Lessons learned hosting this year

Walnut Creek, CA
Level 2

In hosting my real estate investments on Airbnb, I have learned and have some best practices which I think are worth sharing. 

Here's a brief summation of what I've learned, I hope that you find it helpful and you can apply some of these to your listings. 

Note, my properties are higher end investments and so my concerns may be different than typical because of this. 


1-  I make sure to update my property description frequently.  if a guest questions something or something isn't clear, then I update description to address the question.

2- I  care about who rents my property and want a high quality guest. The only way I have found to manage this is by saying in listing that I look at your profile, positive reviews are required to rent my properties.   If someone has a new profile with no information,  I say no.

3- Don't allow 1 or 2 night stays.  For me it's not worth it, 3 days is my off season minimum, in season it's 5 nights, establish minimums that make sense.

4- I do not allow instant booking. Airbnb claims they vet the guests for you. that is absolute BS, they do not care about that, they don't care about your property, they only care about revenue.  As long as they can get the funds, that person can rent your property.  Never instant book.  

5- Never use recommended pricing by airbnb, they will recommend a price to create maximum booking,  not value for you.  Price too low and you get guests who will abuse your property.  Too high and you know because no one books, that's an easy fix, lower gradually.  Don't panic, if you'r vacant, someone will find you and be happy it's available.

6- In your listing disclose that you have a required rental agreement that must be signed after the reservation confirmation. it is also important to send a copy of the agreement prior to approving any rental request.   My agreement includes a rental deposit. that deposit is taken by airbnb as a CC charge authorization. So you have to update airbnb after the guest leaves, you have to provide  photos and information about damage or loss to get paid.   

7- Never do rental or any business off platform, if they found you here, everything stays here.   Doing anything off platform gives airbnb  the excuse not to support you, not worth it.

8- I have camera's installed outside near entries and parking,  no sound just visual.  I disclose this specifically, it is listed in rental agreement document that all get a copy of in advance.

9- I use digital door locks, no keys, the digital locks record all activity and expire when guests check out





3 Replies

Re: Lessons learned hosting this year

Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level 10


Thank you for sharing this.

I wondered regarding deposit:

"My agreement includes a rental deposit. that deposit is taken by airbnb as a CC charge authorization". Is this something different then a "security deposit" ?

Re: Lessons learned hosting this year

Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

good question @Emiel1

Re: Lessons learned hosting this year

Los Angeles, CA
Level 10

9. One reason that I passed on getting a digital door lock is that I read a few reviews on Home Depot's site about these gadgets failing. If you have guests self-checking in, that could be a disaster if you're not on-site to get them inside. If a guest can't open my lockbox, I always have a plan-B hidden key that they can use.

Join the conversation