Blog

Airbnb in Edinburgh: How to make money (even when Fringe has finished!)

Sept. 19, 2016

Working as the official Accommodation Partner for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015, Airbnb opened up a hosting goldmine that has continued to boost demand into 2016. Hosts can reap the benefits of thousands of tourists and performers descending on the city, while also helping to support local business in the area.

What happens, though, when the dust settles and the city returns to normal? It is a common misconception that the Festival is Edinburgh’s only opportunity for hosts to make the most from their vacant home, but the returns are actually strong at multiple points across the year.

Source: Airbnb

 

According to recent data, although August is clearly prime time with hosts generating an average income over £2,200, other months can generate significant income too.

Edinburgh is host to activities and events in every season. During Winter, Hogmanay takes over the city with some of the world’s largest and most vibrant New Year celebrations, offering an opportunity for the savvy host to take in guests from around the world. The down season begins to pick up with the Six Nations Rugby between February and March, and in June film fanatics descend on Edinburgh for the International Film Festival. Many other cultural and sporting events take place throughout the year, and ‘business ready’ hosts will benefit from a consistent influx of corporate travellers.

With such a buzz of activity throughout the year, it is no surprise that Edinburgh is Airbnb’s 9th most expensive city, proving that hosting opportunities extend far beyond the Fringe.

 

Are you an Edinburgh-based host already, or are you new to Airbnb and interested in hosting in Edinburgh? Unlock the value in your home and try our clever calculator below to see how much your home could earn you!

 

Host Top Tip – Wifi Signage

Sept. 16, 2016

If there is one thing all modern weary travellers have in common, it is this: they need wifi. Having potentially spent hours on a plane, and landed in a country where a data package may or may not be available, your guest may feel twitchy until they can sit down and reconnect with their friends, family, colleagues or favourite social media stars.

Asking for wifi access can be an uncomfortable experience for the guest, and crawling around under a desk to locate the tiny password sticker on the router won’t improve matters. You can make this exchange simple by providing the password in an open space – and you can make it pleasant too!

Simply print the username and password onto paper or card, place it in a frame, and leave it in a relevant place (the living room or guest bedroom, perhaps). Your guest will settle in more easily, and crawling around to find the router will no longer be a regular feature of the check-in process!

Source: Today's Creative Life (http://todayscreativelife.com/10-guest-room-essentials-and-tips/)

Source: Today’s Creative Life (http://todayscreativelife.com)

 

If you'd like to unlock the value in your home, try our clever calculator below and see how much your home could earn you! 

 

Business Travel Redefined: How Airbnb is catering for the modern corporate traveller

Sept. 13, 2016

It has long since been a platform for the adventurous leisure traveller, but now Airbnb is seeking a new type of clientele – business travellers.

Since launching Airbnb for Business in the summer of 2015, Airbnb has succeeded in providing alternative stays for companies that are not enamoured with their current hotel chain of choice. In fact, Airbnb has now received over 5,000 company sign-ups.

Why are businesses, typically fond of the comfortable conformity of hotel chains, suddenly keen to book corporate accommodation with Airbnb? According to Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, Chip Conley:

“Businesses have clearly been longing for a better way to manage their employees’ travel needs and business travellers seem eager for a change from the traditional business travel accommodations”.

So, not only is Airbnb up to 30% cheaper than a hotel for corporate booking, but it is also becoming a preferable environment. Statistics reveal that business travellers often add weekend leisure time to either the start or end of their work trip – extending the average business trip to 6.8 days. The home comforts of having your own kitchen and dining room are not to be underestimated, particularly during stays of this length.

 

Source: Shutterstock (www.shutterstock.com)

 

As business travel requires accommodation standards to meet a certain threshold, Airbnb has had to adjust its offerings. Meeting business travel standards means providing fast WiFi, a laptop-friendly workspace, and legal requirements such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Airbnb’s response is the ‘Business Travel Ready’ programme, which formally identifies those properties suitable for business travellers. Not only does this expose high-quality hosts, but it is also someway towards building a sense of security and a duty of care between Airbnb and businesses. This is the same sense of trust built by Airbnb with its regular customers, but on a new level.

According to the programme head Marc McCabe, Airbnb aims to “Redefine the business trip”. By gaining acceptance from huge corporations such as American Express and Google, Airbnb normalises room sharing for those who might not have considered it before – thus also improving booking rates for leisure travel as well as business trips.

The programme, however, is not without its challenges. The typical back-and-forth exchange of messages between host and guest is too time-consuming for businesses, and proves too demanding for hosts. 24-hour access is also a necessity, and without using an Hosting management service, this is impossible for most hosts to offer.

The hurdles have not deterred companies from entrusting Airbnb with their business travellers, however, and the programme is only set to grow.

 

If you'd like to unlock the value in your home, try our clever calculator below and see how much your home could earn you! 

 

Host Top Tip - Simple Signs

Sept. 9, 2016

When you stay at a hotel, finding your way around is a non-issue. Hotel layouts are alarmingly similar, and a new guest can arrive knowing that it will be easy to find everything they need – from the bathroom to the hair dryer.

Airbnbs are often a breath of fresh air for travellers, with a unique feel to each new home they stay in. However, staying in someone’s home can sometimes feel a little uncomfortable, particularly while the guest finds their bearings.

Imagine arriving in a strange place, possibly after hours of gruelling travel, and not knowing where to find the shower room (not always so obvious after a 7hour redeye flight). The shyer traveller might be uncomfortable asking, so a little guidance can go a long way.

Some simple signs can add convenience and charm to your property, improving the guest experience without any major investment. The example below (from @cecetheceo) demonstrates how easy they can be to create. A hanging chalk sign can cost as little as £3.40 per piece (or less if you make your own) – and the benefit is you can keep changing it.

 

Source: Instagram (@cecetheceo)
Source: Instagram (@cecetheceo)

 

If you'd like to unlock the value in your home, try our clever calculator below and see how much your home could earn you! 

 

The growth of Airbnb: Why more and more homeowners are joining the service each year

Sept. 8, 2016

Source: Airbnb

Source: Airbnb

With over 1.5 million listings in 190 countries, Airbnb is set to become one of the most disruptive forces the industry has encountered. But why are homeowners crazy about sharing their space with strangers?

The platform, inspired by housemates who wanted to rent out their loft space, has skyrocketed beyond initial expectations. From an idea rejected by most reputable investors, to the fifth largest hotelier in the world based on number of beds, growth has been spectacular.. According to research firm Phocuswright:

“Airbnb, which doesn’t disclose bookings or revenue figures, likely generated about US $7.5 billion in gross bookings in 2015”

The growth doesn’t stop there, with Phocuswright forecasting that Airbnb will only trail Expedia Inc. and two other travel companies after this year. As well as transforming the hotel industry, Airbnb is often regarded as one of the trailblazers of the ‘share economy’ due to its focus

on peer-to-peer exchange.

It is easy to understand a traveller’s motivation to seek out affordable, authentic accommodation, but why has Airbnb become so popular amongst homeowners?

In a competitive job market, homeowners are finding inventive ways to supplement their income. Those with extra space in their home are identifying ways to turn it into cash, without the need for business qualifications or experience in hospitality. With Airbnb, a spare room and a little local knowledge can go a long way.

Entrepreneur Kelly Kampen, for example, was ‘skeptical but intrigued’ when she listed a spare room in her house in Bangkok. However, one spare room quickly became two, and Kelly has made $41,879 as an Airbnb host so far.

The main cause of concern for Hosts – the security of hosts and guests – has been overcome by Airbnb’s host protection insurance and host guarantee of up to £600,000.

Airbnb has always been ‘built on trust’, so user profiles, reviews and a verification process are set to ensure that every host feels secure and comfortable with his or her guests. Launched in 2011, the Airbnb Social Connections feature connects with Facebook to identify mutual friends of guests and hosts, adding another layer of confidence to both parties.

As Airbnb grows it’s building in more ways to make hosting safer and easier for its Hosts and Guests, such as providing verified property photography free of charge. However, there are still many elements that make hosting very hard work. The two main reasons that homeowners do not become Airbnb Hosts are time and expertise.

What began with a loft space advertisement has become a great way for Hosts to make the most of their vacant homes and bolster their income. With the support of Airsorted, more Hosts are able to take advantage of all that Airbnb has to offer and also increase the performance of their property listings.

 

If you'd like to unlock the value in your home, try our clever calculator below and see how much your home could earn you! 

 

Top tips to account for Airbnb income

May 27, 2016

Accounting services  Airbnb management income Making sure you accurately account for the income from your Airbnb property is extremely important. In recent years the laws have changed regarding expenses you can claim against and which property improvements you can offset tax for.

Whilst there can be a large financial gain with short term lets, you need to make sure your financial records are accurate to keep the tax man happy and things running smoothly. With our top tips we hope to remove some of the potential stress and help you find things a lot less taxing!

Following the Chancellor’s recent budget and with effect from 6 April 2016, the ‘rent a room relief’ was increased from £4,250 to to £7,500. It now means an individual who rents out a room in their main home and meets the conditions will not pay any income tax on the rents received up to this amount, regardless of their other income.

Craig Harman, consultant from Perrys Chartered Accountants added,

“It should be noted however, that this threshold is based on the gross income received before deduction of any expenses and includes receipts for any additional services such as meals and cleaning.

As with any business it is a requirement to keep detailed records of the income received and business expenses incurred, however this is particularly important for those who exceed the above threshold. In this case, the individual can choose to either deduct the relief from their income and only pay income tax on the amount received above £7,500 or deduct their actual qualifying business expenditure if this is greater.

From April 2017, the amount of tax relief available for finance costs against an individual’s residential property income will be restricted. However, individual’s who let out their properties on a short term basis and meet the furnished holiday let qualifying conditions will not be affected by the new restrictions. Therefore those in this position will need to take particular care to monitor the conditions and maintain accurate records to determine the number of days the property was available for and the number of days on which it was actually let during the tax year.”

 

Whilst it can initially seem daunting and confusing, we recommend keeping a clear record of how many days your property has been occupied throughout each tax year and the income attributed to those stays. (Our new host dashboard which is currently in beta testing will help you do all of this effortlessly!) Once you have this data, leave it to the experts! For very modest fees accountants such as Perrys Chartered Accountants will take care of everything including submitting your tax return to HMRC, allowing you more time to concentrate on the things that matter in life.

So to recap:

  1. Make a note of the number of days your property is occupied through Airbnb
  2. Make a note of all the income for all of those stays
  3. Keep receipts for cleaning, property improvements, repairs etc (These can be offset)
  4. Find a good accountant to take the above and submit your tax return to HMRC

It’s as simple as that. For more information on, or if you are an existing host who would like to help test Airsorted’s new Host Dashboard please send an email to hello@airsorted.uk.

 

If you'd like to unlock the value in your home, try our clever calculator below and see how much your home could earn you! 

 

Airsorted’s Launch into the Scottish Capital

April 25, 2016

Today marks the official launch of Airsorted in Edinburgh. Whilst we may have been working away behind the scenes since early February – sorting the logistics, finding cleaners, linen companies and handy men, today is the day we cut the red ribbon and officially open the Edinburgh Airsorted doors to all! We admit we do have a small head start (we managed to bring 20 hosts and their homes on board prior to our official launch!) and such is the enthusiasm from the local residents we expect Edinburgh to be an incredibly successful city and one instrumental to our growth.

 

So why choose Edinburgh you ask?

Edinburgh seemed like the perfect City for us to continue our rapid growth. It is a vibrant hub for tourists to the UK, it has world class Universities and it has fantastically successful year round events which draw large numbers to the City. The Edinburgh fringe festival in the summer months is the perfect example, where the City literally overfills with people and Edinburgh comes together as one to celebrate.

There is so much going on in Edinburgh and with over 1.5 million overnight tourist visits in 2015 alone, and at number two in the “most visited tourist cities in the UK”, it was the clear choice of where to go next for Airsorted!

Our official launch starts with a mail-drop campaign which will see 11,500 leaflets posted by the Royal Mail to the residents of central Edinburgh, educating them about host management and its benefits as well as offering a special launch discount too! Whats more if you tweet a picture of the leaflet with yourself to @airsorted we will double our launch offer!

We are really excited to be launching- and you, the residents of Edinburgh, now have the perfect opportunity to join the sharing revolution and open the doors to your home whilst you are away.

But we aren’t stopping here! Airsorted have big plans and want to help spread the sharing economy further and wider, whilst helping remove the hassle. We will be launching in new cities in the coming months, so keep an eye out as we may be coming to you soon!

 

If you'd like to unlock the value in your home, try our clever calculator below and see how much your home could earn you! 

 

How London made it onto the podium of ‘most popular Airbnb cities’.

April 20, 2016

Since launching in 2008, Airbnb has grown to 60 million users worldwide. With 640,000 hosts spread throughout 34,000 cities in 190 countries around the world, the sharing economy is well and truly booming.

Airbnb Management LondonSo how exactly has London managed to sneak into the podium places? With only Paris and New York ahead, London is officially the third most popular “airbnb city” in the world. Leaving Rio, Barcelona and Los Angeles in its wake, we take a look at just how London has propelled itself to where it is in the rankings.


Surely we have to start with our good old British culture. Everyone loves the Brits, we love to moan, complain and queue for no reason! Who wouldn’t love us?
But seriously, the United Kingdom and especially London has a wealth of history and culture. Everywhere you look in London you are surrounded by it. From the modern architecture in the City of London to the tudor properties such as Sutton House in Hackney, London is saturated with history. We are also a heavily cultured bunch and on any given day in London you can experience operas, ballets, a West End musical, Shakespeare at The Globe, a new modern at The National, the list is endless. There really is something for everyone in London!


Next, it must be us, the people, and of course our accent! Everyone loves the good old British accent, in fact apparently it is an aphrodisiac to certain nationalities around the globe! Londoners can be an extremely friendly bunch when we want to! From Black cabbies who will give you directions to anywhere,and I mean anywhere in the city, to locals in the suburbs we are a really friendly, helpful bunch of people. It may look like no-one talks to each other and we walk around like isolated zombies, but this is how you behave on the underground until otherwise approached. It’s the commuter culture and if you need anything just ask, when approached we’re sure to help!


London landmarks and “British icons” are also a must. Any tourist I’ve ever met visiting London has always said they must get a photo of a black cab, a red bus and of course the good old British telephone box! (although these are now getting rarer and rarer). These are quickly followed by landmarks including Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square. We have so much to see and landmarks and points of interest in every corner of the City that it is often hard to fit it all in to a short city break.


Finally, the food, how can we forget the food? London has some of the finest restaurants in the world and you could quite easily eat a different cuisine every night of your holiday without ever running low on options. From good old British fish and chips to the finest sushi in Europe there is something to cater to anyone’s culinary needs and desire.


All of these are surely winning reasons as to why London is now officially the third most popular “airbnb city” worldwide, however we at airsorted believe the homes people can stay in is also a huge contributing factor. London has a fantastically diverse range of airbnb options available for the global traveller. From the Clock tower at Kings Cross to Regents canal, London has some truly unique options for you to rest your head in at the end of a hard day’s sightseeing. Who would stay in a hotel when you’ve got Airbnb? If your lucky the property will even be managed by Airsorted!

 

If you'd like to unlock the value in your home, try our clever calculator below and see how much your home could earn you! 

 

Self Starters ‘Tax Break’ Will Further Boost the UK Sharing Market

March 22, 2016

Autumn Statement papers

The UK’s sharing economy is set to benefit hugely from the Chancellor’s new plans to further cut the tax bill to the thousands of ‘self starters’ who currently share their homes.

Under the new plans, hosts will be able to earn a further £1,000 tax free income by sharing their homes without having to declare it.

The announcement was made within last week’s budget by chancellor George Osborne:

“…we’re going to help the new world of micro-entrepreneurs who sell services online or rent out their homes through the internet. Our tax system should be helping these people so I’m introducing two new tax-free allowances each worth £1,000 a year, for both trading and property income. There will be no forms to fill in, no tax to pay – it’s a tax break for the digital age and at least half a million people will benefit. ”

It will come as fantastic news to hosts using Airsorted’s services and further adds to the

‘Rent a room’ tax relief which was announced last year and comes into force next month. From April 2016 the first £7,500 of income will be tax free, in a bid to encourage more people to open their homes and join the sharing revolution.

2016 looks like an exciting year for the sharing community, with numbers rising rapidly in 2015 and over 40,000 properties currently available in London alone, now has never been a better time to start sharing.

 

If you'd like to unlock the value in your home, try our clever calculator below and see how much your home could earn you! 

 

How to take the best photos for your Airbnb property

May 27, 2015

Pictures are possibly the most important element of any Airbnb listing. They bring your property to life and can ultimately be the decisive factor for potential guests. These are our top tips for nailing your photoshoot.

1. Clean & tidy

Your first step should be to make the place look as presentable as possible. Make the bed, wash the dishes, and get the hoover out.

2. Be well equipped

The camera on your smartphone will probably suffice, but if you have access to a decent camera, all the better. Airbnb actually connects hosts with free professional photographers in many cities. Depending on your location and listing, you might be eligible for this service.

3. Lighting

Natural light is the best setting for indoor photography, so try and arrange your photoshoot in the daytime. You want your Airbnb property to look bright and friendly, not dark and dingy.

 

bedroom-design-listed-in-bedroom-design-pictures-modern-bedroom-comfortable-lux-bebedroom-design-photos

4. Focus

An obvious point, but you’d be amazed at the number of pixelated pictures on Airbnb. Poor quality photos suggests a poor quality service, from a host that hasn’t invested enough time or effort into the process. Use large, high resolution photos that reflect your professional standards as an Airbnb host.

5. Attention to detail

Wide shots of each room help Airbnb browsers get an overall feel for the place, but often people will be sold on the finer detail. Take close-ups of any interesting or unusual features, and potential selling points.

6. Think outside the box

If you have garden, terrace or balcony, don’t be afraid to show it off in your pictures. Likewise, if you have an eye-catching view, include it in your gallery. Just be sure to wait until the weather’s nice for the best effect.

 

backyard-charming-courtyard-landscaping-ideas-in-uniquely-concept-gregafter-interior-landscaping-ideas-photos

7. Personality

In your attempts to make your photos sleek and professional, don’t lose the character of your home. Part of the charm of Airbnb are the weird and wonderful properties available – don’t make yours look like a boring hotel.

8. Less is more

There is no limit on the number of images you can upload on Airbnb, but we think 15 is a good amount. At first glance, few will look past your first 5 photos, so be sure to give a good overview of your property with some of your most striking shots.

 

If you'd like to unlock the value in your home, try our clever calculator below and see how much your home could earn you!