Kelly Montoya is an Airbnb Superhost and the founder of Stay., a short-term rental property management company. She is a full-time Airbnb host and currently owns four rental properties in the Miami, Florida area. We sat down with Kelly to learn how she successfully manages her Airbnb listings and what it takes to become an Airbnb expert. Below are her Airbnb hosting tips:
The best Airbnb host is one that shows up. Yes, there will be times that a lockbox or remote entry will be necessary but nothing replaces your smile and welcome.
Surprise And Surpass.
When my Airbnb guests arrive at our property, I make sure that it exceeds their expectations. I try to incorporate all senses into their experience… From the touch of a soft towel to the smell of our proprietary essential oils. Most our guests say they don’t want to leave when their stay is up. To me that means, “see you again soon,” and there’s nothing better than repeat customers.
Friends And Family.
When starting out as an Airbnb host, you should first let your inner-circle know that you are renting out your home and offer them incentives for providing referrals. As an example, you could let your friends stay for free for every 10 Airbnb referrals they send your way. Pretty soon, you will start getting bookings from your existing network and it’s a win-win for everyone involved! You are on your way to making income and getting reviews on your listing.
Dress The Part.
Style your property to match its surroundings. Maybe you can’t spend the extra money at first, but going the extra mile when it comes to decorating will pay off in the long-run. Our downtown properties are up-scale, modern, and minimalistic. Our beachfront properties are Boho Chic. Create a theme with your listing to attract more Airbnb booking reservations.
Stay With A Twist.
Personalize your guests’ stay by adding your own twist. We always write a hand-written welcome letter and leave our list of favorite things to do in the city. Throw in a bottle of Prosecco, some fresh flower, and a basket of fruit. Go above and beyond to impress your guests. It will be worth it when they leave you a stellar review!
Welcome To A World Of 24/7 Hosting.
With international time zones and unexpected airport delays, you never know when your Airbnb guests might call. We suggest getting a Google Voice phone number so that you can be in control of who has access to calling you or your Airbnb team. Avoid international calling rates and make free phone calls using this Airbnb hosting tip!
Four Types Of Airbnb Travelers.
From our experience working as Airbnb Superhosts, we believe there are four different categories of Airbnb travelers. Understand that each type of guest will expect something different so be prepared to cater to their needs.
1. Someone traveling longer than the average hotel stay. These guests will generally be traveling for work-related reasons and will come and go frequently. For the most part they are fairly low maintenance due to their schedule. Because they are staying longer than the typical 1-2 night hotel stay, they may be looking to get a discounted rate on their reservation.
2. A family on vacation that wants to stay together but might not be able to afford separate hotel rooms. You see these travelers during the vacation season. These guests will generally only book your Airbnb if it’s a full listing, not a private room. They will need kitchen and laundry access, along with a pull-out couch bed for extra family members.
3. The frequent traveler who is looking for adventure and is often conscious of cost. These are typically short-duration stays and the guest is on a mission to experience everything the location has to offer. Expect fun and a friendly face. You’ll want to have your list of things to do ready for this traveler!
4. Lastly, our favorite type of guests, are the travelers who simply love to “Stay Home Somewhere Else®”. These travelers appreciate a well-stocked kitchen ready for cooking, easy access to laundry facilities, and the warmth of a friendly neighborhood.
Know Your Competition And Update Your Pricing.
It’s critical that your hosting calendar and rates are up-to-date based on upcoming holidays or long weekends. Know what’s going on in your area. Is there a popular festival coming up? Expect people to book during these popular travel times and make sure that you don’t have to decline a reservation request because you failed to update your calendar or rates.
Early Bird Gets The Worm–Respond Fast!
We understand that this isn’t always possible, but try to respond to every booking request within an hour of being contacted. Potential guests often send out messages to several hosts and book the first host to respond to their inquiry. This also affects your search rank… Airbnb places priority on hosts that respond quickly.
Negotiate But Don’t Sell Yourself Short.
Some Airbnb guests will try to negotiate with you on your listing price. This is okay, but make sure you do it with confidence in your listing’s quality and understand that you don’t have to lower your price. Be aware of other tactics that you can use to counteract lowering your prices like waiving your cleaning fee or offering a discounted extra night’s stay.
Long-term Stays Are Not Your Business.
The real bread and butter for those of us who are using Airbnb as a full-time business should stay focused on short-term stays. Understand that you will generally make more money from short-term stays vs long-term because of increased stay rates and added cleaning fees. You will also get more reviews which will bump up your host rating.
Someone who loves their job doesn’t work a day! Nothing could be more true about being an Airbnb host. My love for our Airbnb and client properties is the reason for our success. Becoming a Superhost didn’t happen over night–and it certainly wouldn’t happen without being passionate about what we do. My dream is to own short-term rental properties all over the globe. I know this will happen if we stay true to our business model and continue to be enthusiastic about our job as Airbnb hosts!
You can view Kelly’s Miami Airbnb listings by clicking the links below:
You can also connect with Stay.Miami on social media by liking their Facebook page and following @staymiami on Instagram.