This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!
I’m a newbie. Just now working on my Airbnb account. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Question 1: I have 2 guest bedrooms with a shared bath in a guest wing of the main house. Which would be better for guests and us …
-Keep as 2 bedrooms with a shared bath.
-Turn the smaller bedroom into a living room space, ie. TV, couch, chair, coffee table, kitchen cart
Question 2: Besides guiding the guests through the standard tour of their room, what does check-in look like? Do you have guests sign a contract? Take pic of their photo ID?
Question 3: I have two potential guest accesses to their room. The first one and least expensive to setup is through the main house. We would give them access to our main house kitchen although once in the main house they’d have access to everything. We would be living there as well. The second is through a gate through the backyard and into the guest wing, but they would not have access to a kitchen or the main house. The 2nd option would take some time to setup and would be added expense, but also more private for both parties. Which is best?
There are many postings here which will help you think these things through. Because the answer to all of these is ’ what do you want to do’? Do you want people cooking in your kitchen? Hanging out in your home? Will it disrupt your family to have them coming in late at night? Do you want to have two different groups, or just one at a time? Are you going to serve breakfast? Can you install a door between your space and theirs?
My theory is that the more people you can house the better your chances are of having bookings. There are lots and lots of airbnb listings that take 2, fewer that take 4, even fewer that take 5. Thefore, if you keep the two bedrooms as bedrooms you can take up to 4, perhaps? Maybe even 5? Or make the sitting room with a futon or sleeper sofa so it an do double duty? Is that room in an area where tv playing won’t interfere with you?
If you can close off access to the main house and have a “private” unit you will get more bookings I think. We have 3 bedrooms and a bathroom on our third floor. Air will only call this “private” if we rent the whole house or have a locked door between us and them. Otherwise we have to list as three rooms and sync the listings. It causes a lot of confusion in the listing this way. Others may explain this more clearly!
We have exactly the same setup - 2 bedrooms with a shared bath. We opted to set up one bedroom with a proper bed and the second room as a den, with a couch, tv, electric fireplace and kitchenette (no running water) and called it a suite and listed it as an entire home. We expanded the kitchenette to include a toaster oven so left-overs can be heated up (several people asked for this). (Who really wants to cook while travelling??) It’s been very successful this way because it gives a couple some breathing room and they stay longer. You can make it even more flexible by having a sofa bed in the den. It shows up on ABB as two bedrooms anyway, which some people search for. Mostly we get couples, but sometimes we get friends travelling together, or one parent and one child (opposite sex). The more private the space is, the better. No one likes to share a bathroom with strangers. Two bedrooms with a shared bath is more like a hostel. Ask yourself what would you as a traveller prefer.
I’m with you but apparently there are people for whom cooking is a pleasure not a chore. A couple of people here have posted about the “fully equipped kitchens” that they would like to have in their rentals. I could easily convert mine to a setup similar to yours I just don’t think I would get enough money to make it worthwhile. And since the separate setup would still be attached to my house with common walls (not an attic, basement or separate building) I wonder if people who desire more privacy would be disappointed.
Just my opinion but I’d go for the one bedroom, one living room option. This is for several reasons.
The main one is that if you are renting out the two bedrooms with a shared bathroom, you’re more likely to get hostel types. With a shared bathroom, they probably will only stay for a few days. With the other setup, you’re more likely to get couples who, because they have extra facilities, may opt for longer stays. Apart from any other considerations, this means less laundry!
Price is another issue. These figures are totally hypothetical because I don’t know your location or the size of the rooms but let’s say that you could charge $45 per room. (And sometimes you’d only have one room booked out so you’d only be taking in $45 instead of $90). But with a ‘couples’ setup, you could probably charge more than $90 - maybe $110? Especially if you have a little kitchenette and a small cafe-style dining table and a couple of chairs. This can double up as a desk/workspace.
In a hostel type situation, you’ll probably also get people eating and drinking in the bedrooms, even if it’s only a bag of chips and a can of beer - but that can cause extra cleaning and laundry!
Oh, I love the idea of a “suite”, Nancy! I don’t like sharing a bathroom with strangers either. I’m curious though, if you feel comfortable sharing… how much more do you charge for the kitchenette room?
It would cost a little more to do, and take more time to rearrange things. I’m not crazy about the 2 bedrooms idea. More people. More noise for neighbors. More people in/out. More cleaning. So I think I’ve found my answer.
Thanks everyone for helping me mentally sort/sift through it.
Great points! Curious … Let me tell you about the two rooms. One has a view of a beautiful garden pond. The other which is smaller is facing the street. We live in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood except for waste disposal trucks on early Mon/Tues mornings. So which one would you suggest for the bedroom and which one for the kitchenette room? I’m back and forth on this point… most people here would be out hiking during the day and likely not in their bedroom.
It seems that the larger room, which sounds lovely, would be ideal for a multi-purpose sitting room / kitchenette / dining area / workspace / lounging area. And especially so because of the great view - great views mean nothing when you’re sleeping
I want to immediately say the second one (and a sofa bed so that it can potentially accommodate four) but first, see whether the competitors in your area who are offering “private room” with a shared bathroom are all booked out for the next 7 to 10 days. If they are, maybe it’s worth it to you to have two listings on AirBnB and have separate guests in each room. (I hope this is what you’re asking - if the question is “one bedroom apartment or twin rooms for one set of guests?” then forget this, and read my next para.)
I think in most cases you will find that you can get a better overall income by making it into a one-bedroom apartment with living area. Option #3 is to have two bedrooms but never rent them to two different groups of people. For this option, you need to have the “extra guests” fee in play, lock one door, and explain clearly in your listing that they will need to pay for a minimum of 3 guests to have access to the second room.
Absolutely this option. You are onsite, so there is nothing stopping you from sort of knowing what your guests are up to, and they can come and knock on your front door if necessary. But that physical barrier to your own home is invaluable. It allows you to keep your own space private.
Don’t worry about a kitchen if the cost is a concern - get them a small kitchen trolley/island/table and put a microwave on it, and possibly a single hotplate they can plug into the wall. Give them a handful of basic dishes and a small plastic washing up bowl to use in the bathroom. This is the setup I used when I had a room to let with no kitchen facility.
Very few guests want to cook up a roast on a holiday unless you are in an area that expects to get people staying for multiple weeks - most of us are not. The ONLY guests I had who found it a niggle were one who stayed 2 weeks and one who stayed 6 weeks.
The only hesitation I would have is - you may end up with people frying or cooking something real - which will create mess, firehazard, and SMELLLS!!! For people living in a bedroom a microwave should suffice.