New Host Questions

Level 2
San Diego, CA

New Host Questions

Hello everyone, first post here. My wife and I are converting our long term rental into a vacation home in San Diego. We are both very excited and nervous (as you probably all know) as we have had excellent long term renters for the last 15-20 years. A Few questions:


1. Our current renter is in the process of moving out and we plan to go "live" in about 4 weeks. We have older pictures of the house when it furnished years ago but are getting all new furnishings. Is it ok to post older pics so we can start getting interest and just notify guests that they are old pics and will be updated ASAP or should we wait?


2. Is it ok to go "live" early and block out dates until we predict the home will be ready or should we wait until we are actually ready? We do predict a bit of painting/repairs and I know unpredictable things can happen but we want to get a jump on gaining interest. We have heard that there is a negative  algorithm effect for blocking out dates, is that true?


Any other advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.



Spencer Combs
5 Replies 5

Hi @Spencer240 

You'll probably get multiple opinions on this, but I would wait to list until you have completed your renovations and have taken new pictures BEFORE listing. I would also suggest professional photos. Time and time again professional photos have proven to be the biggest ROI a Host can make. You can easily recoup whatever you spend on them in one or two bookings. 


Additionally, if you post old pictures, and the guest arrives to see things very different it could lead to a bad review and/or request for refund. This is true even if the spruced up listing is better than what you had before, as the guest could claim your listing was "inaccurate." 

Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

Hi @Spencer240 


Have you checked STR regulations @Spencer240 ?


Have you checked supply and demand for your type of listing in your location?


many areas are suffering from over saturated markets for STR!

@Spencer240 , as @Helen3 , mentioned it is always important to check your city’s STR regulations. The City of San Diego has an  STR program in place.  Currently, the city’s four tier system has restrictions and based on where your property falls you may or may not be able to offer your home as a vacation home. Whole house rentals/Single family residence has the most restrictions in place vs a shared/private room or an on-site owner (owner lives on or in property). Certain neighborhoods/areas STR are prohibited.  Each tier has a cap (with the exception of private/shared room rentals & on-site owners)  on the number of STR and each have cost associated with permits.



Level 2
San Diego, CA

Hi Spencer. I would definitely wait until they moved out to take photos once the listing was completely ready. If you need any help on this I have a STR property management company in San Diego called Casa Tonight. Please shoot me a message if you'd help, we do everything from staging to photography, to creating the listing for you. Everything is under your account so you still have control and access. Our company name is Casa Tonight. Shoot me a message if you're interested in knowing more!

Community Manager
Community Manager
Port Moody, Canada

Hello @Spencer240, welcome to our community 😊


There are many great suggestions from our Hosts in this thread ✌️. If you find any of their answers particularly useful, please don't hesitate to mark it as the best answer. You can do this by clicking the button below the comment as shown in the following image:


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This will help future Hosts with similar questions easily find this conversation.


All the best.



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