i have 4 cheap and cheerful rooms in my home. To reduce stress, I scoured threads like this one and came up with ideas that helped. I am constantly looking for inspiration on minimizing stress because it can creep up on me. Here's what works.
"You play a role in your own happiness." People are as happy as they want to be. It's not my job to keep them happy. It's my job to offer accommodation and to deliver what I promise. Period.
I borrowed heavily from the YMCA core values in stating that this is a shared experience and that Guests must co-operate.
All of the rooms are groomed immediately after checkout. I don't really like IB but it keeps my SEO ratings higher. When booking, I respond with "Is there anything about the rules, terms, House Manual, or the description that needs explanation?" This way I protect myself from another "oh, I didn't know there were cats here!"
I was fortunate in the begining to have a man who planted himself in the living room every waking moment. Changing a lightbulb was a 10-minute safety hazard discussion. Now I state quiet hours, and add that this Host may need privacy during the daytime to work. I also ask guests what the purpose of their trip is, and what their plans are.
My rules include no access to oven and stove. The smell of frying hamburger or eggs throughout the house has never really appealed to me. There is also something weird (to me) about cooking and not sharing. This rule tends to attract more professionals.
I don't allow couples because extra bodies in a little home complicate my life.
I do not allow smoking or alcohol. In previous lives I have had to deal with guests under the influence and it is not pleasant. Drinking on your own in a roomm = recipe for disaster. Again, this tends to attract a better quality of guest.
My checkins are 4PM-midnight. I live near 4 international airports, and people come in at all hours. I also have self-check in, so I can go to concerts and generally have a life. I simply set up a meet up time for introductions and orientation. However there is no admission otherwise, due to those changeouts.
AIRBNB CUSTOMER SERVICE
My biggest ally is Airbnb Customer Service. Despite 20 years' prior experience as a landlord, I am still flummoxed by certain situations. I call them and ask for advice. Sometimes it's just to reinforce my gut reaction. Guests who have no photo (or are obscured), have multiple names on their reviews, offer no reviews, have no bio, no verification, offer limited information, and/or don't respond to queries give me the creeps. My arrangement is heavily dependent on interpersonal skills, and if it's bugging me, it will probably bug my other guests.
They are the best! They are positive, supportive, and can make suggestions that I hadn't considered. When push comes to shove - and it has, occasionally - we ask the guest to cancel.
BEING MY OWN BEST FRIEND
On that note, it's necessary to be very firm. I often make snacks, offer a lift (if I'm going that way) etc. as gestures of goodwill. I ask them not to mention this in reviews, as this will become the expectation. I also use the "no" word, and yes, I'm not always nice about it, because being asked (for example) to make multiple room changes during a 6 day stay is a PITA. Instead, I agree on the condition that they pay the cleaner (@$20CAD/hr). Sound fair?
I make no bones about the fact that I want 5 star ratings in a 1-2 star price. I am also well aware that my offer is excellent value, and, that they are also dependent on good reviews for future trips. Each time a guest departs, I send them a note reminding them of the experience, the extra little things I did, and ask them to support my growing business with an appropriate rating. It works. It's win-win, too, because they will get a 5-star from me. And that opers up a world of opportunity for them.