Welcome to San Diego Blog | November 18, 2016
Thinking of Airbnb-ing your condo?
I took my first Airbnb trip, a 2 night stay in Chicago, about 6 weeks ago. While looking for a place to stay, I quickly realized that I would be visiting Chicago during the World Series and if the Cubs made it they would be playing at home. Naturally, I focused my search in the Wrigleyville area. I wanted to be down near Wrigley to get the full experience and maybe even get into a game. When I started looking in Wrigleyville it didn’t take long to figure out that since I was meeting a buddy there sharing a room wasn’t going to be feasible and getting a full place was going to be a much better option.
Creating your post
As someone looking to rent their property out via Airbnb, this is the first question you need to answer as well. Do you want to rent out just a room or are you going to rent out your whole place. Are you more comfortable with a stranger living in your place and sleeping in your bed while you are away or would you rather a stranger sleep in your guest room and live along side you while that person is staying? Airbnb has very good insurance coverage for damage to a host condo, this becomes a personal preference.
Actually, let me backtrack just a little bit. The first thing you are going to want to do as a condo owner looking to try out Airbnb is check with your HOA and see if it’s legal according to the CC&Rs. Condo buildings in downtown San Diego allow as short as 30 day rentals, but there are still some rowhomes that don’t have restrictions. I definitely don’t recommend trying to usurp the HOA, it will just end up getting you fined and most likely you won’t turn any profit.
Once you have figured out if doing Airbnb is legal to your HOA and decided if you were going to share your place or rent out the whole thing, then you are ready to move forward with creating your post on the website/app. Upload relevant pictures, choose your preference for pet/no pet & smoking/ no smoking, and the number of guests you want to limit.
Next you want to decide if you are going to allow your prospective guests to book instantly or request booking. “Instant Book” is just what it sounds like, it allows anyone who is looking at your post to book it. “Request to Book” requires the prospect to send you a message and allows you to review the guest and accept or reject that person.
Before & During the stay
Before your guest shows up, you are going to want to clean your place, fix any broken lamps or curtains, put any personal items in an “owner’s closet” and lock it up, and create rules for the stay. Rules include details about the check-in/check-out process, guidelines about how to treat your place and neighbors, as well as emergency procedures and numbers. Hosts will put this information in a Google Doc and before new guests check-in they copy/paste into the Airbnb app and send it over to the guest.
It’s nice to create some kind of “Welcome package” for your guests as well. This can be as easy as just giving information on using appliances and amenities or you could give recommendations on restaurants & bars in the area. Some hosts even leave refreshments out on the counter or beverages in the fridge for their guests. You will also want to keep in contact with your guests during their stay
Now that your guests have checked out, make sure you thank them for their stay and rate your guests on the app. If they are a great guest, you want to let other hosts know. On the other hand, if your guests were those few bad apples you definitely want to let others know. Those are the guests that are causing communities to want to ban Airbnb. Last but not least, clean your place for the next guests.
I’m happy to say that my first Airbnb was a great experience. We didn’t end up in Wrigleyville, instead we rented a studio in a high rise in the North Loop within two blocks of great bars & restaurants. If we would have stayed at a hotel, we would have never made it to those bars & restaurants nor met Harry Caray’s angel (yes, it was Halloween weekend).
Airbnb was created almost 10 years ago. In that time, people have opened up their homes to over 80 million guests in almost 60,000 cities in 191 countries around the world. This has given people the opportunity to explore new cities like residents rather than vacationers.