During the summer season in Cape Town (and other South African tourist hotspots), thousands of travellers from across the globe arrive in the city…

With so many additional visitors, locals with a spare room have the opportunity to offer the space to travellers and make some money.

And the same applies for local residents going away for the holidays: rent out your home while you’re away on home sharing sites such as Airbnb, and you may even cover the costs of your trip.

If you’re thinking of listing your home on Airbnb, here are some guidelines about the process and how to become a great host.

Getting started

It’s easy to become a host on Airbnb – and it’s free to create a listing. On the Airbnb home page, click on the “Become a host” option in the top right-hand corner and use the drop-down list to select a hosting option. You’ll be guided through a series of questions to create your listing and tell guests what they want to know. For instance, are you offering an entire home, a private room or a shared room? What type of property are you listing – a house, a farm stay, a villa, a houseboat?

You will be asked for a description of your home, photos, and for payment details, so you can receive payment for guests booking your listing via Airbnb.

Choose your pricing

The price you charge for your listing is completely up to you. For guidance, you can search for comparable listings in your city or neighbourhood to get an idea of market prices. If you need help, there are tools to help set your prices, and you can adjust nightly prices any time.

You can also choose to include a cleaning fee as part of your nightly price or you can add a cleaning fee in your pricing settings. Plus, you can charge extra fees outside of your rates (like a late check-in or pet fee), but you must first disclose these potential charges to guests before booking.

Signing up and listing your space on Airbnb is free. Once you receive a reservation, there is an Airbnb service fee charge for hosts, which is generally 3% for home hosts.

Take charge of your calendar

If you only want to make your home available to book on certain days and dates, you can set those parameters on the platform and block out any dates that you don’t want guests to book. You can also link your Airbnb calendar to personal online calendars so that you are able to easily keep track of your bookings.

Show off your home with photographs

Photographs are selling tools for your property, so make sure they are good quality and that the room is guest-ready before you take the photos.

It’s a good idea to have a range of photographs to give your potential guests a real flavour of where they will be staying – of the accommodation and rooms, the outdoor space, and the amenities, whether it’s a braai or an outdoor pool. You can also include photographs of yourself as the host.

You’ll be guided through the process of uploading the photographs when you get started  the platform.

Think through the management of your Airbnb property

Hosting involves being able to respond to queries from potential guests and confirming bookings that are made, and making sure the listing is clean and guest ready. In addition, you need to have a process in place for welcoming guests when they arrive and providing them with their keys.

If you do not have the time or the flexibility to do this yourself, you should consider adding a co-host, who can help manage the listing and your guests. A co-host is someone you know – usually a family member, neighbour, trusted friend, or someone you have hired to help with your listing.

Aim to be a great host and strive to become a Superhost

The best and most popular hosts strive to go above and beyond for their guests. Provide local tips and suggest local places to shop, eat, drink and be merry. This will not only help you receive a high rating, but also helps local businesses and spreads the economic benefits of tourism in your neighbourhood.

Being a great host could also put you on the path to becoming a Superhost. Superhosts are the top-rated and most experienced hosts – they strive to go above and beyond when it comes to hosting. In general, Superhosts must host at least 10 trips and have an average rating of more than 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Market your beautiful design-led home on Plus

Airbnb Plus is available in Cape Town, and celebrates the highest quality homes with hosts known for great reviews and attention to detail. Each Plus home is visited in person, and it caters for those guests looking for that added assurance over the quality of where they stay.

Take some tips from celebrity interior designer Bobby Berk and make your space look bigger and make your home feel homier with some easy to implement design tricks.

If you think your home would be perfect for Airbnb, you can look at the requirements here.

Share your passion as an Experience host on Airbnb

Sharing your home with someone is great, but what if you don’t have an extra room or a house to list on Airbnb? You can also sign up to be an Experience host on Airbnb.

Experiences are activities or excursions led by passionate local experts who want to showcase their city or neighbourhood in a way that is slightly different from the norm. It could be a cooking class, a wildlife adventure, a run, a swim, a social impact experience – or whatever your passion and talent may be. With these Experiences, guests get an insider’s take on an area and learn about places and spaces not common in guide books.

Signing up as an Experience host is simple and similar to listing a property – you just need to follow the steps on Airbnb and then submit your experience for Airbnb to review. If it meets the required standards of hosting an Airbnb Experience, you will be well on your way to entertaining visitors and locals alike through unique experiences.

So, consider sharing your home or hosting an Experience on Airbnb – and get ready to see the bookings roll in!

This article was first published by all4women on the 06 December 2018.