Toronto, Canada Level 2
We recently bought a house three blocks fomr my house to host our friends and family who visit quite often. When they are not visiting, we would like to offer it on Airbnb. I created a listing last week and have 2 rentals scheduled out 2 months from now.
I'm allergic to cigarette smoke and had a strict no smoking policy but a superhost who coached me with my listing suggested setting up a smoking area in the lanai.
He also suggested adopting a pet friendly policy but the house has shag rugs and white furniture so I decided not to follow this recommendation for fear they would get ruined.
I filled out every section I could find for the listing and creted a guidebook. I am offering grocery services before the guests arrive so the house will be stocked with their requirments before arrival and I am offering baby furniture. If i don't have it, I offered a rental service where I would procure the items fomr a local rental shop, set them up in the house before the guests arrival and then return it for them after the guest's arrival. I did not see a place to advertise this on Airbnb so included it as part of the instantbooking message and my booking confirmation message
I posted lots of pictures but I am contemplating replacing many of them with professoinal pictures once I recouop some of my investment.
Please provide any suggestions or recommendations to fill up my calendar a bit more. Thank you very much in advance.
Here is my listing:
You sound like you've been thinking things through thoroughly ! Congrats 🙂
I have a couple thoughts..
~Being allergic to cigarette smoke, you will have to deal with the lingering smells, trash, mess, etc. no matter where they smoke if you let them. No offense to smokers 🙂 but the scent travels and clings to everything. Everything. Smokers who "only smoke outside" will leave butts out there and bring ashes and odor (in their hair, skin and clothing) into the beds they occupy, the kitchen with food and spread it/wipe on the towels. Any fabric (curtains, rugs, linens, pillows) soaks it up. So does wall paint and wallpaper and wood. That's just how it works.
~Pets; pretty much the same story. Hair, odor, muddy paws transfer and stick to all surfaces. Even if it's a super well-behaved critter 🙂 I love animals, really. I just don't want to volunteer to clean up after everyone's pet. Also: dander, drool, spit, sneezing, hairballs, rolling on the rugs/beds/towels/carpet.
We have family members that are highly sensitive to both animal and smoking residues. Therefore, we don't allow these in our home. I'm not sure why another host would urge a new host to take on these sensitive issues. It's Your place, Your rules 🙂 And, you're not alone..there are many people who choose to stay at places that do NOT allow smoking and pets for many of the same reasons outlined. They are thrilled that we don't have lingering odors (either from animal, smoking or from cleansers used to eliminate odors/stains/dirt from animals and smoking).
Make sure you are comfortable with the details involved. Maybe start out conservatively and then branch out to welcome one pet or smoker and see how it goes.
Well, enough said 🙂 Best wishes on your journey !
@Cheri354 Thank you, that is exactly how I felt. The superhost said if you don't allow it they are going to do it anyway so might as well try to curtail it by giving them a dedicated area. I have a poilicy about not throwing the cigarette butss on the ground or the water but like you said many smokers just naturally are accustomed to throwing their butts on the ground and they don't realize how bad they smell.
The good thing is that Airbnb makes it easy to change the rules so iI may have to adapt them based on guest behavior.
Thank you for your advise.
Welcome to hosting, and I hope you will have nothing but positive experiences. When I first started I welcomed guests with bruit bowls and cheese platters, but discovered that most guests had little interest in fruit or cheese. What I now provide is detailed information about local restaurants and markets where they can shop for food. I agree that stocking the fridge for their arrival, even if they have given you a shopping list, is not a good idea. It's best to keep the exchange of finances between the guest and Airbnb. Best of luck!
You certainly don't have to accept pets at your property. Many hosts don't. @Octavio115
It's kind of you to offer to order groceries and baby equipment for your guests - many hosts would just provide guests with advice on where they can hire equipment/order their own groceries. In this way you don't need to get involved in getting additional payments for guests or returning equipment.
You mention you are a waterfront location which is a key selling point so take some clear close up photos of this and make it your first photo.
The best ways to maximise bookings is to list on all relevant STR websites and set up your own direct booking channels on social media/your own website and invest in targeted advertising to drive potential guests to these channels.
Did you do any market research before setting up your listing on supply and demand for your sort of listing in your locations and low and high seasons?
Many areas are now oversaturated due to new entrants to the STR market and falling demand @Octavio115
Thank you. Yes, I did some market research. I live in one of those oversaturated areas. I boight the property with the intention of using it primarily for friends and fmily and secondarily for STR.
Thank you for the adivise about the waterfront pictures, I'll move some of the waterfrot photos closer to the hero shot. I did set up my own direct booking chanel and added it to facebook, instagram and twitter. i decided to hire a property managmeent company to promote the listing on various other channels. I still have the option of doing private
I thought a way to get an advantage over my competition was by offering services that my competioin can not. Having the houseST R property 3 blocks away makes it easier to provide such services. Much of my competition is not local and they can not offer these types of services without having to pay someone to do it.
Thanks again for all the great suggestons.
Hello @Octavio115 it's great to see the advice given by Helen 😊
I am reaching out to some other amazing Hosts to see if they would like to share their feedback on your listing.
All the best,
Thanks for tagging me @Paula
Congrats on your new Airbnb listing, it looks amazing! I love that you're offering grocery services and baby furniture - those are great added touches. As for suggestions, have you thought about reaching out to local event planners or wedding venues? They may have guests or clients in need of accommodations. Best of luck with your bookings!
Hi Octavio. Welcome to Hosting!
I took a look at your listing, I think you have done a good job describing your home, and your pictures look good!
My only suggestion:
With the photo of the desk and computers, make sure guest are aware that you don't provide computers for their use. (unless you do).
When we started hosting, I had others critique my listing as well. Someone pointed out my photo of our office that has my lap top on the desk. Since, I have always made it clear with guests, that we don't provide a lap top.
Wishing you all the best with your Hosting experience.
@John7474 thank you, i am [providing that computer for guest use. It does not have anything on it other than a web browser. there is still p[lenty of room for a laptop. i work out of that Desk with my laptop sometimes when i have tings to do at the house. Thank you for your feedback.