Airbnb is a service that lets property owners rent out their properties to travellers looking for a place to stay. The service was launched in 2008 and has since become one of the best-known travel accommodation services. In South Africa, Airbnb is quite well known and has become an exciting income stream for property owners. How does Airbnb South Africa work, and what are the things one needs to know before venturing into the business?
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While the entire Airbnb sounds quite straightforward, there are numerous rules, regulations, and standards one must meet when hosting on Airbnb.
Everything about Airbnb South Africa
Here is a look at everything you need to know about the popular property hosting service in SA.
How to register on Airbnb in South Africa
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- Visit the Airbnb host page and click on get started. You will be asked to enter basic information regarding yourself and your property and follow the easy on-screen prompts.
- Once you have entered the details, you will choose between duplicating a listing, finishing one on progress, and creating a new listing.
- Enter your property's address.
- Choose the type of property you will be renting out. The most common include treehouses, barns, rooms within an apartment, entire apartments, and entire houses. You will then be asked to input details about your property. These include bed configurations, number of baths and beds, number of guests, and other pertinent details.
- Once your listing is up, spruce it up with beautiful photos. Hosts with nice-looking professional images have been shown to earn significantly more than those without pro images. Feel free to hire a professional photographer for this task.
- Before beginning hosting, it is important to know your local city laws. For example, Cape Town and Johannesburg have different property rental laws.
- The last step involves setting your prices and cancellation policies. First, determine the amount you want to charge your guests per night. The Airbnb site has a handy tool known as 'What's my place worth?' that helps hosts gauge the price they should charge. For cancellation policies, you can choose strict, moderate, or flexible.
How to start hosting
How does Airbnb work in South Africa? You have registered your property, created a listing and set your prices and cancellation policy. You are now ready to start hosting. Here is everything you need to know about hosting an Airbnb in SA.
Airbnb aims to create safe and comfortable stays for guests. For this reason, all hosts are required to meet these four standards.
- Be responsive: As a host, ensure you respond to your clients' queries within 24 hours.
- Accept trip requests: Ensure your guests feel welcome by accepting their requests whenever you are available.
- Avoid cancellations: You will want to avoid cancelling on your guests unless it is necessary. Cancellations can be very inconvenient and costly to your image as a host.
- Aim for high ratings: Your guests will expect high-quality standards. Strive to meet them.
Essential amenities are the basic items that a guest expects for them to have a comfortable stay at your property. Here is the current list.
- Toilet paper
- Soap (for body and hands)
- One towel for each guest
- One pillow for each guest
- Linens for each guest bed
The recommended quantities of each item depend on the number of guests and the length of their stay. For longer stays, it is essential to provide extras for each amenity. Doing this will ensure guests have everything they need for a comfortable stay.
Follow the 5-step cleaning process
Here is a look at the process meant to ensure your property meets the highest cleanliness standards.
- Preparation: Proper preparation will help you and your team clean more efficiently and safely.
- Cleaning: It is important to start by removing dirt and dust from surfaces such as floors and countertops and then doing a thorough cleaning.
- Sanitizing: Use safe chemical disinfectants to reduce the number of bacteria on high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs and television remotes.
- Checking: Have a checklist for each room to ensure nothing has been skipped.
- Resetting: To prevent cross-contamination, it is important to wash your hands when you are done with one room.
Meet the 3 pillars of a quality experience
In order for a listing to be published, the host must demonstrate an adequate connection, insider access, and hosting expertise.
These are the standards set by Airbnb and which every host must meet.
Guests should always know who will be hosting them
If you plan to have a team, partner, or friend helping you host, they must be registered as assistants or co-hosts via the site's 'Teams' tool. This ensures that guests always have knowledge of all their hosts.
Hosts should not hand guests off to 3rd party suppliers or leave guests on their own
Hosts, co-hosts, and experience teams must personally lead their guests throughout the entirety of the stay.
Only Airbnb guests should be in an Airbnb experience
Hosts should not allow their guests to bring other people along. This means that only two people should attend a stay booked for two.
Hosts should not set a minimum group size
This requirement ensures that every traveller feels welcome whether they are travelling alone or as part of a group.
Observe all guidelines
Hosts must abide by the health and safety guidelines when hosting in-person experiences.
Hosts must honour all booked reservations
As a host, you are expected to honour all guest reservations unless you have a valid reason not to do so. Some valid reasons include safety concerns and dangerous weather.
Running a successful Airbnb in South Africa
Here are the tips, expectations, and general rules for running a successful Airbnb business in SA.
Fulfil your tax obligations
The tax obligations tied to your property rental business will depend on various circumstances. It is essential to hire a qualified tax professional to help you keep your tax obligations in order. Generally, Airbnb money is considered taxable income in South Africa and may also be subject to other obligations such as VAT, corporation tax, and business rates.
Abide by contracts and rules
You will need to abide by all contracts that you sign as a host. These often include tenancy rules, cooperative rules, leases, and rules set by housing authorities.
Damage protection and liability insurance
The company offers AirCover, an insurance service that includes host liability insurance and host damage protection. However, this should not be used as a substitute for renter's insurance, homeowner's insurance, or any other adequate liability coverage.
How do you become a Superhost?
The Superhost status is arguably the most desirable achievement a host can make in terms of their rating. A Superhost is someone who goes above and beyond in their hosting duties and is a shining example of how a host should be. Here are the requirements for becoming one.
- Complete three reservations totalling at least 100 nights or complete at least ten trips.
- Maintain a response rate of 90% or higher.
- Maintain a cancellation rate of 1% or lower with exceptions made for cancellations under the extenuating circumstances policy.
- Maintain an overall rating of at least 4.8%.
- The Superhost assessment is made four times a year in January, April, July, and October.
Airbnb South Africa contacts
Here is a look at the different ways you can contact the property rental company in South Africa.
- Neighborhood support team: +1 (855) 635-7754. With this number, you'll be taken outside of Airbnb to call local emergency services.
- Customer service: 855-424-7262. This one has an average wait time of 19-23 minutes.
- Customer service line 2: 1 (844) 234-2500
- Business travel assistance: 1-888-983-0568. This is the Airbnb contact number in South Africa for business travellers requiring assistance.
- Email address: email@example.com
What is Airbnb in South Africa?
Airbnb South Africa is part of the global Airbnb service. What is an Airbnb in South Africa? It is short for 'Air bed and breakfast' and lets property owners rent out their spaces to visitors looking for a place to stay. Property owners can choose to rent out part of their property or entire spaces.
How did Airbnb start?
The company began in 2008 when two designers shared their space with three travellers looking for a place to stay. Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky founded the company.
Is there an Airbnb first time discount in South Africa?
New and yet-to-be-booked listings receive a 20% for the first three guests. The listing promotion allows a host to apply a 20% discount on the first three bookings of an eligible listing.
What are the most popular cities for Airbnb in SA?
The most popular cities for tourists staying in Airbnbs are Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Hermanus, and Port Elizabeth.
For property owners in Mzansi, Airbnb South Africa offers an amazing opportunity to make an extra coin on the side. Whether it's an entire apartment, villa, tent, barn, or part of a house, your unused space can bring you significant additional income. Airbnb has some stringent rules, processes, and quality standards that hosts must meet to have a successful business.
Briefly.co.za recently published an article about the top Airbnb alternatives. Modern-day travellers have numerous options when it comes to finding nice places to stay. Airbnb is, without a doubt, one of the best, most reliable services one can use to find such places.
Still, numerous other websites offer services like those of Airbnb. The services on these sites vary greatly, with some being cheaper than Airbnb and others pricier. Which are these alternatives, and how good are they?
Source: Briefly News