How to List on Airbnb in 5 Steps

Set up your Airbnb listing in 5 simple steps.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

Check out our guide for first-time vacation rental hosts!

Looking to list your home, apartment, or beach house on Airbnb? Smart choice. Airbnb is the most popular vacation rental site in the industry so you’re stepping into a vast market.

If you want to make sure you’re covering all your bases, our guide has your back. Stick with us to find out how to list on Airbnb, what it’ll cost you, and must-know tips to boost your bookings.

Here’s How to List Your Vacation Rental on Airbnb

Let’s dive into all you need to know about listing your short-term rental on Airbnb.

Cost of Listing on Airbnb

Putting up your listing is free and you only pay when you start getting bookings.

Most hosts opt for the split-fee structure where the service fee is divided between you and the guests. In this case, you are charged a fixed service fee of 3% of the booking subtotal. This subtotal includes your nightly rate plus any extra fees you charge, like cleaning fees, but it doesn’t include Airbnb’s fees and taxes. 

There’s also the host-only fee structure, where you cover the entire service fee. This fee usually falls between 14–16%, but it can vary. For example, hosts with Super Strict cancellation policies might pay more, while those with longer stays might pay less.

The host-only fee is required for traditional hospitality listings like hotels and serviced apartments, as well as for hosts using vacation rental management software.

For more details on Airbnb fees, head to our blog post that breaks down Airbnb host costs.

Requirements

To list your property on Airbnb, you’ll need to meet certain requirements:

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Accuracy: Your listing has to be spot-on which means that the description, photos, amenities, and house rules are all honest and up-to-date.
  • Hospitality Standards: Keep your place clean, and safe, and be responsive to guests’ questions and concerns.
  • Compliance: Make sure you’re following local laws and regulations for short-term rentals by getting all the permits and licenses you need.
  • Safety Requirements: Your place should have safety features like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
  • Responsible Hosting: Be respectful to your guests, give your best to provide them with a positive experience, and address all their concerns.
  • Cancellation Policy: Have a clear cancellation policy for your listing so everyone’s on the same page.
  • Payment: Have a valid payment method on file to receive payments from Airbnb.

How to List on Airbnb

Step 1: Sign Up and Set Up

If you don’t have an account, you’ll first need to sign up. Go to the Airbnb website or download the app and create an account. To build trust with guests, you need to share a little about yourself so write a brief bio, fill out your profile, and add a clear profile picture.

To verify your identity, Airbnb will ask you to upload a photo of your Government ID and confirm your phone number.

Step 2: Create Your Listing

Once you set up your account, click on the “List Your Space” button. You’ll receive prompts to complete various details about your property, including: 

  • Type of space (entire home/apartment, shared room, or private room)
  • Location
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Amenities (features of your properties)

You’ll also need to upload high-quality photos of your property and write a compelling title and description, and you can add any additional services or experiences you offer, like airport pickups or guided tours. 

To complete your listing setup, you must set your availability calendar and pricing. 

Step 3: Set House Rules and Policies

To avoid misunderstandings and problems down the road, write straightforward house rules and policies for your guests. This might cover things like smoking, pets, noise levels, and check-in/check-out times. If you want to ensure you don’t miss anything important, check out our guide on Airbnb house rules.

Step 4: Choose Your Booking Settings

You need to make a couple more decisions before you wrap up, like your cancellation policy and minimum stay requirements. You can also choose whether you’re open to instant bookings or if you’d rather review each request before confirming. Lastly, if you want, you can add extra fees like a cleaning fee or charges for additional guests.

Step 5: Review and Publish Your Listing

Before you hit that publish button, take a moment to review everything. Double-check that all the information is accurate and up-to-date. Take a quick preview to see how it’ll appear to potential guests. If everything is ready, just hit publish to make your listing live on Airbnb. 

Keep in mind that your listing should show up within 24 hours, but it might take up to 72 hours for some listings to pop up in search results. So, don’t worry if you don’t see it right away.

Listing Tips to Increase Bookings

After you publish your listing, the next hurdle is getting more bookings. It can be tough, especially when you’re new to the game, but here are some tips to help you out:

  • Optimize Your Listing: Include keywords that guests search for in your Airbnb title and description to make sure that it pops up in their search results. Our blog on optimizing your Airbnb listing can give you some helpful SEO tips.
  • Invest in High-Quality Photos: Awesome photos can really make your listing stand out, so have you thought about hiring a professional photographer? It’s a one-time investment, and photographers who specialize in vacation rentals know exactly how to stage your place and capture it in its best light.
  • Price Right: Take a look at the prices of similar listings in your area, and then decide on your pricing. You don’t want to set your price too low, as it might raise concerns for some guests. However, you can aim to be more affordable than your competitors to draw attention to your new listing.
  • Incentivize with Discounts: Airbnb provides the option to offer a 20% discount to the first three guests. If you’re looking to attract more guests, simply check that box to activate the discount.
  • Use Instant Book: Allow guests to book your rental without your approval. Instant Book makes booking easier for guests and boosts your listing’s visibility in Airbnb’s search results.
  • Spruce Up Your Space: Invest in amenities or small upgrades that can make your place more appealing, like fast Wi-Fi, comfy beds, or a well-stocked kitchen.
  • Stay Flexible: Keep your booking settings flexible to accommodate different guest needs. Being open to last-minute bookings or shorter stays can help you boost your bookings.
  • Use Property Management Software: Using vacation rental management software is a great way to simplify, automate, and grow certain aspects of hosting your Airbnb.

Conclusion

Creating a listing on Airbnb might seem quick and easy, but there are key things to consider if you want to start getting bookings right away. 

Everything from crafting a compelling title and description to setting the right price can make a big difference in the success of your listing. So, put some thought into creating your listing, and when guests start reaching out, be quick to respond to their inquiries to get those bookings rolling in.

Here are some other insightful blog posts to help you run your Airbnb business like a pro:

How useful was this post?

Your feedback helps us write better content.

Thanks for letting us know!

How could we improve this post?