Listing your home on Airbnb® comes with enormous responsibility—for yourself, your property, and your potential guests. You may have wondered, “how do I protect myself as an Airbnb owner?” Or, “what are the Airbnb hosting tips I should focus on?”
You’re in the right place. At Asurion, we don’t just fix and protect your tech, we teach millions of people how to get the most out of their connected devices—from how to stay safe online to 8 smart home devices that every Airbnb host should have.
Here are the do’s and don’ts of protecting your Airbnb—and the personal data of your future guests.
Know who you’re renting to
Protecting your home, your belongings, your tech, even your Airbnb data starts with knowing who you’re renting to. When someone sends a request to stay at your Airbnb property, follow basic safety measures to avoid some common mistakes. Check out their profile and read both the positive reviews and negative reviews that other property owners have left. If they’re a host themselves, that’s a good sign. You can also search for them on social media, or ask a few get-to-know-you questions through Airbnb’s messaging system to make sure they’re the kind of renters you want to host.
Keep communications and payments inside the Airbnb platform
What’s the best way to keep your Airbnb data safe? How are Airbnb guests protected? The answer is one of the most important Airbnb host tips: Make sure all communication and payments go through the Airbnb website or app. Once a reservation is confirmed, Airbnb transmits data with secure encryption and stores it in an encrypted form using third-party databases, according to the company. Even with these safety measures in place, we recommend that you never give out your personal email or phone number; never accept payments outside the system; and wait to share your address until the guest has paid. Doing so will ensure your utmost privacy.
Offer strong, secure internet access
The best way to protect your own devices and data while offering Wi-Fi is to create a dedicated guest network—and arm it with a strong, unique password. Check out our guide to securing your home Wi-Fi network to learn more.
If your router can’t accommodate a guest network, you can also set up a separate router for your Airbnb guests. Better yet, get a virtual private network (VPN). It creates a secure, encrypted connection between your guests’ devices and a remote server, hiding personal information from would-be hackers and cyberthieves and masking their online activity. A VPN also protects guests’ browsing history, their location, and their identity.
Use smart locks
Smart locks are wireless devices that let you lock and unlock your door remotely using an app or keypad. By connecting to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, or Z-Wave®, they let you create temporary passcodes and set up alerts for when a door is locked or unlocked.
They ’re also great for Airbnb safety. Unlike traditional keys, digital ones can’t get lost or stolen. If a guest forgets the unique code, they can always contact you. Plus, smart locks let you generate a separate digital key for each booking, so when it's check out time for one guest, their code automatically expires and a new one can be prepared for the next visitor.
To learn more about smart locks, read our guides to smart lock safety and everything you need to know before buying smart locks.
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Install a video doorbell
Worried about renters throwing a rager? Wondering if they’re sneaking a dog into your pet-free property? A video doorbell lets you keep an eye on who’s coming and going from your home. Plus, you can check in and talk with that person through an app on your phone.
Since a video doorbell is located outside your home, it won’t violate Airbnb policies or your guests’ privacy. Just make sure to mention it in your listing, and read on Airbnb’s camera and recording device policies.
To learn more about which video doorbell to get and how to set it up, here’s how to DIY a video doorbell installation.
Install a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat can help you save money and conserve energy by automating the heating and cooling in your home. It can also put your guests in charge of the climate during their stay. As soon as they leave, you can then reset it, lowering the temperature until new guests arrive.
To learn more, check out our guide to what you need to know before switching to a smart thermostat.
Set up a smart home security system
A smart home security system uses connected devices—like motion sensors, entry sensors, and keypads—to protect your home. A smart light schedule, for instance, can make it seem like someone's there if your guest isn’t checking in until after dark. Smart cameras placed in the driveway and front porch can help you keep an eye on your home. (Just make sure to disclose them in your listing—in your Airbnb, hidden cameras are prohibited per the company’s camera policy.) Window sensors will alert you anytime a window is opened or closed. Lastly, smart water leak detectors and smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will help protect your home from smoke, fire, and flooding.
To learn more, read our guide to smart home security systems.
Fool-proof your appliances
The best Airbnb hosts get the basics right—whether that’s leaving guests a bottle of champagne or making sure your dishwasher, coffee maker, and other appliances are spotless and working properly. To do so:
- Wipe out the inside of your washer and check your dryer for lint.
- Every few months, deep clean your major appliances, including your oven, dishwasher filter, front-load washing machine, and dryer vent.
- Check that hot and cold water runs in your sinks and showers.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Run the garbage disposal.
- And make sure the freezer is producing ice.
To learn more, read our tips for keeping your appliances in top shape for your Airbnb guests, plus our guide to home appliance care and maintenance.
Turn on automatic updates across all your devices
Airbnb hosts have plenty to think about. Shorten your to-do list by turning on automatic updates—if they’re available—for all of your connected tech, including smart locks, thermostats, security cameras, smart TVs, and routers. This will make sure your gadgets stay up-to-date and secure, and your guests don’t have any issues. If automatic updates aren’t available, make sure to regularly check those devices for manual updates.
Consider liability and insurance options
Airbnb’s host protection insurance offers coverage for a variety of scenarios, including:
- Guests who damage your home, belongings, furniture, or vehicles.
- Unexpected cleaning fees due to a guest.
- Lost income if you have to cancel a future booking due to the way a previous guest left your home.
- Costs if you’re found legally responsible for a guest who’s hurt on your property or whose belongings are stolen or damaged. This policy extends to cleaners and anyone else who helps you host.
To understand what the policy does and doesn't include, and how reimbursements work, make sure to read the fine print. And since Airbnb’s insurance doesn’t cover every scenario, speak to your insurance company before listing your home to make sure you’re fully covered.
Make it easy for guests to use your home
Here’s one of the easiest Airbnb tips for hosts: Leave detailed instructions about how to use your tech and appliances, including:
- Wi-Fi login information.
- Step-by-step directions for your coffee maker, dishwasher, washer/dryer, and other appliances.
- Safety and security features, including where the fire extinguisher is located.
- Certain areas of your home that are off-limits to guests.
- Any other Airbnb house rules that are important to you.
Doing so will help protect your Airbnb, and make sure that your guests have a smooth, safe stay as well.
H2: Protect your smart home
An Asurion Home+® protection plan offers coverage for nearly all the technology in your home with one simple plan. Laptops, tablets, TVs, gaming consoles, smart thermostats, and so much more—even what you buy in the future. Plus, you'll get 24/7 live expert support and digital security. Learn more about Asurion Home+® coverage and how you can get peace-of-mind and protection for your favorite home tech.