We are delighted to present this month’s spotlight by Sandra (@Sandra4813) , who is a Superhost and Community Leader of the Newcastle & Northumberland Host Community in the United Kingdom.
I hope you will all enjoy reading this spotlight as much as I did. @Sandra4813, thank you so much for sharing your story with us! ✨
How long have you been hosting for, and why did you first start? This is my 3rd year hosting on Airbnb with lockdown the first year was challenging. My listing was previously a fully furnished long term rental for about 8 years. We had 5 tenants within that period & all proved disappointing for similar reasons. The house at the start of each tenancy was newly decorated, garden maintained, all furniture in good condition all electrical items PAT tested. At the end of each tenancy the house was in a poor state of repair furniture broken and the garden over run. We persevered but after the last tenant departed after lockdown owing 6 months rent & the house was wrecked we knew this had to change!
After 3 months of renovations on the house (even the toilet was smashed) we sat back enjoy a coffee and my husband said a few words which was the light bulb moment for me. “House is so nice now it’s like a holiday home”. Having been in hospitality for over 25 years and had holiday cottages previously I thought of my travels as a guest with Airbnb & ping the light bulb came on! Our listing is not in a typical holiday hotspot so Airbnb seemed an ideal solution to give hosting a try. The rest as they say is history!
Tell us a little about your listing. https://www.airbnb.com/h/newcastle-entire-house-vacation-holiday-home Set over four floors The Toon House is a quirky place which looks small but is a Tardis inside. Boasting a spacious fully equipped Chef’s kitchen, a cosy lounge overlooking the enclosed rear garden with deck area & seating. There are 2 good size bedrooms with double bed in each & plenty of storage. Plus bathroom & separate toilet.
My place as I have said is not a typical tourist hot spot. However we are next to Newcastle Business Park, close to Hadrians Way river Tyne walks & the MetroCentre an enormous shopping Mall with restaurants, cinemas, cafes, shops & even a champagne bar. What’s not to love located in the beautiful North East of England.
What does the word community mean to you? So when the opportunity to volunteer to become the first Community Leader for Newcastle & Northumberland arose I leaped at the chance to engage with other hosts who I was sure were feeling as I was. The group has continued to grow, exchange ideas, support each other, have meet ups where we help charities. support a local community garden & make a difference. Of course & a bonus make some new friends too.
How long have you been part of the Airbnb Community and why did you join? I found when I began hosting on Airbnb after working in a busy city centre hotel to be a totally different and somewhat isolated experience.
Tell us about being a Host Club leader, what does it entail? We are a friendly helpful group & I like to keep the group positive & have some fun. I am also an Ambassador for Airbnb helping new hosts on their Airbnb hosting journey sharing knowledge & experiences to help them become great hosts & Superhosts. I recommend they join their local host community group too so they are supported in the future & gain enjoyment out of hosting & meeting other hosts as I do.
If you could make it better, what one thing would you improve? If I could make one improvement to the community leader role it would be the joining process which can sometimes be less than ideal. Currently a new member joins after answering and agreeing to a few questions. As moderators it’s difficult to see who has joined easily & where they are listing etc.
I would suggest when new members join a part of the joining process should be a few sentences about themselves & a link to their listing is posted on the page automatically. This would help in getting to know every member & improve engagement from new members when they are welcomed by other members within the group.