Step 1: Starting with the Basics
It’s important to remember that guests searching on Airbnb filter their searches to find a space that best match their needs.
Some of the basic search filters they’re able to specify include location, travel dates, guest numbers, home and property type, price range, trip type, number of bedrooms, beds and bathrooms, accessibility requirements, amenities, neighborhoods and facilities.
Therefore, when initially setting up your listing, Airbnb will require some basic information so that your place is able to get found in search results by guests looking for what you have to offer.
The following is a step-by-step guide to everything you’ll need to tell Airbnb, to develop a comprehensive listing that’ll help guests find your place and satisfy what it is they’re looking for.
1. The Start
You begin by telling Airbnb exactly what it is you will be listing on their platform:
You'll need to say whether you wish to list:
- Entire Place: Guests have the whole place to themselves. This usually includes a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen
- Private Room: Guests have their own private room for sleeping. Other areas could be shared.
- Shared Room: Guests sleep in a bedroom or a common area that could be shared with others.
You'll also let Airbnb know how many guests your place can accommodate, as well as its general location.
2. Place Type
Airbnb will then ask you to provide a bit more information on what kind of place you are listing.
For your typical host, this is most commonly an apartment or house.
Other options you may select include secondary units, unique homes, bed and breakfasts or boutique hotels.
Once selected, you then specify the exact property type you will be hosting. This includes things like condominiums, lofts, serviced apartments, bungalows, cabins, cottages, townhouses and villas.
It even includes options as wacky and obscure as castles, lighthouses and treehouses.
Below is a list of common property types and a description of what they are:
- Apartments: Typically located in multi-unit residential buildings or complexes where other people live.
- Bed and Breakfasts: Professional hospitality businesses that offer breakfast for guests. A host usually lives on the property.
- Bungalows: Houses with architectural features like a wide front porch and a sloping roof. They’re usually single-level homes.
- Cabins: Houses built with natural materials like logs and wood. They’re often located in natural settings like forests and mountains.
- Condos: Units typically located in multi-unit residential buildings or complexes where other people live. Condos are owned by individuals whereas apartments are usually owned by a property management group.
- Guesthouses: A detached building that shares a property with another stand-alone structure like a house. Sometimes these are called carriage houses or coach houses.
- Guest Suites: Have a private entrance and are inside of or attached to a larger structure like a house or garage. These are sometimes called in-laws.
- Houses: Residential buildings that are often stand-alone structures. Some houses, like duplexes, may share walls or outdoor areas with other houses.
- Lofts: A space - usually an apartment or condo - with an open layout. Most or all walls in a loft do not extend fully to the ceiling.
- Townhouses:Private units that share walls and may share outdoor spaces with other units.
Depending on your selections, you will be prompted with a couple of other questions. If you selected apartment or house, you will be asked to reconfirm whether guests will have the entire place, a private room, or a shared room. If you selected bed and breakfast or hotel, you will be asked to confirm whether guests will have a private or shared room, as well as the total number of rooms your property has.
Guests like to know if they’ll see personal things, like pictures or clothes, when they’re staying in your place. You therefore also tell Airbnb whether it’s setup as a dedicated space for guests or whether you keep your personal belongings there too.
You then tell Airbnb how many guests your place can accommodate, the number of bedrooms guests can use, as well as the number and type of beds that are offered.
All of this information help guests understand what the sleeping arrangements are going to be like at your place.
Based on the number of bedrooms you state that guests are able to use, Airbnb will enable you to then specify the bed types offered for each of those rooms (plus any common spaces you have too).
Your bed options include:
- Single / Twin bed (31-42" wide)
- Small Double bed (43-48" wide)
- Double / Full bed (49-58" wide)
- Queen bed (59-70" wide)
- King bed (71-86" wide)
- Air mattress
- Bunk bed
- Floor mattress
- Sofa bed
- Toddler bed
- Water bed
You’ll then tell Airbnb how many bathrooms your place has.
If you’re listing your place as a private or shared room, you will also specify whether the bathroom is private or shared.
If you have a toilet separate from the shower, you count it as a 0.5 bathroom.
You’ll then tell Airbnb where your place is located by entering your full address. Your exact address will only ever be shared with guests after a confirmed reservation.
Airbnb will then ask you to confirm that the ‘pin’ is in the right place, so that guests know exactly where to go once booked. Only confirmed guests will see this, so they know how to get to your place. If needed, you can drag the pin to adjust its location.
You’ll then tell Airbnb what amenities you offer. Whilst none are required, providing these will help guests feel at home in your place and add a nice touch to make them feel welcome and comfortable. The amenities you’re able to specify as offering include:
- Essentials (includes: towels, bed sheets, soap, toilet paper and pillows)
- Closet / Drawers
- Air Conditioning
- Breakfast, coffee, tea
- Desk / Workspace
- Hair Dryer
- Pets in the House
- Private Entrance
You’re also able to specify any safety amenities you offer. These include...
- Fire extinguishers
- First aid kits
- Locks on bedroom door
- Safety card
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors
Once your listing goes live, you’ll also be able to specify a whole range of additional amenities too. These include...
- Additional amenities: Includes kitchen amenities, facilities, outdoor spaces and special amenities
- Family amenities: Examples include baby bath, changing tables and cribs
- Logistics: Examples include luggage drop-off and long term stays allowed
- Accessibility amenities: Examples include lifts, step-free access and flat paths to front door
- Location amenities: Examples include beachfront, lake access and ski-in/ski-out
To specify these additional amenities and accessibility features (as well as other home safety and location features) once your listing is live:
- Login to Airbnb
- In Hosting mode, select Listings from the top menu
- Click on your listing
- Click on Listing details from your listing's menu
- Click the Edit button for the Amenities section
- Check the boxes for any of the amenities you provide in the What amenities do you offer?, Additional, Family,Logistics, Accessibility, Home Safety and Location sections
- Click Save
7. Shared Spaces
You’ll then be required to specify the spaces guests can use. These are spaces on your property. Your options include:
- Private Living Room
- Laundry - Washer
- Laundry - Dryer
- Hot Tub
Don’t include laundromats or nearby places that aren’t part of your property. If it’s okay with your neighbors, you can include a pool, hot tub, or other shared space.