Renting your spare room on Air BNB can be a lucrative way to make some extra cash from your spare room. It allows you a greater deal of flexibility over when you offer you room – or indeed whole house – for rent which is ideal if you want to keep your options open.

No one wants to stay in a hovel, however cheap the price, so it’s important to get your home looking its best when you photograph it for your advert. You’ll also quickly get poor ratings if guests don’t like the clutter when they arrive, so while that showroom shine doesn’t need to be perfect every day you do need to keep your house fairly neat and tidy on days when a guest is expected.

Making your house look as good as a hotel is a great way to increase bookings so here are our top tips on maximising your profit for the minimum of effort.

Take Time on The Publicity Shots

Start by tiding up the room and shifting all the clutter out. Put it in self storage if you need to – there are plenty of cheap storage options out there. Give it a through clean, dust, hoover and polish it. Then make the bed and take your time making it look as comfy and inviting as possible. Plump the pillows and smooth the duvet cover (even better if you iron it before you put it on).

Take photographs of the room from lots of different angles and heights. Try crouching down and photographing across the bed rather than looking down on it. Try taking photos at different times of day as well. Night time shots, with all the table lamps ablaze, can make the room look luxurious, warm and cosy but you may need to bring some extra lighting in to stop it looking dark and dingy. Day time shots can make the room look fresh and clean, but again make sure it’s well lit.

Keep Soft Furnishings Minimal

Cushions and rugs look good but are a nightmare to clean and if you get a lot of one-night bookings you’re going to be doing a lot of cleaning of them. So, remove as many as you can to make cleaning quick and simple. The same logic applies to pictures (keep them on the wall) and knick-knacks. A simple vase of flowers looks great and is far easier to deal with than a row of ornaments (which sooner or later will get broken).

Keep in Touch with Guests

Respond promptly to messages. Be there when they want to check-in (or get a key safe so you can allow check-in at any time). Send them a “goodbye” message thanking them for being good guests within two or three hours of departure and respond to their review positively. Guests using Air BNB are looking for a more personal touch than a hotel offers so you’ll get better reviews, leading to more bookings and more earning potential if you come across as friendly and welcoming.