As a homeshare host, the goal is to make money with as little effort as possible. On the surface, it may seem simple. You leave your home. Someone else stays in it while you’re gone. You make money. And yes, it really can be that simple. As long as you are mindful of your expenses, you can turn a profit. There are some worthwhile costs to consider as part of your homeshare hosting equation, and usually, it works out to the benefit of everyone.
- Listing site platforms—Depending on which listing site(s) you choose to post your home on, costs could vary. Be sure to compare the different sites, what they offer and what the fees are. Especially if you’re looking to list your home on several sites, the fees can add up quickly.
- Nightly rates—You don’t want to go too high generally. It’s tempting, because again you want to make sure it’s worth your while, but it’s best to come in under the competition especially when you’re first starting out. Once you get some bookings, and start to build your 5-star reviews, then you can gradually raise your nightly rate to be on par with others. If you’re a superstar host, with great reviews, and great photos, then go ahead and ask for a little more.
- Pricing models—Figure in marketing costs, additional utilities, cleaning expenses, etc. and figure out how many nights, and at what nightly rate, you need to have occupancy so you know what your bare minimum booking is to make a profit. There are sources such as everbooked.com and beyondpricing.com that offer tools on how to price your rental against the competition in your area.
- Photos—Speaking of photos, it’s worth the cost to spend some extra money on professional photography to show off your home in the best light possible. You will recoup it because it will be the number one thing that sells your place. The more flattering photos the better!
- Management tools—If you have several properties you’re renting it may make sense to pay a management company a small fee to handle much of the hefty lifting for you. For example, guesty.com has automated tools to help you with everything from finding and managing housecleaners, to designing a beautiful booking page that syncs your properties, plus offers features like one mailbox for all your listings, a smart booking calendar, and secure, easy payment processing.
- Taxes—Don’t forget you have to pay taxes on everything you earn. You can find some guidelines on when and how to file here: https://www.consumerreports.org/taxes/tax-tips-if-you-made-money-through-airbnb/
- Insurance—Protecting your home and your assets during a rental period will ensure you are not “out of pocket” as a result of any unexpected surprises that can occur during a homeshare rental. For information on what type of insurance coverage you need, and at the best price, check out Progressive Homeshare by Slice.