Last Updated on 22 February 2020 by Gertrude

Airbnb is a great side-hustle to enable you as a home-owner make money from home.

Airbnb hosts don’t know how to maximise their profits, they start an Airbnb then end up getting frustrated when the venture doesn’t pay off.

Airbnb in 2020 is so over-saturated and becoming harder and harder to break even for Kenyan hosts.

How do you maintain an 80 per cent booking as an Airbnb in Kenya? 

How to Make Six-Figure Income With Your Airbnb in Kenya

Would you love to know how to make a six-figure income with your Airbnb in Kenya? Pay attention to the key areas below and they include: 

  1. Writing proper house descriptions 

As an Airbnb host, does your house descriptions sound tired like ‘A house with a great sea view?. This house description gets accompanied by the best/magazine stunning photos. Do you know why such houses have one review? They are impersonal, aren’t deep and sound like they have the flu. Wow, your customers by writing house descriptions with more words, as much as Airbnb allows. Use keywords that guests would use during their search for your house. Also, take your time to say why guests must visit your home and not the neighbours’ house or book themselves a hotel. Remember to include experiences to help enhance your Airbnb. Do you need help writing your Airbnb house descriptions to help your conversion rates soar? 

2. Marketing 

There’s no way you will create a successful BnB without marketing. I learnt this the hard way in 2017 when I stopped advertising for a month or two. The popularity of my Airbnb went down a little. Nowadays, I don’t pay attention to my Airbnb like the former years. But share your house on social media. To get more eyeballs to your house, organise or show how you declutter. My Airbnb is so minimal, it makes cleaning easier and cheaper. As the years went by, I refused to update the photos so as to show you my beginnings. 

3. Choosing a niche 

Many Kenyan Airbnb hosts don’t pay attention to a particular niche then wonder why they aren’t making enough income. The thing is, choose a niche. Be particular and cater to your chosen market. 

4. Pricing 

I created an article and video about pricing your Airbnb and why pricing is important. Check the article and video. 

5. Taking great photos 

Do you believe that to take stunning images you need a smartphone or camera to stand out? You are wrong, I used my smartphone to take Airbnb images. Take photos during the day when the sun isn’t too hot like from 4-6 pm some experts say. Some say to use the sun to utilise the images sharpness. Do what suits you or take a course on smartphone photography through Udemy. 

6. Customer service 

Have you thought that hosting on Airbnb doesn’t require customer service? I thought so until I got two demanding hosts. Though their review isn’t public, they said I was the best host ever since they started using Airbnb. I refused to review them, I didn’t know what I’d say about them. Don’t exaggerate any amenities you don’t have or think you will provide before the guests’ arrival. Learn to listen to your guests, a customer service tip Airbnb hosts forget. 

7. Becoming innovative by using self-check-in devices 

There is no need for being there to check-in guests. Airbnb has come a long way or guests have made self-check-in possible using smart devices like the smart lock and key safes. If your Airbnb says self-check-in, let it be so. Don’t be available when your guests’ check-in, it cancels the self-check-in idea. 

8. Offering experiences to make your Airbnb Stand out 

What experiences does your area have and you neglect to show to your Airbnb guests? It’s high time you ask yourself how you can help create memorable moments for your guests. For example, is it boat rides or vineyard adventures? Offer experiences, something Airbnb hosts don’t offer or don’t know about. 

9. Financial expectations 

How much money do you want to earn per night and how can you reach this expectation? This is a major question Airbnb hosts refuse or don’t know how to answer. You have to realise that the per night stay, breakages, theft, time you spend cleaning and improving your home all eat up into the profits. How much money must you charge to help your Airbnb business make a profit? And what other Airbnb side hustles can you do to make your income grow? 

10. Reviews 

Though Airbnb reviews matter, it’s the hospitality industry, don’t let a bad review cause you a headache. Instead, accept your mistake. When you own up to your mistake, you get to correct it. Follow the owning up of the mistake by guest apologising for the inconvenience your home caused your guests and that next time they can visit at discounted rates. Don’t argue with your guests, it shows your rude character and an impersonal characteristic. 

11. Offering discounts 

Do you have guests like mine who frequent your Airbnb on the daily or any vacation time they have? Time to offer them guest discounts like free holidays or discounted experiences tour. Make it so memorable they wouldn’t forget. Remember you want your Airbnb to get marketed through the word of mouth. 

12. Having a chef

As the years of hosting roll by, I realise in my travel experiences how hard it is to keep up with cooking. You don’t want the problems of the home to catch up with you while on vacation. Ease the burden of food budgeting and planning by having a chef for your guests. This feature has been a hot feature in our bed and breakfasts. 

13. Great interior decor 

For you to choose the great interior decor for your Airbnb, have a niche. For example, my B and Bs niche changed to LGBT, sometimes, we have meet-ups and talk about the challenges of being gay in Kenya. Choose a niche and decor you are passionate about to help you stand out. We are all rainbows and colour in our house. 

14. Takes time to build a reputation 

Remember, to build your reputation where you charge above $1000 per night or even $100 per night takes time. In fact, Airbnbs that charge more than $50 don’t see a lot of guests. When your rates go higher, so do the guests expectations. 

15. Guest welcome book 

What’s a guest welcome book and why must you have one in your Airbnb? A welcome book states the pleasure of having a guest in your home. It offers directions for recreational spots, coffee, tea or healthy smoothie joint among other pleasant features within your area. Guests visit your area without knowing a lot about what goes on. Some areas aren’t well-marketed online, and even if they are, use your unique experience as a host to entice guests. 

16. Guest welcome basket 

A guest welcome basket includes essentials personalised for the guests like towels, soaps, hair shampoos. You can go ahead and make a surprise gift basket that your guest discovers as they stay longer. Such thoughtful gifts are crucial to your reviews and you outgrowing Airbnb. To make your gift baskets a hit to your guests, ask in advance if they’d appreciate a gift from you. Or what they would as an honourable guest. You want gift baskets which get opened and used and not neglected or dumped. 

17. Weeding out guests

You have to know when the guest crosses their boundary, for example, when they are too rude in their request or too demanding. For example, a guest saying they will need a hot shower or 24/7 electricity supply for their month-long stay after you tell them about the outages in Kenya isn’t fun to have in your house. Though the money will be great, know they will not be pleasant. Sometimes, let the money slide for the sake of peace of mind. 

18. Writing house rules 

I emphasise about writing clear house rules and regulations. Doing so sets expectations and if you have a problem, you can use the clearly stated rules to argue against the guest. There are lots of cases of theft and breakages because guests decided to hold parties yet it was against the rules. Such guests end up paying hefty amounts or settling with the host with an Airbnb intermediary present. Get clear on your rules, don’t leave luxury sentimental around, some are irreplaceable. And before you get compensated, remember the long procedure. Some hosts end up closing their Airbnb businesses. 

19. Accessories to secure your house/home 

Ensure you include not only self-check-in devices but others like CCTV cameras, outdoor security lights, deadbolts, sensors, motion sensors and home security kits to enhance the security of your home. This helps a lot when branching out of Airbnb and also when within the platform. Remember, most of these accessories connect to your smartphone, some home security kits need you to have iPhones though. 

20. Compensation for theft, breakages, cleaning 

Remember, there is compensation from Airbnb up to 1M dollars. Now ask yourself, what company wants to cough up 1M for a host? Be wise, leave the sentimental away from guests, you can accessorise your house with knock-offs or minimise the sentimental. Even if following your niche, wisen up. Also, the procedure for compensation is too long and the first question Airbnb asks is, ‘Can we see the evidence that it is the guests that ruined your item?’. The more the guests on their platform, the sustainable the business, didn’t you know? So, who does Airbnb favour most? THE GUEST. 

21. Pay attention

Pay attention to the body language of your guests. Some guests prefer minimal interaction with you. Paying attention goes hand in hand with having great customer service. 

22. Cleaning

 The hospitality industry demands cleanliness which is next to Godliness. You have to examine every space before hosting. If you can employ a cleaning company go ahead, if starting, do it yourself or employ someone to help but inspect every inch. Clean like you have OCD, no offence to those who have OCD. 

Before setting up your Airbnb in Kenya, believing you will get a lot of money, pay attention to these areas.

The Airbnb side hustle gets oversaturated daily, gear to stand out and know this is the hospitality industry. 

Would you love to set up an Airbnb in Kenya in 2020? Do you know how to maximise on the profit as a host in Kenya?

Are you willing to take an Airbnb Course to help increase your earnings to six-figures/millions of shillings a month? 

Online Businesses / Online Work in Kenya