Turning Your Traditional Rental Into an Airbnb

Landlords can profit immensely by converting their long-term rental into an Airbnb. Short-term and vacation rentals consistently attract flocks of guests from around the world, and Airbnb is the most prominent listing site.

Why Become a Host?

Becoming a host is easy and many landlords reap the rewards of Airbnb by doing so. No matter what kind of home or room you have, Airbnb allows you to easily list your unit and find potential guests. You have complete control over the prices, availability, and rules of the area. Airbnb gives you free reign over your short-term rental and also offers a variety of resources to aid you in the process.

The Legalities

Before you do anything on Airbnb, you should check your state’s regulations. There is specific information on codes, regulations, and taxes that you must be familiar with. Tenants in long-term rentals may be prohibited from putting their unit on Airbnb, depending on their lease agreement. Airbnb has legal hosting information for major U.S. cities here, along with tips for safety, neighbors, and insurance.

Traditional Renting vs. Airbnb

Another essential detail to consider is the difference between traditional rentals and Airbnbs. Hosting may not be right for you, so make sure to do your research.


Airbnbs are much more effective in attracting renters who are willing to pay the price for your unit, as long as the location complies. Centrally located properties near your city’s points of interests are key. Rentals located in the outskirts of a city, in less-frequented areas, are more likely to have a lower rental rate. In this case, traditional renting is probably a better idea.

Long-term renters are probably looking for somewhere more quiet and quaint, looking to get away from the hustle and bustle. Keep in mind that Airbnbs thrive in locations that see a lot of tourism, since travelers are constantly visiting the area.

Property Management

Managing an Airbnb and managing a traditional rental are quite different. Airbnbs require a bit more attention, as hosts are expected to provide certain services to their guests. Setting out towels and soap, changing the sheets, and cleaning the bathroom are just a few of the tasks hosts need to carry out after every stay. Some Airbnb hosts even go above and beyond and offer special experiences, from food tastings to dance classes.

In a traditional rental, landlords only need to worry about maintenance requests from time to time. For the most part, long-term rentals don’t require constant attention. If you screen your tenants carefully, there isn’t much to worry about. Airbnbs, on the other hand, are always bringing in new guests with different expectations, meaning you’ll have to be pretty active in the unit’s management.


Airbnbs are typically able to generate more income in shorter amount of times than traditional rentals can. With the right location, you’ll be able to make three months’ profit (or more) in only one. Even though you can set the prices yourself, and Airbnb-users are usually willing to pay, certain properties would profit more from long-term renting.

A college town, for instance, is going to have a student population looking for somewhere to live while they go school. Not many people there are going to be staying only a few nights. So, you will be making more money for guest’s stays but you’ll probably have a high vacancy rate. However, in a location with lots of tourism, you can expect guests to be flocking to your rental, with prices that are lower than hotels and spaces that are more unique and alluring.

How to Be a Great Host

Guests are able to rate and review you, so it’s important to learn how to be a great host. You should always make sure the property is clean, presentable, and ready for guests. It’s also essential to respect guests’ privacy. People who are just getting off a plane or are unwinding after a day out on the town need some peace and relaxation.

It’s important to respect guests’ space and privacy, while also being caring and accommodating. If you live in the property that you rent out, this is especially important. It’s okay to introduce yourself, offer refreshments, or suggest cool spots nearby, but don’t be overbearing. If you’re not a people person, it may be a good idea to find someone who is (i.e. a property manager). Some hosts go the extra mile and leave gift baskets or bottles of wine for guests when they arrive. The little things count, especially when your guest writes that review at the end of their stay.

Preparing Your Property

You want your property to be desirable to potential guests, so make sure you prepare accordingly.

  • Clean regularly. Every time a guest checks out, you should do a deep cleaning of the property. Here’s how to prevent messes in your rental.
  • Decorate accordingly. Having an inviting and cozy vibe is essential to ensuring guests’ enjoyment. You want to create a neutral, aesthetically pleasing environment that is comfortable. Make sure to stock bathrooms with toiletries and provide guests with fresh linens and towels. For help with furnishing your rental, visit this page.
  • Prioritize safety.There are some simple alterations you can make to your unit to keep it and your guests safe. This, along with respecting your guests’ privacy, is key to a successful Airbnb. The safety and comfort of your vacation rental should always be a major priority.