Photo: Alesia Kan/Shutterstock

Everything You Need To Know To Become an Airbnb Host

Digital Nomad
by Hannah D. Cooper Feb 7, 2024

Becoming an Airbnb host is a creative and rewarding way to boost your income while providing a home-away-from-home experience for fellow travelers. If you’re savvy about the business of short-term rentals and adhere to basic Airbnb hosting tips and legal requirements, your earnings may fund your next trip.

No home is too small, too remote, or too peculiar. Airbnb Categories span Tiny Homes and Riads, Shepherd’s Huts and Boats, Off-the-grid and Iconic Cities. Whether you’re looking to rent out a spare room or an entire listing, the route for how to become an Airbnb host follows the same (easy) steps.

Thinking about becoming an Airbnb host? Check out Matador’s complete guide to everything you need to know, do, and plan for:

We hope you take value from our guide on how to become an Airbnb host! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to become a host. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Become an Airbnb host today

Create a listing with the Airbnb hosting guide

As per the Airbnb host requirements, you’ll first need to create an account and submit relevant identification before launching the 17-step setup wizard.

This prompts you to share details about your rental unit which may be edited anytime. It covers the type of property, the address, whether you are renting an entire property or a room, and guest amenities. It also gives you the option of screening reservation requests or enabling Instant Book.

At the start of the process, you will be matched with a Superhost who will guide you through the Airbnb hosting guide over chat or video.

Airbnb hosting tips for beginners

phone showing airbnb property stats

Photo: Some pictures here/Shutterstock

Sticking to these simple Airbnb host tips during the setup process helps your property make a successful debut.

Prepare a guest-ready unit

The home must be suitable to accommodate paying guests. Reasonable wear and tear is acceptable providing the listing is honest. Mold, leaks, and faulty wiring must be attended to before advertising it to guests.

Scout your competition

Do a spot of market research in your area. The Guest Favorite filter weeds out what’s working locally and how your listing could fill a gap in the market.

Keep it pithy

Summarize your property’s highlights and what makes it unique. Hot tubs, outdoor space, secure parking, espresso machines, laundry facilities, and games rooms sell. There’s no need to itemize every appliance.

Write a compelling title

State the Airbnb’s USP or reference nearby attractions. “Breathtaking Mountain Views ~ Luxury Desert Oasis” and “EcoFriendly A-Frame: Hot Tub Open Year Round” work well. “George Washington slept here” catches the eye!

Personalize the space

Create a mood board of Airbnb decoration ideas to spruce up the interiors. Showcasing work by local artists is a cool embellishment or you could channel a popular aesthetic such as boho or Scandi minimalism.

Stock the Airbnb

Soap, toilet paper, fresh linens, and towels are the bare minimum of what you need to keep stocked as an Airbnb host. You can include coffee capsules, cooking condiments, pet bowls, and laundry detergent.

bedroom in an airbnb

Photo: Lucia Pinto/Shutterstock

Take epic photos

A minimum of five photos are required to register a new Airbnb. These photos should be well-lit and accentuate the home’s best features. Hiring a photographer to take professional photos is a sound investment – and may be tax deductible. Browse around Matador’s Airbnb guides to get a sense of how to best capture your property. After all, good photos are key to getting traction both on the platform and in the press.

Hire professional cleaners

Guests will look under the couch and they will know if the linens haven’t been changed. A sparkling-clean property helps maintain a five-star rating. Take time to research the best cleaning company for your Airbnb.

Set a pricing strategy

Airbnb’s interactive calculator tool helps you determine an appropriate nightly rate. Amenities, location, and the time of year should guide your strategy. As a fledgling host, you can apply a 20% listing discount to attract your first customers.

Detail extra fees and house rules

Outline any additional charges such as pet fees, extra guest surcharges, pool-heating fees, and parking rates in the listing. Use the house rules tab to clarify smoking, pet, general upkeep, and noise policies and set clear expectations.

Reply promptly

Respond to booking requests and guest inquiries within 24 hours or less. This puts you on the path to becoming an Airbnb Superhost.

Complying with Airbnb host requirements

Understanding Airbnb host requirements and legal regulations in your area is another stage in how to become an Airbnb host.

Local short-term rental laws and regulations

All countries, states, and cities impose different rules regarding short-term and long-term vacation rentals. Subject to your jurisdiction, you might need to apply for a permit or license.

Airbnb doesn’t provide legal advice so the onus is on you to contact your local government office. Zoning rules, building and housing standards, landlord-tenant laws, and homeowners association (HOA) rules are examples of laws to check.


Becoming an Airbnb host means running a business and you may be liable to pay state and federal taxes. A growing number of jurisdictions now require hosts to collect a tax for each overnight stay which is payable to the city. In others, Airbnb automatically collects and remits taxes on your behalf.

If you are subject to taxation as a host, you may also be able to claim expenses as deductibles. Setting up an LLC for your Airbnb rental properties is worth looking into from the onset as it can be advantageous for tax purposes.

airbnb homepage on computer screen

Photo: BongKarn Graphic/Shutterstock

How much does Airbnb charge hosts?

Airbnb typically charges hosts a flat service fee of 3% of the booking subtotal. The subtotal is the nightly rental price plus any additional costs such as a cleaning fee.

This service fee enables 24/7 support for hosts and includes Airbnb insurance for hosts – Aircover.

In contrast, guests pay a service fee of around 14% of the booking subtotal. In some jurisdictions, Airbnb collects occupancy tax from the guest and pays them on behalf of the host.

Study the Airbnb cancellation policy for hosts

An Airbnb host cannot cancel a confirmed reservation unless absolutely necessary. If you are unable to honor a booking, it’s your responsibility to cancel in a timely manner. The Airbnb cancellation policy for hosts stipulates that you are liable to pay a penalty.

  • 10% of the total reservation amount for bookings canceled more than 30 days before check-in
  • 25% of the total reservation amount for cancelations made between 48 hours and 30 days before check-in
  • 50% of the total reservation amount for booking canceled 48 hours or less before check-in, or after check-in

For reservations of 28 days or longer, cancellation fees are calculated as a percentage of the non-refundable portion of the reservation.

Fees may be waived if you cancel due to extenuating circumstances. These include government-declared emergencies, government travel restrictions, acts of war, and natural disasters.

The penalty may also be waived if you have to cancel as a result of valid reasons beyond your control. These refer to gas leaks, burst pipes, serious illness, or proof that a guest intends to break a house rule.

How to become an Airbnb host without owning property

Co-hosting is an alternative means of becoming an Airbnb host. Co-hosts perform such duties as checking guests in and out, liaising with cleaning companies, and answering any queries from guests during their stay.

A co-host may be a family member, friend, neighbor, or hired professional. They are usually paid a percentage of the booking or a fixed amount per booking.

Become an Airbnb host today

Discover Matador

Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners.

For more information read our privacy policy.