Hosting without burnout

in
Seoul, South Korea
Level 10
4,819 Views

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

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
Templeton, CA
Level 10

First of all, I would adjust my mindset to look at hosting as a business as opposed to being part of a "movement".  You need to decide how much time and effort you want to put into it and how much money you want to make.   Many hosts really enjoy the volume of guests they receive and others like to have guests occasionally.  Ask yourself what pace is right for you.  If you need down time, block off some dates on your calendar.  I average about 2 stays a month and that's just about the right pace for me.  The hosts that burn out are the ones that feel they have to accept all reservation requests all the time.  They are also chasing that thing called Super Host status which I fear make some hosts go outside their comfort level.  

The Airbnb platform is just a tool to bring hosts and guests together.  Use it wisely in terms of what is right for you and it will be a pleasant experience.  Happy Hosting!

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
Paris, France
Level 10

@Kelly3@Clare0 I got used to a nomadic lifestyle, living in different apartments and visiting family, renting the other place(s) if possible. Doing that allowed to pay for several small apartments in different towns instead of one bigger one. 

We always had a business approach to it, clear offer, clear terms, a correct contract and friendly relations. 

Airbnb is a recent way of doing that age old business. It brings more guests, makes it easier in a way, but it brings more pressure to conclude business very fast, so to skip some of the normal procedures. Before, we would exchange addresses, send a contract, the guest would read it and pay, we would be able to verify phone numbers and addresses and speak to the guest. Much less surprises that way, even if nobody had reviews. 

The onsite hosting was new for me as an adult, even though I grew up in a house full of guests. I started it in an emergency situation, it turned out a pleasant experience. With an overload of stress the last weeks and dwindling bookings, I accepted a longer full apartment rental and will respire a bit in the South. Maybe that is a good way for me after all: switching between shared room when I want to profit from Paris and full apartment to rent here and full apartment for me there, when I have had enough.

 

After a lifelong experience with guests in private homes, I have to say, that the last year or two, Airbnb increased the stress level. The star system creates stress, the messages we get about falling stars are extremely intrusive and worst of all is seeing the stars every guest left. I did not know that there are so many crazy people around. Or amend that: my first studies were psychology and I read a lot of the experiments and studies, what people do, when they have the power to anonymously judge and evaluate and what more they do, when they are incited to correct some errors of someone else. It's no secret, they do a lot ... 

But it is absolutely destructive for a host's mental health to have a few in a row that read the evaluation descriptions like an incitement to proove how wrong the host was. "Think hard about it, you'll find a thing he should have improved!"

 

One consequence of that, I block my second home now for most of the year, rent it only in the Summer. I found out, I can't lay myself open to getting intrusive comments in both places. 

 

One other strategy: I invest a big part of the revenues back into the homes, so even a terrible guest pays to make the place nicer. 

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Helga.  I like the comment you make about putting some of the income back into the places.  If you enjoy it as I do, go shopping for some extras.  Change the furniture occasionally or get new pictures but think of it as spending part of the guest's money on making your home nicer.  And get fun out of making new things.  A quiet day or two without a guest maybe doing some things about the house without any pressure can be a way of relieving the stress.  And if you are on your own you might well help yourself out by that long friendly conversation with a guest you can relate to. 

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
Paris, France
Level 10

I completely agree with what you are saying Clare & Helga. It's exactly my case. As a Superhost (I never asked for such a distinction..., but now I get addicted and I woud feel real bad loosing it).

I can rarely refuse an asking of booking, happily I don't use the instant reservation so I chat and try to know a little bit more about the guest through profile and mails. I have to feel absolutely very comfortable to host somemone. And as you say, hosting twice a month is a good deal. When you have got the money you need, you block the schedule and that's it!

I realize, at that point (I have been hosting for more than a year and a half) that I must protect myself  to be cool. Which I find difficult as I stress before, during, and after hosting!. I look funny outside and easy going but inside I am looking for the perfection and it's really very tiring to reach or just impossible. And boring. It's how host starts burning out. Then it's time to leave and enjoy some days vacation!

Edith

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
Cape Canaveral, FL
Level 2

We are lucky that most of our stays are only for a few nights. However, when we have someone stay for more than 4 nights, I then block a few days after so we can have some rest time without guests. It is hard to turn down a guest request - but, better to block days in between than to burn out. Part of this venture for us was to meet guests warmly and appreciate their stay with us. Our comfort zone is 14 days per month - but spread out over 1, 2 & 3 night stays. We make enough money in 14 days to keep this venture going and comfortable to both hosts & guests.

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
New York, NY
Level 3

Hi @clare

 

I am not sure if you or someone addressed this in your thread, but have you considered using a hosting management company? I have been hosting for over three years on an ongoing basis, and the difference between managing yourself, and having a management company act as a buffer is significant. Hosting even occasionally is a full time job, and it helps to be handled as a business. If there is anything to be said for the Airbnb "movement" I would say that it is more an economic movement, than a social one.

 

Trevor

 

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
Sacramento, CA
Level 3

Great points! I loved your response. Sometimes chasing Super host status is not worth it. We had it until we had to cancel a reservation. We had blocked out the date for my mom who was coming here for medical treatment and it didn't get blocked correctly, so someone booked (this was a same day reservation too) and Airbnb wouldn't work with us. I learned that it's just a badge and not worth the headache. We havent had any issues since, but have to wait a whole year to get the status again.

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
Miami, FL
Level 1

@Kelly1 - the same thing happened to me! I tried to block a couple of days for family to visit and it was not blocked correctly (seemed like a problem between the app and the website), and then someone instant booked those dates. I had to cancel the reservation and lost superhost status. But in the end it was worth it. It was frustrating, but I agree that a badge is just a badge. Sometimes other things are more important 🙂

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
Richmond, VA
Level 1

But, but, AirBnB says that they have my back if I cancel an 'instant book'! They waive the penalty, right? 

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
United States
Level 9

Host Burnout

 

I am definately experiencing burnout and find myself becoming frustrated over simple things. For a while, each time things started becoming monotonous, I'd figure out what new service, app or product had launched to serve Airbnb hosts and implement it into my Airbnb.

 

Some of the ways I kept it exciting at first:

 

  1. Engineering the best possible guest experience 
  2. Creating messaging templates
  3. Dynamic pricing
  4. Virtual welcome guide
  5. Hardcopy welcome guide
  6. Automated messaging
  7. Building a smart phone app
  8. Setting up and installing a guest-cenntric tablet 
  9. Setting up housekeeping automation

 

I guess it was interesting or challenging at first - there's nothing else to figure out it seems. I do like the advice about changing out furniture or artwork. I'll definately try to create newness and appreciate that advice.

 

Superhost Status

 

I was also just thinking about whether or not the Superhost status is worth it. I've thought about purposefully doing something to loose it. I actually asked Airbnb if they could remove the designation upon request and was told that it wasn't possible. I think the designation hurts more than it does help.

 

Sure, I like being able to say "I'm a Superhost" but I find that guests are far more critical of trivial things than they were prior to becoming a Superhost. We've been rated 4 stars because we couldn't accommodate a guest who wanted to check in after arriving on a 7a flight or because we couldn't guarantee a 4p checkout or didn't have some obscure cable network that was airing an international sports game.

 

I suppose this is anecdotal evidence at best but I certainly don't recall these types of issues prior to having the Superhost designation. Overall, I think the Superhost status has caused our ratings to drop.

 

Steven

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
Milwaukee, WI
Level 1

Man you are really going the extra Mile Steven!

 

I'm just gearing up to prepare our home for AirBNB guests and I've been pretty busy butting together an awesome Welcome Book. I found this template online for a physical welcome book and have been working on the digital format. It takes so much work to build these! 

 

My next step is going to be building a killer insiders guide to the area that highlights local favorites and "best kept secrets" for the area to enhance the users experience a bit. I really like your idea of pulling everything together and placing everything on a tablet as well.  

 

The smart phone app idea is awesome, but it seems REALLY expensive. What were your costs on that? Was it worth it?

 

 

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
Sedona, AZ
Level 1

I had the same thing happen to me too.  I blocked out Thanksgiving week as we were hosting our families for Thanksgiving that year.  I even refreshed my calendar to verify the days were properly block out (the blocking user interface was a different then).  Some days later, I had 2 instant bookings for the period I had blocked out, which I had to cancel.  Even though I reported the problem to AirBnb they fined me $25 for each one, and of course that shows up in your stats.

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
Sintra, Portugal
Level 1

I had my first experience last year, and I intend to continue because since June until September it was enough to get super host, it was a great pleasure and gaves me  motivation.

Maria Lage

Re: Hosting without burnout

in
Miami, FL
Level 10

As with any job, you need some vacation time. Block out some dates for personal time.

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