We are planning to list our 3rd property but it is not a separate place set only for guests but a room in our home. This is a private room with a non attached bathroom. It can have a private entrance too ( needs some work though)
Our other places are set specially for guests and we do not live on the premises. So this is something we have never done before and is only a thought we are toying with. To be or not to be situation. Would love to hear from all you wonderful people, dos and don't, what should be provided, what is must to be clear about, how to set expectations, house rules, a pet on the property etc.
We do have yound kids too so that is one thing I am most concened about.Any inputs much appreciated.
We have a room in our house that we have been renting. All of our bedrooms are down one hallway, so there isn't a lot of privacy. When we have guests we try to use the half bath rather than sharing the bathroom with the guests. It really hasn't been a problem, because our guests have been wonderful. From the web-site the guest know what to expect, so there are no surprises for the guests. However, our daughter just came home for the summer, so I don't allow automatic bookings anymore. I'll see how this works. I will be very careful who I rent to, since they will be across the hall from my daughter.
Thank you @Betty Anne for the inputs. I have a similar dilemma as this guest room is right in front of my kids room. Plus the bathroom is common between the kids room and guest room. Neither of the rooms have access to the bathroom from their room directly but from from the hallway. But yes I have some concerns too and will need to be selective about who I host.
So first point on my list from your message would be : a) It has to be a request and validate sort of reservation module and not instant booking.
We've been renting a room since 2012 and it's been pretty simple. For me, the most important thing is not sharing a bathoom and, luckily, my set up allows for this. There's zero socialising with the guests (I prefer to think of this as offering privacy, not misery). They do their thing, we do ours.
@Gordon Thanks for suggestion. First of all I think you have this hosting thing figured out and are doing a super great job as a host.. I took the liberty to see your listing to get an idea on the house rules etc and I loved your style of describing your place, neighbourhood and house rules. I am sorry but I may take the inspiration from it.. Now for our "to be" listing , unfortunately our layout does not allow to offer a private bathroom. This bathroom is shared between the kids room and the guest room. However my kids are very young and need help about their business and hence use only our in-suite bathroom. So this common bathroom is only occasionaly used as a powder room by our visitors. How would you suggest we propose this to our guests?
@Mathieu And Kunj - Thak you for your kind woords and fire away; take what you need!
As for us, we make sure that the (few) friends that come to see us use our en-suite, ie. they don't use the guests' bathroom. Again, I think we are blessed with an almost perfect set-up, but the 'privacy' thing is our selling point.
That said, horses for courses and all that, there's a market for every sort of guest, and many won't bat an eyelid at sharing (even just occasionally) a bathroom.
Oh, and there's absolutely no access to a kitchen (there are dozens of earing places within steps of the house) and this has never been questioned.
Hi @Gordon , you have a beautiful listing! We are very late to the game since you've been hosting since 2012! Wow!
Question: Are you and your husband home while renting your extra bedroom? If so, do you interact with your guest? My husband and I live in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, we are thinking of starting to host with extra private room and bathroom while we get the rest of our home ready for hosting our entire place. I am just trying to picture the dynamic of renting out half of our house. We don't have kids, so this part of the house is rarely used, but what about the living room and kitchen while we're home?
Thank you very much for taking the time to help us newbies or want-to-be hosts!
My listing is a private room + private bath (across the hall from the guest room) in the 3BR 2B BTH apartment I reside in. The guest room and bath are near the entrance, with an open concept living room+kitchen in the middle then my 2 rooms (w/ ensuite bath) farthest from the entrance. If anyone is open to socializing, then we tend to hang out in the kitchen or living room, chat about how our day was, talk about plans for the weekend etc. If we need some private time we are in our respective rooms.
My listing description and house rules are very long and extremely detailed - but I get a lot of long term guests so making sure we are a good match is important for us AND also for the guests. During the inquiry phase, I always check if the guest has really read everything, reiterate a few rules that are really important, and ask whether they have any concerns or need clarification. We've had different levels of interaction with guests, but because we make sure expectations and ground rules (house rules) are very clear there have been no major hiccups during the past 1.5yrs of hosting :-)
As an on-site host, Henry and I are clear that the guest needs to "clean up after yourself" (we are not the guest's personal maid & cleaner) but at the same time we are hosts and homeowners so we like to handle trash disposal, bedding changes, towels& bedding laundry ourselves to make sure they are done properly. When we dust/vaccum shared spaces, we will include the guest room (just the floor & under the bed) but we do not disturb any of the guest's items during housekeeping activities.
Wow! What a very detailed description! I love it! You leave no room for misunderstanding and spell out expectations down to the very last detail! Congratulations and thank you very much for sharing your insight as an Airbnb Superhost!
@Jessica & Henry1 Thanks a lot for the detailed message. You have given me a lot of great ideas and points to be considered for shared listing. I will need to make a detailed list of do's and don't, specially because we have young kids. I have a question though about the kitchen, we are big on cooking, so our kitchen is fully stocked with personal supplies like spices, herbs, sauces, veggies and everything under the sun. How do you manage that, that the guest does not use your personal groceries and remains respectful butcan still make her/himself a quick meal? Or is it just simpler to offer meals included stay? Or not to include kitchen at all in the offer?
IMO, kitchen usage would really depend on your guest base, average length of stay and whether there are places to eat within a short walking distance. Since I host a lot of long term guests I do allow kitchen access but allow only light cooking such as eggs, omlette, single serving of pasta (prep+cook time 30 mins or less, no oven use allowed). Since my listing is single occupancy and near several local universities, I get a lot of exchange students in their 20s. The most I've seen them cook is eggs, toast, and mac&cheese out of a box, and instant noodles :-)
Like @Sarah977 I provide the basic oils, salt, pepper & other condiments (ketchup, mustard, jam, honey) to the guest. And I give guests an entire shelf in the fridge as well as a shelf in the kitchen pantry to store whatever they buy. We technically do not provide meals or food to guests because we do not keep regular meal times and I travel for work frequently but we often ask the guest to join us and we do end up sharing food with our guest since guests also end up buying more than enough for one person.
One thing we did do before we started hosting was we re-organized kitchen storage so that host personal items, appliances, special occasion dinnerware etc. that we don't want guests to use or disturb are stored out of sight or in really hard to reach places. During the check in house tour we briefly mention which shelves, drawers (dishes, utensils, pots&pans) are shared with guests. We ask that other drawers, shelves, certain areas not be disturbed and if they don't see/can't find something they need to please ask instead of trying to find it on their own. We've had minimal issues till now.
@Mathieu And Kunj I host a private room with private ensuite bathroom in my home for 1 guest only. I have a lot of interaction with most of my guests. I also have a big well equipped kitchen which guests have full access to. None of my guests has helped themselves to my food and all have cleaned up after themselves there. I do tell my guests that they are welcome to use my olive oil, salt and pepper, things I don't feel it's fair for them to have to go out and buy for a short stay. I don't have a big enough fridge to designate a special shelf for guest food, in fact it's always pretty packed and I tell them to put their stuff wherever they can find space, or I'll clear off one side of one fridge shelf for them to use. I always offer them coffee or tea in the morning, if they've flown in and had a long trip (most of them have) I always ask if they're hungry when they arrive, they usually are but are too shy to say so, so I'll make them something anyway, unless they say they ate on the plane and really aren't hungry. I just don't think they should have to run right out to buy food. The next day they go shopping and we end up sharing food a bit- they'll say oh, I bought a bunch of bananas, help yourself. And they'll usually buy more food than they end up eating. It all seems to work out equitably.
That said, this is a tourist beach town with hundreds of restaurants, so many of my guests end up not cooking at all- maybe a bowl of fruit and yoghurt in the morning, and then lunch and dinner in town. Those might just stash a couple cold beers or a container of milk in the fridge.
I suggest not using IB if you host a room in your home, especially for single women and those with children- the peace of mind in being able to vet guests before accepting outweighs the loss of high search ranking (which I think is outrageously unfair of Airbnb) or constant bookings rolling in. I'm lucky- I've never had what you'd call a bad guest. And almost all have been absolutely wonderful people.
@Mathieu And Kunj In all my wordiness I forgot to mention- when hosting a room in your home, I think it's really important to try to put some wording in your listing description which is designed to attract the type of guests who you'll feel comfortable around. Whereas with an entire space listing, a description of the place, what local attractions there are, how close it is to shopping and house rules are really all you need, with an in-home listing, speaking specifically to a certain demographic and really letting your personality and lifestyle come through are very important. Feel free to look at my wording- it has been successful so far, great guests all.
Thank you everyone for helping us with these very important details. So if I understand correctly my take away so far from all your valuable comments is :
1) As per @Sarah977 Clear description to appeal a certain guests &
2) Kitchen can be offered with clarity on what can be used and what can't. Easier to provide basic kitchen essentials.
3) Private bathroom/ non sharing if not in-suite as @Gordon advised
4) Detailed house manual & house rules with do's and don't is a must as per @Jessica & Henry1
6) As per @Betty Anne try to understand what type of guest are requesting.
Did I miss anything else?
I have two big questions still to ask . First : We have a large and freakingly deep pool on the property. This said guest room opens up to the beautiful pool view. What should we do in terms of pool usuage : Not accessible or accessible with charges? It does have a pool fence though.
Second : We have a cat which is indoor mostly but ventures out on the property at times.
Thank you once again for taking out time for us..
Mathieu & Kunj
@Mathieu And Kunj I rent 2 bedrooms in my home and have two shared bathrooms for the guests and myself. It's very important when hosting to keep the bathroom very clean at all times, and this may be especially difficult if the bathroom is shared with your children. Be prepared to make multiple trips a day into the bathroom to spot check it for water spills on the floor and around the sink, toothpaste splashes on the mirror, and the condition of the toilet. Guests expect a clean bathroom and it's one of the primary things they will rate you on.