Airbnb Industry Insights

7 Tips for Being the Perfect London Airbnb Host

September 17, 2017 |

Today’s travelers want to taste the authenticity of what London has to offer. A recent review found that Airbnb listings in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, or Kensington and Chelsea were booked for 87-94% of their available dates – so if you’re sitting on a spare room in one of these boroughs, it’s time to turn it into a cash flow.

Keep in mind that by law, London homes can only be rented for 90 nights in a calendar year before a legal “change of use” is required. If you are interested you can make some serious income. Here are some tips of what we have learned throughout this business journey.

Here Are The 7 Tips for Being the Perfect London Airbnb Host

1. Be Detailed

The key to a sizzling Airbnb listing is getting your prospective guests to swoon over your home from the get-go. Get all of its best bits in the description straight away, like its retro vibe, or close proximity to popular destinations like Hyde Park or Portobello Road market. Include great photos of every room, and make sure to grab a few of the area outside too (try and take them on a nice day though!).

You should be upfront about anything that might not be a guest’s cup of tea too. Failing to mention that there isn’t a lift to your top-floor apartment is only going to leave you with an aggravated holidaymaker and a negative review about having to drag suitcases up four flights of stairs. Be accurate in your description so your guests know what to expect.

2. Be Competitive

You may be certain that your pad is worth top dollar, but without the reviews to back it up, you might struggle to get holidaymakers to initially agree. Take a look at the other rental properties in the local area and make sure that your place stands out as the best value.

Once you have a few happy guests leaving glowing feedback, you can start increasing your charges to follow demand.

3. Be Relevant

Regularly updating your listings will help to keep them near the top and score you huge popularity points. If you don’t have anything new to add then a simple tweak of the text will help to keep your description fresh, and adding new pictures from time to time won’t do any harm either.

If you know there’s an upcoming event going on nearby, like a sports event or carnival, then you should absolutely be mentioning the close the guest will gain by booking your listing. Big events increase demand, which means you can hike your prices and cash in.

4. Be Generous

Of course, running a holiday rental is an investment, and rolling out the red carpet for every guest can cause a decrease in profit. Yet, providing shower gel, coffee and a spare toothbrush should be basics and won’t break the bank.

You could also provide a little tray of inexpensive English goodies, like Yorkshire tea bags and Cadbury’s chocolate – just make sure to continuously restock!

5. Be Insured

Airbnb does offer a host guarantee and host protection insurance, which will cover certain loss, damage and injury, but you must adhere to their terms to be eligible for compensation. Make sure that you fully understand the terms and coverage before you turn your home into a short-term rental.

On top of this, be aware that becoming a host without telling your current insurer may invalidate your coverage – even when you don’t have guests. Be savvy, and contact your insurers or a specialist broker to make sure you’re paying for exactly what you need.

6. Be Mindful

Don’t forget about your neighbors! Whether you’re letting your own home out for the occasional weekend or setting up a full-time rental, it’s worth keeping your neighbors in the loop. Make sure your guests are briefed on the rules for any common areas, parking restrictions and smoking / pets / noise policies to prevent issues.

7. Be Welcoming

A friendly welcome pack will help your guests get settled quickly, and make them feel like a local in no time. There’s no need to become a travel guide, but letting them know how to get to the nearest tube station, pub and place for breakfast will cover the basics. Include some specific details about your home, like how to work the shower, cooker and radiators, and where they can find a first aid kit, just in case.

This article was written by Dakota Murphey, an independent writer who draws inspiration from established estate agents such as Mount Grange Heritage. Dakota can be reached at

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