Thanks for the tips Colorado. Good to know - we will act on that advice.
One other point to consider Diane, when researching other properties with a hot tub I noticed that some kept it empty unless the guests wanted to use it for an additional $100 fee per stay. This would have included filling it up, balancing the water and then draining and cleaning after use so you have to set a fee that is reasonable for you or a service person. All our guests use the hot tub so we have just included it in the price. This other option might be something for you to consider at the onset?
We went to the fire station to talk to them about our responsibilities in the event of a fire. This is where you find out that you really should have the name of each guest staying and how imperative it is to know how many occupants there are. They also recommended a lever door handle so that people could open it with their foot if it got really hot. Because our building has 6 apartments we also put a fire hose in the front and back. You may like a small extinguisher in the kitchen. These have to be inspected and refilled yearly here so we did not do this but have a shared one outside the building. Never use double keyed deadbolts - the door must open from inside without a key. Hosts seem to have success with the keyless entry. We have registered keys that are numbered and the skeleton is not available except by special order. Of course smoke detectors. We have new laws coming in soon where they all have to be wired in so if you can do that it is better. We have cameras outside at two of our properties which we feel could act as a deterrent to vandalism or theft.
For pricing if you can’t find comparable properties on airbnb you can go to other listing sites like booking.com or expedia and see if you find a similar property and what they are charging. Be sure to discount by 10-12% to make up for the service fee that airbnb charges the guests.
Keep abreast of events in your area so you know when to charge a premium and to let guests know what is on. As far as the price goes, never be tempted to drop it below a set bottom rate. Decide that early on and stick to it! The guests who get the cheaper prices are the ones we have found to have the least respect. The higher the price the better class of guest generally. Better to have it empty than do a big discount and find zero respect for the property.
Lastly, if you have a residential tenancy department in your government it may be worth looking at some of their information online. It will be different to short term rentals but could give a good base for what is expected of you as the homeowner such as minimum requirements under the law specific to your area. Don’t forget to call the insurance company - they will be a great source of information for your circumstances. All the best, Lisa