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How to Successfully Host Your Denver Home on Airbnb

Posted at 07/23/2021 11:00 AM by Jennifer Black

denver airbnb how to

When Andrea Henderson, Broker Associate bought a 1929 Tudor in Washington Park with 2,600 square feet, she and her husband knew it was more space than they needed for the two of them so they thought "why not Airbnb our 1,300 sq ft downstairs?" It was a perfect space to share with traveling guests and make some extra income!

What are some of the pros of hosting your home on Airbnb?

We love hosting because we generate a lucrative amount of income with our rental and get to meet some amazing people. As our number of reviews has increased, we've been able to charge a higher nightly rate for our space.  We average an 80-100% occupancy rate, with these past few summer months filling up as travelers are out and about enjoying summertime, friends, and family.

Depending on the space you have available for rent, you could earn a considerable amount of money each month to help pay your mortgage or even pay all of it! Consider it a house hack!

Secondly, we love hosting guests from all over the country. We've met some amazing people! Many of our guests come from the East Coast either to enjoy our city for the first time or to visit friends or family that already live here.

How did you prepare your home to share with Airbnb guests?

The finished downstairs of our home is finished with two bedrooms and is the perfect space to share. We wanted to offer a private experience so we hired a contractor to come to build a wall to separate the upstairs from the downstairs. This was the start of our Airbnb rental. 

Is there a resource for making sure you are compliant with the city?

It’s important for you to understand your local laws if you want to become an Airbnb host. The city of Denver has a short-term rental section on its housing website that outlines regulations and the process for obtaining your short-term rental license. There isn't any kind of inspection that they do. It is relatively easy to file for licensure and it just takes a few days for approval. The license costs $100 and is valid for a year. Airbnb makes paying occupancy taxes simple for hosts. They collect all city taxes due on your rental and submits it directly to the city on your behalf, leaving you with very little to do in regards to tax payments to the city. So that’s nice!
 
For more resources on what is specifically allowed and not allowed, check out Denver’s Short-Term Rental Licensing page, contact the Denver Business Licensing CenterDenver Community Planning and Development Department, or another local authority, such as a local lawyer or tax professional.
 

What’s the recipe for having a successful 5 star Airbnb?

Guests love, want, and deserve to feel special. They want to have an experience that is unique yet feels like a little piece of home. Just like in my real estate business, I love to go above and beyond what guests would normally expect. Upon booking our place guests always get a message from me when they book. I let them know we are excited to have them at our place. I invite them to read my Denver guidebook and welcome them to reach out if they have any questions about their stay. I am sure to respond quickly to inquiries or questions.
 
I also love to welcome our guests with a bottle of Rose or maybe a few local beers and a handwritten welcome note. I stock the bathroom with a variety of toiletries including anything that a traveler could potentially forget (lotion, toothbrush, Advil, etc). These personal touches along with an impeccably clean space makes for the perfect stay for any guest!
 
Guests love, want, and deserve to feel special. They want to have an experience that is unique yet feels like a little piece of home. Just like in my real estate business, I love to go above and beyond what guests would normally expect.

What should a future Airbnb host look for when home shopping?

1. Keep it clean and cozy: I think the most common piece of feedback we get from our guests is that our space is super clean and cozy.
2. Simple yet nice decor: We have decorated it very simplistic yet stylish and modern.
3. Secure + Private: Guests want to feel safe, as they do at home and so a top priority should be to give your guests the experience of comfort, privacy, and cleanliness.
4. Easy Access to Things to Do: Guests love the ability to get to attractions easily. When considering a location for an Airbnb rental, think about easy access to highways, parks, and walking to shops, and restaurants. People love exploring unique spots in Denver!
"A top priority should be to give your guests the experience of comfort and cleanliness. In a close second, guests love the ability to get to attractions easily."

Can a Realtor help to determine if a home will work well for an Airbnb when looking for something to buy?

A Realtor with rich knowledge of a neighborhood/area would be a great asset in helping to choose a home perfect to use as an Airbnb rental. Someone who also has the foresight to create a comfortable space whether it means building a single wall to separate one floor from another for privacy or creating a separate entrance. You’d want to work with someone who can help you see the possibilities and help you bring your vision to life!

Airbnbs in Denver

The Kitchen at Andrea Henderson's Airbnb | See more here!

Any tips to make hosting more convenient for the homeowner?

As a homeowner, there are a few key processes we have in place to make our Airbnb rental run smoothly.
1. Airbnb App: Airbnb provides a simple-to-use app that houses all the information you’d want to pass along to a guest. Check-in information, rules of your home, area recommendations, etc. The app provides you as the host a well-organized calendar that lets you see your upcoming reservations at a glance, making it impossible to ever double book! It also includes your guests' contact information if you ever need to reach them.
2. Hire a Professional Cleaner: We also employ a gal who helps us with the cleaning turnovers. We assess a cleaning fee in our rentals and that money goes directly to our cleaner.
3. Utilize Technology: Another great feature we provide is a Schlage electronic and keyless entry for our guests to use. We can program individual codes for each of our guests making it possible for them to self-check-in so we don’t have to be home to let them in.

What are some of the cons of becoming an Airbnb host?

Wow, honestly it’s hard for me to think of any negative aspects to being an Airbnb host, I love it so much! In order to consider hosting, you really need to be open to having strangers come visit in your home, sharing your space, and be conscientious of your level of noise not to disturb your guests during their stay.

Do you recommend any marketing tips for hosts?

1. I think a well-written caption and description of your Airbnb rental is crucial! Write a description that is well thought out describing what the experience is like staying in your rental. If writing is not your thing, reach out to a writer (I happen to know an excellent one) to assist in writing a capturing description! It’s key to attracting renters to your space!
2. Next hiring a professional photographer to get great shots of your space is highly recommended. I wasn’t able to capture the size and roominess of our rental using my own camera so our photographer came out and got beautiful shots that showed the expansiveness of the space we offer. 

What safety measures does Airbnb help homeowners with?

Airbnb uses predictive analytics to identify and prohibit potentially suspicious reservations. Airbnb screens and background checks all hosts and guests that want to be a part of the Airbnb community. If a person's integrity or intentions are in question, Airbnb will not allow their participation. As an Airbnb host, I’ve felt safe and protected with the level of security protocols that Airbnb provides!  We as hosts of course do our part too to keep everyone’s safety a top priority.
 

Contact Andrea for more Tips and Tricks on Buying Your Next Hostable Home!

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Learn More About Andrea Henderson

Posted by Jennifer Black

Jennifer Black champions all of Usaj Realty’s marketing publications. With a passion for digital marketing, graphic design, writing, and all things creative, Jennifer excels in the office as a crucial support staff member for our brokers and management Originally from Redwood City, California, Jennifer pioneered her way to Denver and began working for Usaj Realty in May of 2014. She loves every minute of life in Denver, which is directly enhanced by her time designing for Usaj Realty. Away from work, Jennifer enjoys escaping to the great outdoors, going skiing, hiking, and exploring local breweries and restaurants.

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Topics: Home Buying