The benefit of the experiences of the more experienced Hosts is something many new members of the Community Center gratefully explore. This can be tips on specifically property or listings types, Airbnb products and cleaning, but also can be helpful in avoiding pitfalls or costly setbacks.
The great thing about the CC is that pretty much every type of stay imaginable has been shared here, you need only search! However, I thought it would be great to have a topic where our wonderful experience Hosts share their top learnings. So, without further ado:
Share your most valuable learning from your hosting journey!
This can be good or bad, up or down, recent or old… so long as are comfortable in sharing, you can guarantee someone will benefit from your story.
@Stephanie Struggling to think of anything here. We have been incredibly lucky with the guests we have had and also how well booked we have been. Biggest lesson is perhaps why we didn't start using a launderette for the bedding sooner. In our first year we did all the washing and ironing ourselves and can't now understand how we managed it! Second biggest lesson is charging more than we thought we could. We started low and have been raising our prices ever since - With Covid we haven't really had a normal high season yet so who knows where the pricing will go next year.
@Stephanie I wish I had known what the Community Centre page and what it offers. Good ideas from other hosts but you have to decipher what is fact or fiction. Have a good chuckle or think is this for real. and could this happen to me. Take the positive information that is suitable for your country, local area, and the rules and regulations that apply to you and your Airbnb. I have read many with interest about climate, stainability, how to save money, do the right thing for the guest and for yourself.
The sad topic to read about is the "Help" for hosts and the results or outcomes from Airbnb help desk. What this tells me plan and prepare your Airbnb for possible problems try not to rely on Airbnb, have a built in safety net account to cover costs, insurance, don't rely on Airbnb for total income. Covid has shown us all this can be the undoing for some. I am still in my first year of hosting and we live onsite, communicate with our guests on arrival so far no issues or problems so far.
I feel for you in Australia with your severe lockdown. We live in Alberta Canada and have hosted students for years in the past. We started as hosts with Airbnb in May of this year and have only two rooms. I find with all the interaction with guests and I have had mostly long term stays I am weary and now need some rest in between guests. It is difficult to anticipate issues or patterns of how the guest goes through their day. Some are up and gone for the whole day others hang around for most of the day and want to be underfoot in my kitchen making coffee and heating up meals.
Overall it has been good and the people really great. It is just tiring always being a host for long periods. @Meda2
@Meda42 Yes our lockdown in different states can be harsh at times with stay at home the teenage to late twenties have found it difficult be confined with families for around the clock. But they have taken up vacination with enthusiasm as the lockdown will be lifted when our states are 70- 80% vacinated.
My suggestion to block out the days when you want your own space. When we have travelled in the Uk and using Airbnbs some of the accommodation had an electric jug/kettle in the bedroom with long life milk coffee, sugar tea, and biscuits like a hotel on a tray.
You could inform guests that kitchen hours are between certain times and I would make a room in your house that is out of bounds and it is your space for time out from others and you have your electric kettle with coffee suga, tea biscuits quite time away from others.
I've shared lessons learned throughout my years as a home share host in my book 'My Home, Our Stories'. One key takeaway is having an open mind. It sure takes a certain personality for one to do so. It is not just giving the key, there is your bed and your role as a host is done. There are so many more unexpected incidents that one has to deal with. It is not about how fabulous the home looks, a lot of times the one that brings out the character of their home is the host themselves. That's what most people would remember of the listing.
In general, hosts that I met during my years of using Airbnb they're welcoming and happy to meet new people (I choose the right hosts, most times!). Don't do it for the sake of income as mentioned by @Laurelle3 One can tell the difference between a host doing it solely for money and is passionate about it.
1) That I can check a guests attitude by clicking o the reviews he has made with other hosts. I don't only read the reviews s/he receives but also reviews s/he gave
2) Lower the price initially to get reviews and good reputation then increase to a price that makes it worth your while.
3) If you upgraded anything take pictures again right before a new guest checks in as the place will (ideally) be spotless then and look it's best
Thank you Claudia for the advice! Quick question, how do you check the reviews that guests write? I’ve never seen that 🙂 thanks!
Guests who book via AirBnB do not necessarily expect to be renting from a person; whereas the other major site (not sure if it will be blocked, but you know it as Vacation Rentals By Owner VRBO) explicitly makes it clear that ... I know it seems obvious.
But my last guest was clearly not expecting to stay somewhere that we live and was therefore less considerate than I would have liked. More importantly. my guests on the other site were awesome and specifically said that they appreciated being in a place that had a personal connection, rather than just being a hoteling business owned by a proprietor.
@Michael5987 the beginning of my listing states that cottage is behind main residence and we greet them on arrival. I repeat this again when sending them thank you for booking. 3 days before I send them the street view of the main residence and say we will greet them and give them the key, instruction to uses side gate and I will meet them down the back at cottage. My husband then hands me the breakfast hamper as this is his way of meeting the guests.
My main suggestion is keep communicating the information that you live on site. They can't say they haven't been told and they can always cancel if they want more privacy.
I wish I had known that my place would book within HOURS of posting! We were not entirely prepared but it all worked out. We have a very old cabin so getting it totally clean seemed out of the question. As the summer progressed we improved on the cleanliness and this year we are shocked at how many people comment on how clean it is! 🙃So I’d recommend a deep clean. Also, some perspective on reviews. Most are positive but the negative comments are hard to take sometimes. Yes, we don’t have a kitchen. It’s clearly in the description but some folks like to complain that it’s not there! So a little tougher hide is necessary!
I am learning as we go..but so far everything has been better than I expected. I have had amazing guests and anything they have suggested I have taken care of asap. Someone suggested a hand bar for the soaker tub, done!! Another suggested an iron and ironing board..done. We are having a great experience so far, so all is good here!!
I've only just opened the Coach House last month so we are real newbies! It's been a success so far with really lovely guests and very nice reviews. One thing I'm struggling with is how to keep towels soft and fluffy and get stains out of tea towels and bedding etc! I keep reading up on tips and I think I'm getting the hang of it. We've been so lucky with all our guests so far they've been amazing, friendly and all so interesting.