No matter what type of accommodation or room we have to share, accommodating guests with Airbnb is a decision we make for many different reasons.
Some are obvious, economic reasons, but I want to go further, because we may need money, but being a host requires commitment, willingness, empathy, professionalism and love. Surely each one of you has a curious story that led you to become hosts.
What led you to become a host?
I look forward to reading your story.
@Quincy if you want to go to Alcatraz, make reservations now. You can only get there by boat and the tours sell out months in advance during the summer. Unfortunately, we have nice museums, but they are not free. As an administrator, if you can get my contact info, I'd be happy to take you and 1 family member into the California Academy of Science for free. Or I can get 4 people into the DeYoung Museum. Their collection of Contemporary Glass Art is excellent. It will be my way of giving back for all the times I've seen the V&A, British Museum and National Portrait Gallery in London for free. As a member of these museums, there is no cost to me, just a few minutes of my time to get you in with my identification.
My wife made me do it :)
We bought a house too big for just ourselves when we moved to New Zealand. We did it on the understanding that my mother-in-law may need to move in with us one day (she's on her own now and getting on a bit). It's a grand old house, with 3 stories, 5 bedrooms and 4 living spaces.... but it was in need of some TLC. So, I got to work about a year ago rennovating the lower part of the house to turn it into a self contained space.
Here is the little house on the hill we bought:
The really fun part was doing all the rennovation ourselves, building furniture, cabinets, and everything out of up-cycled materials to make a high quality space for mother-in-law. We're very much into the recycled look, which worked well for our budget!
After we were almost finished, we realised it's silly to leave the place empty for most of the year around. Mother-in-law comes to visit for 1-2 months at a time, but she's a long way off making it a permanent move. So, we started our Airbnb journey a little over a month ago ( wow, time flies! ) and have had a great time with it so far!
@Ben lovely house! Wellington is such a cool little city, my parents lived there for a couple of years so I got to visit a few times & enjoyed it so much.
@Quincy I started for the flexibility. I had the option to move into a one or two bed apartment, but one bed places are so tiny & there is nowhere for family & friends when they come to visit. So I went for a 2 bed, 2 bath place and figured I would try airbnb for 6 months. If it didn't work out I could always get a room mate.
So far it's been a great experience. I've met so many people from different walks of life, only a few people I wouldn't host again. And I can block off the room when I've got visitors, or I need a break.
@Rachelthanks very much! Yeah I've really falled in love with Wellington, it's a great city.
PS: Your reasons are very similar to ours. I think it must be quite common to want space for guests but not have it be unoccupied space for 80% of the year. I never would have thought of it before things like Airbnb came along.
That's a lovely home you have there @Ben!
Have you already seen our topic What are your golden rules for being a good neighbour?
My husband and I live next door to a small but charming, older home. When the original homeowner passed away, we purchased the property from the estate. As we are both retired, thoughts of downsizing to this smaller home were part of the idea behind the purchase. That may happen one day but until then we will keep it as a short term rental.
My husband and I moved to Florida from NY. I retired after a 30 year career in the restaturant/catering industry. I have had many years of customer service and hospitality in my work. My husband works for an airline, at an airport. He is the one who is called when passengers are getting out of hand. He is called the "customer whisperer" by his peers and bosses.
Our son and daughter in law live in Virginia, when they had our granddaughter of course we were flying up to visit as much as we can, easy for us because we can fly anytime we want. But we didn't want to intrude so much to them, we stayed at hotels which was costly.
When we went to celebrate her 1st birthday we found out the house directly behind them was up for sale, after a lot of talk we bought it.
Then we researched Airbnb and decided to go for it. We travel a lot and stayed in a lot of places around the world and felt we knew what we could provide to make the guests stay a great one. It took us a few months to set it up and then off we went. We just block it when we go up for our visit. Our granddaughter is now 4 and loves when she knows we are there at "Grandma's House" We have been doing fine with it and have many parents who come to visit their adult children who have settled here too. My son is right there to help so that works great. Thats our Airbnb story!
@Quincy. We have a large house and I was bored. Our daughter told us about ABB so we thought we'd give it a try. First one room, then quickly added a second and now we rent out all three of our spare bedrooms. Who knew that there could be so much demand for a comfortable room here at our remote area of Brazil. I really enjoy all the interesting people I get to meet and being able to take my own vacations. I get a lot of return guests who have quickly become friends. 2 years and counting!
Money, plain and simple, I bought into the narrative that Airbnb was a money generating scheme, and in the round, I've lost money on my Airbnb enterprise, two good months a year does not make it a business proposition unless of course, you’re a tenant subletting your landlords property without the cost and repair and maintenance bill associated with owning property.
Every subletter is taking money out of the pockets of genuine Hosts
@Quincy I ended up with two houses in Maine after a divorce. I had built and decorated them and my children had grown up summering there every year, so there was no way I was going to sell them. One winter, someone tried to break in, and I realized that the best way to keep the houses safe was to have as many random comings and goings as possible, so I listed them on Airbnb. The great surprise was how much I loved hosting, albeit remotely. My sister, who knows I'm a complete "don't-touch-my-stuff" kind of person, can't get over it. :) But I love sharing these houses that were created with so much love and attention to detail with people from all over. I know how even a brief stay on Caterpillar Hill can soothe the most stressed and troubled soul, and I want that for everyone. I'm always thrilled when guests really "get" the experience. I particularly love the ones who write that they wished they'd left more time for just hanging out at the property, because that's what we all love to do the most. I'm starting to get return guests who look forward to the total peace and contentment they find there, and that's thrilling, too.
Such a good question! For me it was a mixture of money and rebellion, with a dash of panic.
We needed the money. Badly. We retired and bought a boat. Not smart.
My husband was against the whole rental idea - “It won’t work. No-one will come. It will cost too much time and effort to get ready. What about the liability issue”. So he was the voice of reason! And you NEVER listen to the voice of reason, right?
what panicked me was realizing that the home I loved was on the path to dereliction if something wasn’t done to get, and keep it, in good shape.
My daughter actually was the one who recommended Airbnb.
I’ve done this for a year now, and had great experiences.
The best part is sharing my home with others. They seem to really love it and that makes me happy.
So, thanks, Airbnb. It’s been a lot of fun!