The pandemic might’ve made traveling scary, but travelers are far from discouraged. Now that international borders have opened again, Airbnb accommodations would see a surge in bookings. As such, it may be a good time to invest in a property and make it an Airbnb.
But as the pandemic persists, you may face health risks after accommodating guests in your Airbnb. You’d have no way to know how they handled your property unless they left marks. What if one of them had contaminated your appliances or kitchen surfaces? You can install a surveillance camera to monitor your guests, but this may backfire on you. Hotel and Airbnb guests don’t take kindly to being watched. Even if you have good intentions, they may still think you’re a creep.
So, can you handle the risks of unruly guests and possible bad reviews? Here are the things to consider before buying an Airbnb home:
You can use a mortgaged home as an Airbnb accommodation. But your lender should know about it. Talk to a skilled mortgage broker before borrowing. They will match you up with a lender that allows borrowers to buy an investment property with a loan.
Buying an Airbnb home with a loan can make your monthly payments more manageable. According to US-based lender Earnest, Airbnb hosts can make up to $924 or roughly £680 per month. You might make less today because of the pandemic, but if the demand for Airbnb homes is high in your area, then you’re in the safe zone. Find a backup source of income to cover your mortgage payment if you have no bookings for a month or so.
Because of the omicron variant, many people are wary about traveling again. As such, they’re even more worried about staying in hotels or Airbnb homes. They want to make sure that you’ve thoroughly disinfected your Airbnb before they step foot in it.
The safety concerns go both ways. Since you’d have no control over your home once guests start using it, you risk contracting the virus when you clean up after their stay. Hence, you have to double your precautions during your cleanup and inspection. Wear gloves and a face mask as you go about the task. More importantly, require your guests to show you a negative COVID-19 test beforehand. You may also ask for a vaccination certificate, but do this with caution. After all, getting vaccinated is a choice, so making it a policy may draw negative reactions.
Other risks of hosting an Airbnb are personal safety, home safety, liability, and payment matters. If you wish to live in the house while there are no bookings, you may forget to take some of your belongings when a guest finally books the place. As a result, you’d risk having that item stolen.
Your appliances and electronics may also be vulnerable to theft and misuse. And it would be impractical to run background checks on each guest to ensure your stuff’s safety. Hence, you have no other choice but to expect your guests to follow your house rules.
Risks on home safety refer to injuries your guests could sustain in your home. For example, if the gas stove caught fire when they used it, you’ll be liable for their injuries. The affected guests may also give your accommodation a low rating because of the trauma the incident has caused them.
Lastly, you may also face the risk of a rogue guest using your home without paying. Thankfully, guests pay the host through the Airbnb app itself. But Airbnb will release your payment only within 24 hours after your guests’ arrival. If your guests don’t show up, they should contact you in advance, but that doesn’t always happen. In any case, you need to refund their payment. That would mean you just wasted a day or two when you could’ve made money from another guest.
4. Stability of the Business
If you want to use your Airbnb home as a primary source of income, ensure that it’ll be stable enough. You’re lucky today because the pandemic is already under control. But what if you started this business in 2019? If that had been the case, you would’ve been stuck without a stable income for the whole of 2020.
Study the market and the economy before making Airbnb your primary income source. But even in good times, have a secondary income stream. The pandemic has proven that we can lose our livelihoods in a snap. Don’t assume that it won’t happen to you just because you’re a good business owner.
With these factors considered, your Airbnb business can start smoothly. Be hands-on with its management to ensure you can avoid tricky and risky situations.