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How Can I Make My Short Let More Energy-Efficient?

energy efficiency rating

Given the ongoing energy bill crisis, UK homeowners have actively sought smarter ways to manage their energy use and discover more sustainable energy sources. The cost-of-living crisis has directly threatened small, short-let businesses across the UK. However, as a holiday let owner, you can take steps to ensure that your property uses energy as efficiently as possible. Keep reading to discover how you can make your short let more energy-efficient and explore eco-friendly alternatives.


Smart Heating

Investing in a smart heating system is a practical choice for your holiday home since it can help you gain control over your most significant energy expense. With the ability to manage heating through a convenient smartphone app or a scheduled system, you can have peace of mind knowing that guests haven’t left the heating on when they depart or are continuously using it. Additionally, during freezing weather, this digital method makes it straightforward to regulate the heating to prevent frozen pipes.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Investing in new appliances for your holiday home may come with a significant initial cost. Nevertheless, in the long run, appliances rated between A and A+++ will save you substantial money due to their energy efficiency. Additionally, this choice is more environmentally friendly.

Consider, especially, the replacement of your boiler and radiators, as older models could cost you over £200 per year in energy bills. If you haven’t already, switching to LED bulbs for your lighting is a simple yet effective way to initiate energy efficiency in your short-let property.

Insulation, insulation, insulation!

home insulation

The soaring cost of heating our homes during the winter months became a national concern, with average monthly prices reaching unprecedented levels. However, holiday homeowners can take measures to ensure that they retain heat in their houses for longer:

Installing double-glazed windows can be costly, but they efficiently retain heat, provide added security, and offer better noise insulation. Cavity wall insulation is another essential step to ensure higher energy efficiency, especially for properties built before the 1980s. Seek professional advice to assess the impact on the building, and professional installation is necessary. For a quick and cost-effective solution, insulating the loft space can be done as a DIY project. Another valuable tip is to upgrade curtains to thick, high-quality materials and inspect window and door seals to block any draughts effectively.

Go Green

Utilizing renewable energy sources not only offers a cost-effective energy solution but also benefits the environment, making it an appealing feature for eco-conscious guests. While the installation of renewable energy sources like solar panels, hydroelectric units, and wind turbines can be expensive, they offer a cost-efficient and sustainable power supply to your home. It’s important to note that their performance depends on the weather, so you should evaluate the initial installation cost against the expected output in your local area.

By adopting these key strategies, you can significantly improve the energy efficiency of your short let, leading the way toward a more sustainable and budget-friendly future.

solar panel


In summary, amidst rising energy costs and economic challenges, holiday let owners can enhance energy efficiency by using smart heating, energy-efficient appliances, improved insulation, and exploring renewable energy sources. These steps save money and appeal to eco-conscious guests, fostering a more sustainable and cost-effective short let property.

If you feel ready to outsource your property management to an expert, check out our services

How to Choose the Right Furniture for Your Airbnb?

woman shopping at furniture store

Think of a typical “grandma’s house” with a floral sofa and doilies. If grandma adds a modern table with shiny legs, it would look out of place in her cozy, old-fashioned room.

Your Airbnb’s furniture shows the kind of experience and price level you’re offering. Fancy furniture doesn’t fit in a cheap rental, just like simple IKEA pieces wouldn’t match a fancy place. But, no matter where your furniture comes from, it’s important to make sure it all goes well together. This is what guests are looking for today.

Getting the right look and feel with your furniture can lead to good reviews and more money. Need help starting? Here are our best tips for picking Airbnb furniture.

woman shopping at furniture store

How to furnish an Airbnb

To furnish an Airbnb, first decide what kind of experience you want to give your guests. For example, a fancy rental in the Hollywood Hills will need different furniture than a small cabin in the Rocky Mountains. Furnishing your Airbnb might seem easy, but it’s important to really understand your market and how much you’re charging.

The furniture in your Airbnb is key to making your listing stand out. You need furniture that looks good in photos, whether it’s expensive or not. Also, think about how much you charge per night; the more you charge, the more guests expect.

So, how you choose and arrange your furniture is just as important as the furniture itself. You can go for high-end items or more affordable ones. Below, we’ll talk about how to do this well.

Define your property’s style

Decide on a look before you furnish your Airbnb. Guests often prefer clean, minimalist styles like Scandinavian and Modern Farmhouse, but you don’t have to completely redo your space to match these.

Analyze your market and competitors. Consider whether you’re aiming for a high average daily rate (ADR) or a more budget-friendly short-term rental (STR). Think about your Airbnb’s location: is it in a city or in the mountains? Also, consider if there’s a unique local style or furnishing, like porch beds in the South.

These considerations will guide you to the ideal aesthetic for your Airbnb. Remember, guests seek immersive experiences, so choose furniture that reflects both your market and your pricing strategy. If you’re offering a luxury experience, ensure your furniture is luxurious.

Understand furniture function

You’ve chosen a style – that’s great. Now, focus on the function of your short-term rental’s (STR) furniture. Consider how guests will use each piece. For instance, is the living room ottoman meant for storage, or is it just for show?

Choose furniture that enhances your guests’ experience during their stay. A trendy hanging chair might look great on TikTok and attract bookings, but if there’s no comfortable seating, that’s a problem.

This principle applies to practical furniture too. Don’t choose a stylish dining table that seats only four if your STR accommodates eight people.

Most importantly, avoid prioritizing style over substance. While it’s tempting to design an STR that looks good, don’t compromise functionality and comfort for aesthetics.

Airbnb furniture safety

woman testing a mattress

No matter if your furniture is from Pottery Barn or a garage sale, it must be safe. Safety might not be the first thing you think of with furniture, but it’s important. Taking time to secure furniture properly can prevent big problems later.

Secure beds, dressers, and other large furniture to the wall. Put guard rails on all bunk beds. Ensure that electrical outlets are grounded and meet code requirements. Use cordless blinds to reduce choking hazards and provide child-proofing items like baby gates if needed.

Cost-effective furniture

You don’t have to spend a lot to furnish your Airbnb, but what you spend should match your rental’s price range. Fancy furniture like Crate & Barrel might be too expensive for a budget rental, but could be a good choice if you’re charging luxury prices.

Whatever your price range, it’s smart to think about how you use your furniture budget. Better quality furniture costs more but lasts longer. You don’t have to spend a lot on everything, though. It’s a good idea to spend more on important things like beds and couches and save on things that aren’t used as much, like dining chairs.

What furniture does my Airbnb need?

You likely already know that your short-term rental (STR) needs at least one bed and probably a couch. However, the other furniture depends on your specific unit.

You should furnish rental properties to make the most of all available spaces. Furnish every bedroom with beds, provide plenty of comfortable seating in living and dining areas, and even add a cozy chair or two on patios. Typically, this includes:


  • Choose a bed with a headboard.
  • Select a comfortable mattress that’s at least eight inches thick.
  • Provide bedside tables and lamps.
  • Ensure outlets are accessible. Use an extension cord if outlets are behind the bed or hard to reach.
  • Include a dresser.
  • Hang a mirror.
  • Place an area rug.

Living room:

  • Offer enough seating for the number of guests your STR accommodates. This might include:
    • A couch or sectional.
    • A sofabed with a pull-out mattress.
    • A loveseat.
    • Armchairs or recliners.
    • A coffee table or ottoman.
    • Side tables.
  • Set up a TV.
  • Add an area rug.
  • Place table and/or floor lamps.

For other spaces:

Patio furniture:

  • Use a bistro table.
  • Add an outdoor couch or loveseat.
  • Include a side table.
  • Provide an umbrella or shade covering.


  • Have barstools.
  • Consider a kitchen island.
  • Include a kitchen helper for family-friendly STRs.


  • Equip with a desk.
  • Add a desk chair.
  • Provide lighting.
  • Ensure outlets are accessible.

Remember, the furniture you choose should reflect how you price and position your STR. Whether you’re targeting families or couples, luxury or budget travelers, your furniture should match your market.

Where to Buy Furniture for Airbnb

The right place to buy furniture for your Airbnb varies, just as furnishing styles do. If you manage local Airbnbs, shopping in person might suit you best. However, if you manage your STRs remotely, online shopping could be more convenient.

Here are some of our favorite places to shop for Airbnb furniture:


IKEA is more than just Swedish meatballs; it’s a one-stop shop for Airbnb furniture. Here, you can find everything from beds and frames to bedding, living room furniture, and decor for every room. While their furniture is generally budget-friendly, they also offer some high-end looking pieces that are still affordable.


For online shopping, Wayfair is an excellent choice. They offer a wide range of options for every budget and room. Wayfair is especially useful if you need to furnish multiple units across different price tiers or manage your units remotely.

West Elm

West Elm appeals to luxury travelers. If you’re aiming for higher average daily rates (ADRs) or competing with upscale STRs, consider West Elm. Their furniture is not only comfortable but also stands out in photos. However, be mindful that West Elm’s higher prices might impact your profit margins if you’re aiming for a modest ADR.

Craigslist/Facebook Marketplace

For local Airbnb hosts who can dedicate time to furniture hunting, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace are excellent options. You can find high-quality pieces at low prices. However, this approach requires more effort and time to find pieces that match your aesthetic.

American Furniture Warehouse (AFW)

AFW is great for knowing exactly what you’re getting. You can visit an AFW, try out furniture, and then order for your unit’s location. It’s ideal for standardizing your listings and ensuring comfort and quality. However, be aware of potentially long wait times for orders, so check delivery times before purchasing.

Quick Guide to Furnishing Your Airbnb Property

Furnishing a vacation rental home isn’t a quick or easy task. Simply ordering a bunch of mismatched pieces online might hurt your average daily rate (ADR) and revenue. Instead, take time to analyze your market, decide on an aesthetic, and choose furniture that delivers the experience you promise your guests.

You also don’t need to spend too much time furnishing your Airbnb. AirDNA’s improved Rates Tool comes with smart filters that quickly determine your price tier. Whether your short-term rental (STR) is budget, economy, midscale, upscale, or luxury, this tool helps you save time. Then, you can focus on selecting furniture that really makes an impact.

If you feel ready to outsource your property management to an expert, check out our services

How to Boost Your Rental’s Appeal for Last-Minute Bookings?


If you own or manage a vacation rental and want to increase your occupancy rates by getting last-minute bookings, this is the time to act. The travel industry is currently experiencing a surge in spontaneous travelers, actively seeking flexible and impromptu getaways. They are in search of last-minute vacation rentals, and attracting these last-minute bookers can drastically enhance your short-term rental business, maximizing both occupancy rates and revenue.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into effective strategies that will help you draw in impulsive travelers and secure more last-minute bookings for your vacation rentals. By adopting these tips and techniques, you can optimize your property’s visibility, offer compelling deals, and create an urgency that compels guests to quickly book your property for their upcoming spontaneous trips.

traveler last-minute booking

1. Optimize your online presence

To attract last-minute bookings, having a strong online presence is crucial. Begin by making sure your vacation rental listing is enticing, accurate, and up-to-date on popular platforms like Airbnb,, or VRBO. Listing on multiple channels increases your audience and boosts your potential for bookings, helping you fill vacancies. Although this might mean more work and a risk of double bookings, using a channel manager like Keey can unify your calendars and help you streamline and automate operations across multiple channels.

Ensure that your listings draw in potential guests by featuring high-quality photos that highlight your property’s unique features and amenities. Also, craft a compelling listing description that showcases the key selling points and emphasizes the value you offer to last-minute travelers.

2. Offer Last-Minute Deals and Discounts

Create urgency by offering special deals and discounts for last-minute bookings when your property is vacant. You might offer discounted rates for upcoming dates within a few weeks or provide additional perks like complimentary late check-out or welcome amenities. Get creative by linking your rental with a local event, restaurant, experience, or even a tee time at a nearby golf course. Your offers may vary with the season, but focus on what will attract those last-minute travelers. Actively form partnerships in your community to make these offers a reality.

Actively promote these offers on your website, social media channels, and through email newsletters to catch the attention of potential guests looking for spontaneous getaways.

3. Utilize Social Media and Email Marketing

Use your social media platforms and email marketing to reach last-minute travelers. Post engaging content regularly on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, showcasing your vacation rental and any ongoing promotions. Consider creating ads on Facebook and Instagram; since Facebook owns Instagram, your ad can appear on both platforms simultaneously. Craft a strong call to action to entice last-minute travelers to book with you. Add a booking link across your social media pages to enable immediate action from your followers.

If you haven’t already, develop an email subscriber list of past guests and inquiries, and send out regular newsletters featuring exclusive deals and information on last-minute availability. Segment your email list to specifically target subscribers interested in last-minute offers or those living within a close driving distance. Ensure your subject line is catchy and relevant to your call to action – encouraging bookings for your vacant dates.

Engage your followers further and broaden your reach by offering a referral bonus for new bookings.

4. Leverage Local Events and Activities

Keep abreast of local events, festivals, and activities near your vacation rental. When you promote last-minute bookings, emphasize your property’s proximity to these events and the convenience and unique experiences guests will enjoy by booking with you. Suggest nearby attractions, restaurants, and entertainment options to attract last-minute travelers seeking a memorable getaway.

5.Implement Flexible Booking Policies

5. Implement Flexible Booking Policies

person booking a rental online

Offer more lenient booking policies to appeal to last-minute travelers who often seek flexibility in their accommodation arrangements. Consider reducing minimum stay requirements, providing flexible cancellation policies, or allowing same-day bookings. Ensure Instant Book is activated across all channels to appear in searches by last-minute travelers. Remember, these travelers are looking to book quickly—if they have to wait for your approval, they might move on to another option.

6. Engage with Previous Guests

Utilize guest loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing by reaching out to previous guests who enjoyed their stay at your vacation rental. Offer them exclusive deals for future last-minute bookings. Encourage them to leave reviews and share their experiences on review platforms and social media, thereby enhancing your property’s visibility and credibility.

7.Stay Active and Responsive

Respond proactively and quickly to inquiries, providing potential guests with prompt and helpful information. Remember, timeliness is crucial for last-minute bookings, and any delay in your response could result in a lost booking opportunity.

Embrace the world of last-minute bookings to transform your vacation rental business. Implement strategies that attract spontaneous travelers, and you’ll optimize your property’s occupancy rates, maximize revenue, and establish a reputation for flexibility and responsiveness. Continuously monitor market trends, adapt your strategies, and stay ahead of the competition. By offering enticing deals, leveraging online platforms and marketing channels, and delivering exceptional guest experiences, you position your vacation rentals as the top choice for those seeking a quick escape. Get ready to welcome a wave of spontaneous guests and convert those last-minute vacancies into thriving bookings. Start applying these tips today and see the positive impact on your rental business.

If you feel ready to outsource your property management to an expert, check out our services

Can Managing Rentals Ever Be Easy?

landlord handing keys over

The short-term rental market might not always be as simple as it seems, and if you’ve recently started in real estate, you might have discovered this the hard way. Short-term rentals offer many advantages over long-term rentals, but they also come with their own unique complexities and problems. Today, we’ll closely examine the challenges of managing rentals, and explain why hiring a short-term rental management company is the best way to realize your landlord dreams while staying stress-free.

landlord handing keys over to the tenant

Staying Ahead in the Market

The real estate market constantly fluctuates, and the short-term rental properties market perfectly illustrates this. The cost of short-term renting can drastically change from week to week, influenced by both the economy and seasonal trends.

Short-term rental management is the solution to this problem. A short-term rental management company will track the market for you, ensuring your prices maintain the best balance between being competitive and profitable.

Addressing Frequent Maintenance Issues

Short-term rentals often require more frequent maintenance due to the high turnover of guests. Regular wear and tear can accumulate quickly, necessitating prompt and efficient repairs to maintain the property’s appeal and functionality.

Navigating Legal and Regulatory Compliance

lease agreement document

Landlords must also navigate the complex landscape of legal and regulatory requirements, which can vary significantly by location. This includes adhering to local zoning laws, obtaining necessary permits, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations, which can be a daunting task for many property owners.

Welcoming New Guests Every Week

For many, one of the biggest challenges in managing rentals or Airbnb is the need to continually meet and interact with new people. Some outgoing landlords might enjoy this, but for many, it quickly becomes a stressful guessing game, hoping that the new guests won’t cause trouble.

In reality, guests vary significantly, and hiring a short-term rental management company can bring stability to your life, reducing long-term stress.

Let Your Properties Self-Manage!

The real benefit of short-term rental management is that your properties will essentially manage themselves. This not only saves you time but often saves money too.

The best short-term rental management companies are skilled at maximizing value and profits to the extent that the increased income often outweighs their cost. In essence, while someone else takes a share of the profits, the overall earnings grow significantly.

Moreover, if you aim to elevate your investments, the extra time you gain allows you to explore more real estate opportunities, expanding your portfolio and enhancing your business. There’s truly no downside to employing short-term rental management!

If you feel ready to outsource your property management to an expert, check out our services

What Makes an Airbnb Truly Pet-Friendly? A Guide for Hosts

young woman at home with her dog

As an Airbnb host, you might notice a growing trend of guests traveling with their pets. Consequently, ensuring that your short-term let accommodates pets well is a smart move. Given the rising demand for pet-friendly Airbnbs, offering a pet-friendly listing and property can attract more bookings and business. In this post, Keey offers several tips and tricks to help you host four-legged guests and ensure their stay is as comfortable as possible.

young woman at home with her pet

Update Your Listing

Take the first step to ensure your Airbnb is pet-friendly by updating your listing. Clearly state your acceptance of pets in both the title and description of your rental. This approach will attract pet owners seeking suitable accommodations.

In your listing, clearly outline any rules or restrictions you have for pets. You might require pets to be well-behaved, house-trained, vaccinated, and current with flea and worming treatments. Additionally, you could ask guests to clean up after their pets or keep them off the furniture. Clear expectations upfront can prevent misunderstandings or conflicts with guests.

Create a Pet-Friendly Space

To make your Airbnb appealing to pets, create a pet-friendly environment. This could mean adapting your rental for pets, like investing in pet-friendly furniture, such as pet beds or sofas with easily cleaned slipcovers.

Consider offering pet-specific amenities, like bowls for food and water. These items, while relatively inexpensive, can significantly enhance your guests’ comfort and convenience.

Keep Your Rental Clean

pet-friendly Airbnb

As an Airbnb host, you must ensure your rental stays clean, which might require extra effort if you allow pets. After each booking, thoroughly clean your rental to remove any pet hair and debris.

If you plan to clean yourself, invest in a quality vacuum cleaner and pet-safe cleaning supplies. Alternatively, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to guarantee thorough cleaning and disinfection between guests. If using a professional service, ensure they use pet-friendly cleaning products.

Provide Information on Local Pet-Friendly Attractions

Attractions Helping guests with pets find pet-friendly activities and attractions can greatly enhance their experience. As an Airbnb host, offer information about local pet-friendly spots like parks, beaches, and restaurants.

Create a list of these places and include it in your Airbnb listing or a guest welcome pack. This can be an excellent resource for guests to plan their stay and enjoy your area.

Communicate With Your Guests

Effective communication is crucial when hosting Airbnb guests with pets. Be available to answer any questions or concerns they may have about traveling with pets.

Proactively communicate with your guests before and during their stay. You might remind them of pet-related rules or provide information about the nearest veterinarian in case of emergencies.

Continue Charging a Pet Fee

As more guests seek to book Airbnbs with dogs and other pets, often willing to pay extra, many Airbnb hosts opt to charge a pet fee. This fee helps cover any additional cleaning or damage pets may cause. If you choose to charge a pet fee, clearly state it in your listing and explain what the fee entails to avoid disputes or confusion.

When setting the pet fee amount, consider the extra cleaning and preparation effort for pets. Researching pet fee charges by other Airbnb hosts in your area can help ensure competitive pricing.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

cat in vet clinic

As a host for Airbnb guests with pets, prepare for emergencies. Have a plan for situations where a pet gets injured or ill during their stay. Include information about local emergency pet clinics and vets in your guest welcome pack. Adding a pet first aid kit to your rental with essentials like antiseptic, bandages, and tweezers is also advisable.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Ensure your insurance covers pet-related incidents before listing your Airbnb as pet-friendly. Review your policy to confirm coverage for pet-caused damage. Consider additional coverage for pet-related damages if necessary.

Get Guest Feedback

After hosting guests with pets, seek their feedback to improve your pet-friendly accommodations and amenities. Follow up with an email or encourage them to leave a review on your Airbnb listing. This feedback is invaluable for enhancing your rental to attract more pet-owning guests.

If you’re starting a pet-friendly Airbnb or aiming to attract more guests with pets, Keey can assist. With experience in aiding Airbnb hosts worldwide, including those welcoming pets, Keey offers services from marketing to pet owners to cleaning and managing pet hair. Contact Keey for more information on how we can help you succeed.

Easy Airbnb Hosting Routine: Quick Tips from a Pro

pen and to do list notebook

In our busy lives, keeping daily to-do lists updated can be challenging. As an Airbnb host, your holiday let business’s profitability depends on maintaining an excellent hosting routine. Being thorough, punctual, and responsive is crucial. Practically, this means remembering to empty garbage bins and ensuring you have enough clean linen for your next guests.

If you tend to feel overwhelmed easily or struggle with organization, don’t worry – we’ve compiled our top five tips for a straightforward hosting routine to help you manage effectively.

pen and notebook for to do lists

Keep Track of Your Tasks

As an Airbnb host, you’ll have a long list of tasks to complete between guests, ranging from scrubbing the toilet bowl to restocking fresh milk in the fridge. Many hosts stick to the classic pen-and-paper method, jotting down their to-do lists and ticking off completed items. Some prefer using spreadsheets or Word Docs for task organization. For a tech-savvy approach to ease your workload, consider downloading apps designed for task management. Our favorites include:

  • Wunderlist, which allows you to create multiple to-do lists.
  • Calendy, to prevent double-booking.
  • Time Timer, for setting time limits on tasks.
  • TurnoverBnB, not just for finding cleaners but also for managing their schedules and informing them online of their next cleaning session.
  • Monday or Trello, ideal for co-hosts sharing responsibilities and tasks.

Remember, the success of your holiday let business as an Airbnb host depends on an effective hosting routine.

Clean Everything

Guests might overlook a missing welcome bottle of wine, but they won’t be so forgiving about finding hair in the bathroom sink. Make sure you clean thoroughly and everywhere. Hiring a professional cleaner will greatly ease your workload and increase guest satisfaction. If you choose to do the cleaning yourself, follow this quick checklist:

woman dusting a lamp
  • Ventilate the space by opening windows between guest visits.
  • Dust every surface, including each slate of Venetian blinds and the tops of cupboards.
  • Remove all rubbish, empty bins in the kitchen and bathroom, and replace with fresh bin liners for new guests.
  • Pay special attention to the kitchen, ensuring no food scraps in the fridge, no burnt crumbs in the toaster, and a spotless oven.
  • Make the bathroom sparkle by removing mould from shower cubicles, clearing drains, and ensuring there’s no hair left behind.
  • Clean all windows to enhance your guests’ enjoyment of the views.

Simplify Your Check-In Process

Ensure you provide guests with clear, written instructions on how to reach your Airbnb, and email these directions well before their arrival. If your property is difficult to locate, include photos of nearby buildings or marked maps to clearly guide guests to your front door.

Investing in a smart lock or lockbox is highly recommended. This allows guests to access your place’s keys upon arrival, eliminating the need for you to be present. While this method may not suit all Airbnb properties, especially those needing a comprehensive tour, it’s a great time-saver for simpler accommodations like basic apartments.

Stock Up on Everything

While you may think your supply of towels and bed sheets is sufficient, unexpected incidents like a broken dryer or a wine-stained pillowcase can leave you needing extras. Instead of assuming you’ll have time to wash and dry sheets between guests, keep at least two spare sets of everything on hand. This ensures you can always provide clean linens to new guests, regardless of the situation.

The same goes for kitchen supplies. If you typically host up to four guests, stock your kitchen with more than four plates, cups, knives, and forks. Guests may not want to wash dishes between meals, so it’s better to offer more. Also, keep a spare set of plates in case of any damages during their stay.

Excel in Communication

hostess explaining the house rules to a guest

As a successful Airbnb host, aim to respond to inquiries and guest questions within a couple of hours. Always answer emails promptly and thoroughly address all raised questions.

When welcoming guests, prepare what you want to say. This is especially important if you’re new to hosting and might be unsure of guests’ expectations upon arrival. Here’s how to make a great first impression:

  • Greet guests warmly with a smile.
  • Give them a comprehensive tour of the house.
  • Demonstrate how to operate any complex appliances.
  • Offer them a welcome gift.
  • Assure them of your availability for any issues.
  • Confirm their check-out time before parting ways.

Seek Advice from an Airbnb Expert

If you’re unsure about starting your Airbnb hosting routine or need assistance organizing cleaners between guests, consider hiring an Airbnb management company like Keey. We can ease your schedule’s stress and guarantee smooth check-ins every time.

How to Be the Airbnb Host Guests Can’t Stop Talking About

floral welcome sign

Engaging with guests from around the world is a thrilling aspect of hosting on Airbnb. However, the same diversity can pose challenges.

As the competition intensifies with more Airbnb hosts and management services stepping up their game, standing out becomes essential for attracting guests and maintaining a steady income stream. How, then, can you excel as an Airbnb host?

Guest feedback about their experience is the ultimate measure of success, and while pleasing everyone is a tall order, it’s not out of reach.

Here’s our insider advice: We’re sharing some strategies that could charm most of your guests in some way.

It’s not mandatory, but the joy of seeing guests’ smiles, receiving heartfelt thanks, and earning positive reviews is a reward in itself.

Embrace these tips:

floral welcome sign

1. Master the Art of Welcoming

Remember, the first moment guests walk in is super important. You want to make them say ‘wow’ right away. This good start can make them feel happy and excited about their stay from the very beginning.

Consider offering a welcome basket

A welcome basket warmly greets your guests. Start with chocolates for a sweet welcome, add local wine for a celebratory touch, and include plush slippers for weary feet. Boutique toiletries add a luxurious feel. Each item in the basket serves to turn your space into a haven for your guests. Remember, a personal note or a local guide adds a special touch that shows you care.

Customize the basket

When you customize your welcome basket, you show that you’re thinking about who’s staying. Start with who the guests are – maybe a family with kids, a couple, or someone on a work trip. For families, add some snacks and toys that kids will like. If it’s a couple, go for something special like chocolates, a little bubbly, and fancy bath stuff. For someone on business, stick to useful things like quick snacks, quality coffee, and maybe a coupon for a coffee shop.

Picking things that fit why they’re traveling makes guests see you really care. It’s this kind of attention that can make them leave a good review and keep coming back.

Local treats are a hit

Offering a local specialty in your welcome basket does more than satisfy hunger—it’s a first taste of your community’s unique culture. Whether it’s a craft chocolate from a nearby shop or a homemade preserve, these regional delights invite your guests to explore and appreciate the local vibe from the get-go. It’s a thoughtful touch that turns a welcome into an experience.

Be accessible

Make sure guests can reach you easily by placing your contact information in the welcome basket, ideally on a stylish card that suits the aesthetic of your place. Accompany it with a friendly note, complete with your phone numbers and email, to show your readiness to assist at any time. Such measures ensure guests feel both safe and supported, a key to successful Airbnb hosting.

Provide a local guide

Help your guests discover the neighborhood with a simple map marked with your favorite spots. For example, point out the best coffee shop, a peaceful park, and where to find the tastiest local food. Share a few insider tips—like the best time to visit a spot or what to order. Your map will make their visit feel special and easy.

Go the extra mile

In the realm of Airbnb hosting, it’s smart to give your guests more than they expect. Give them bus or train passes to make getting around easy, or tickets to cool local spots and events. This kind move makes their trip special and one to remember. It could be a pass to a neat museum, a ticket to a popular play, or a way into a cool local event. Little gifts like these change a regular trip into an awesome experience and show that you’re a host who really cares.

modern bedroom with white linens

2. Maintain Impeccable Standards

Keep the hospitality going throughout their stay.

Prioritize cleanliness

A clean home is a must for travelers looking for rest. A tidy and fresh space shows them they’ve made a good choice. Making sure every part of your place is clean and inviting is key. It tells guests you care about their stay and helps them relax right away. It’s about making them feel at home, with everything neat and ready for them to enjoy their time.

Stock up on snacks and drinks

Providing a selection of snacks and drinks is a considerate detail that guests tend to appreciate. For example, envision your guests, weary from travel, discovering an array of treats and beverages that let them unwind instantly. This is particularly thoughtful for late arrivals when shops are likely closed. Include both savory and sweet options, as well as bottled water, juice, or soda, to accommodate various tastes and offer a warm welcome.

Equip the kitchen

For Airbnb hosting, equipping the kitchen can make all the difference. Having a well-stocked kitchen is a game-changer for guests who prefer to cook. Provide cooking basics such as salt, pepper, cooking oil, and a few spices. This means guests can easily make a meal without the hassle of shopping for these staples right away. It’s a thoughtful touch that can make guests feel at home, giving them the freedom to dine in and enjoy the coziness of your Airbnb.

Ensure fresh linens and towels are available

Offering fresh linens and fluffy towels can significantly enhance your guests’ comfort, echoing the luxurious feel of a high-end hotel. Guests not only appreciate the cleanliness but also the convenience of not having to pack these bulky items. Make sure to have a supply of extra pillows, blankets, and towels at their disposal. This attention to detail in providing crisp, clean bedding and towels not only meets a basic need but also adds a sense of pampering to their stay, making it memorable and more satisfying.

Add homey touches

Make your place feel like home. For instance, use fresh flowers to add color, and decor that shows off your style or local culture. Next, stack some books, throw a cozy blanket on the sofa, and hang unique art. Small details like these make your space comfy and show you care. They turn a simple stay into a memorable one that guests will treasure.

Offer reading material and entertainment

Keep a variety of books and magazines on hand for guests who enjoy reading. Also, add toys and puzzles for children to play with. These thoughtful touches create a great spot for relaxation and show you care about your guests’ comfort. Small extras like these often get a special mention in happy reviews.

In conclusion, when it comes to Airbnb hosting, it’s the little things that count. Integrating these considerate and cost-effective details can greatly improve a guest’s experience, ensuring their stay is both seamless and unforgettable. Indeed, even the smallest acts of kindness can leave a substantial impact. We’re confident that these gestures will convey a genuine sense of care to your guests.

There are many other smaller details that should be taken on board to enhance guest experience, so if you would like to learn more, contact us at Keey today. 

UK Airbnb Income: Tax Tips for Hosts

woman filing income tax

Renting out your property when you’re not there, also known as a Furnished Holiday Let, is a great way to make extra money. However, if you live in the United Kingdom, you need to know about the tax rules.

Many Airbnb hosts have faced challenges when it comes to paying income tax on their rental earnings. Taking action early is much better than facing potential tax fines later on. Plus, as a host, you have the chance to take advantage of different tax breaks and allowances.

woman filing income tax

Does my property qualify as a Furnished Holiday Let?

Understanding Airbnb Income Tax requires familiarizing yourself with the term ‘Furnished Holiday Let.’ For your property to qualify, it must:

  • Be open for Airbnb bookings for at least 210 days each year.
  • Be well-furnished for everyday living.
  • Be situated in the United Kingdom or the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • Be rented out for commercial purposes to guests for at least 105 days annually.

Why should I pay Airbnb Income Tax?

You might have started renting out your property on Airbnb as a small side project to make some extra money. However, being an Airbnb host is essentially like running a small business. As a result, just like any business owner, you are required to pay taxes on your income.

In the UK, you can earn up to £11,850 per year without having to pay any tax. So, if you make a small amount of money each month from Airbnb and it adds up to less than £11,850 over the year, you don’t have to pay tax on that income. However, if you earn more than this amount, you need to report your income and pay the necessary taxes.

It’s important to be proactive and stay informed about Airbnb taxes to avoid penalties later on, especially since there are tax benefits and allowances available that can help hosts save money.

How much tax do I owe on my Airbnb income?

Understanding the tax differences between renting out a room in your home versus renting out an investment property is key for Airbnb income tax.

If you rent a room in your home, you could qualify for various tax-free allowances and benefits. On the other hand, if you are renting out an investment property through Airbnb, you’ll be taxed like a business owner.

In the UK, owners of furnished holiday lets might have to pay business rates. Specifically, in England, a property available for rent for 140 or more days a year is considered a self-catering property and is subject to business rates. In Wales, the rules are the same, but the property must also be actually rented out for at least 70 days. In Scotland, local assessors decide if business rates apply, considering the property’s type, size, and location.

If you run a larger guest house or B&B that accommodates more than six people at once, you may also need to pay business rates.

Who is responsible for council tax on a holiday let?

For holiday homes or investment properties on Airbnb available for less than 140 days yearly, council tax applies instead of business rates.

Can I offset letting losses against other income? The UK government ceased allowing Airbnb hosts to offset furnished holiday letting losses against other forms of income after April 2012. Now, you can only offset losses against future profits from the same property.

Don’t overlook VAT

Remember, surpassing a total Airbnb rental income of £85,000 triggers the need for VAT registration.

You might opt to pass the VAT costs onto your guests, absorb them yourself, or find a middle ground by slightly raising your accommodation’s nightly rate.

Qualifying as a Furnished Holiday Let unlocks various benefits:

  • Profits contribute towards your pension eligibility.
  • You can claim allowances for fixtures, furniture, and certain equipment.
  • Capital Gains Tax relief programs like Entrepreneurs’ Relief or Business Asset Rollover Relief might apply.

Tax-free threshold for Airbnb

In the UK, Airbnb earnings contribute to your taxable income, potentially attracting corporation tax, income tax, business rates, and VAT, contingent on your annual earnings. Since 2016, the Rent A Room Relief scheme has elevated the tax-free threshold for furnished holiday lets to £7,500, applicable to renting rooms in your primary residence. Investment properties follow different regulations.

Micro-Entrepreneurs Allowance and Airbnb

The UK government’s scheme for micro-entrepreneurs, including Airbnb hosts, permits a £1,000 deduction from gross income to determine taxable rental income, bypassing the need to calculate and subtract actual incurred expenses.

Note that claiming both the Micro-Entrepreneurs Allowance and Rent A Room Relief on the same income is not permissible.

Capital Gains Tax Relief

Investment property owners converting to Airbnb may access capital gains tax relief if the property qualifies as a Furnished Holiday Let. Benefits include a reduced 10% capital gains tax rate under Entrepreneurs’ Relief and the ability to defer or avoid capital gains tax under specific circumstances, alongside capital allowances for property furnishings.

Need guidance with your Airbnb? A wealth of online resources exists to assist you with Airbnb tax matters. Here are a few we recommend:

Additionally, our Keey team in London stands ready to help you navigate the complexities of managing an Airbnb.

6 Ways to Optimize Your Airbnb Check-In Experience

welcome sign on the door

Your home is spotless and ready. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. It’s time for your first Airbnb guest. What should you do next? While you’ve already prepared the house (things like putting away valuables and having enough toilet paper), how should you greet them? Let’s go through a simple guide on welcoming your guests.

welcome sign on the door

1. Warm Welcome

Even if you’ve had a tough day, greet your guests with a big smile. They might be tired from their journey, so a friendly face will mean a lot.
How about offering them a cup of tea or a cold drink? Some hosts also prepare little welcome gifts, like snacks or local handmade items. It’s a great way to make them feel special right from the start.

2. House Tour

Show them around, especially if they’ve rented more than just a room. Point out shared spaces like the bathroom and kitchen and give them a little tutorial, like where they can put their food in the fridge.
Show them how to lock the doors and use any alarms. If there’s a fireplace or heater, make sure they know how to use it safely. Don’t forget outdoor spaces like gardens or patios. If they have kids, show them any kid-friendly stuff you have.

3. House Rules Chat

Having clear house rules is super important. This includes things like if they can have guests over, how to dispose of trash, and what behaviors are okay or not. Go over these rules when they arrive. If they don’t speak English well, try to explain them clearly and simply.

4. Local Tips

Besides the house stuff, share some cool info about the area. Tell them about your favorite cafe or where they can grab a tasty meal. If they have kids, let them know where the closest park is. Giving them local tips helps them feel more at home and can lead to better reviews for you!

5. Clarify Check-Out

Now’s a good time to remind them when they should check out. Let them know what they should do with the key if you’re not around when they leave.

6. Stay in Touch

Even if you sent them your contact info before, remind them. Tell them the best way to reach you, especially if there’s an emergency. Some hosts leave this info on a note on the fridge or by the front door.

Making Check-Ins Easy

Making your guests feel at home is key to being a great host. If you’re hosting often and find it a bit much, remember, there are services like Keey that can help. If you want some assistance to make hosting even better, just let us know!

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