Airbnb Homestead Side Hustle
Stony Ridge Farm has a diverse income stream including our Airbnb Homestead Side Hustle. This article will break down the whats, whys, and hows of Airbnb hosting from the perspective of an Airbnb Superhost. Be sure to sign into the Seasonal Living Resource Library for my Airbnb Superhost Checklist to get you up and running with excellence in your new side hustle!
Airbnb Homestead Side Hustle: What is Airbnb
Airbnb is a dynamic platform of the sharing economy that helps homeowners use extra rooms to generate revenue by hosting guest members of the Airbnb community.
Airbnb is an American company which operates an online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms, to participate in or facilitates experiences related to tourism such as walking tours, and to make reservations at restaurants. The company does not own any real estate or conduct tours; it is a broker which receives percentage service fees in conjunction with every booking. The company has over 5 million lodging listings in 81,000 cities and 191 countries and has facilitated over 300 million check-ins.
Our Airbnb: Farmhouse Retreat
Here at Stony Ridge Farm, our Airbnb side hustle has been in operation since 2013. We have hosted nearly 150 guests and have achieved Superhost status (more about this later). Airbnb is a perfect homestead side hustle because we are able to block out dates when farm chores are too rigorous or we want to take a vacation, thus giving us the flexibility we need to tend to various priorities with ease while always making the guest experience a priority.
We offer the Farmhouse Retreat, one room with private bath, and the Farmhouse Retreat Family, 2 rooms with private bath. Each of these options has their own booking calendar that interconnects. this newer feature of the Airbnb platform has made all the difference in our ability to expand the Airbnb.
Use my affiliate link to begin setting up your own Airbnb Homestead Side Hustle!
Another perk of the Airbnb platform is that they deal with the money. Guests pay for the room at the time of reservation. We get paid 24-hours after check-in. Having the stickiness of financial transactions taken care of by a responsible third party allows us to give more attention to the guest’s experience. We love this part.
Airbnb Homestead Side Hustle: The Ins-and-Outs of Hosting
Getting your hosting game down is essential for success with your Airbnb side hustle. In my experience, guests want three things:
- Easy check-in
- A light breakfast
Once you have these three basics down, then ensure guests have good internet access, a list of local restaurants, a comfortable bed, and an easy time moving around your property. Let’s take a moment to explore these basics of Airbnb hosting.
Use my affiliate link to begin setting up your own Airbnb Homestead Side Hustle!
Easy Check-In for Your Airbnb
If you are offering a room for rent in your home as your Airbnb side hustle, you’ll need to think through your check-in process. What are the times for check-in that work best for your homesteading schedule? For us, we ask that guests check in between 3 pm and 8 pm. This gives us enough time to feed animals, tend to the gardens, and turn over the room from previous guests and get to bed at a decent hour.
You do you in establishing your check-in routine. I recommend you observe your morning routine and build your check-in time that allows you to be clean and rested when guests arrive.
A word about keys…an important part of the check-in process is how you will manage guest’s access to a key to your home. Initially, many guests would take our house key with them after checking out. This created a great deal of unnecessary stress and expense for us as hosts. Now, we give a humorous ‘lecture’ about what happens to us when guests take a key with them. We haven’t had this problem in years. You can charge a key deposit as a part of setting up your listing on Airbnb. So far, we have decided against this as it is just one more way to turn off guests as they scan the many listings available in our area.
Sharing your home with strangers requires thinking about ways to make them feel instantly safe and comfortable. The single most important thing you can do as an Airbnb host to create this easy feeling is to make sure the room and bathroom for your listing are spotless and smell good. Attending to the shared areas of the household is also important. A home that is visually clean and smells fresh is a sure winner for guest reviews (more on this later).
Airbnb guests appreciate a simple light breakfast. We offer hardboiled eggs from our chickens, fresh fruit and coffee or tea. I set a lovely table often decorated with flowers. I tell guests there is no set time for breakfast, that it will be available by 7am and available until checkout.
Initially, I offered a full breakfast and quickly learned that this was too much food for most guests. A good cup of coffee is a priority for most. If I have extended stay guests, I will mix it up by offering yogurt, granola, and fruit. These meals do not need to be expensive or demanding to create. Simple, fresh, and satisfying are what’s required.
More ways to please…
A good wi-fi connection is a must. In addition to the casual user, Airbnb has settings that help promote listings well suited for business travelers. Make sure the wi-fi password is easily seen by guests. We print and frame our username and password and leave it on the dresser in our guest rooms.
Guests appreciate a collection of brochures for local restaurants and attractions. My offerings grow with each guest as they leave their brochures behind for future guests. I love this because the recommendations are genuine. We also leave the Airbnb Mag in the rooms for guests to enjoy.
An easy and comfortable experience offers your guests a memorable experience they will readily share in their reviews and with their friends. I recommend sleeping in the bed yourself to ensure comfort for future guests. 300-count cotton sheets, a season-appropriate comforter, temperature control, and fragrance (odors???) also need to be considered when creating your Airbnb homestead side hustle.
Will Your Airbnb Side Hustle have a Theme?
We call our Airbnb a Farmhouse Retreat and play up our animals in the listing description. One room is decorated with a vegetable theme, the other with a chicken theme. I think creating a homestead theme for your Airbnb side hustle will set you apart from other listings in your area. What is your homestead’s specialty? Goats? Chickens? Farm equipment? A pond? All these components of your homestead are opportunities to create a rich and unique experience for your guests.
Be sure to spend time and do some research about other local listings when creating your Airbnb side hustle. Your guests will reward you with glowing reviews if you do!
Airbnb Side Hustle: The Guests
To be eligible to participate in Airbnb as a guest, everyone must create a profile. The profile consists of a picture, a small biography, and most importantly, identity verifications. I rarely accept guests that do not have a complete profile. They are staying in my home, after all! When a guest has several verifications but has not completed their profile, I will accept the reservation and ask that they complete their profile. I believe this is essential for the safety of everyone involved. For me, the user profile is what makes Airbnb work as our homestead side hustle.
As a host, you get to review every guest. This is an easy process that asks you to describe your hosting experience. This usually requires only 2-3 sentences that let other hosts know the guests followed house rules, were easy to communicate with, and were clean.
Airbnb Homestead Side Hustle: The Guest Review
Guests also review the listing. They will be asked about cleanliness, the check-in process, and the host’s communication style. These reviews are worth their weight n gold for 2 reasons:
- They provide an opportunity for hosts to up their game by knowing what is working and not working.
- The reviews can be tremendously useful when evaluating guests.
I prefer 5-star guests. Here are things I look for specifically when reviewing guests:
- Good communication.
- No or limited requests for accommodations outside the listing details (like asking if pets can stay when the listing says ‘no pets’).
It’s important that guests are a good fit for your Airbnb. While you need to be a decent human being and accept all kinds of guests, you do not have to accept a guest that makes you uncomfortable based on their reviews. It works both ways, guests use reviews to decide if your Airbnb is right for them. It’s a win-win in the system!
Airbnb Homestead Side Hustle: Hosting
We’ve enjoyed SuperHost status with Airbnb for quite a while. This status helps guests know you go the extra mile for them. It also comes with perks in the Airbnb host community like enhanced access to customer service, gift credits to use Airbnb as a guest, priority listing status.
If you are going to have a listing on Airbnb, do it right! Shoot for the Superhost badge and set your listing apart from others in your area. Click here for the Airbnb Superhost Terms and Conditions description.
In short, hosts must maintain these metrics:
- A 4.8 rating out of 5.
- A 90% response rate, meaning you respond to 90% of your inquiries within 24 hours.
- You must host at least 10 stays per year.
- And have a 0% cancelation rate. The consequences for canceling a reservation are drastic. Don’t do it.
This is totally doable and totally worth the effort. Making guests comfortable and happy is thoroughly gratifying.
–>> Use my affiliate link to begin setting up your own Airbnb Homestead Side Hustle! <<–
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