How? Why? Why?
When I started welcoming guests a little over a year ago, just retired, I was first thinking about the extra income that might help me make up for the loss of salary. I still think the same thing because I don't receive guests for free, but I have gradually increased my price so that it is more in line with what I offer: a large comfortable room of 20 m2 and decorated with care, including a simple breakfast and just about all the basic amenities, I have added some of them bit by bit following rich discussions on the Community Center (like the hairdryer that I personally don't need!)
But from the beginning, I made sure that I was in compliance with the regulations and also with my landlord - I rent my apartment. He agreed without a problem and, at my request, provided me with written authorization. At the same time I contacted my home insurance company, which asked me to provide them with the written authorization.
Ready to welcome guests?
Once all these steps have been taken, what should you do next? Simply put the listing online (everything is important in the listing: text, photos, settings, internal rules..... )
Well "simply" is not quite the right term! You have to be ready for the next phase: hosting guests! Today I have integrated this formula: "To host is to plan".
I am a fundamentally open person and even if it is not always a recommended practice, I use Instant Book, without any particular requirement for the people who can book, which allows "first-time guests" to book the room without any particular restriction. It has been a very positive choice so far, but I remain very vigilant when it comes to the first message exchanges! As with the number of people, even if it does not change the price, it is important that this number is accurate in terms of insurance and being covered by the platform or avoid booking for third parties which is prohibited.
At what price?
First remove the unnecessary Smart Pricing and ignore the price suggestions (always too low!). Personally, I need to keep control and decide for myself: I manage practically day by day the rate that suits me on my calendar (that I keep regularly updated) and I take into account my own agenda - I have a life outside Airbnb! Or I can simply close one or two days and rest after a busy period. I mainly work on my PC instead of the app on my phone, which I use to check things if I need and importantly, to answer messages quickly (being responsive is generally very appreciated).
Conversations before the stay?
They are very important even if they are not a sure indicator of the "quality" of subsequent exchanges. The desktop version has features that do not exist on the app such as the very useful pre-recorded messages: I have several models including an arrival guide and a summary of the listing that I systematically send to each guest who has booked, and it is rather appreciated based on the feedback I have had.
As I said earlier, responsiveness is very important: responding quickly is essential to me, even if you don't necessarily get a quick reply. Every guest has his or her own way of communicating, it seems to me that it is necessary to adapt.
There are also points which it is necessary to be firm about, for example: the arrival time (within the slot that has been fixed and is written on the listing). And you decide if an arrival before or after is possible or not, as well as the departure time. You welcome them into your home and it is therefore you who remains the homeowner!
To conclude is to finish... but this is only a story in progress that begins with each new guest you welcome.
I could give even more "practical advice" but in the end, that's not the most important thing for me, they're just facilitators of some kind! A quick tour of the Community Center will be richer in advice than this short topic full of (my) generalities! For example in this conversation.
At the beginning I wanted to talk about the collateral benefits! Renting only in a private room in a shared apartment, I am almost always present when guests are there - outside of my normal life!
- I had an exceptional month of August. A month where I had the chance to meet some simply incredible people... and all this without leaving my home! At a time when I was considering investing in an apartment to rent out (studio or bigger), I realised it wasn't going to suit me because I would never exchange my current mode of hosting for another with more constraints! I will keep going with my private room and my guests with whom my exchanges vary from a little to a lot! It is the way of hosting that suits me and in which I find what I love: the encounters, the people, the exchanges. I enjoy it and that's priceless!
Ah ! one last thing: at home, there’s no little arrival gift, no water bottle in the fridge... : I give gifts to the people I know, if I feel like it and the tap water is very good!
Finally, a quote from F. who recently came to spend 4 days with her husband and daughter:
"I read all your reviews and I said to my husband:''M. That's where we have to go! ” …. They were using Airbnb for the first time, they were so friendly that I wasn't allowed to set foot in the kitchen for 4 days!
Haha, merci @Pascal231 .
J'ai trouvé votre article très intéressant, merci pour tous vos efforts. 🙂
Thanks so much,
Yes @Pascal231 @it is wonderful.
I looked at your listing and it is lovely! Here in the Top End, we have an old saying, “Never say never”! As global citizens, Garry and I may just be inclined to pilgrim your way.....
Next year we are venturing on our first Camino, but not the Frances way, but the central Portuguese Camino from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. We may love this walking, and one day pass your way.
So may I wish you well, and in April I will say Buen Camino.
@Mike-And-Helen0: thanks for the compliment !
I've not find the way to save messages on the app, but it's not a problem : I prefer to use a computer !
Nevertheless I will have a look for how to do !