In this post, we discuss how much time you have to dedicate to Airbnb management and how you can minimize this time. Legend has it that Airbnb is nothing but sitting back and counting your money, but reality is somewhat different.
Hosting guests takes more than five minutes of your life. It all starts with reviewing the price of your apartment daily and adjusting it if necessary. Whenever an inquiry or booking request arrives, you must decide whether you’d like to have the person in question as your guest. After vetting them, you have to welcome them to their new temporary home and send them all the necessary information regarding the apartment, the neighbourhood and the check-in. The difficulty of communication varies with each person: with some, it is easy, with others, it takes more effort. After learning when the guest would arrive, you go to the apartment about 2 hours early to clean it. Before that (if you want to be a really good host), you pop in to the grocery store and buy a few things for the guest(s) – a bottle of wine, a couple of basic food items, just to have something in the fridge. You mustn’t forget providing fresh, crisp bed linen and towels, which requires a few more hours and the regular use of your washing machine and iron. Cleaning a apartment of average size can easily take 1.5-2 hours. If you’re lucky, the guest is punctual, but in some cases the transfer from Budapest’s airport can be as lengthy as 2 hours. After welcoming your guest, showing them around the apartment and the neighbourhood and answering all their questions, you can finally go home with the laundry. Optimally, you will only have to return for check-out – assuming nothing out of ordinary happens, like having to fix the heating, to give help with using the washing machine, or to let the guest back inside when they accidentally lock themselves out..
This means that just receiving a guest takes about 6-7 hours in all. Managing one Airbnb apartment while you have a full-time job is not easy, but if taken really seriously, the duties could require more than one person to tackle.
So, what tasks of Airbnb management can you save time on, if you’re doing it all by yourself? First, jot down how many time each task takes in a month. Use this and your monthly Airbnb profit to calculate your hourly wage. When corresponding with guests, it is good to have a pre-made information sheet with the most important things about the apartment and maybe the answers to frequently asked questions. It might be worthwhile to get a few sets of towels/bed linen/bathroom rugs, so you don’t have to do the washing/ironing every time. Apply the same approach when it comes to cleaning products, wine and non-perishables: instead of shopping every 3 days, shop once a month and get everything ahead of time. Establishing routines also helps: after some time, you will do cleaning on auto pilot, which can earn you about half an hour. You can save yourself the sometimes painfully slow process of check in/out by hiding the keys somewhere (i.e. depositing them in a spare key lock box). Assuming, of course, you trust your guests implicitly. From time to time, it is advisable to check everything that might malfunction in the apartment, in order to prevent major problems that you could have prevented. Pricing and calendar settings also require your continuous attention, unless you subscribe to a service that will relieve you of these tasks.
Hosts know well that if you want to do it right, Airbnb is indeed time consuming.