Hosting a private room can have incredible advantages: attracting guests who value a local connection, making new friends from all over the world, and creating a sense of belonging right in your own home. It can also come with a few unique challenges, from sharing a kitchen to securing belongings. That’s why we asked experienced private-room hosts for their top tips. If you already host in a private room, their responses might help inspire some ideas. And if not, their suggestions may inspire you to start.
Make it obvious you have a private room
Sometimes guests scan listings quickly, so be as explicit as possible. Hosts have a few keywords they suggest using when you’re putting together your listing.
Be upfront about who’s at home
One of the big reasons guests choose private rooms over entire homes is to have a deeper connection with locals. So, it can be a surprise when there are other guests, family members, or pets in the home that they weren’t expecting. “Wait, who are you?” one guest commented about a private-room stay. “Everything was great...until the morning, when it was clear that my ‘shared bathroom’ was not shared with just the host, but also with three other rooms she rented out.” These hosts have found that setting expectations is key:
Greet your guests to get on the same page
Welcoming guests in person is especially helpful if you’re hosting a shared space. Many hosts told us that when guests arrive, they welcome them with a tour of the room and house, break the ice by sitting down for a tea or coffee, and chat about details like these:
Provide specific, detailed House Rules
Keep your own schedule and needs in mind when you create guidelines for how guests interact with your space.
Make the stays memorable
Personal touches such as homemade breakfast, decor by local artists, and even a piece of chocolate can make a guest’s stay special. Here are more ideas from hosts:
Ask about interaction
How do you know when to spend time with guests and when to give them their space? Hosts say it’s easy: just ask them ahead of time how much interaction they’d like to have. They also suggested some other details to keep in mind:
You’re sharing a part of your home, but also a part of yourself. Once you have a few housekeeping details squared away, the benefits really begin. Paul, a host from London, put it best: “I see every guest as a chance to learn something new and get to know a person I may not have otherwise met! Some have been really interesting, been from a walk of life I have never walked, and have views and opinions I don't share. But I love meeting these people and sharing my space with them. There really is not much more personal than opening your private home to an absolute stranger when you are living there too, but also there is nothing more rewarding!”