Welcome To Airbnb
In this toolkit, you will see what Airbnb is and how it works.
Your hosting style is up to you. This information isn’t intended as rules, policies or requirements that you must follow. You can use this resource as you see fit. Use the links at the right to jump to sections that interest you, or click Start to begin.
Making your listing shine
The crew of experienced Airbnb hosts spoke about their own listings. Joy talks about her photos, Beverlee and Suzie show how they stock their space, and more.
You’ve got this!
But you may have questions.
How you move through these pages is completely up to you. You can use the button in the top left to toggle the navigation bar on and off.
A terrific listing inspires connection
Your listing is a place to share why you love your space. Accurate listings help gain the trust of guests and help them decide if your space is a good fit. An honest, detailed listing can lead to great matches. Guests will appreciate seeing what your space is actually like. Here, one of our hosts talks about the importance of honesty.
Joy told us about how she pays attention to her guests’ feedback when updating her listing.
Guests read profiles—give yours a spark
Your profiles shows travelers who you are. Share fun details. Consider what you would like to know about someone you might be staying with.
Here are four ideas that other hosts have found useful.
Photos Resolution matters. Photos that are at least 1024 x 683 pixels display well. A well-lit photo of your lovely face helps guests see you better.
You could tell your guests about:
- Your specialty in the kitchen
- A list of favorite books, music, or movies
- Your favorite animal
- What you do in your spare time
School and work It can help guests feel they know you better if they know a bit about what you do for work or where you went to school.
Verified ID You can use the Verified ID feature to help build trust with travelers by connecting your Airbnb profile with other sources of information about you. Verified ID helps guests decide whose space they’d like to book on Airbnb. If you want to complete this process, you can verify your ID in your profile settings or read our Help Center article on getting verified.
Here are some examples of profiles that guests have found helpful.
A top tip for making your listing shine
Your description can help guests decide if your space is a good fit for their needs. The more you can tell guests, the more they can picture themselves in your space. Guests tend to give better reviews to spaces with accurate, detailed descriptions of at least 150 words.
Joy is an experienced Airbnb host. Here she talks about what she does to make her listing shine.
Be honest about your space
Guests like to know what they’ll find—the long staircase you have to climb, any pets, the nightclub downstairs, or the shared bathroom at the end of the hall. They may want to know the size of the mattress they’ll be sleeping on, or the appliances they can use in your kitchen. A detail that one guest may not love could be the reason others choose to book your space.
Tim, another experienced Airbnb host, describes his space accurately to set expectations for his guests.
House rules set guest expectations
To attract guests who will love and respect your space, you can use the House Rules and Guest Access sections of your description.
House rules can communicate your boundaries and expectations. Thinking through your rules, and writing them down, can give you control. It’s reasonable to say “no giraffes in the house.” Giuliana and Sandor told us about their House Rules and how they set their Guest Access.
Photos help guests picture themselves in your space
Photos are your biggest opportunity to get attention for your space. Travelers spend more time looking at photos and reading captions than doing anything else while browsing listings. Having a variety of images with descriptive captions can set expectations
As Airbnb host Joy says, “Sometimes people book without reading the details.” With that in mind, you can let your photos tell the story. Writing detailed captions for your photos can help as well.
“A coat rack takes the place of a closet.”
“The open kitchen in the house is a pleasure to cook in. Our home is vegan, so if you choose to use the kitchen, we request that you not bring in any animal products.”
Top tips for stellar pictures
You can start by uploading your own photos. Later, you can decide if you’d like to have Airbnb connect you with a professional photographer. If the service is available in your area, Airbnb will pay for that photography session.
Guests say spaces that look clean and tidy in photographs are more compelling. Putting things away, straightening up, and fluffing the pillows will help your listing look its best.
The more photos a listing has, the more potential guests can be enticed to browse. Guests prefer listings with at least ten photos, featuring a few of each room.
Light brings out natural depth, color, and contrast in a setting. Great lighting makes your photo look more professional overall, which helps you look professional as well. Consider shooting during the day, with all the lights on and curtains open.
Photos of at least 1024 x 683 pixels with a resolution of at least 300 pixels per inch tend to be less blurry or grainy. The cameras of most smartphones will work, and more sophisticated cameras work even better.
Vertical photos do not appear as well on Airbnb’s website.
Show a pet, a meal, or even yourself in your space.
This technique shows a broad range of space and adds dimensionality to the photo. Corners help give a sense of perspective.
Guests appreciate thoughtful amenities
Guests tell us they expect essential amenities, like fresh linens, towels, soap, and toilet paper. They also appreciate other basics—like shampoo, a hairdryer, an umbrella, an iron and ironing board—that can make their stay extra comfortable.
Your guests will often want to know how fast your wifi is, or that you plan to offer them breakfast. Is parking a challenge in your part of town? Let them know if you offer free parking as part of your listing.
Guests expect Airbnb hosts to take safety seriously. You can list a smoke and carbon monoxide detector if you have one that works in your space.
If you list any particular amenities, your guests will expect them to be available and operational during their stay. Beverlee and Suzie talked with us about the basic supplies they keep at their space.
Use your calendar to host when you want
To ensure that guests see your space’s true availability, update your listing calendar frequently. Guests should only be able to book your space on the days it is available.
When you update your calendar often, you’ll receive reservation requests you’re more likely to accept. Here’s what Giuliana and Sandor have to say about their calendar.
Our Help Center has articles on setting your cancellation policy, and what happens if a guest cancels.
Your calendar gives you special powers
Your calendar includes a variety of settings to help you customize your hosting experience.
In calendar settings, you can automatically block a day or two between bookings. Many hosts enjoy time between bookings to prepare for their next guests or manage time for cleaning.
Your calendar settings also give you the option to avoid same-day or next-day requests.
And you may even be able to control the future. You can control how far in advance you want to schedule bookings, too. You could prevent reservation requests that are more than three months in the future, for example, or allow bookings more than a year in advance.
You have plenty of flexibility when it comes to managing your Airbnb schedule. You can set the number of nights for a minimum and maximum stay. You can also sync your calendar with your other calendars.
Faster and easier booking with Instant Book
Instant Book lets you automatically accept reservation requests. Guests love listings that they can Instant Book because they don’t have to wait for you to approve their listing request. You can set Instant Book so that only guests with positive reviews are eligible, and you can turn this feature on whenever you’re ready. If you use Instant Book, it is especially important that you keep your calendar accurate and updated.
We hear that hosts seem friendlier and more welcoming if they have Instant Book enabled. Abhay told us about why he keeps it turned on.
A few tips on setting your price
Guests often prioritize price when searching for a space. You set your own price, so consider whether your listing is a good value for the location and amenities you offer. As a new host, you may decide to charge lower than average rates until you have a positive review or two.
The rate you charge for your listing is always completely up to you. Many hosts, like Tim, use Airbnb’s price tips in Calendar to help them choose prices based on the current demand.
Making the most of your pricing
You have ultimate control over your price. You can set your price higher or lower for each night of the week if you’d like.
If you want to offer a deal for guests booking longer reservations, you can set discounted monthly or weekly rates.
You can have different seasonal rates. To maximize your earnings, you can also set custom prices for specific dates that will be in demand or difficult to book. If there are big events that happen in your area, you could earn more at those times. These prices will take precedence over the base pricing in your calendar.
You choose the amount guests pay for your security deposit and cleaning fee. You could also charge extra for pets, additional guests, or bachelorette parties. You may want to rent your bicycles, or include a fee for late check-in.
It’s possible to change your price after you’ve accepted a reservation.
The price of your listing on any given night is entirely your choice.
How do I know my listing is published?
The best way to confirm that your listing is published is to check the listing status indicator in the bottom left of your edit page. Once your listing is published, it will show up with a green light as Listed. Your listing may not appear for 24 hours after you have published it.
The indicator is more reliable than searching for your own listing because guest filters and the search algorithm affect search results. Search is a sophisticated and ever-evolving aspect of Airbnb. You may want to read about how Airbnb ranks search results.
The map will not show guests your precise location, because Airbnb keeps your address confidential until a booking is confirmed. Guests will not see your listing’s exact location until you accept the reservation request.