Airbnb Hosts: Boost your rental income with affordable, professional interior design help!

Sometimes, the difference between two Airbnb properties is little more than a touch of style. Refreshing a space, even on the smallest of budgets, can dramatically improve booking rates and prices.

Airbnb is highly visual, and the appearance of a room might be the difference between a guest choosing your property or someone else’s. Sometimes, a change as small as a bookshelf or table can transform your space in surprising ways, and help you attract more guests and maximise occupation rates.

 

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Photo: Homewings

If you’re a remote host or simply busy, however, the thought of renovating a room or even meeting with a designer might seem overwhelming.

Together with Homewings’ talented team of designers, we’re making it easy and affordable to optimise your space for Airbnb. All online, and all within your style and budget. By taking a short style quiz, filling in a short online brief and uploading photos of your space, you’ll be connected to an experienced designer who understands your style and your particular needs. Through a collaborative online platform, your designer will provide you with your final design package, including concept, 2D room visualisation, shopping list, set-up tips and free purchasing service.

You have the final say in everything that happens, and you’ll receive a complete design package that you know your guests will love!

Homewings offers different design packages all optimised for making homes desirable for AirBnB stays, whether you’re accessorising or want to have your space designed from scratch – starting at £149.  

As a special introductory you’ll be able to get 20% off your first room design by applying this code at checkout: AIRSORTED
To get started, take the Homewings style quiz now.

Airbnb Host Tip of the Week – Welcome Booklets

One common motivation for a guest to rent an Airbnb is the desire to live like a local. As travellers become savvier and the desire for authentic experience grows, mass tourism loses its desire.

Living like a local goes beyond accommodation, and you can complement the local experience with something as simple as a guidebook.

Source: Etsy (click image for more info)

                                 Source: Etsy (click image for more info)

Whether you choose to make your own, or use a printing service like this one on Etsy (see featured photo), a simple guidebook could add huge value to your guest’s stay.

Want to solve two problems in one? Reserve a section in the guidebook for simple house instructions, such as how to control the heating or run the shower. Pair those with some local hints and tips, and your guest will be delighted to have received some insider info!

Airbnb in Edinburgh: How to make money (even when Fringe has finished!)

Working as the official Accommodation Partner for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015, Airbnb opened up a hosting goldmine that has continued to boost demand into 2016. Hosts can reap the benefits of thousands of tourists and performers descending on the city, while also helping to support local business in the area.

What happens, though, when the dust settles and the city returns to normal? It is a common misconception that the Festival is Edinburgh’s only opportunity for hosts to make the most from their vacant home, but the returns are actually strong at multiple points across the year.

Source: Airbnb

Source: Airbnb

According to recent data, although August is clearly prime time with hosts generating an average income over £2,200, other months can generate significant income too.

Edinburgh is host to activities and events in every season. During Winter, Hogmanay takes over the city with some of the world’s largest and most vibrant New Year celebrations, offering an opportunity for the savvy host to take in guests from around the world. The down season begins to pick up with the Six Nations Rugby between February and March, and in June film fanatics descend on Edinburgh for the International Film Festival. Many other cultural and sporting events take place throughout the year, and ‘business ready’ hosts will benefit from a consistent influx of corporate travellers.

With such a buzz of activity throughout the year, it is no surprise that Edinburgh is Airbnb’s 9th most expensive city, proving that hosting opportunities extend far beyond the Fringe.

Are you an Edinburgh-based host already, or are you new to Airbnb and interested in hosting in Edinburgh? We’d love to hear from you – start hosting on Airbnb with Airsorted here.

Airbnb Hosting Tip of the Week – Wifi Signage

If there is one thing all modern weary travellers have in common, it is this: they need wifi. Having potentially spent hours on a plane, and landed in a country where a data package may or may not be available, your guest may feel twitchy until they can sit down and reconnect with their friends, family, colleagues or favourite social media stars.

Asking for wifi access can be an uncomfortable experience for the guest, and crawling around under a desk to locate the tiny password sticker on the router won’t improve matters. You can make this exchange simple by providing the password in an open space – and you can make it pleasant too!

Simply print the username and password onto paper or card, place it in a frame, and leave it in a relevant place (the living room or guest bedroom, perhaps). Your guest will settle in more easily, and crawling around to find the router will no longer be a regular feature of the check-in process!

Source: Today's Creative Life (http://todayscreativelife.com/10-guest-room-essentials-and-tips/)

Source: Today’s Creative Life (http://todayscreativelife.com)

Business Travel Redefined: How Airbnb is catering for the modern corporate traveller

It has long since been a platform for the adventurous leisure traveller, but now Airbnb is seeking a new type of clientele – business travellers.

Since launching Airbnb for Business in the summer of 2015, Airbnb has succeeded in providing alternative stays for companies that are not enamoured with their current hotel chain of choice. In fact, Airbnb has now received over 5,000 company sign-ups.

Why are businesses, typically fond of the comfortable conformity of hotel chains, suddenly keen to book corporate accommodation with Airbnb? According to Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, Chip Conley:

“Businesses have clearly been longing for a better way to manage their employees’ travel needs and business travellers seem eager for a change from the traditional business travel accommodations”. 

So, not only is Airbnb up to 30% cheaper than a hotel for corporate booking, but it is also becoming a preferable environment. Statistics reveal that business travellers often add weekend leisure time to either the start or end of their work trip – extending the average business trip to 6.8 days. The home comforts of having your own kitchen and dining room are not to be underestimated, particularly during stays of this length. 

Source: Shutterstock (www.shutterstock.com)

Source: Shutterstock (www.shutterstock.com)

As business travel requires accommodation standards to meet a certain threshold, Airbnb has had to adjust its offerings. Meeting business travel standards means providing fast WiFi, a laptop-friendly workspace, and legal requirements such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Airbnb’s response is the ‘Business Travel Ready’ programme, which formally identifies those properties suitable for business travellers. Not only does this expose high-quality hosts, but it is also someway towards building a sense of security and a duty of care between Airbnb and businesses. This is the same sense of trust built by Airbnb with its regular customers, but on a new level.

According to the programme head Marc McCabe, Airbnb aims to “Redefine the business trip”. By gaining acceptance from huge corporations such as American Express and Google, Airbnb normalises room sharing for those who might not have considered it before – thus also improving booking rates for leisure travel as well as business trips.

The programme, however, is not without its challenges. The typical back-and-forth exchange of messages between host and guest is too time-consuming for businesses, and proves too demanding for hosts. 24-hour access is also a necessity, and without using an Airbnb management service, this is impossible for most hosts to offer.

The hurdles have not deterred companies from entrusting Airbnb with their business travellers, however, and the programme is only set to grow.

Airbnb Hosting Tip of the Week: Simple Signs

When you stay at a hotel, finding your way around is a non-issue. Hotel layouts are alarmingly similar, and a new guest can arrive knowing that it will be easy to find everything they need – from the bathroom to the hair dryer.

Airbnbs are often a breath of fresh air for travellers, with a unique feel to each new home they stay in. However, staying in someone’s home can sometimes feel a little uncomfortable, particularly while the guest finds their bearings.

Imagine arriving in a strange place, possibly after hours of gruelling travel, and not knowing where to find the shower room (not always so obvious after a 7hour redeye flight). The shyer traveller might be uncomfortable asking, so a little guidance can go a long way.

Some simple signs can add convenience and charm to your property, improving the guest experience without any major investment. The example below (from @cecetheceo) demonstrates how easy they can be to create. A hanging chalk sign can cost as little as £3.40 per piece (or less if you make your own) – and the benefit is you can keep changing it.

Source: Instagram (@cecetheceo)

Source: Instagram (@cecetheceo)

Do you have any top hosting tips to share? Get in touch in the comments below.

Source: Airbnb

The growth of Airbnb: Why more and more homeowners are joining the service each year

Source: Airbnb

Source: Airbnb

With over 1.5 million listings in 190 countries, Airbnb is set to become one of the most disruptive forces the industry has encountered. But why are homeowners crazy about sharing their space with strangers?

The platform, inspired by housemates who wanted to rent out their loft space, has skyrocketed beyond initial expectations. From an idea rejected by most reputable investors, to the fifth largest hotelier in the world based on number of beds, growth has been spectacular.. According to research firm Phocuswright:

“Airbnb, which doesn’t disclose bookings or revenue figures, likely generated about US $7.5 billion in gross bookings in 2015”

The growth doesn’t stop there, with Phocuswright forecasting that Airbnb will only trail Expedia Inc. and two other travel companies after this year. As well as transforming the hotel industry, Airbnb is often regarded as one of the trailblazers of the ‘share economy’ due to its focus

on peer-to-peer exchange.

It is easy to understand a traveller’s motivation to seek out affordable, authentic accommodation, but why has Airbnb become so popular amongst homeowners?

In a competitive job market, homeowners are finding inventive ways to supplement their income. Those with extra space in their home are identifying ways to turn it into cash, without the need for business qualifications or experience in hospitality. With Airbnb, a spare room and a little local knowledge can go a long way.

Entrepreneur Kelly Kampen, for example, was ‘skeptical but intrigued’ when she listed a spare room in her house in Bangkok. However, one spare room quickly became two, and Kelly has made $41,879 as an Airbnb host so far.

The main cause of concern for Hosts – the security of hosts and guests – has been overcome by Airbnb’s host protection insurance and host guarantee of up to £600,000.

Airbnb has always been ‘built on trust’, so user profiles, reviews and a verification process are set to ensure that every host feels secure and comfortable with his or her guests. Launched in 2011, the Airbnb Social Connections feature connects with Facebook to identify mutual friends of guests and hosts, adding another layer of confidence to both parties.

As Airbnb grows it’s building in more ways to make hosting safer and easier for its Hosts and Guests, such as providing verified property photography free of charge. However, there are still many elements that make hosting very hard work.  The two main reasons that homeowners do not become Airbnb Hosts are time and expertise.

What began with a loft space advertisement has become a great way for Hosts to make the most of their vacant homes and bolster their income. With the support of Airsorted, more Hosts are able to take advantage of all that Airbnb has to offer and also increase the performance of their property listings.

Top tips to account for Airbnb income

 

Accounting services  Airbnb management income Making sure you accurately account for the income from your Airbnb property is extremely important. In recent years the laws have changed regarding expenses you can claim against and which property improvements you can offset tax for.

Whilst there can be a large financial gain with short term lets, you need to make sure your financial records are accurate to keep the tax man happy and things running smoothly. With our top tips we hope to remove some of the potential stress and help you find things a lot less taxing!

Following the Chancellor’s recent budget and with effect from 6 April 2016, the ‘rent a room relief’ was increased from £4,250 to to £7,500. It now means an individual who rents out a room in their main home and meets the conditions will not pay any income tax on the rents received up to this amount, regardless of their other income.

Craig Harman, consultant from Perrys Chartered Accountants added,

“It should be noted however, that this threshold is based on the gross income received before deduction of any expenses and includes receipts for any additional services such as meals and cleaning. 

As with any business it is a requirement to keep detailed records of the income received and business expenses incurred, however this is particularly important for those who exceed the above threshold. In this case, the individual can choose to either deduct the relief from their income and only pay income tax on the amount received above £7,500 or deduct their actual qualifying business expenditure if this is greater. 

From April 2017, the amount of tax relief available for finance costs against an individual’s residential property income will be restricted. However, individual’s who let out their properties on a short term basis and meet the furnished holiday let qualifying conditions will not be affected by the new restrictions. Therefore those in this position will need to take particular care to monitor the conditions and maintain accurate records to determine the number of days the property was available for and the number of days on which it was actually let during the tax year.”

 

Whilst it can initially seem daunting and confusing, we recommend keeping a clear record of how many days your property has been occupied throughout each tax year and the income attributed to those stays. (Our new host dashboard which is currently in beta testing will help you do all of this effortlessly!) Once you have this data, leave it to the experts! For very modest fees accountants such as Perrys Chartered Accountants will take care of everything including submitting your tax return to HMRC, allowing you more time to concentrate on the things that matter in life.

So to recap:

  1. Make a note of the number of days your property is occupied through Airbnb
  2. Make a note of all the income for all of those stays
  3. Keep receipts for cleaning, property improvements, repairs etc (These can be offset)
  4. Find a good accountant to take the above and submit your tax return to HMRC

It’s as simple as that. For more information on, or if you are an existing host who would like to help test Airsorted’s new Host Dashboard please send an email to hello@airsorted.uk.

Airsorted’s Launch into the Scottish Capital

Today marks the official launch of Airsorted in Edinburgh. Whilst we may have been working away behind the scenes since early February – sorting the logistics, finding cleaners, linen companies and handy men, today is the day we cut the red ribbon and officially open the Edinburgh Airsorted doors to all! We admit we do have a small head start (we managed to bring 20 hosts and their homes on board prior to our official launch!) and such is the enthusiasm from the local residents we expect Edinburgh to be an incredibly successful city and one instrumental to our growth.Edinburgh castle

So why choose Edinburgh you ask?

Edinburgh seemed like the perfect City for us to continue our rapid growth. It is a vibrant hub for tourists to the UK, it has world class Universities and it has fantastically successful year round events which draw large numbers to the City. The Edinburgh fringe festival in the summer months is the perfect example, where the City literally overfills with people and Edinburgh comes together as one to celebrate.

There is so much going on in Edinburgh and with over 1.5 million overnight tourist visits in 2015 alone, and at number two in the “most visited tourist cities in the UK”, it was the clear choice of where to go next for Airsorted!

Our official launch starts with a mail-drop campaign which will see 11,500 leaflets posted by the Royal Mail to the residents of central Edinburgh, educating them about Airbnb management and its benefits as well as offering a special launch discount too! Whats more if you tweet a picture of the leaflet with yourself to @airsorted we will double our launch offer!

We are really excited to be launching- and you, the residents of Edinburgh, now have the perfect opportunity to join the sharing revolution and open the doors to your home whilst you are away.

But we aren’t stopping here! Airsorted have big plans and want to help spread the sharing economy further and wider, whilst helping remove the hassle. We will be launching in new cities in the coming months, so keep an eye out as we may be coming to you soon!

Airbnb Management London

How London made it onto the podium of ‘most popular Airbnb cities’.

Since launching in 2008, Airbnb has grown to 60 million users worldwide. With 640,000 hosts spread throughout 34,000 cities in 190 countries around the world, the sharing economy is well and truly booming.

Airbnb Management LondonSo how exactly has London managed to sneak into the podium places? With only Paris and New York ahead, London is officially the third most popular “airbnb city” in the world. Leaving Rio, Barcelona and Los Angeles in its wake, we take a look at just how London has propelled itself to where it is in the rankings.


Surely we have to start with our good old British culture. Everyone loves the Brits, we love to moan, complain and queue for no reason! Who wouldn’t love us?
But seriously, the United Kingdom and especially London has a wealth of history and culture. Everywhere you look in London you are surrounded by it. From the modern architecture in the City of London to the tudor properties such as Sutton House in Hackney, London is saturated with history. We are also a heavily cultured bunch and on any given day in London you can experience operas, ballets, a West End musical, Shakespeare at The Globe, a new modern at The National, the list is endless. There really is something for everyone in London!


Next, it must be us, the people, and of course our accent! Everyone loves the good old British accent, in fact apparently it is an aphrodisiac to certain nationalities around the globe! Londoners can be an extremely friendly bunch when we want to! From Black cabbies who will give you directions to anywhere,and I mean anywhere in the city, to locals in the suburbs we are a really friendly, helpful bunch of people. It may look like no-one talks to each other and we walk around like isolated zombies, but this is how you behave on the underground until otherwise approached. It’s the commuter culture and if you need anything just ask, when approached we’re sure to help!


London landmarks and “British icons” are also a must. Any tourist I’ve ever met visiting London has always said they must get a photo of a black cab, a red bus and of course the good old British telephone box! (although these are now getting rarer and rarer). These are quickly followed by landmarks including Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square. We have so much to see and landmarks and points of interest in every corner of the City that it is often hard to fit it all in to a short city break.


Finally, the food, how can we forget the food? London has some of the finest restaurants in the world and you could quite easily eat a different cuisine every night of your holiday without ever running low on options. From good old British fish and chips to the finest sushi in Europe there is something to cater to anyone’s culinary needs and desire.


All of these are surely winning reasons as to why London is now officially the third most popular “airbnb city” worldwide, however we at airsorted believe the homes people can stay in is also a huge contributing factor. London has a fantastically diverse range of airbnb options available for the global traveller. From the Clock tower at Kings Cross to Regents canal, London has some truly unique options for you to rest your head in at the end of a hard day’s sightseeing. Who would stay in a hotel when you’ve got Airbnb? If your lucky the property will even be managed by Airsorted!