How to Airbnb a Houseboat: 9 Things to Keep in Mind

Airbnb has offered an amazing platform to make some extra money by renting out your residential property, and a houseboat is no exception. On average, boat owners use their boats for three weeks every year, and it makes sense to rent out a houseboat on Airbnb. However, there are ten things that you need to keep in mind before moving forward with putting your houseboat on Airbnb.

Things to keep in mind in an Airbnb houseboat include:

  • Checking whether or not the local authorities even allow renting out a houseboat on Airbnb
  • Making the check-in experience an excellent one,
  • Keep it clean 
  • Offering premium-quality amenities
  • Uploading an amazing description
  • Take good pictures
  • Getting the houseboat insured
  • Fair price
  • Test the houseboat  

Today, you will not only learn how to rent out your boat as a houseboat on Airbnb properly but also make it a profitable venture. You will learn the art of enticing customers towards your boat and manage to keep it profitable while keeping the boat safe and sound. Let’s take a look at some important and elemental factors of renting out a houseboat on Airbnb.

What Should You Keep in Mind While Renting Out a Houseboat on Airbnb?

Airbnb is all about offering a unique and amazing experience for your customers. The quality and lavishness of the experience will influence their ratings and decide whether or not they will come back. Moreover, these ratings also impact your overall profile and ensure a positive interaction from potential customers.

Renting out a houseboat may sound like an easy task, and it is, but there are a few things that you must keep in mind in order to make it a profitable venture. Let’s take a look.

Can You Airbnb a Houseboat?

The very first thing that you need to ensure is that whether you can Airbnb a houseboat or not. Some regions do not allow Airbnb in the first place, while others do not allow anything other than land-based residential property to be advertised on Airbnb.

Therefore, you need to understand that even if Airbnb has become a hub for offering unique and amazing renting opportunities, whether your local authorities and laws allow houseboats on Airbnb or not.

For this purpose, you can either:

  • call the local authorities by yourself after finding the right contact information;
  • you can check out their website for further details regarding property renting.

Moreover, you can also check Airbnb’s platform for information on regional and local laws. Airbnb staff also keep their online portal up-to-date with the local laws, rules and regulations. So, the first thing that you need to address is the burning question, “Can you Airbnb a Houseboat?”

Take Amazing Pictures

Airbnb is all about making a first impression. Therefore, you need to understand that good pictures of your houseboat will entice new customers to come towards your business.

You cannot just post some random pictures with low-lighting and expect customers to turn up to use your houseboat. Taking amazing pictures is the first step towards offering excellent non-verbal communication between your ad and potential customers.

Here are some tips to take good pictures to highlight the best aspects of your houseboat.

  • The first 3 pictures should be of excellent quality.
  • The first 3 pictures should highlight all sides of the boat.
  • The pictures should be of an HD resolution.
  • You should take pictures of all rooms.
  • Hire A Professional photographer

If you can, you should hire a professional photographer and spend south of $200 to take amazing and high-quality photos of your houseboat. Make sure to keep everything tidy and clean when you are taking the pictures. You have to make a good and long-lasting impression.

Be Descriptive and Creative with the Listing

Every host is trying to take professional pictures of their place or houseboat to showcase the beauty of their listing. You can easily go above and beyond by offering a detailed and creative description of your houseboat on Airbnb.

Before even thinking of jotting down a description, you need to think about the type of audience and potential customers that you want to engage in. If you are going to engage teenagers, you need to come with a description that will entice teenagers. This may include:

  • Modern amenities
  • Wi-Fi Connection
  • Party Environment
  • Unusual and Modern Interior Design

On the other hand, if you want to entice couples and older people into coming to your houseboat, you need to modify your description accordingly. You need to make sure that the description offers:

  • A serene environment
  • Quiet place
  • Nice antique furniture
  • Family-friendly amenities

Moreover, you also need to be quite descriptive and imaginative with the listing. Instead of calling it just an LCD, describe it as a “beautiful and modern Smart TV to peruse through all your favorite streaming services.” Remember, you are selling your houseboat to the renters. Beautify everything.

Focus on an Excellent Check-in Experience

The first impression is the last impression. Moreover, the modern-day businesses rely heavily on positive feedback from consumers. If the feedback is negative, it will harm your business and turn away any future clients. 

Therefore, you need to make sure that you offer an amazing first experience and check-in facilities to the clients. They shouldn’t have to wait for hours before you get the houseboat ready. Make sure that it is docked, cleaned, and all ready to be used by the clients.

The first check-in experience matters the most when the client rents out the houseboat. You need to offer them a virtual tour, and also contact information in case of emergencies. This will assure them that they have come to the right place and make a good first impression.

You also need to offer them directions in order to get to the houseboat. Tell the clients how they can take a cab or Uber from the Airport, and what is the best route to get to your place. This will further impress them that you actually care about their experience.

Once the renters arrive, you need to make sure the houseboat is ready for them. Clean everything, replace the bedsheets, mop up the floor, and ensure that the only things your clients have to do is enjoy their experience.

Offer Premium-quality Amenities

The renters are not just looking for an amazing experience at your houseboat, but they also expect to enjoy superior quality amenities. This means that you should make sure that:

  • All the electrical outlets are working.
  • Wi-Fi is working and reached all areas.
  • The appliances are not broken down.
  • The boat isn’t broken, and the generator is working.

These are just a few of the things that you can ensure to maximize their experience. You should also invest in turning the boat into a smart boat. This means that you can buy a:

  • Smart TV
  • Digital receiver
  • Keyless digital locks

These items will enhance your clients’ overall experience. Since this will be a one-time investment, you should also invest in linen beddings and sofa covers. These may sound expensive at first, but in the long run, these will create a long-lasting first impression on the client.

Also, invest some money in purchasing easy-dry towels for showers. Offer all the amenities for the shower, such as:

  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners
  • Complimentary toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Shower slippers
  • Soaps
  • Toiletries

Do not even think about skimping out on the budget. Always remember that the majority of these amenities can just be re-washed and re-used for the new renters. So, choose premium-quality amenities for your clients.

Upon arriving, you will want to make sure that your place has not only the necessities but recreational items too. These recreational items could include seasonal items or entertainment products in case the customer wants to enjoy the weather or stay inside.

Clean the Boat Thoroughly

A houseboat will be constantly tied up at the dock, and this means a pungent smell, dirt, and grease creeping out of the crevices. You don’t want the renters to sleep and live in a smelly houseboat. Therefore, you need to clean up everything before the clients get to the boat.

One of the major issues that a lot of customers face during their Airbnb stay is the lack of:

  • Hygiene
  • Sanitation
  • Overall cleanliness

Some people only believe in a minor and cursory mop-up and think that it will automatically align with the client’s vision. It rarely does.

Hire a professional cleaning service to come to the houseboat after the guests leave, and wipe it from top to bottom to make it squeaky clean. It may cost you a little bit more than cleaning by yourself, but it will result in a boost in your profits as the clients will end up giving you a 5-star rating.

Going above and beyond with the cleaning service will ensure that the customers have a nice experience at the houseboat.  Moreover, always try to hire local cleaning services, as these local agencies aspire to offer a higher level of cleaning.

Moreover, you also need to invest money in purchasing some superior quality room fresheners and scents. The houseboat will live at the dock; therefore, it will be constantly covered in a thick and pungent damp smell. Some customers like it, and some don’t. You can’t take the risk, so you need to be ready for everything and for all scenarios.

Safeguard Your Houseboat with Insurance

Just because you are renting out your houseboat does not mean that it has to suffer any damage during the process.

There have been several horror stories about rude customers who not only horribly damage the property but later refuse to pay for any compensation.  Therefore, you need to be ready for everything and protect your investment with the help of the right insurance. 

You can contact your local insurance agencies and see which one suits your needs. You can compare different packages and find the best one for your houseboat and make sure that your houseboat is insured before you list it on Airbnb. 

If the boat isn’t insured and the client ends up damaging or harming the overall integrity of the houseboat, you will have to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars in repair. This cost will outweigh any profits that you may earn from your houseboat.

You can talk to the local agencies, and find the best renter’s insurance for your houseboat. Safeguarding your boat will help you lower the repair costs, maximize the profits, and keep it in a steady and beautiful condition throughout the year for all your customers.

Take Out Your Houseboat by Yourself

Take your own houseboat for a test drive. Would you ever serve a meal to guests without tasting it first? No. In the same way, you have to live a few days in your houseboat first to see how it feels, what it lacks, and what can be done to improve it.

Moreover, this shouldn’t be a one-time experience. Take out your own houseboat for a spin every few months. Check all the amenities, and spend a few nights in the boat to see how your guests and renters would feel like. Enhance the experience by living it yourself.

So, pack up your things as you would for any vacation, and camp out in your houseboat. See if there are any amenities that are missing from experience. See if the houseboat smells due to the water around it. Also, make sure the beds are comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep.

Keep The Price Tag Within an Affordable Range

Some customers are driven away by sky-high prices on Airbnb. Therefore, if you want to rent out your houseboat on Airbnb, you need to make sure that you set the price tag within an affordable range. 

Since you are not a hotel, you cannot price your houseboat like one. You need to make sure that your prices are not only affordable but reasonable for a wide variety of customers, such as:

  • Millennials
  • Families
  • Teenagers 

These are just people who want to experience something new. These customers cannot pay hundreds of bucks for the night, and you need to make sure that your prices resonate highly with the financial capacity of your potential audiences.

The two major reasons why customers turn to Airbnb are:

  • To experience something unique, new, and extraordinary.
  • To save money by not staying in expensive redundant hotels.

If you are not offering something new to your customers or you are offering something extremely expensive, they would rather stay in a hotel than your personal residential property. T

You need to entice your customers and maximize your client outreach by setting a low price that offers you enough profit to keep it going steady and doesn’t put a strain on your clientele.

If you put a high price tag on your houseboat, you will end up turning away more than 50 percent of your clients.  This is why professionals recommend that you should always put a price tag that is one-third of expensive hotels.

This way, the clients will not only be able to enjoy a unique and memorable houseboat experience, but they will also have to pay less than what they would have to pay at the hotel. Pricing the houseboat is among the most important factors for successfully renting out your boat on Airbnb.

Offer A Welcome Present

This is something that is totally dependent on your personal preference. However, if you choose to offer a welcoming present to your guests, it will result in a nice and long-lasting first impression. 

Sometimes, the guest comes from a faraway place, and they are already tired of jet lag from the journey. This is why offering them a nice welcome present can help them see that they are going to have a nice experience at your houseboat. Moreover, who doesn’t like getting gifts? They will also leave a 5-star review once they get back.

You can choose this gift, depending upon your customers. If it is a newlywed couple, you can offer them some scented candles along with a nice bottle of wine. This will not chip away at your profits and make a good impression. On the other hand, if it is a middle-aged couple with a family, offer them a gift basket with chocolates and candies for the kids.

What Do We Have to Say?

In the end, you can maximize your profits for renting out your houseboat on Airbnb by taking care of small things, such as good pictures and client satisfaction. A higher number of 5-star reviews will bring in a higher number of clients.

You need to take care of everything from the very beginning. When the client rents out your houseboat, you need to offer them directions, greet them at the dock, offer world-class amenities, and ask them if they need anything else. If you keep these things in mind, you will not only be able to maximize your profits but also client experience and satisfaction.

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