.

You and your guest can correspond through Airbnb's communication centre. This is where you can get some information on them and they can get information on your property as well.

Payment

You can set your price per night, weekly or monthly and guests will apply accordingly.

Your weekly price will be for stays between 7-27 days, while monthly price will cover stays of 28 days or longer.

What you charge is up to you, but Airbnb administrators provide tips to help make your space more competitive. Case in point, they suggest a price for your property based on its location, size and other factors.

Meanwhile, Airbnb's secure payment system means you never have to deal with money directly.

All payments are processed through Airbnb's online payment system. Guests are charged when a reservation is made (before arrival), and hosts are paid 24 hours after check-in, minus a 3% service fee.


How you are paid is up to you: You can choose direct deposit, PayPal or international money wire, among other options.

For example; According to Airbnb rating around Kampala, to host four guests in a private room will earn you $352 (sh1,267,200) a day. One guest in a private room cost $295 (1,062,000), among others.

Safety on Airbnb

Airbnb is built on trust. All Airbnb travellers must submit a profile photo, national identification such as a passport and also verify their phone contacts and emails.

Guests and hosts each publish reviews after check out keeping everyone accountable and respectful.

It is, however, advisable to keep away your valuables such as jewelry, ATM cards, account passwords among others because some guests may not be trustworthy.

Also, make sure your home fl ooring, entire interior and outdoors is safe for the guests.

Insurance

Accidents are rare on Airbnb, but just in case, Host Guarantee provides\ up to $1,000,000 of coverage in case property is damaged and Airbnb Host Protection Insurance provides liability coverage for up to $1,000,000, for every listing. They also offer 24/7 host support because your peace of mind is priceless.
 

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