Lessons you've learned from hosting - share yours!

Level 1
İstanbul, Turkey

Lessons you've learned from hosting - share yours!

Hello, this is Ismail from Istanbul/Turkey.

I just wanted to introduce myself and tell a story about a bad experience. I started to be a host of Airbnb almost 5 years ago.  At the time I was new and unexperienced. After a couple of guests one guy asked me to pay cash and I accepted. After 4 days, this guy learned my work period and agreed to sold my furniture to a guy while I was at work. When I get to home and see almost nothing inside of house I shocked and depressed. After this case I decide cancel to be a host till 1 year ago.

I felt myself ready and wanted to do it again 1 year ago. This time I am not accepting any cash payment and accepting trustable profiles and had no problem. I wanted to warn new/unexperienced hosts to pay attention with these kind of thieves.

Actually it's great to be a member of such a professional company and community, I'm enjoying a lot.

Thanks for giving me this chance and experience.

Love you all/ Ismail


Please share any interesting story as a host 🙂

7 Replies 7
Community Manager
Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Hi @Ismail80 - it's great to have you here!


I'm so sorry to hear about your bad experience, but it sounds like you've learned a valuable lesson, and are able to use it to do things differently this time around.


I've edited the title of your post to attract some more attention as I think this could be a great discussion, and hopefully a few of our Hosts will be along soon to share their own experiences!


Giving @Robin4@Clara116@Kitty-and-Creek0, and @Mike-And-Jane0 a shout as I'm sure you've all got some great stories about lessons you've learned from hosting!


Jenny 😊



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Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia


Jenny, we lost our best hosting ambassador yesterday morning!


Betts has been an absolute star as far as guests are concerned. To her, guests meant food and pats and she eagerly greeted every new guest for the last 6 years.


Last October she lost all her energy.....it was like she had aged 5 years in two weeks. Numerous vet visits and $3,000 later we have established that she had this very rare condition where her immune system is attacking her red and white blood cells leading to constant tummy infections.

We have tried to keep it under control with steroids but the time came where we had to say goodbye. I wrapped her in her favourite blanket to keep her snug and safe as she made her way across that rainbow bridge.

It's hard to say goodbye, a decade is a big chapter out of your life, she is no longer by the bed when I wake up in the morning, she is missing from our day in lots of ways but I know she is probably at the gates to doggy heaven giving new arrivals that welcoming bark she always gave to all our guests.

One of the saddest parts for me was having to remove photos and every bit of evidence of her from my listing page.

We are sad Jenny but one has to realise, you never own a pet! A pet is only ever on loan to you.....sooner or later you are going to have to give it back!



Community Manager
Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Hi @Robin4 

I'm so very sorry to hear about Betts.  She sounds like the very best Hosting Ambassador, and I can imagine that she would make such a positive addition to your already wonderful listing.

Sending all my condolences to you and Ade.




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Level 10
London, United Kingdom

So sorry to hear about Betts ,Robin. I know how devastating losing a beloved animal is. All the very best to you and your darling Ade. x



PS - Missing your posts very much....



Please accept our condolences for your loss.  We have enjoyed reading your posts and hearing about how Betts made your hosting experiences good fun for your guests.  Virtual hugs abound for you and Ade.


Lorna and Bob

Level 10
Pensacola, FL

@Ismail80 thanks for sharing....so sorry you had that awful experience but many can learn from that mistake by your sharing. I came to the Community Center because I wasn't sure how to navigate a situation and I learned how to file a claim, how to review without emotion and that was the start of so much learning on the continuous journey of " how to be a terrific host".  As a community leader now many years after that situation I am still learning and growing as a host. Times have changed, people and our world around us have changed and we all change, bend, lean in or lean out as we do our hosting in a new time. 

I wish you happy hosting - till next post. 



Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia


Hi Ismail, I am sorry to read that you have had such a catastrophic experience and please be assured that events like that are not that common as far as hosting is concerned.

I guess my first reaction is, you walked into trouble by accepting a payment outside the Airbnb system. Airbnb goes to great lengths to inform hosts not to accept off platform payments. Sure a lot of it has to do with protecting Airbnb's own income but, a big part of that is, Airbnb will not be able to do anything to protect you or recover any money for you if you have chosen to do business behind their back. It will be seen as your problem, not Airbnb's!


To the logistics of what you are saying. I find that theft is not a big part of being an Airbnb host. I would estimate 1 guest in 30 will take something from the property that they feel they are entitled to. The fridge will be empty.....the eggs and bacon, the juice, the fruit, the milk, the bottled water, the cheese plate, the bread, the jams, tea and coffee......everything I provide for the guests enjoyment while they are here will be gone, not consumed as part of the stay, but simply taken with them when they leave. The funny thing is, these are the guests that will give the host a 3-4 star for value! I am currently sitting on a 4.91 for value and that is entirely by guests who felt they needed to remove something from the stay to get that 'value' out of the listing that they sought!


1 in 60 guests will take something from the property that they are not entitled to.

In most instances it will be something small like a few books, a couple of bath towels, the contents of the medical cabinet, some of my stores of bath soap, chocolate or shampoos from the restock cupboard. I don't hassle the guest or Airbnb about these losses, I put aside $6.00 pr guest night into a 'losses fund', it is something you have to expect as a host and when these things go missing I just pull the money out of the loss fund, replace them and get on with the business of hosting. 

I have never had a catastrophic loss like you have Ismail but I do have short term rental insurance to cover me if that day should ever come.


But.....there is another side to the argument. I have had hundreds of guests who have not only been great guests but, have left something nice for us with a lovely note when they left.....a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, some nice shower gel.

I had one guest some time ago who came to me all apologetic, she had broken the bowl I keep in the fridge with eggs for each guest. I said to her ….”Roxy, don’t worry about it, it was of no value, I have plenty more here to replace it”….but she said she felt bad and wanted to replace it. I once again told her not to bother, it was fine!

A week later, after she had left, out of the blue, a parcel arrived…….



A new bowl with a $50 note in it. I had a little cry when I saw it, it was so nice but so unexpected.

I could see from the parcel that the postage cost her $15, the bowl must have cost around the same. A bowl that had no value to me, I can’t even remember where it came from and I am sure I could have replaced from the local op shop for a couple of dollars, cost that guest $80.

I felt terrible, I wish the incident had never happened, the last thing I ever want to do is take advantage of someone else.

You can bet the next time Roxy wants to stay here there is no way she will pay my regular listing amount….I have to make it up to her some way!

I guess I could not believe that a guest would be so generous!


So Ismail, the good far outweighs the bad, we don't live in a perfect world and there will always be that bad apple lurking over the horizon but, as you get more proficient at hosting you can tell by the guests initial message if they are going to be a good fit for your property.


I wish you well Ismail and hope you are not too affected by the tragedy that has struck Turkiye with the Kahramanmaras earthquake.....all the best.