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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Cashing In: Listing Your Austin Home Through Airbnb

2818730235_c8ab7b804d_zThough the temperature will soon dip to reasonable levels, Fall is when things really heat up in Austin. With ACL and Formula 1 in October and November, tourists will soon flock to Austin, and they’ll need a place to rest their heads. If you want to earn some extra cash, take advantage of this opportunity to list your residence on one of the various vacation home sites like Airbnb, the Austin-based company Home Away or VRBO (owned by HomeAway). These online marketplaces allow people to list and book properties across the world.

How it works

You’ll create a property listing that includes a property description and photos. You choose the nightly rate, the number of guests you can accommodate and the duration of stay. And, as guests come and go, you’ll rack up reviews that (hopefully) entice more people to your listing. Travelers who visit your listing can send you an email through the website to inquire. It’s up to you whom you rent your space to. These sites handle payment for you, and some allow you to set various preferences.

Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway

VRBO, HomeAway and Airbnb are fairly similar. The main difference with HomeAway and VRBO is that they focus on vacation or second-home rentals, so the property owners use the homes on occasion. With Airbnb, you can list a spare room or an entire home or apartment. Home owners are often living in the property during guest’s stay.

What does it cost?

It’s free to list through Airbnb. By contrast, HomeAway and VRBO are online classifieds where vacation rental owners pay to advertise their space. Different subscription levels get you more visibility than others.

Listing tips to earn more money

Prepare to photograph your home by removing clutter and highlighting unique features and amenities. You might go the extra mile to include a DIY breakfast bar, a basket of toiletries and information sheets or magazines with dining and tourist attraction information about your city and/or neighborhood. If photographing your own listing, brighten the rooms with natural light, and/or position lamps with natural daylight bulbs outside of the frame. The brighter the image the better. Also, photograph from a corner of the room to show the depth and size of the space.

How to Get Started

Visit AirbnbVRBO or HomeAway and click the “List your space” button at the top right. From there, you’ll be guided through the steps to complete the process. Was this article helpful? If so, share it with your friends by clicking the Tweet, share, +1 or Pin buttons below. Photo by Jeremy Levine...
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