Depending on the type of vacation rental you are running, you could be looking at spending 2-3 hours a day managing your property and between 5-8 hours on days where you have a change-over of guests.
So you’ve been hearing from a friend that she’s making some effortless cash listing her unit on Airbnb.
But how much time does it really take to host on Airbnb?
Let us explain…
Time vs. Profits
If you want to host on Airbnb, especially if you want to do so profitably, you must be able to execute on a number of expectations that Airbnb guests have come to expect.
These can include:
- Near real-time communications with guests
- Clear and transparent communication
- Smooth check ins and check outs
- Clean and neat rooms, bathrooms, couches, beds, kitchens, etc…
- Fulfilling all of these expectations takes money, time, or both, regardless of whether you’re a single unit host or a full time host of multiple units.
Deciding on which to optimize for will depend on what kind of host you intend to become.
Single Unit Host vs. Full Time Airbnb Host
If you’re just looking to make a few extra dollars by listing your own place from time to time, you’ll be spending less overall time as a host on Airbnb.
But you spend more time on your single unit than a full time entrepreneur (our term for full-time hosts) would on a single unit who is looking to build a portfolio of Airbnb units.
While the full time entrepreneur is trying to maximize their total profits per hour of time spent managing their entire portfolio, a single unit host is just trying to maximize the total profits for that one unit. See the difference?
WHAT’S INVOLVED IN BEING AN AIRBNB HOST?
Estimating your potential time commitment is easier if you know what being a host entails, so here’s a brief look at some of the activities you’ll be getting up to.
- Setting up and maintaining your profile online. Getting your profile right is key to making sure you have a constant stream of guests coming through your door, so expect to spend at least a couple of hours on setting it up initially. That includes researching your competitors and pricing, creating the content, and taking high-quality photographs. Your profile shouldn’t be static either, so factor in time to review your prices, content, and photos at least seasonally to ensure you capture the market.
- Communication. Whether it’s potential guests wanting to book or current guests with questions or issues, communication never stops. Depending on how busy and organised you are, you could spend a few hours a week responding to guests, and this could be more if you have opted to vet your guests before allowing them to book as you’ll have to check out their profile before deciding.
- Getting your property ready. Guests expect a professional standard of cleaning, so you can’t cut corners here. How long it takes to turn your property around between guests will depend on your property and how many rooms you have, but consider you’ll need to clean, wash towels and sheets, restock essentials, and maybe even fix broken items or carry out basic maintenance; it’s at least three to four hours of work. Your monthly time commitment will also depend on how many guests you have and how long they stay. If you aim for tourists on two-week holidays, you’ll be doing less than if you have a stream of short-stay guests.
- Check-ins and check-outs. Unless you install a lockbox or other method of automating your check-in, you’ll need to factor in time to hand over the keys to guests as they arrive, and don’t forget, sometimes this will include travel delays and time alterations.
- Dealing with problems. It’s difficult to say how long you will have to spend sorting out problems for guests – no one plans issues. You can reduce it by keeping your property well maintained, leaving clear instructions, and troubleshooting guides, and by having a plan and list of people to call upon should something go wrong.
- Admin. As with every business, hosting is not without admin. Whether you’re doing everything yourself or hiring others to help, you will have money coming in and going out and will need to keep track and file relevant tax returns etc. You’ll also have everything else that comes with managing a property, such as sorting out the gas and electric and Wi-Fi and keeping on top of health and safety factors such as boiler servicing and making sure fire alarms work.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES BEING A HOST TAKE?
As you can see from above, the exact time commitment is dependent on many factors and varies considerably between hosts. Realistically though you’re looking at spending at least a couple of hours a week managing your property and more on weeks when you’re turning your property around between guests.
OUTSOURCE TO AN AIRBNB PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY
You can reduce your time commitment by automating things like communication, being organised, and by setting up your property, so it is easy to clean, for example by keeping clutter to a minimum. Alternatively, you can outsource some or all your hosting duties to us. We have experience managing Airbnb properties, know what it takes to be a 5* host and will ensure your property is kept to a high standard and that your guests are well looked after. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy your extra income, well that is after you have picked up the phone or sent us an email – contact us now!
Hiring a Full-Service Property Manager
How efficiently you manage (or outsource the management) of your property is crucial to your profitability and your sanity. One option is to outsource all aspects of property management to one or more third party companies. The typical cost for end-to-end management is 20% of total bookings.
You can follow this guide and manage your place more effectively than a traditional property manager. But in case you don’t want to deal with the hassle, below are some outsourcing options.
#1 Have Property Managers Bid for your Property
#2 Hire a Vacation Rental Property Management Specialist
#3 Cleaning Service Providers