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Starting Your First Airbnb: A Step-by-Step Guide from a Superhost!

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

The primary bed at 4 Green Parrot accommodation

Starting your first Airbnb can be overwhelming and full of uncertainties. From property selection to setting up your space and crafting the perfect listing, the process can feel daunting. But fear not! This step-by-step guide will help you navigate the complexities and set you on the path to successfully starting your Airbnb.

1. Choose your property

Consider various options for your Airbnb property, such as renting out an unused area of your house, your entire home while you're away, or acquiring a dedicated short-term rental property. Use tools like AirDNA's revenue forecast to estimate potential earnings in different locations. Assess profitability using a profitability calculator before investing your hard-earned cash.

2. Understand local requirements

Research and understand the specific requirements and regulations for short-term rentals in your chosen location. Check online resources and reach out to local authorities to ensure compliance. For example, in Cape Town, you cannot rent out to the same person for more than 30 days before it falls into long term renting with a whole different set of regulations.

Pro Tip: Have a target guest in mind when creating your listing. Is your place perfect for families with young kids? Romantic getaways? Business trips? Whatever it is, have that ideal guest in mind when you write your listing.

3. Furnish and stock your property

Set up your property by attending to necessary repairs, updates, and furnishing. Use our comprehensive checklist to ensure you have all the essential furniture, decor, and supplies. (email to get your copy!)

4. Get insured!

Review your homeowner's insurance policy to determine if it includes coverage for renting out your property. Add coverage or obtain a separate policy specifically for short-term rentals which includes public liability insurance. Explore Airbnb's AirCover policy for additional liability insurance and damage protection. (Incompass Insurance is specifically tailored to short term rentals. Check them out on

5. Find a local cleaning company

Create a plan for cleaning your property between guest stays. While you can choose to clean the property yourself, hiring a professional cleaning company is highly recommended for efficient and reliable service. Outsourcing cleaning ensures consistency, even when you are unable to do it yourself. If you choose to hire someone, ensure you have lists and that your cleaner is properly trained to clean rentals.

6. Take GREAT listing photos

Once your property is set up and cleaned, it's time to take captivating photos for your listing. You have the option to either take the photos yourself or hire a professional photographer. If you choose the DIY route, ensure you have the necessary equipment and photography skills. Your photo’s play a huge part in the success of your listing so take some time to set up shots to make the potential guest feel like they are already there.

7. Create your listing

With all the groundwork completed, it's time to draft your Airbnb listing. This includes uploading your listing photos with descriptive captions, creating an engaging listing title that highlights unique features, writing a comprehensive description that appeals to your target audience, and establishing house rules that align with your preferences and local regulations.

Starting your first Airbnb may seem intimidating, but by following this step-by-step guide, you can overcome uncertainty and confidently launch your property. If it all seems to much, please contact us: we would be happy to take the reign and help set up your property. Email us on

Disclaimer: The information provided in this guide is based on general best practices and experiences, and it's important to research and adhere to specific regulations and guidelines in your location.


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