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Getting Started with Airbnb

ThinkReservations can fully synchronize your ThinkReservations rooms with Airbnb. This article will guide you through the process of connecting to Airbnb and getting your property listed.

Before you get connected
Step 1: Create Listings on Airbnb
Step 2. Connect your ThinkReservations account to Airbnb
Step 3. Import Listings into ThinkReservations
Airbnb Rate Type
Airbnb Payment Type
Taxes and Airbnb
Tips, Tricks, and Notes

Before you get connected, a few important things to note:

  • You can only connect 1 Airbnb account to 1 ThinkReservations account.
  • Connected listings are "Instant Book" listings only.
  • You must give Airbnb at least 30 days of availability over the next 365 days.
  • Guests generally pay 100% deposit/prepayment to Airbnb. You are reimbursed for your cut of the reservation sometime later from Airbnb.
  • Click here for information about Airbnb and taxes.
  • Click here to see if Airbnb is collecting any occupancy taxes for you.
  • Only Listing Owners or Listing Admins should connect their accounts to ThinkReservations.
  • See our Airbnb FAQ here.

Step 1: Create Listings on Airbnb

If you don't already have an Airbnb account, make sure to do this first.

  1. Create an account on Airbnb here:
  2. Let them know you will be hosting as a Business when creating an account
  3. Set up a Payout method so Airbnb can reimburse you for your room and cleaning fees
  4. As a business, make sure to complete your "identity verification", which involves sending a photo of your driver's license front and back.
  5. As a business, also make sure to complete "Business verification".
    You might see a popup like the below image. If you have questions about how to complete this form, please reach out to Airbnb. This will also allow you to use the Super Strict cancellation policies.
  6. Verify what taxes Airbnb is collecting. It's not recommended for Airbnb to collect custom taxes at this time. For questions about taxes and Airbnb, please reach out to Airbnb.
  7. Create any listings on Airbnb using Airbnb's online portal that you would like to sync with ThinkReservations. Not all listings you have in Airbnb need to be synced with ThinkReservations.
    1. When creating listings on Airbnb with the intention of immediately connecting them to ThinkReservations, you can say "No" when asked if you want to connect anther calendar with your Airbnb calendar.
    2. You can simply click Next when Airbnb asks you to Set your availability when setting up your listing.
    3. When asked to Price your space, scroll all the way down the page and choose "Use base price only".
      ... and enter a high rate for this unit, such as $999. Don't stress too much over the price here. It's getting overwritten once connected!
    4. Click "Publish listing" on Airbnb.
    5. If you are already connected to Airbnb and ThinkReservations, click the Import listing button and follw along with Step 3: Import Listings into ThinkReservations below.

Step 2. Connect your ThinkReservations account to Airbnb

  1. Log out of Airbnb
  2. Navigate to ThinkReservations > Settings > Airbnb
  3. Click the red Connect with Airbnb button
  4. Log in to the Admin or Owner Airbnb account that you would like to connect with this ThinkReservations account. As mentioned above, you can only connect one Airbnb account to one ThinkReservations account. Do not use a co-host account, or it will not work.
  5. Follow the steps as prompted by Airbnb to connect your accounts.

Step 3. Import Listings into ThinkReservations

  1. Back in ThinkReservations, click the Import Listing button on the top right of the Airbnb configuration page.
  2. Choose the first listing that you would like to import from the list, and fill out the short form.
  3. Click Save at the bottom when you are done. You can edit these settings later at any time.
  4. Repeat for each remaining listing you would like to connect.
  5. The information from ThinkReservations will be synced with Airbnb within an hour, not immediately. This is because Airbnb only requests information from ThinkReservations hourly. The first time a listing is connected, sometimes it takes more than one cycle/hour for Airbnb to correctly show all rates, restrictions, availability, and settings that come from ThinkReservations.

Airbnb Rate Type

The rate type that you choose in the form when importing or editing an Airbnb listing will be used to synchronize availability, rates, and restrictions. (Taxes are not synchronized.)

You can sync with any existing parent or derived rate type.
If you don't have a rate type that you would like to sync with, you can optionally create a new one. This is especially helpful if Airbnb is collecting some or all of the taxes for your property, or if you wish to give a different rate to Airbnb.

  1. Navigate to Settings > Rate Types
  2. Click the New button on the top right.
  3. Give your rate type a name, such as "Airbnb Rate".
  4. Select Staff Only under Rate qualifiers so it's not displayed in the online booking engine.
  5. Select No Deposit from the Deposit Type pull-down list in the Deposits section. All Airbnb reservations are paid in full to Airbnb.
  6. If you need to override the taxes that are added to Airbnb reservations, you can do so here.
    When overriding taxes, only check the boxes for the taxes you will collect directly from the guest upon check-in.
    Click here to see if Airbnb is collecting any occupancy taxes for you.
  7. Set as a derived rate to link to another rate type, or click Rates & Restrictions at the top.
  8. If not set as a derived rate, manually set rates and restrictions or use the Copy from... button to import rates and restrictions from another rate type.
    > How to set rates and restrictions
    > How to use the Copy from... button
  9. If you need to set a Yield Management plan, do so now as well.
  10. Click the blue Save button at the bottom when done.
  11. Now this rate will be available in the drop-down when creating or editing an Airbnb listing in ThinkReservations.

Airbnb Payment Type

We highly recommend you create a new custom payment type called "Airbnb Direct Deposit" or similar. This way, when you receive confirmation of payment from Airbnb, you can mark them as paid with this payment method. You will need to manually post the payment onto the reservation in ThinkReservations to update the bill.

  1. In ThinkReservations, navigate to Settings > Payment Types, or click here.
  2. If you don't already have an Airbnb payment type, click the black New button on the top right.
  3. Give the payment a name, such as Airbnb Direct Deposit. The name you choose is up to you.
  4. If you like, you can associate an asset account with this payment. Asset accounts are set up in "Chart of Accounts".
  5. Click Save when done.

To post a payment to an Airbnb Reservation, follow these steps:

  1. Verify you have in fact received the funds. Airbnb will email you confirmation of the payout. However, you can post the payment at any time.
  2. Open the Airbnb reservation in ThinkReservations.
  3. Click one of the Payment buttons.
  4. Choose Airbnb Direct Deposit as the PAYMENT TYPE. Your payment name may be different.
  5. Enter the payout amount from Airbnb into the AMOUNT box, and click Take Payment. (The REFERENCE NUMBER is an optional note.)
  6. If you have a remaining balance, such as from taxes, this should be paid by the guest directly. Read on below for more information on taxes.

Taxes and Airbnb

► If Airbnb is collecting any or all taxes for your property, you will need to either mark those reservations as tax-exempt by clicking the  Edit Tax Exempt Policy option under the Actions icon inside the reservation manually after they come in...
...or create a separate rate type. Create a separate 'Airbnb Rate' rate type with the option enabled to have taxes overridden. Tax override is controlled in the Details tab of the edit rate type screen.

Select only taxes that your business will be collecting, if any, from the guest directly once on-site. Another reason for an Airbnb rate is if you want to give Airbnb different rates or availability. See the instructions right above Step 4 on "How to Create a Rate Type Just for Airbnb". Otherwise, you can choose an existing rate type to associate with Airbnb.

► If you are collecting taxes from the guest, and not Airbnb, we highly recommend you include a message in your "Listing Description" and "Notes" both.
For example: "Please note that taxes will be due upon arrival. Taxes, which are separate from Airbnb room charges and service fees, are not collected by Airbnb. Taxes that will be due are... " and then you can list the tax names and percentages. This is because the guest would otherwise not be aware that they need to pay taxes upon arrival.

Tips, Tricks, and Notes

► Make sure you have Professional hosting tools enabled so you get the guest's email alias. Navigate to Account > Professional hosting tools and enable so you get the email alias so ThinkReservations can send them confirmation and reminder emails.

► If the guest wants to add nights, rooms, or items, it is best to create a new bill or reservation for that to avoid confusion on what is paid from Airbnb, what is still owed from the guest, and tracking those charges and payments later.

► If you need to contact Airbnb support, use the form at the bottom of this page:

► ThinkReservations uses a special version of the itemized bill variable that is used in some email templates. Unless you have removed the itemized bill variable from your confirmation email, Airbnb reservations will receive a confirmation email that does not include any pricing information. Keep in mind that printed bills in ThinkReservations will still contain pricing information that should not be shared with the guest.

► The guest has already paid the full price of the reservation at the time of booking. The guest also has already received a receipt from Airbnb. The guest pays the "sell rate." The sell rate is the price that you give to Airbnb as programmed in ThinkReservations. The reservation will show the "NET rate." The net rate is the price that the business receives for this reservation. The difference between them is the Airbnb Service Fees. The difference also includes credit card processing fees.

► Make sure not to charge the guest's credit card for any charges that they have already paid to Airbnb. Train your staff to look at the source of the reservation. The source of a reservation is always right above the email section on the bottom left of the reservation.

► Use the Reservations by Channel report to view reservations from Airbnb and other channels. This report is found under Reports → Reservations → Reservations by Channel.

► Availability can be controlled with the synced rate type just like and Expedia do, by setting or removing the price. No price means it's unavailable.

► ThinkReservations sends emails to the property for new, modified, and canceled reservations.

NOTE: ThinkReservations charges an additional 3% commission for reservations that come from Airbnb using the connection established.

If you have any questions, please reach out to support!

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