Deciding to Airbnb your property can be a great way of earning extra income by making the most of a property that otherwise lies unloved. But what makes a great Airbnb rental? Stripping out your family memorabilia and adding a quick splash of magnolia to the walls isn’t going to cut the mustard with today’s discerning traveller. Airbnb guests demand more than just a pleasant place to rest their head – they want to stay somewhere stylish, somewhere that celebrates their surroundings, that will make their friends green-eyed with envy and ultimately enhance the overall experience of their trip. Below are a few simple pointers to help you achieve this.

The essentials

One thing that all travellers will have in common is the need for a comfy bed made up with good-quality bedding. You don’t need to go out and buy a matching set of expensive furniture, in fact mix-matching styles is very on-trend, but it’s important to spend money on the things that matter – a good mattress and a solid bed frame. Invest in these and your guests will be sleeping like a baby! Make sure to include useful storage and hanging space and a mirror. It’s worth considering curtains too, good-quality ones will keep the room darker, aiding a good night’s sleep! The second most important thing to include (some may argue it’s just as important as a good night’s sleep) is WiFi! For business trips this is an absolute must, but either way your guests are going to expect to be online within minutes of their arrival, so get a reliable connection and ensure the code is at hand.

Declutter and depersonalise

Look around your home and try to see it as a holiday let – do your guests want to see your family photos or quirky trinkets from your travels? A space that is too personal to you can make guests feel uncomfortable. But don’t be tempted to strip everything out, bookcases filled with interesting books, pictures and ornaments help add charm and warmth so include some bits you’re happy to leave. It’s a good idea to keep in mind your target guests when you’re thinking about filling your home, if it’s families, a box of toys is ideal to keep little ones occupied – for couples or friends, board games, DVDs and books are all nice additions.

Give it some style

It’s fair to say that stylish apartments and homes get booked up quicker than ones that look a bit sad and unloved. Offering your guests two nights of Instagram-worthy decor, mixed with hotel-style luxury works. But you don’t need a degree in interior design to make your home look like a professional holiday let. It’s a good idea to give the walls a fresh coat of paint before you start hosting and you can get loads of great ideas for colour and style in magazines or online. Think of the style of property you have – if it’s modern then a cosy, country look probably isn’t going to work so think cool and contemporary. If you’re in a period property it’s wise to go for a modern twist on a classic style. Unless you’re totally confident about adding bold colours then stick to a neutral palette and add colour with cushions, artwork and flowers – they’ll help make your professional photos look amazing!

Get a road test

Good reviews is what you’re looking for! Happy guests, happy host. But if you’re just about ready to launch a new listing why wait until that first all-important review to come in to realise that the shower is a bit tricky to work, you don’t have enough chairs around the dining table, or that the kitchen is missing cereal bowls? First impressions are important so consider road-testing your stay for a night or asking friends to. They might pick up on things that you hadn’t considered, and it might mean the difference between a 3 or 5 star review!

Be the host with the most!

Airbnb is famed for being a friendly way to travel but what makes a great host? Start right from the moment your guests make a booking with clear and prompt communication. Let them know what time check-in is and whether you’ll meet them or send them a code for a lockbox. If you’re greeting your guests, arrange a time and see them into the property – give them a quick tour and point out useful things like the heating and WiFi. It’s a nice touch to include some bread, milk, tea and coffee to get them started – a hot drink always goes down well after a long trip! Ensure the beds are made up and you’ve provided fresh towels – and of course, that the property is sparkling clean for them. It’s a good idea to include a house manual with any useful instructions for their stay – things like how to use kitchen appliances, heating, WiFi and what to do with the rubbish. It’s also useful to include emergency services information and the nearest hospital as well as taxi numbers, train/bus station details and nearest supermarkets. Your guests are bound to want to know where the best restaurants, coffee shops, bars and main attractions are, so add your handy insider tips for where and when to go. Once they’re in you can leave them to enjoy their stay! Give them a number to reach you on and make sure they know what to do at check out.

Making your property a great Airbnb isn’t rocket science, just think about what you would expect from a stay and go from there. Seeing it through the eyes of your new guests is the best way to prepare your home for its new adventure. If you need a hand, Nook can help with anything from preparing your home to helping you host, communicating with your guests and of course getting those all-important bookings.  Just get in touch if you need some help.