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!”
My challenge is that I have one whole house thermostat. The room is its own space and locked off from the rest of the house. Guests have expressed concern they can't control temp. I do have a ceiling fan in the room and keep it cool to my standards with the thermostat set to 74 degrees for AC.
I spoke with my AC guy and he said to close off my vents so the air is forced into that room but that isn't enough. Any suggestions are welcome.
I have this problem too.. I actually tell them where the thermostat is and let them know they are free to adjust it either up to a certain temp or down to a specific temp... I list this in my manual.. when I’m a guest myself, if I’m sweltering while sleeping that’s not a great experience for me
I installed a nest thermostat so I could lock it and control it from my home. Each of my guest rooms have an electric heater and a fan. I ask guests if they use the heater to keep the door closed and please remember to turn it off when they leave the house.
A vent booster should resolve your issue.
Have any experience or thoughts on this product that I found at Lowe's? https://www.lowes.com/pd/SUNCOURT-Flush-Fit-11-625-in-x-5-625-in-White-ABS-Resin-Louvered-Register-B...
this product looks great. Do you already have a fan in the room you're considering it for?
I do have fans in the rooms, but two of them get a little warm in summer. Let us all know if you use this product.
Teresa, what kind of air conditioner do you have, a window air conditioner or a portable air conditioner? I am trying to decide which one to use.
Hi @Rebecca0. Although expensive, if space is difficult, Consider a reverse cycle air conditioner. Split system. Whatever you buy, you should be able to claim something, although small, on tax. Check with accountant. In wall is usually capital so different from stand alone. But I’m no expert and would keep your floor space free. Depending on where you live, there are subsidies for remakes or small refurbishments from state Govt. (Stimulating economy)
Offer a "guest use" fan & heater. I have one of each labeled in the guests area for there use needed. They are it labeled & know they can help themselves.
We solved this for under a $1,000 USD by installing a small air conditioner and an electric baseboard heater. Adjust rentals to recover costs. Professional installation is important. Make sure your home policy covers paying guests.
Nancy - you are in a hot spot of the US - whilst we in the UK generally have lower temps. However, we do have a large floor standing fan which will gives a lovely breeze. Might that help? Or could your budget run to a small A/C unit just for that room?
Best wishes. Mrs Mac.
I cannot afford high A/C usage in our summer months. I place this in my listing in a couple places, especially under "amenity limitations." I do the best I can to set expectations up front - this is a desert, it's hot.
I have this problem too - particularly with the August humidity - I try to communicate on the front end and even let guests sleep in a different room if it gets unbearable (old house problems) - may invest in a window unit this summer for guests.