Top Dos and Donts when running an Airbnb Business in Kenya

Starting an Airbnb may seem like an easy task. It’s a profitable business that requires resources, knowledge, and the ability to create an excellent guest experience. For starters, it’s essential to understand that most people running the Airbnbs don’t necessarily own the property. You need to maximize your potential for profit by using the extra vacant space effectively.

To ensure that you keep your Airbnb investment profitable, we have compiled crucial dos and don’ts that you should consider.

Airbnb Isn’t Just For Property Owners

A common conception among most people is that you need to own the property for you to own an Airbnb. In reality, this is not the case. People are making a lot of money by adopting effective marketing strategies and property management platforms without owning property.

Since operating with your own property can be challenging and expensive, renting is a good idea. For instance, if you rent a one-bedroom apartment for Ksh 12,000 per month, you can customize the house to provide a superior guest experience. By charging Ksh 2000 per night and you happen to get guests for 21days per month, that is a gross revenue of Ksh 42,000 per month. If you deduct Ksh 12k for rent and an additional cost of 7k for house management, water, electricity, and marketing, you will be left with a net income of Ksh 23,000 per month. Imagine if you have 5 Airbnbs giving you a similar profit. That will equate to about Ksh 115,000 per month.

Dos and Donts

Here are the top 5 dos and don’ts in an Airbnb. Check them out!


Incorporate subtle prop styling

Dreaming about a trip is one of the happiest parts of a travel journey. It’s filled with lots of expectations. You need to feed your potential guests’ vacation anticipation with light staging. Show them that they can experience their best life on your property. Place a pair of wine glasses near a hot tub, a pair of towels, or a puzzle on a desk near a window with a clear view of the surrounding areas, or place matching coffee mugs on a patio bistro table. If your rental is strategically positioned, let’s say near wildlife or mountains or in the coastal area, ensure they have a clear view of the postcard beaches, the sunset, or the mountain.

Add local flavor to your walls

Just because you can’t hang your portraits doesn’t mean you should leave the walls bare. There are different options that you can choose from to add flavor to your walls. For instance, you can hang a poster from a nearby hotspot, vintage postcards, nature shots, local art, or create a gallery wall.

Style with greenery

Create refreshing moments in your Airbnb. Style your space by adding live plants that echo the interiors. Ansel Troy, a host in Oakland, California, uses greenery as a transformative art for small spaces. Styling your house can be mood-shifting and visually appealing. This can be an important way of attracting Instagram-loving guests.

Channel your inner Marie Kondo

Most people ignore the fact that minimalism is better than maximalism. Keep in mind the two-thirds rule. Do not overstock your house. Photograph the space with at least two-thirds of the available furnishings. Remove the extra items and stash them in the excess storage area. Remove the piles of paperbacks.

Embrace a theme

In most cases, guests visit your place because of what it’s near or the ambiance it gives them. For instance, if you’re near a beach, there’s a good chance that’s the reason they are visiting. Ensure you give to satisfy their needs with design nods that match the area. If it’s near the beach, you can have furniture, textiles, wicker lamps, and nautical wall hangings in marine blue. This will keep them rooted to the sea in your Airbnb. Definitely, you will get them hooked and keep them as returning customers any time they are in the coastal region. More referrals for you also, right?

Likewise, remind your guests that they’re in an alpine paradise by customizing your property with faux fur seat cushions, flannel pillows, and wooden skis.


Don’t show pics with people

You want to maintain a high level of privacy for your guests. At the same time, you want travelers to picture themselves on your property. Don’t shatter the illusion by showing you and your family staying in the Airbnb. Avoid listing pics with people in them, and don’t fill the house with personal photos. Whether it’s a night, several nights, or even a week, guests want to feel like the house is theirs.

Avoid featuring excessive photos from the neighborhood

Taking pictures of your home is an interesting way to feature local flavor. Sharing a few pics of the area and the background can be great. But only fill your listing with a few neighborhood photos. You may live in a beautiful area with the best background, but posting 50 outdoor pics to mask the fact that your property has a no welcome mat, an old futon, and faded curtains is a no-no. Travelers will be hip to your ruse.

Don’t cram your space

Even when it comes to your souvenirs, keep your space manageable. You don’t want guests to feel like their new vacation home is a storage area for garage sale finds. Also, you don’t want to give them a hard time walking around just because you love furniture.

Don’t create chores for the guests

If you overfill your house with plants, they will need to be kept hydrated. That’s creating tasks for your guests, which will take longer. Stick to succulents, as they require less watering and care.

Don’t mislead guests about amenities

You don’t want to kill your guests’ expectations and get them to cancel their stay at your property. Make sure to add accurate information about the amenities available in your listing, but all your vinyl is locked away when your guests arrive. They will be pretty disappointed. Do not exaggerate.

Don’t overshadow architectural gems

If you have installed a structural standout in your house, don’t kill the show with the furniture. Ensure it’s fully visible. For instance, if you look at the 100-year-old wooden Airbnbs in Tokyo, Japan, you will find out that the designer uses subdued furnishings to allow the exposed beams and traditional Shōji paper walls to star.

Want to earn money with your property on Airbnb?

If you want to keep your Airbnb profitable, you should take the points above into consideration. The greatest hurdle is not starting the business but customizing the property. Create a steady source of income without having to invest tons of cash but by embracing interior design strategies.

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