We’re looking for tips from hosts who list private-rooms. Many of you host guests in your home and hosting a shared space has its own set of challenges and things to think about, but there are also many rewards!
What are your top tips for hosting a private-room listing? Do provide certain items in your guest room? Perhaps you add extra information on what your guest can expect to your listing description?
We'd love to hear your input for an upcoming article. Thank you!
Hey @Lizzie hope you are well! I host a private room in my home so this is a great thread to learn from and share to.
I'd say listing descriptions and informing guests about how your private room listing works is so important, as unlike guests who airbnb an entire space- private room spaces are so individual to each host!
Tip one- listing clarity
For me personally I rent my bedroom and then I sleep in my living room space (sounds strange but works perfectly well for me and my guests!) but I make sure all of this, including access my guests have to various parts of my flat and when they have access is totally clear to them so there are no surprises when they arrive!
Tip two- the welcome
When you rent an entire home you will automatically feel comfortable because you're in your own private space- with a private room you are sharing with your host, and this can be a challenge to some guests! I always welcome guests warmly- show them exactly how everything works, give them a proper tour of their room and everything in it as well as the shared spaces. I'll sit down with them with a tea or coffee and get to know them a little to help settle them in.
I always aim to get them to make their tea/coffee themselves when they arrive so they start to get comfortable with the kitchen and feel a bit more at home and like they are sharing my space as well as being a guest :)
Tip three- level of interaction
Again, if you're staying in a private room you will naturally have more face-time with your host, and it is important to gauge how much interaction your guests are happy with from the outset- I usually just ask when they are settling in, explaining when I am at home and when I am not, and how to contact me if I am not at home, and then ensure they know they can come and speak to me when I am at home if they need me or need anything, or even want to spend some time together.
Guests differ wildly- I have had guests on a 7 day stay who I literally only met once for about 2 minutes during the middle of their stay, and I have had guests who have wanted in-depth help planning their time in London, and speaking about London and UK life...striking the balance is important so guests feel comfortable! It's important not to take a lesser need for interaction as guests not liking you or your listing or not wanting your help.
Tip four- house rules
All hosts have house rules- but house rules, and ensuring guests understand them are important for private room hosts, as if rules are forgotten or broken we can get put out as we see and hear them being broken right before our eyes as we are sharing the same space!
I make my rules clear in my house manual and chat to guests about lights, windows, quiet time, coming home late/early and so on in person in a friendly way so they understand the expectations, and check that they understand and and are comfortable abiding by them- then if any rule is broken or bent then it's easier to address the issue.
Tip five- live your life as normally as you can
I think it is important to live life as you normally do as much as possible when you have guests- I will still invite my friends to dinner and drinks (guests are always welcome to join, and never any hard feelings if they decline), I watch tv and films as usual, guests can join if they wish. I go out and if I come home late I come home quietly.
I work out a bathroom routine with guests, especially if I have to be at work at a certain time, but otherwise I live my life as normal- perhaps I am more considerate when guests are home but I do the things I usually do, and I feel this stops me from potentially resenting guests if I did make a change to my usual habits.
Tip six- learn from your guests
I see every guest as a chance to learn something new and get to know a person I may not have otherwise met! Some have been really interesting, been from a walk of life I have never walked and have views and opinions I don't share- but I love meeting these people and sharing my space with them.
There really is not much more personal than opening your private home to an absolute stranger when you are living there too, but also there is nothing more rewarding!
Thanks for sharing some great tips here and there are so many interesting points.
In terms of your point about listing clarity, I agree this is really important and can really help to manage expectations. Is there a specific way that has helped to you to make this clear? Also, how did you decide what areas your guests have access to?
- Making things clear in the listing, repeating the required info as needed helps, as well as making it clear when guests arrive, and ensuring it's mirrored in the house rules and manual is the best way I find of making sure it all sinks in really well!
-In terms of deciding areas I wanted guests to have access to, I just had to think about what space I wanted to keep to myself to ensure I have a private space for myself- but also facilitating the guest experience- such as breakfast time, and time with me!
As a firm rule I state that my kitchen and living space is accessible to guests for breakfast time only, which I set as 9-11am, but the reality is I arrange with the geusts to find a suitable time for them to come for breakfast, and if I want to invite them to use the living room or spend time with me outside of this time they see this as an added extra rather than a given.
I do more or less the same. I guess the only difference is that I make that first cup of tea or coffee, but it makes sense that the guests would get to know the kitchen better if they did this themselves. I also don't have a bathroom routine, but that's because I work from home most days, so I usually wait until the guests have gone out (more privacy for me that way too). I also have three showers here, so there's never really a queue or a problem if I have to head out to a morning meeting.
Hi Paul, thank you for your informative feedback on this topic. It has certainly given me a few things to think about.
Paul, I agree with you with all of the above. setting a clear path of common use of the house, and private space is important. I provide all of the above in my home in Calgary Ab. Canada, hospitality , city information, direction , eating places, give my guests privacy enough and just the right interaction where they dont feel smothered.I ve been on airbnb since july 2017, and had some very nice people staying with me, I do agree the feeling is rewarding and the money needed , I do have an issue that just arise in the last month of October, I had a few guest with in 3 days apart from east Canada, one gentleman that stayed for 4 days, and three days after a lady stayed for a week, had very nice raport with both guests. here is the complication I am not happy about with the way airbnb resolution center is handling the situation.I have lost personal items from my front entry closet after the last guest left,the resolution centre gurantees the hosts the safety and supposely will do intervention between guest and host to resolve. I found that they do not support hosts and we are totally on our own to deal with a matter that is" heresay" complicated to prove. How do you hosts deal with such situations when your personal goods are gone after a a week stay with a otherwise nice guest.Airbnb, after wasting my time and giving me the run around, have directed me to deal on my own and proceed into a civil suit with a guest who lives out of my juristiction.Police will not follow up here in Alberta with it, as they claim its a civil matter.I like to share my experience with other host,and get some feed back, Also hosts, should know how the Airbnb Host safety gurantees program work. should a situation ever arrive airbnb resolution centre doesn't honor their safety gurantee , they do not support the host. I am devestated ,and cautious about sharing my private space with strangers now. what are your thoughts on something lke this. I have a private home with a great basement suite private bathroom living area large bedroom, but one main entry to the house, on main floor is kitchen, bathroom living area with many personal things in the 3 closets..coats, shoes purses, gloves, scarfs, hats, accessories.. has anyone else ever had a situation as this . please reply Maria
Where possible, like the closet, I put locks on things. When setting up the house I spacifically baught a file drawer that locked, and changed the door knob on my bedroom to a secure locking knob. When I'm at work I lock valuables like my Ipad and small electronics in my bedroom because they are easy to steel and maybe not something I would miss untill after the guest is gone.
sorry you had this experience. I have a lock on my bedroom door and all my personal belongings are kept locked in my room. I also have a list of house rules placed in the guest living room/breakfast area. In the rules I have stated that theft will not be tolerated. I don’t usually have an issue. I have lost a few hangers and had someone take the bottles of shampoo and body wash, which I called them directly and told them I expected those items to be returned, which they did. Also, you have a review to leave. You can be kind, but honest when leaving the review.
shari in Harbor Springs, Michigan
@Paul1255 thanks for your interesting post about sharing your space. Great that you do it exactly like you do. I admire you. I have a cottage behind our home and that's the best I could do. I'm not one for folks inside my place. I admire you and how you approach and run your business. I am sure others will learn alot reading your post. Blessings, Clara
Thank you for starting this theme, @Lizzie. Hope to learn something from more experienced hosts! As for me, I have decided that I’m hosting not strangers, but friends of friends. It helps to break the ice. Great thing that the vast majority of my guests are showing much respect for my home just entering. I don’t ask them to take off their shoes, they are doing it by themselves:) I don’t want my guests to make dishes. Prefer to do it myself according to my standard. My explanation: if you will break something, I’ll be sad. If I will break it myself, I’ll find an excuse. So, im explaining my house rules with a bit of humor.
I like you ideas around this @Yulianna. It sounds like this really helps the guest to feel relaxed. Just to check, when you say you are explaining your house rules, is this when you welcome your guests and/or this is the way you have written your house rules on your listing?