Hosting without burnout

Level 10
Seoul, South Korea

Hosting without burnout

Let's share our tips for keep hosting without burnout.



I have been active in the hosts community in my city, and I see a lot of hosts stop hosting after 2~3 years.

Some of them were such enthusiastic hosts, yet they loose that energy over time (sometimes even faster than other hosts) and leave Airbnb. They say hosting becomes repetative, occasional 'negative' guests makes them underappreciated, and it is just not as exciting as before.


I certainly have had my ups and downs, now I think I am at some what of mental equilibrium - also I started a new project so that excites me thesedays.


What are your tips to prevent Host Burnout?



55 Replies 55
Level 9
Portland, ME

I've been hosting for 7 years. What is burn-out? it is the fact that the company pushes folks to have undue expectations, with their Five Star ratings... but then, also, 7 years of taking care of "others" will burn you out. I'm whipped. All I want is someone else to iron my sheets and clean the human dust out of my room. I want someone else to give me the lee-way of arriving exactly when I want, rather than between certain time slots. This is totally unreasonable and rude. But, it's what I've experienced over the past year: rude and unreasonable people. I'm whpped. 

Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Elizabeth164 I’m sorry you feel this way- it’s very relatable. 

1. Iron


look for commercial dry cleaners in your area. They charge more for washing than ironing (at least in the U.K.) and could give you the same or At least similar pricing to their “professional dry cleaning” clients. Much cheaper than using dry cleaners and Some also do same day turnover but planning ahead is better. 

Maybe also consider putting out a flyer for ironing works in your neighbourhood- some people love this and the added income is not bad. Maybe just factor this additional cost in your cleaning rate/nightly costs. 

it’s always good to know someone who can help you out on this for those days when your schedule is impossible. Also overstock in linen as to not be restricted in when you need to clean them and can bulk iron/clean etc. Saves a lot of time, at least for us.


2. Check in 


Self check in is awesome. Install exterior cameras (disclose properly and obviously in listing)  to avoid additional parties and install key boxes etc or use key collection services from a local business-  change/share code information about 2 days prior to their arrival. 

Combined this has helped us a lot and helped with the burnout but every year my father (my biggest help) goes on holiday for a month and I stay and manage the whole workload (with help if needed) and I take some holidays but due to work etc I am more restricted but instead prioritise random time for myself. 


i leave my phone in the other room or go to dinner with someone without it (which they also appreciate) and every so often we block a couple of nights here/there.


i use the house manual to direct our guests with any major questions they have and always direct them to it upon booking. Also leaving hard copies etc help. 


Good luck to you but remember money is great but nothing is worth your peace, much else your health (I learnt this in a very harsh way)! Xx


Hello! Glad to know that I am not alone!


I burned out after 2 years as a SUPERHOST who got the one star bullet. The guy was completely disgusting. 


Desperation does NOT look good on me. I finally admitted to myself that this wasn't working. I started renting longer term and am very happy. I still do the odd Airbnb gig, but I turned off IB.

Level 9
Portland, ME

This is my 7th year as a host. I have 2-3 bedrooms I host--for singles or couples. I am booked from March through August, and then often again in October, during leaf-peeping season. Right now, I am fried. I haven't blocked off enough days so I can "get out of Dodge" and wander in the woods, reviving myself. Taking care of others that much.... ugh, I want someone to take care of me.  I had one very stressful situation recently that wasn't the guest's fault, nor mine, but a total system malfunction, which no one at the big corp side admitted. Guest was able to write a review of me without ever staying at my house--because although he seemed to be booked on his end, he was not on my end. So, I got paid and he demanded a refund, which I couldn't do, because he wasn't "booked" on my end. In short, it was a technical snafu of the major order. I was able to get that review removed, but it was a hassle and Airbnb basically blamed me. This is very poor business on the big corp side and I was ready to write a letter to the corp's legal department. This kind of stress, on top of being super busy, can really burn one out.

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.




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.




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.




Level 10
New York, NY

Great thread!


I've been renting my condo on various platforms for the last 10 years.  The key for me has been to streamline and atomate as much of the workflow as possible. Sites like Airbnb are great they take care of the booking and collecting money.  I use rental managment SW to help manage the bookings from various sources. 


This lets me focus on being a host and ensuring my guests stays are as great as they can be.  


So in net taking as much of the work out of managing the "business" was possible, well worth a few hundred a year I pay in fees for the services I use.   The solution I use is not affilated with Airbnb but was checking out one rooftop. who is an offical partner of AirBNB and they seem to have a pretty robust soltuion and of all the other services out there they are priced reasonably for the indiviual owner vs the property manager.  They do offer full integration with Airbnb if you wnat Instant Booking but even the inquiry and reservation management tempaltes are pretty robust and worth considering. 



Andrew - see community help guides for many great FAQ
Level 10

Host burn-out seems to be widespread. What's also interesting is the panolply of strategies for coping. After four years and a couple periods of serious burn-out here's my 'strategy': I treat each hosting experience as a performance. My job is to act a role. I'm the happy host in San Francisco. I give my guests a good show (regardless of whatever may be ongoing in my 'real' life). They get more than their moneys worth. I get their money and keep my sanity. Everyone wins. 

Level 6
Denver, CO

Thanks for this, 'strategy': I treat each hosting experience as a performance. My job is to act a role. I'm the happy host in San Francisco. I give my guests a good show (regardless of whatever may be ongoing in my 'real' life). They get more than their moneys worth. I get their money and keep my sanity. Everyone wins. Going to take this strategy as barely months in and am near fed up. It’s taking up too much of my time too and some guests don’t want to leave reviews despite being reminded 🥺. I’ll keeps going as I don’t care for LTR, I have 3 LTR units already but wanted to turn the fourth one which is part of an Up/down duplex into an STR and get creative with it. Just sucks the energy from me sometimes but I’ll keep going with breaks in between as moat have suggested. 

Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Anne10908  Treating each booking as a performance, acting a role, is exhausting. Just be your natural self and it will feel much more relaxing. I've never acted any differently with guests than I do with friends or acquaintances. It's worked out fine.

Level 6
Denver, CO

Thank you Sarah for your response.  I didn't even look at it that way, but now that you say it, yes I agree that can turn exhausting because it also anticipates the guest's own role/script and may not be authentic.  As an introvert, I find myself tiring easily with chit chat, particularly when it seems forced or inauthentic or scripted, so I may never have done well with that approach in the long run.  Thanks for helping me realize that I'd much rather really be myself.  Since this post, I started thinking of other things that I can do to help with burnout and part of the ideas come from what many here have already shared.  I summarized really for myself but sharing below:

  • Tap into your creativity to keep it fun.  Find something new to implement with each experience.  The beauty of STR over LTR is that with each guest turnover, there is always something to take away, something to use to improve your listing, policies, approach, cleaning etc.   This learning in my opinion seems to happens much faster for short-term rentals (STR) than LTR.  
  • Keep cleaning up your listing with each lesson learned.
  • Study and Learn from the competition.
  • Learn from Social Media Groups
  • Learn from the STR Communities on the actual platforms
  • Stay busy, but add variety so that it is not all just Airbnb 24/7.  
  • Have a schedule to facilitate a balanced day and keep from neglecting other areas of your life.  NOTE:  Just actually completed a schedule 🙂
    • Believe in your product and focus on maintaining a high standard to keep your business successful.
    • Don’t focus on the review, focus on your delivery, consistency and continued improvement to help grow your business.  Certainly do your part in earning the review, send subtle reminders to guest then let it go.  I post on different areas and then do just one reminder if we are getting close to the 14 day period with no guest review.
  • Discounts?  No instead add value and highlight the value you are adding so it is clear to them.  NOTE:  I have stopped giving upfront discounts as it has the unwanted effect in some cases of lowering the value of your product and setting the guest up to wanting to ask for more when they have not given much.  Am fairly priced and tend to provide more in amenities and the hosting experience and that I feel more to be a better approach for me.  As such I deleted all discounts, weekly, monthly or other as I just prefer highlighted value add at a set price than discounts.

Am thankful for this thread.  I went searching for any information on burnout and glad to have run into this article.  Next time I know to start by checking the Airbnb Community, as I have got more here than any other random online articles.  Thanks again Sarah and all those that shared their experiences on this thread.  There is definitely something to be taken away from each comment!  😊

Level 6
Denver, CO


  1. VISUALIZATION:  Visualize what your success looks like and focus on that vs. fears and the negative guest/guest from hell or negative review.
  2. WINS:  Remind yourself of the wins that you have accomplished thus far to help keep your positive and optimistic vs. trapped in a negative place.  
Level 2
New York, NY

Bes practices:


1. Select guest very carefully, ask them what purpose they come to visit. I avoid those who come her for medical purposeses.


2. List down all the RULES. This is very important, write them in their languague if you think most of your guest will form that counrty, for me, I write it in Mandarin version. Not only that, berfore they book, I ask them "Did you agree with the rules?" and they say "yes" I will rpely "During your stay if you happen to violate any of the ruels, you have to be out and it will be fully charge, think carefully before you book." If they do book, before they arriving I will send them instruction again how to come here and also rules to follow.

 Very important ask them to tell the partner or whoever is coming with them, so that BOTH of them follow the rules.


3. Do not discount out yourself, Airbnb is the best and worth their money, remember with the money they spend on Airbnb, they coculdn't even step into hotel and not even a motel! So don't discount yourself. Don't offer all this hotel services, unless you charging same price as hotel. All this bellboy service, laundry service, driver service etc... JUST DON'T involve, I usually say "call this number/download this app and they are professional to help"


4. Don't overly freindly, just tell them what a host need to do, e.g. direction. That's it! I often find that the guest ask me to drink with them, to tour city with them, to help them buy stuff, to help them look for long term room, again, this type of to do list really makes me headache. Is like hosting them, with mini hotel services + mini $$ 😞


5. Willing to walk out the deal if they discount your service at the begining. I do check back whats going on once I decline the geust request, especially the one coming for IVF purpose, they bring trouble to another host. So again believe you instinct when they first approach.






Level 1
Marina del Rey, CA

Good points. Sometimes people are trying to get a discount and I always send them a link to a motel nearby that charges twice as much and has glorious reviews about bedbugs and dirty bathrooms. 

Hotels don't provide breakfast and good coffee for free, they don't have laundry inside or huge patio with the view of the ocean. I provide all of this for fraction of the cost of the hotels in the area and still have 4 star reviews for the value. 

Level 3
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hi there! I try to focus on the nice experiences I have - the flowers, home baked cooking, nice notes, souveniers etc etc. AND I strive to have a few email exchanges with my guests starting from their initial inquiry till they arrive. In most cases that already creates a good understanding and helps a lot! In the beginning I was so eager that I accepted everyone and I indeed had a few very unpleasant experiences, due to language issues (my Korean is non-existent...) or travel fatigue (not everyone travels well esp. not if you plan to 'do Europe' in 2 weeks or so). Well, as the saying goes: live & learn!

I run this spare business since 2003 when I lost my main job and became my main income since 2008, from 2010-11 I got into Airbnb.

a) I had a big experience with guests, so many weird I could write a top selling book and few of them how  they do love to leave bad feedbacks whatever the xp was good or not doesn't make the difference to them it's their attitude can't be changed and you have to deal with it, my barman says human beings are interesting because so different, got it finally. What does speak is your average ratings and nice feedbacks, when you feel to give up get back there and read it again and again

b) To avoid misundersandings and useless repetitive questions I left house and rooms rules all over shared spaces, guests are welcome and to feel like at home but respecting my rules, can't do whatever they want or it is passing in that moment in their freaky minds

c) I often spend my spare time thinking how to improve starting from feedbacks this turns my mind in a general good mood, I recently invested in an automated orange juicer, a cold press juicer and sensor movements night led spots

d) Not bad at all to be alone and relax expecially in low season such as now, but I actually feel safer when I have guests in so we feel safe each other

e) Was a pleasure when rarely happened to glimpse in the dark an all nature made girl b side getting into the bathroom before me during the night lol

f) I have around €450 travel credits and will go use it when I'll start feeling such as like my bloody shower mat

Level 5
Leura, Australia

Like Helga most of my earnings go back into the house, maintenance, furnishing ect..  I see the progresses and that is a great motivator.  I have decided to take a more bussiness approach to avoid that desillusion and "burn out" feeling.  

Level 6
Philadelphia, PA

Another thing I've found helpful is to message them confirming key details about the listing during the booking process- for example, people thinking they're getting the whole apartment, or that the couch is a fold-out. So I'll say "Hi ______, thanks for interest in my listing! I just wanted to be 100% sure you know what you're booking- this is literally an airbed and a plain old couch in my living room. Is that what you want?" I know from a pure sales perspective, that doesn't sound great- but it also means you only get people who know exactly what they're paying for and save yourself lots of headaches when they arrive and when they review. Nothing is worse than checking a guest in and hearing "Oh.... you live here?" because you know this will only end in them either cancelling (and leaving you boned on your money) or a bad review. 

Further, I'll message the day before, and make them give me a *specific* arrival time,or confirm that their plans are the same- since people don't seem to think they should tell me their flight is actually going to land at 10pm and not 1pm - and send them a map with garages nearby marked, etc. Again, I think politeness makes us want to be loosey goosey and assume people are smart, but this is a business and these are totally reasonable expecations.

Finally, as many others have said, you need to find the kind of hosting situation that fits you. I've learned that I really like short stays- people coming to town for a concert, for job interviews, for a road trip, etc. Other people really like long stays- I've done 5 days once and even that drove me up a wall. So also don't feel bad about setting min/max trip lengths that fit your needs. People show up, I  give them keys and a 5 minute little tour, pour some drinks, make chit chat for 20 minutes, and then they're out and about. That's perfect for me.

Level 6
Bristol, United Kingdom

Design the stay and create boundaries: I used to do full on expensive B and b- up at 6.30, running round trying to make everything perfect and charging accordingly but I got older, burned out, moved house and when I decided to start again, in a less formal way, because i needed the income, I designed it differently. I do not get up early. The front room in my house is a guest sitting/ breakfast room with tea coffee kettle fruit croissants cooked from frozen the night before cereals etc. There is a fridge for milk jam and butter. Guests can get up when they like and help themselves. I clear the room in the afternoon. I show arriving guests where my space is at the back of the house and tell them they are welcome to come and find me there if they have any queries or need more information about anything but I make it clear that my private space is not part of the air b andb offering and it is not to be judged as such. That clarity takes a lot of the pressure off. Occasionally and only if I feel like it I might ask someone travelling alone if they want to share my supper. I am lucky that my house is on a street packed with cafes and restaurants so guests can find food quickly and easily within a 5 minute walk at almost any time of the day or night.

I hate cleaning so I employ cleaners but I do make beds. I make less money but the house looks better and I am less stressed. 

I do not iron sheets although they are cotton. I find that they are flat enough if aired folded on top of the tumble dryer.

I take weekends off regularly but realise that I will take fewer this summer as midwinter is not so busy. Next January I might take a whole month off.

So work out what kind of offering is sustainable for you and stick with it. It makes life easier and happier.

@Prue0. I do exactly such as like you, but with a slight difference with your workaround:

a) Me too hate cleaning so all floors are cleaned by my iRobot which is starving their hair

b) I got a slim trolley where all detergents are in and carry into all rooms, I just focus on making beds and clean the bloody bathroom.

c) I in case have also a spare wireless 24v hoover and a mini powerful Black and Decker one for focused quick spots.

d) Breakfast is self service, I leave frozen croissant in the night and will be fresh in the morning, plus they have coffee maker, espresso machine, kettle, toaster, orange automated juicer, cold press juicer, micro, small fridge and a tray filled up with butter, jams, teas' selection, sealed snacks, bread. During my 'help yourself' breakfast tests I found guests loved hard boiled eggs, so easy to make and put in their breakfast boxes the night before.

e) I call the help girl just in busy stressing days with several check-ins and out. If you check my house rules whatever is not included is extra.

So not by chance imo italians and british so practical and lots in common, that's maybe why my best friends all bloody brits 😉

Level 6
Philadelphia, PA

Be willing to be strict. Have rules that you are willing to buckle down on- it helps you feel like you're in control, and as I've learned, when you give an inch, they take a mile. I offer a huge list of amenities and myself as resources to them. If that's not enough for them to feel like their 40 dollars was well spent, then that's too bad. My attitude is "you get what's on the label". I provide exactly what I say is available on my listing, no more no less. Giving people free rides, free meals, anything above and beyond, and not only does it really eat into your revenue (most people won't really consider those things when booking so you can't price them in), but then you can get dinged- *as an airbnb host* - if they didn't like your driving/cooking etc. 

Also, I've discovered that people see "flexible check in time" as "I can park my butt on his couch at 9am the day before and stay till 7pm the next day". So I'm rectifying that too.

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