Best advice for new hosts

I’m launching my air bnb onsite property in January. I’d love to have insight from those of you that have done this for awhile. Anything from the best sheets to if you have a preference for long term vs short term and how to attract either. I’m a long time user of Airbnb and this is a dream of mine to be a host.

Work at being the best host you can. Having been a guest, you’ve seen a variety of listings. Make your listing have all the best parts of listings that you’ve stayed in. That’s how we did it, when we went live with our listing one year ago today. Make your guests as comfortable in your space as you would like to be. Comfortable bed, bottle of wine, food, pleasant view — put your best food forward.

Lots of things to learn here. Enjoy the journey.

Ken & Sally
Poolside Cabana with Gourmet Flair

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My title would read a little different:

James’ Bed in the corner of the living room
Featuring wrinkled sheets and great Japanese Green tea and Clif Bar for breakfast.


For the amount we charge, I wouldn’t buy a bottle of wine for every guest. Everyone gets a bottle of water, a peppermint patty and breakfast if they want it. We don’t do breakfast to order. We ask about dietary restrictions, and we serve what we serve and eat at the table with them. If we can’t be around for breakfast, we point out what’s available for them to take on their own.

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When I first started, I used my existing sheets and towels, because I have so many. I didn’t have to immediately was after each guest. But when I restarted a few months ago, I got two new sets and towels and keep the extra in the bedroom. I have a masculine sort of set and a feminine sort of one, and a white duvet cover. They get washed after each departure. For some reason, I find this much easier to manage and will deduct the cost from my taxes. I have large sizes of bath gel, shampoo, and conditioner (fragrance and chemical free) in shower, which I wasn’t doing before.


Thanks so much. That’s great information. I was wondering about the shampoo situation as I view the small ones as a lot of waste. Seems dispensers in the shower would be a better option. Do you have a recommendation for types of duvet fillers? Also did you do a bed topper on top of the mattress?

Karen, your question is soooo broad and general… that I would suggest you spend some time reading through the plentiful threads here rather than asking hosts what to do, unless you are looking for specific suggestions.

That said, all of us learned to be hosts the same way. Baptism by fire, LOL.

I have a duvet from loomingdales that is quite nuce. I don’t have a topper, but depending on your mattress and if you have fitted sheets that will accommodate it, might be good. Also, don’t have anything with feathers. I don’t wash the mattress pad every time, but I do was the duvet cover each time. Yhe duvwt gets waged every once in awhile because I have to go to the laundromat.

White towels look nice but dark towels are better if you are worried about make-up stains.The more luxurious items you provide the more worried you will be about them being damaged or stolen… Don’t leave anything of value in the house unless it is photographed and documented or you will not be able to make a claim for stolen or damaged objects, and even then I understand it is very difficult to get reimbursement for them unless you have a video of someone stealing them and if you advertise cameras in the house that will keep people from booking anyway. Best solution? Go with stuff you won’t freak out about having stolen that looks nice. I have nothing of serious value in my home (although I am pretty sure a guest stole a silver pin with cultured pearls out of a box I had in a back bathroom shelf when I first started and learned it was better not to have anything they can rummage through in the privacy of their room or bathroom). If you are generous provide free toothbrushes, bath gel, shampoo, tea kettle, coffee maker, tea bags, coffee, bathrobe, flat screen TV – that’s what all the hotels I’ve stayed in China and the Netherlands always do.

Very sorry you think so. I thought it was very specific. Thanks to all that replied.

Oh my bad… I read this as a broad and general statement. :confounded:

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One thing I have done is put fresh flowers in room. I don’t spend much…get them at Trader Joe’s even a few in a bud vase cheers it up for me, at least. Oh, in case it hasn’t been mentioned, I have power strips on each side of the bed. People have so many things to plug in these days.

My advice applies to no-host full place rental:

  1. Get a modern remotely controlled security system.
  2. Get a home automation system like Vera Edge
  3. Get a Z wave thermostat for the home automation system.
  4. Get a Z wave Keyless entry system like the yale.
  5. Get a Door bell with camera.
  6. Get a good cleaning person and allow closed days between listings.
  7. Set aside an area in the house for supplies and sensor the door and tell the guests that it is monitored.
  8. Make sure your insurer knows about AirBNB and has reviewed AirBNB’s coverage.
  9. Make sure you have more liability insurance than you think you need. I have $2M.
  10. Write up a great email to send to the guests a week to five days before that explains the keyless entry, security system, and the Internet passphrase. Use the last four digits of their registered phone number for the codes and their home town for the security pass phrase. Make a friend test the email.
  11. Write up a check-out email that is friendly and reminds them to wash the dishes and when check-out time is. I point out that the codes will be reset including the security pass phrase after check out so they need to be out.
  12. If you have the money, change your light switches over to automated ones like Z wave and put them on the HA server. I actually turn on the front porch and driveway lights for guests remotely. I also check all the lights after they leave. That’s me, though. BUT get the Thermostat and keyless entry!
  13. Get extra linens and towels for the guests and cleaner. Things go faster if the cleaner can strip the beds and put new linens on while the previous ones are washing.
  14. Make them nice linens and towels. Cheap ones don’t impress anyone and cost less in the long run.
    15 Don’t cheap out on the beds. Comfortable beds are the foundation of a good stay.
  15. Include a high quality mattress cover. They add coosh, They are far easier to wash pee out of!
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That is great advice and exactly what I did when I first discovered this forum. I read every single topic and every single reply. This forum is the ‘Airbnb hosts university’!

Sure, it takes time but this is a complete library :slight_smile:


uhhh, I was asking for specifics… you can’t get much more specific than my questions.

OK, Sorry :slight_smile:

I use white, bleach-able sheets. The quality doesn’t really matter as you’ll have to replace them from time to time because they’ll wear thin, yellow or they’ll be irreparably stained. Pillowcases will be marked with mascara and makeup (so will towels) so will also need replacing. This is simply one of the costs of doing business,

Avoid long term as the guests may be able to claim tenants’ rights This will depend on the laws in your area. Bear in mind too that you can put up with bad guests for three days but wouldn’t want them on your property for weeks on end.

As you know, the hospitality industry has many more issues than sheets and length of stay. Be sure to ask us any more questions and good luck with your dream :slight_smile:

Hosting is great fun!

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Karen, There is a thread specifically for sheets. This way subjects aren’t duplicated or advice buried in threads with general headings such as “advice for new hosts.”

But obviously you don’t really want to hear what I have to say, so never mind. :slight_smile:


Wow, harsh. I’m here to learn and not be reprimanded.

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THERE IS NO “BEST” – there is only what works for you, in your city/state/country in a particular season.

I live in sub-tropical south Florida – what is best for me would only be useful to you for a month, unless you also live in the tropics. Brands, styles, etc can be very regional or nation-specific; certainly things are done much differently in Norway than in southern Italy, or Croatia versus Scotland.

Your topic is “Best advice for new hosts” and our best advice is spend a few days reading the myriad of posts here before asking the same questions which have already been answered. THEN you can ask some really specific questions!

A dozen times a week, this group gets questions like yours, which are vague and general (truly, although you seem to think them specific), and have been answered over and over here in one form or another. No one here is being “Harsh”.


Wow again. I find your response quite rude. My questions were not vague or general . How on earth can this trouble you? I can ask whatever I want to ask, that’s the point of a forum. It’s supposed to be helpful. I have read it extensively. I disagree with you. There are always “best” products and in our world today sheets from Turkey can be delivered to my door the next day so regional brands are a thing of the past. The Internet puts everything at ones fingertips
Please do not bother to respond if you can’t answer my questions and I do not think shouting with all caps is appropriate .You have gone beyond harsh . You have certainly made this newcomer feel very unwelcome.
Please don’t chime in on anything I may ask again .

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