According to the CDC, 61 million Americans have a disability that impacts major life activities. That equates to one in every four U.S. adults. Making your home more accessible to people with disabilities is a great way to be more inclusive. And given that fact that 2.5 million guests used at least one accessibility filter when searching on Airbnb in 2018, it can also make your side gig as a short term rental host a more profitable one. Best of all, making your rental property more an accessible Airbnb isn’t really as difficult as it may seem. Let’s a take a look at a few suggestions.
If there are steps leading up to the entrance of your home, or leading into one or more room within your home, adding portable ramps can make your Airbnb accessible to guests who use wheelchairs.
Another simple and inexpensive way to make your Airbnb accessible is to install stability bars (aka grab bars) throughout the home. One specific area to focus on is the bathroom – particularly by the toilet and in the shower. And, of course, make sure these are installed properly.
The location and proximity of your furniture could potentially pose a problem for a guest in a wheelchair. Ensuring a minimum of 32 inches between each piece of furniture will allow for easy movement. You may even consider accommodating guests by using furniture coasters to temporarily raise the height of your existing furniture.
Installing smart technology throughout your home can make staying at your short term rental much easier for someone whose disability makes it challenging to get around. For instance, things like programmable thermostats and voice-activated appliances enable guests with mobility issues to more easily manage some of the logistics of their stay.
- Make sure your Airbnb listing is updated to include any and all accessibility filters that apply to your home. (You can find instructions on how to do that here.)
- Add specific details about how your space is Airbnb accessible in the description. And be sure to include pictures as well.
- Communicate with prospective guests to learn more about their needs and how you may be able to accommodate them. For instance, placing common items in agreed upon location that’s easier to access.
- Ask for details and verify before accepting a booking. This will prevent any potential mishaps that could cost you a positive review. For example, if your guest uses a wheelchair, ask them to provide the exact specifications so you can confirm that your doorways and furniture placement are wide enough.
Making your short term rental property more accessible to people with disabilities can provide you access to a larger pool of potential guests. With an accessible Airbnb, your guests will enjoy a more comfortable and pleasant stay and you’ll enjoy a better bottom line. It’s a win-win!
Here are some additional tips for interior design of your Airbnb.