As with most things, I believe it’s good for the soul to feel you are moving forward and learning. Whether you have been hosting for years or perhaps only a few months, the progression as a host can be huge. The things you learn after welcoming each guest into your home, perhaps you have mastered your cleaning routine or your messaging checklist.
How do you feel you have evolved?
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Great question @Lizzie !
I certainly feel I have evolved as a host :)
My personal style of hosting for my own listing has always been rather relaxed, warm and welcoming- and perhaps a little care-free in terms of who I allow as a guest! (it's my space, I am here most of the time and my guests stay for short amounts of time)
I would say it has evolved and changed dramatically since becoming a full-time co-host: I have had to become more assertive, stricter in who stays and who doesn't, looking more deeply into guests motivations when going through the booking process and working out if guests would be a good fit to certain hosts and listings as well as dealing with problems in a no-nonsense way when they come up.
Of course I am still warm, relaxed and welcoming- but with the added armour I mention above, and which I certainly didn't have when I first started hosting!
I agree with @Paul
My listing & myself have evolved in becoming more assertive & perhaps stricter in who comes to stay.
Screening of guests seems to make a difference, that said my listing has evolved from been a scant listing with few details to one of the most detailed online, for better or worse, for richer or for poorer...
Some of my loveliest guests have said they like all the detail & that their families helped them decide who to stay with which I think is sweet.
They to have contributed in there own ways as to how I've evolved in my hosting, as have the fabulous members here in Community Centre.
I've given some of my guests cuttings from my wee garden, tulip bulbs that were given away from Cornwall Park when there garden staff removed them to replant the garden beds & were gifted to the people, & in recent times some of my swan plants for them to share the love with our delightful "Monet the Monarch" caterpillars & butterflies.
They have commented in person & online in relation to these small acts of kindness.
The 3rd photo is of a newborn baby near transparent Monarch caterpillar which is not easy to see however do note the love heart shape that these Monet the Monarch caterpillars have eaten into the Swan Plant, gorgeous isn't it?
Who would have thought caterpillars are as creative & talented as Monet the Artist/ Painter from years gone by?
All the best and may we all Metamorphosize just like Monarchs do.
I have absolutely evolved as a host. I am never afraid to say no to a booking now, and I have done so on multiple occasions. I've learned that my gut is almost never wrong. I stopped allowing bookings longer than 30 days because let's face it, long-term guests get a wee bit too comfortable, and comfortable leads to more wear and tear and a LOT more cleaning when they leave.
While I am more discerning when it comes to guests, I've learned more about little things that make guests feel welcome. Since starting out, I've added new amenities, hotel-quality toiletries, magazine subscriptions, and books/guides for the local area. I even included a cookbook from local chefs that includes what restaurants you can go to for the dishes if guests don't feel like making it themselves.
When we first decided to jump onto AirBnB I insisted we run it like a business, going so far as to set up a management company to cover all the financial aspects for tax purposes. My time hosting has proven that to be the right decision.
The single biggest thing I've learned to do is let go and not let everything stress me out, especially the messes guests can leave behind. Unless there is REAL damage, it's nothing to get worked up about - It comes with the territory. If I can replace a shattered toilet, make big holes in the wall disappear, steam clean stains out of a rug and couch and deodorize the whole guest house in 12 hours without giving up, then I can probably handle almost anything.
Lizzie one thing that made to fell in love with this community centre is how these guys are willing to assist no matter your regional background. Am a host from Africa but i feel deep within this community,every one is willing to share a thought or two and in return new hosts like us are learning new things each day.
@Lizzie good question. I would definitely say that I have become much more relaxed. I don't worry about the "numbers" any more either. It has become easier for me to give a guest a more critical, and honest review if they deserve it. I learned not to play Airbnb's game any more than I have to. If my gut tells me that a potential guest is not a good fit, I either decline or cancel. No more bending over backwards/putting up with rudeness/blatant violations of house rules. Oh, and I learned that white towels and sheets hold up much better!
Im also sick and tired of guest canceling on the last possible day they can get a full refund! I have lost several thousand with those cancelations and that really hurts when you count on it so I made my Airbnb strict refund policy. Airbnb doesnt like that because they arent getting the bookings as much and tell you, you wont be with their group of top list advertising! Be sure to read everything "New" that Airbnb sends to you. I also dont accept just anyone especially groups who are meeting up or people with children under 12 anymore because we have several flight of stairs that parents cant seem to control! Thats almost always not good.
And if you sneak people in I will come after you and thats never a good thing!
Oh, and I have a cleaning team and no longer spend hours doing a 1,100 sf apartment with 4 beds and they pay for it! ;)
@Lizzie Being a part of the Airbnb community has changed my life! I started hosting not really sure how this was going to work out. Over time my rules have gotten stricter and I'm not doing every little thing for each guest. It has certainly been a learning process, but I feel like it has gotten better with each change I've made.
Took me a while to figure out the game, to get used to the pace of AIRBNB, and therefore, to manage almost automatically, the arrivals and departures. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve changed since the day the first guest walked through the front door of my house.
Although I don’t take in tourists anymore, I still wake up in the middle of the night after having dreamed of Kamesh, an Indian guest with eyeliner and shocking pink leather pants. Or Amandine and Claire, two special French guests who dressed the same way as the Shining twin little girls. Because, even without horrifying nocturnal awakenings, I often think about those days with regret.
AIRBNB. I guess that was a troubled relationship full of sunlight and shadow. Actually, on second thought, it was not a relationship, but a Russian novel.
In the year of our Lord 2009, an inner spark pushed me, with curiosity, toward this portal. It was love at first sight.
With this traveling companion, I learned what it is to host someone. I’ve grown to love my house. Looking at it with the eyes of a traveler, I wanted to make some improvements on it, to give it the care it needed. Because if I didn’t join AIRBNB, I wouldn’t upgrade some rooms of my house or repaint the exterior to increase curb appeal.
I got in a fight with some guests, but most of the time I had fun, overwhelmed by the emotional swing that exploded every day in my place, while I was looking for Bob Dylan's "answer in the wind", without feeling heartbroken.
In the beginning, I made many mistakes. Hosting is dangerous. Hosting puts you off balance. I’ve been falling a lot, but I’ve always managed to bounce back. Armies rise and armies fall.
Watching how other people had described their home and reading many reviews was very useful to me in terms of clarifying certain issues. I got some ideas from them.
Bit by bit I took a positive and proactive attitude. It happened gradually, without my realizing it, that’s all.
I stopped believing in AIRBNB. I stopped playing. I stopped obeying orders. I stopped worrying about scores in a way totally determined by others.
After a time, I learned to understand the things guests valued most highly.
I learned to show them a little Italian hospitality.
I learned to respect the spaces and times of others.
I learned to understand when my guest needed silence and solitude.
I learned that the guest takes root in the heart of the hosts he meets.
I learned that hosting moves mountains.
Because in hosting there is no end, but always a new beginning.
With utopian stubbornness and boundless love