Turn Your Home Into an Airbnb – Where To Start?

Airbnb is a unique rental experience reflective of a hotel stay, only more personal. Hosts on Airbnb rent their property to guests needing a place to stay. They are hospitable and typically less expensive than a hotel. Becoming a host can be a great way to earn some extra cash by utilizing the empty space in your home. Consider renting out a spare bedroom in your home or building a guest suite in your home or garage to generate passive income.

Airbnbs also benefit from tax deductions that can save you money. Although you will have to manage the upkeep of your rental, it can be a worthwhile investment to start hosting on Airbnb. Prepare to start hosting your first Airbnb by taking a look at the guide below.  

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable general contractors, we get inquiries every day about turning your home into an Airbnb – here are some key points you need to know.

Become Familiar with Local Laws & Regulations

lofted guest suite

Before listing your property on Airbnb, you need to find out your local laws. Depending on what state you reside in, you may need to have the proper licensing to rent your property. Check your local government’s laws for renting an Airbnb property. Some states require a business license or zoning permit to rent your property.

You may also be required to pay additional property taxes and business taxes on any earnings when becoming a renter. Researching city and state regulations ahead of time can save you a lot of legal trouble in the long run. Make sure your rental meets all legal standards before listing it on Airbnb’s website. 

Your rental must also meet basic housing standards, such as accessibility to fire exits and reliable heat. There must be no environmental hazards or unsuitable living conditions. Understand that your rental may be subject to inspection depending on state regulations. Be sure to research your city’s housing requirements before listing your property to avoid legal complications. 

Set Up Your Airbnb

modern natural stone wood bedroom

Guests choose to stay at an Airbnb over a hotel mainly due to the price. However, guests also look to stay somewhere that provides comfort and an interesting experience.

Think about what you can do to make your Airbnb experience unique, like added amenities or themed rooms. You have the ability to decorate your space however you’d like, but you’ll still want it to appeal to potential guests. Depending on where your rental property is located, you could create a themed stay that would be intriguing to tourists.

But before you start designing your Airbnb, you’ll need to make sure that you have adequate accommodations to offer. 

Upgrading a Private Room

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Even though many Airbnb owners rent shared spaces, it’s worth considering a private room for your rental. If you already have a spare bedroom ready for guests, you just need to make sure you have the right furniture.

Think about what a typical hotel room would look like: a bed, desk, and a side table. Make sure you include these pieces of furniture in your room. However, if you don’t have a room readily available, then you’ll need to make some renovations.

Start by repairing any damages to the space, like fixing electrical issues or holes in the walls. Adding a fresh coat of paint can spruce up your room, but if you want to make serious upgrades, consider adding a private bathroom. Guests will want some privacy and having a bathroom of their own will be a great selling point.

By making upgrades to your guest bedroom, you can make your Airbnb a superior choice to give your property a leg up. 

Building a Guest Suite

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Set your rental apart from the crowd by offering a guest suite.

Guest suites generally include a private bathroom and kitchen, along with a living room and private entrance. Additional privacy is sought after by renters, so you may want to consider investing in renovations. Consider converting your garage or extra room into a guest suite, or go even further and build an addition to your house.

If you’re in this business for the long run, upgrading your rental will be worth your time and money, especially if you want to stick out from your competitors. 

Before withdrawing from your savings to fund upgrades, consider looking into a tax-deductible loan. Home equity loans, for example, allow you to access funds through the equity you’ve built up in your property and can be tax-deductible when used for home improvements. 

Provide Amenities

amenities provided to guests bathroom

If you want to provide a stellar experience for your guests, you should be providing some extra luxuries. When you stay in a hotel, what kind of amenities do you look for? Typically, hotel stays offer free toiletries, a coffee maker, a hair dryer, and more. You want your guests to feel at home, so stock up for each stay.

If you want to make your stay even cozier, leave your kitchen stocked with cooking supplies, or add some board games to the living room. Small additions can leave a great impression on your guests and give your Airbnb exceptional reviews. 

Establish Rules for Renters

As an Airbnb host, you can establish guidelines for your guests. You get to set the prices and rental availability dates as well as any discounts or minimum stay requirements. How many guests are allowed to stay in your Airbnb? Will pets be allowed? What are your cancellation terms and conditions? These are all things to consider when listing your property on Airbnb.

You want to make sure your guests treat your place with respect, so you will need to lay down some rules. If you don’t allow smoking or unapproved guests, make it clear in your listing. Communicate with your guests before their stay so they know what to expect when they arrive. 

Maintain Your Airbnb

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Keeping your Airbnb clean should be your top priority as a host. Guests don’t want to stay in a room that doesn’t meet basic cleanliness standards. After each stay, make sure to deep clean your Airbnb. Having a polished and tidy space is crucial to earning positive reviews and bringing in new customers. 

With the number of guests that stay in your Airbnb, you’ll likely need to make some repairs over time. Although many guests will treat your property with respect, you may end up with some people who leave some damage.

Be prepared to replace any broken furniture or appliances from unruly guests. However, some things wear down due to age and use, so consider that before charging your guests for damage. Airbnbs require maintenance, whether it be standard cleaning or larger repairs.

By keeping your Airbnb in impeccable condition, your guests will leave with a positive experience. 

Getting Started

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Once your Airbnb is set up, it’s time to list. It is completely free to list your rental on Airbnb. However, there is a service fee that covers Airbnb services such as host protection, customer support, and more. When posting your first listing, be sure to share high-quality photos of your property and establish strong communication with your guests. The best hosts are transparent, responsive, and professional. By maintaining these qualities, your Airbnb is sure to succeed. 

When it comes to finding the best home improvement contractor for your vacation home – GreatBuildz is simplifying the contractor search in Southern California. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, thoroughly screened home improvement services and provides project support from start to finish.


Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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