Don’t Make These 5 Rookie Mistakes in Managing Airbnbs

Don’t Make These 5 Rookie Mistakes in Managing Airbnbs

Many property owners find the short-term rental market an excellent place for maximising their investments. Airbnb and similar platforms offer the potential to yield substantial returns and recoup the expenses you incurred in furnishing or remodelling a place.

Without proper guidance, though, you can quickly become overwhelmed with what you need to do to maintain a rental listing. When you’re first starting with short-term rental management, though, you find out that there is more to it than sprucing up your property and turning over a couple of keys. Here are the mistakes to avoid if you’re a rookie host!

Not Knowing What It Is Like to Rent an Airbnb

Some hosts who run Airbnb rentals have never stayed in one. Staying in other hosts’ places will help you learn more about what guests experience from start to finish. It will give you an idea of what guests like and not like about renting an Airbnb. Also, you can adapt other hosts’ best practices and implement them on your property.

For example, one host might be great at communicating, but another one might have more amenities. Picking up the best from each place you stay will help you create an overall better experience for your future renters.

Over-Promising and Under-Delivering

Presenting your property in the best light involves having high-quality, professional photos and well-written copy. However, you have to ensure that your listing is fair and accurate. Hosts who promise one thing and deliver another are bound to have disappointed guests. Avoid under-delivering by always having recent photos on your property. You want to show potential guests a picture from ten months ago, not ten years ago.

Also, don’t say your property is “a short walk” to the nearest train station or bus stop if it is kilometres away. Represent your property truthfully, and you will get enough bookings, especially if you are at or near a tourist area. Short-term rental management is about cultivating trust, and that starts with honest advertising.

Forcing Thematic Styling

Having thematic Airbnb rentals can work in some instances. For example, if your apartment is a ride away from a theme park, you can have a few pieces of décor or souvenirs referencing the park. However, decorating your rental place to look like a theme park is not the way to go. While it could look quirky and Instagram-ready, it will alienate a large portion of your guests, especially people who are only looking for a nice place to rest after being out and about.

You might even skip the thematic route and furnish your Airbnb like you would any other rental property. Give your place a cohesive feel by using colours, wood, and textures that go together. Clean and neutral furniture and walls are also great—that way, you can switch up the accessories and accent colours and give each guest a different experience. 

Not Getting the Hang of Guest Communication

Guest communication is about finding the right balance between professionalism and friendliness. You don’t want to appear cold and impersonal, but you don’t want to act like your guests’ best friend, either. 

Also, different guests have different preferences. You need to match their energy—if a guest is friendly, you need to reciprocate. However, if the guest seems like the type who wants to be alone, don’t knock at their door every day they’re staying and ask if they need a guide.

Not Being Flexible About Nightly Rates

Some potential guests will try to lowball you, so it is good to know what you’re worth and stand your ground firmly but gently. However, never compromising is also not a good idea. If you know your property will be vacant for the next few weeks, you might want to lower your rate a little to get bookings for upcoming dates. The alternative is not having guests at all!


Airbnb hosts, especially ones just starting, have plenty of things to iron out when renting their property to guests. Learning what it is like to rent an Airbnb, being a good communicator, and staying fair and honest in your dealings will help you get regular business for your listing.

Own Better delivers more significant returns on your rental properties, minus the hassle. We provide short-term rental property management in Sydney, taking care of everything from minimising vacancies to interior design and guest experience. Own better listings with us—contact us to get started today!

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