Hello to all of you,
Harry certainly has by far a fantastic list and I am in support of everything he has to say in his post... a touch of "newbie" insight I might add:
1. ) Invest the time in creating a check in/check out list for guests - Some clear, super simple and brief instructions can go a long way is assisting a weary traveller. Not to mention it is an easy way of increasing ease of check in process, as well as, increase your communication as a method to convey your level of care/concern for your guests.
2, ) And I am also in full agreement that the community forum/posts are of huge benefit to new and not so new hosts alike. Perhaps that information could be its own numbered point as the value of information and support available is perhaps not fully utilized to it's full potential.
The community forum is an unlocked VAULT of information. With all the wealth (of information) one could every hope to use... or hope to never have to use... ha ha ha.
What I LOVE about the AirBnB community is that folks are willing to share their specific information/experiences. I have yet to see (or search for) something that another host has not already experienced. If it was a great experience, they post what may have contributed to making it successful. If it happened to be a less than great experience (or an ultimately toxic one), hosts have posted about this too and what worked to resolve it and even tips on how to perhaps even avoid it moving forward.
3.) Mitigate expectation when first launching. Everyone wants to be maximize booking potential, take time to find your "stride" and give yourself some "breathing room" to enjoy the experience.
Figure out your contingency plans and build your support network with the RIGHT people.
Note: this may take time and a bit of tweaking - it's ok (insert deep cleansing breaths here), your support team will evolve with time as you certainly cannot anticipate absolutely everything that may come to pass... so some food for thought... look at options for some potential scenarios as you move forward, start with the common events below, as most hosts have experienced at least one of these ones.
* Newbie Crisis #1 - What to do if the cleaners cancel and you have a back to back booking?
* Newbie Crisis #2 - What to do if you use traditional keys and a guest misplaces one and/or locks themselves out?
* Newbie Crisis #3 - What to do if you yourself are travelling... who are your "trusted boots on the ground" in the event your guest requires assistance/information or something in the space needs attention/repair.
Helpful Hint: keep a small "log" (for lack of a better term at the moment)... of your creative solutions, this may become your "Standard Operating Procedure" when you hand over the reigns to your team and embark upon your own adventures.
4.) Last and final point (from me at the moment)... Seriously people... "Protect thine own ASSets"
Can you hear me at the back of the room? I cannot emphasize the importance of Harry's point enough about PROPER insurance.
All of us hope to NEVER have to use it, however, the importance of the right coverage for what you offer is critical to your long term success and personal asset protection.
Personal Note: In our area many local insurance providers exclusively offer traditional policies for either personal residence or the "regular" long term tenant scenario... Most DO NOT YET cover this new world of AirBnB (or other platforms) that specialize in the short term rental market.
In our case specifically:
* We transitioned our insurance policies to "Commercial" through a provider that offered this proper coverage.
* It should also be noted that the payments (broken down monthly) are of minimal difference. (Approx $20/month more) and sooooooo worth the peace of mind that comes with it.
So, all in all, I hope the additions/highlights has opportunity to help a fellow host in their journey. And again, we are so appreciative for the knowledge and support of the community forums.
Best wishes to all of you,