The real estate and tourism industries in the Philippines are booming—and what better way to take advantage of it than offering your property on digital home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb?
Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects travelers seeking accommodations and hosts looking to list their properties. In recent years, the company has seen tremendous growth in the Philippine market, with people preferring to book Airbnb accommodation than hotels. Compared to traditional types of accommodations, Airbnb listings offer cheaper rates and more personalized experiences for guests.
Got a property in a great location you want to list? You can easily earn extra income when you become an Airbnb host. This guide gives you the rundown on how to start hosting on the popular home-sharing platform.
7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hosting on Airbnb
While making money from listing your property on Airbnb sounds like a good idea, you have to make sure it's the right decision before you dive in. Consider different important factors when deciding to become an Airbnb host.
Here are several questions you must ask yourself before starting to host on Airbnb.
1. Do I Want to Start a Business?
Becoming an Airbnb host is no different from being an entrepreneur. You have to put in the effort, time, and money to make it profitable and worth your investment.
And just like setting up any kind of business, you need to take some crucial steps, like conducting market research and creating a business plan, to ensure you're starting off the right foot.
2. What are My Financial Goals?
Obviously, you want to earn extra income from listing your space on Airbnb. But you have to make your goal SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (1).
Are you looking to turn it into a full-time business that earns a steady income? Or you just want to make some money on the side? Perhaps, you might be considering something more ambitious, like becoming a real estate tycoon someday through your short-term rentals.
Your exact goals will determine how much time, capital, and risks are involved in putting up your property on Airbnb.
3. Do I Have the Time for It?
Don't underestimate the amount of time you need to spend on running an Airbnb business. Especially in the beginning, you'll be hands-on with managing listings and bookings, preparing your property for guest arrival, and handling its maintenance. These tasks alone can take a great deal of time.
Even when you've got everything down pat, you're still expected to be available 24/7 to your guests for any emergency.
Considering all these things, is your schedule flexible enough to perform all your duties as an Airbnb host? If not, can you trust someone to handle the responsibilities for you?
Read more: 10 Steps to Start a Successful Online Business in the Philippines
4. Is There a Demand for Airbnb in My Property's Location?
Location is everything in any real estate business. The same goes for Airbnb. According to Airbnb (2), the demand is strong in popular tourist destinations in the Philippines, including Manila, Baguio, Boracay, Cebu, Davao, and Tagaytay.
When performing market research, you'll discover if there's a demand for online short-term rentals in the area where your property for lease is located.
5. How Much Will I Earn from Airbnb Hosting?
Of course, money is the biggest consideration when starting an Airbnb business. You don't want to invest your time and resources without making sure it will pay off financially.
To find out how much you can earn as an Airbnb host, use Airbnb's online calculator (3) that provides a free estimate of your potential income. Simply enter your property's location, type (entire place/private room/shared room), and the number of guests it can accommodate.
The Airbnb calculator will then show the amount you can earn monthly, which is based on 15 nights booked per month at forecasted daily prices.
Your actual earnings will depend on many other factors, such as your pricing, the demand for Airbnb in your area, the season, and the actual occupancy rate. Still, the financial projection from the Airbnb calculator will give you an idea of whether listing your property on the home-sharing app will be profitable.
6. How Much Will It Cost to Become an Airbnb Host?
Aside from your potential earnings, consider also the costs involved in starting and running your Airbnb business. These can affect profitability, so take the time to list down and compute the following expenses:
- Cleaning, repair, and other maintenance services
- Supplies (towels, linens, toiletries, etc.)
- Appliances (TV, hairdryer, refrigerator, electric kettle, etc.)
- Airbnb host service fee (typically 3% of the price per booking)
- Bank transfer fee or any applicable processing fee for the payout
- Taxes imposed under the TRAIN law (4):
- 12% value-added tax (VAT) - If monthly rental fee per unit is over PHP 15,000 and annual gross receipts on rent exceed PHP 3 million
- 3% percentage tax on gross receipts - If monthly rental fee per unit is over PHP 15,000 and annual gross receipts are equal to or less than PHP 3 million
- Note: Airbnb units listed for less than PHP 15,000 per month are exempt from VAT and percentage tax, regardless of the aggregate annual gross receipts.
7. Can I Meet the Airbnb Hosting Standards?
Airbnb asks all hosts to meet certain basic requirements for every listing to ensure high-quality service for guests:
- Responding to inquiries and reservations within 24 hours
- Accepting bookings whenever the host is available
- Avoiding booking cancellations
- Keeping a high overall rating from guests
The online home-sharing platform also encourages hosts to provide amenities for a comfortable stay, including pillows, linens, towels, toilet paper, and soaps.
How to Become an Airbnb Host: 5 Simple Steps to Start Listing Your Property
Once your property is ready for occupancy, it's fairly quick and easy to start hosting on Airbnb. Here's a walk-through of the steps involved in becoming an Airbnb host.
Step 1: Sign Up for an Airbnb Account
To be able to list your property on Airbnb and accept bookings, you need to register an account with the home-sharing platform first.
On the Airbnb host login page (5), you can sign up using your email address and creating a password. Alternatively, you may create an Airbnb account with your Facebook or Google account.
Note that you can register only one account on Airbnb, unless you're authorized to do so. Also, Airbnb doesn't allow transferring your account to another person.
Step 2: Create a Listing
After creating an Airbnb account, you can already start listing your property. Just access your account through the Airbnb host login page and click on the Host menu to add a new listing.
How to List Your Space on Airbnb
Creating a listing on Airbnb is free and simple to complete. Just be ready with the necessary information, and you're good to go. Here's how to add a listing on Airbnb:
1. Provide Your Property Details
Airbnb asks every host to supply the following information when listing a property:
- Listing type (apartment, house, bed and breakfast, etc.)
- Property type (condominium, cabin, townhouse, guesthouse, etc.)
- Whether guests will have the entire place, a private room, or a shared room
- Entire place - Guests have the whole space to themselves, usually including a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen
- Private room - Guests have their own private space for sleeping and share other areas with other guests
- Shared room - Guests sleep in a dorm-type bedroom or common area shared with others
- Sleeping arrangements (number of guests that can be accommodated, number of bedrooms, and number of beds)
- Number of bathrooms
- Exact address of the property
- Basic amenities you can offer (towels, TV, fire extinguisher, smoke detector, etc.)
- Areas guests can access or use (kitchen, parking, pool, etc.)
Your Airbnb listing description should be accurate and complete, as well as highlights what makes your space special, so guests know what to expect. The accuracy of your listing affects your guest rankings—if guests find out that the actual place is not as described in the listing, they will surely mention that in their reviews.
2. Add Photos of Your Place
Choose the best photos of your property and upload them on Airbnb. Make sure to provide high-resolution images, including wide-angle shots to show what exactly your place looks like. You can avail of Airbnb's professional photography service after you've published your listing.
3. Write a Summary Description
Provide a brief summary of your property, describing the place and emphasizing its advantages and unique features. You'll also be asked to add more details about the property, your availability during the guests' stay, your neighborhood, and how to get around the area.
Next, provide a name for your listing. Make it as descriptive and catchy as possible, yet accurate at the same time.
Afterward, review Airbnb’s guest requirements. At this point, you can set your house rules and choose the option to review every reservation request if you want to screen guests before accepting their booking.
4. Set Up Your Calendar
Airbnb will ask you about your preferences in terms of frequency of accepting guests and the minimum and maximum duration of their stay. Your responses will serve as Airbnb's basis for suggesting your calendar availability. You can, however, customize your calendar.
5. Set Your Rental Price
The last step in creating an Airbnb listing is setting your price. No idea on how to price your unit? You can browse other listings in your location. Or you can use Airbnb’s Smart Pricing tool that automatically adjusts your price based on the demand, season, your listing's type and location, and other factors.
Done with setting your price? Hit Submit to publish your listing.
Step 3: Wait for Your First Reservation Request/Booking Inquiry
After your listing is published, it may take up to six hours for your listing to appear in Airbnb's search results. Now, all you have to do is to wait for interested people to reach out to you via an inquiry or a booking request.
If several days have passed and nobody showed interest in your property, you might need to adjust your listing to attract guests. You can, for example, offer a discount and/or add better photos of your space.
Once a guest sends you a message to inquire about your property, respond promptly. You may even ask the guest some questions to verify their background, like where they're from and their purpose of stay.
If you receive a reservation request, you have 24 hours to accept or decline it. Otherwise, the request will expire.
Accepting a reservation will automatically update your calendar. If you decline, you can update your calendar to avoid getting bookings for the same dates.
An Airbnb host may cancel a reservation, but this can lead to penalties and other bad consequences. Airbnb deducts cancellation fees from the payout, and guests may leave a negative review when you cancel on the check-in date. Over three cancellations in a year will lead to deactivation of your listing.
Step 4: Carry Out Your Airbnb Hosting Duties
When guests have booked your property on Airbnb, it's time to fulfill your hosting responsibilities such as preparing the space before guest check-in, turning over the keys, and cleaning after guest check-out.
If you're an OFW, full-time employee, or entrepreneur who can't be hands-on when it comes to managing your Airbnb business, you can use a third-party host management service. There are Airbnb host management companies in the Philippines that can help you with the various duties of hosting on the home-sharing platform. Airbnb can match you with its hosting partners, or you can look for a service provider yourself.
Whether you choose to manage everything yourself or rely on a third-party provider, be sure to provide only excellent service to your guests. That way, you'll receive positive reviews and ratings and even reach the Superhost status (6), which will increase your chances of getting booked.
Read more: Listing Your Property on Airbnb? 8 Tips to Boost Your Ratings and Get More Bookings
Step 5: Receive Your Payout
Airbnb hosts typically get paid within 24 hours after the guest’s scheduled check-in time. For a long-term rental of over 28 nights, Airbnb releases the payout every month.
To check your payout status, view your transaction history on Airbnb. If you've received your payout, you'll see a “Payout” line item for the corresponding reservation. However, if you have a set minimum payout amount, you won't receive your payout until you've reached your set amount.
Payout Methods for Airbnb Hosts in the Philippines
|Airbnb Payout Methods||Currency||Average Processing Time||Fees|
|Bank Transfer||PHP||3 to 5 business days||None|
|Payoneer Prepaid Debit Mastercard||USD||3 to 4 hours||May include fees|
|PayPal||USD||3 to 4 hours (Plus 2 to 3 business days to transfer funds from PayPal to your bank account)||Bank transfer fees ranging from PHP 150 to PHP 250 per transaction|
How long the payout gets credited in your account depends on your chosen payout method. In the Philippines, Airbnb hosts can choose to get paid via direct transfer to your bank account, Payoneer Prepaid Debit Mastercard, or PayPal.
For payout methods that release funds in US dollars, your bank may deduct a fee for receiving money in foreign currency.
When setting up your payout method, you'll be asked to provide your bank's SWIFT code and bank code.
Read more: Complete List of SWIFT Codes and Bank Codes in the Philippines
As you can see, it's easy to become an Airbnb host in the Philippines. The challenging part is meeting your guests' expectations and getting more bookings. If there's any issue or concern about your listing and guests, you may contact Airbnb's 24/7 customer service team via phone, email, or live chat.
This article was created in partnership with Airbnb. Sign up as an Airbnb host or visit their website at www.airbnb.com to learn more!
- (1) "SMART Goals: How to Make Your Goals Achievable" (Mind Tools)
- (2) "PH is Airbnb's fastest growing market" (Cahiles-Magkilat, 2015)
- (3) Airbnb Calculator
- (4) "Airbnb: How does it go from here?" (David, 2019)
- (5) Airbnb Host Login page
- (6) Airbnb Superhost page