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!”
If light gets though, heat gets through. At an average of 115-120 F, it's very difficult to get your place down to 78. Like...impossible and brutally expensive.
I learned that from friends when I was out there. The brilliant people who designed my top floor apartment with vaulted ceilings decided skylights were a good thing to put in, too. Ha. I couldn't get that place below 93 F with the a/c running NONSTOP.
Once we foiled the skylights and bedrooms, it was fantastic. We also foiled the top half of the main room windows. There was still light in the main room (it's Vegas, after all...hard to escape sunshine) but it wasn't pounding in on us from all angles - endlessly - for 12-16 hours a day.
But, like I suggested, you can do 8/10th of your high light windows (or all), then drop sun blocking shades over them. People can see out of the other 20% or whatever. Dark bedrooms are a good thing, anyway, unless that's the only room you're renting out.
And yep, foil is way cheaper. Just get the heavy duty kind and some good gaffers tape. Gaffers will generally stick to anything, but remove easily and not ruin walls.
Then you can also install the plastic insulation window guard over THAT.
How to Foil Your Widows: https://www.hunker.com/13401945/how-to-insulate-a-room-with-aluminum-foil
Video (use the shiny side out) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqceKxAf-aw
I'm using reflective window tint here in Tampa Bay FL. While you can see through it and it helps, it still lets in a LOT of sun and warms the rooms up too much at certain points of the day. You can even see the sunbeams across the floor and it's REFLECTIVE DARK TINT. Not cheap, either. Nor was it easy to install.
Good luck and have a cooler home!
Really interesting points and comments in this article. My Airbnb is an entire apartment that used to be my home. I too feel that I am sharing part of myself as well as the physical space, this can have its emotional challenges as well as rewards
These are great tips. I especially like the suggestion with the nose strips and the handmade sign.
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