We have a 3 bedroom house and we airbnb 2 bedrooms and my wife and I sleep in the other one ourselves. We have only 1 bathroom but 2 toilets. Guests also share the kitchen and the rest of the property with us.
We’ve been hosting for just over 2 years and have had around 250 bookings over that period. It’s working fine. The income is very important to us and say 90% of the time we have delightful guests.
There’s just over 230 reviews and we are on 4.97.
There are different challenges and experiences when you’re living shoulder to shoulder with your guests compared to renting out a separate dwelling. I’m interested in hearing from others in a similar setup to ours as to the pros and cons that you experience.
My husband and I have a 4BR/3BA house. We rent out two guest rooms and baths. We occasionally rent the 4th bedroom as an add-on to one of the other guest rooms, as it doesn’t have its own bath.
We don’t generally grant kitchen privileges to guests. They can use the microwave and have a little storage in the fridge, but that’s generally all. Longer term guests do get kitchen access.
We also don’t generally grant laundry privileges. We have made exceptions for longer term guests, however.
We’re coming up on our third anniversary and have had about 325 bookings. We’re very grateful to be at 5.0.
We had only a couple of mishaps in our early days. Since then, we put digital locks on the front door and each bedroom door (including ours). When we have guests in the house, we lock our bedroom and en suite. We do that only because two guests, early on, wandered into our bedroom when looking for their bath. We’ve also put signs on or beside the bedroom and bathroom doors to help keep guests oriented.
We have three “living” spaces (family room, living room, and atrium (the room where our pool is), so guests can spend time with us or on their own.
Guests used to watch our family room TV, but we recently added Roku TVs to the two guest rooms.
We’ve had a whole lot of great experiences and met wonderful people. We both love it!
Here are our room signs:
Wow! You have never had a non-five-star overall review, that is fantastic! Airbnb needs to send you a gift. And I thought I was doing pretty well with my 37 five star reviews…
I wonder who on Airbnb has the largest number of only five star reviews?
Thank you, @georgiahost. We did have one rotten review, but Airbnb removed it because it was untruthful. It complained that we had dogs and hadn’t revealed that until the guest arrived here. And yet our listing mentions our dogs in multiple places, including in the House Rules, and includes a photo of them. Our confirmation message also mentions them.
I host a private room/private bath in my home for solo guests only. Full use of my kitchen- some cook, some don’t. Been doing it for three years, but am not a high volume host- my viable booking season is only about 5 months long, I have a 3 day minimum and 2 week max and guest stays average 10 days, so in three years, I’ve only hosted about 43 guests. However, I do have a perfect 5* average.
My guests have all been fine, not a bad one in the bunch, and most really wonderful and interesting people. The vast majority have left their space really clean and tidy. I’m a pretty relaxed host, not a bunch of house rules, just no pets, no children (duh, it’s a room for 1 guest) and while I say no parties, it’s not like anyone is going to get away with throwing a party under my nose, I just want to fend off inquiries from those who think they might be able to get away with it.
All guests have been respectful, except for one who brought a guy home at 3AM, and I’ve never locked my bedroom door or anything like that.
I really like home-sharing and would not even be tempted to host an entire place listing, unless it was just a cabin on my property. And I love hosting solo travelers- I find them friendly, adaptable, non-fussy, non-complaining, and self-sufficient.
Another thing I’ll say about hosting solo guests- people who are comfortable travelling on their own generally do so quite a bit. So I’ve found that most of my guests have stayed in Airbnbs before, understand that it’s not just a cheaper alternative to a hotel, and “get” what home-sharing entails. Because they’ve travelled quite a bit, they don’t book a place in the tropics and then have a freak-out or leave bad reviews because there’s geckos running around the walls, or a trail of ants on the balcony, or maybe they saw a lone cockroach. They don’t get a panicked expression when I caution them to shake out their clothes and shoes because there’s the odd scorpion around. They’ve stayed in all kinds of places, and don’t have unrealistic expectations. And because they’ve travelled a lot, they are really interesting to talk to- they have great stories about all the places they’ve been and the experiences they’ve had.
This is our experience. 90% delightful. 9.9% exceptional - .1% whose parents could have done a better job.
Last night our guests from Mumbai treated us to a chick pea curry to which we added some fresh durian.
Depending on the season, I have 2-5 rooms. It started out as a really good thing, but in the last year we have had challenges. Yup, it’s the year of the Bad Guy.
We have had a lot of young men this year looking for citizenship or going to uni. They are straight off the plane from very old cultures not known for being enlightened towards women or Westerners. They are entitled, unfriendly and don’t tidy up after themselves.
There are totally brilliant exceptions. I have a 40+ guy from Yemen for over a year and we love him. But the young men…I have had to call my partner in a couple of times.
To this end, I am steering away from accommodating students, including postgrads, and young men who haven’t found work here yet.
Yum, that looks great. Indian food is my favorite (I never understand hosts who b**ch about their guests cooking curry). I have a Japanese guest coming in a few days who said she’s going to bring ingredients to share a Japanese meal she’ll make.
I’ve totally lucked out this month- had two separate 10 day guests who loved to cook, were good at it, and wanted to share. One insisted she found it impossible to cook for one and I was eating the fish and vegetable soup she made for 2 days after she left.
One of the things that helps us a lot is that we are 25 kms out from the centre of a regional tropical city on a palm fringed beach. People stay in our location totally for leisure purposes. So they are very relaxed and happy.
Airbnb’s in our city itself host guests who may be there for leisure purposes but often for other reasons such as court cases, medical procedures, family problems etc. This must be a challenge sometimes for those hosts who are shoulder to shoulder with those guests. And I guess the guests’ state of mind on checkout may also affect their reviews.
@JohnnyAir I have almost the exact same situation, altho I’m 2 kilometers from the center of a small, but super touristy beach town. Almost all my guests fly in, so they have to be okay with walking the 20 minutes to town and the beach. Most book here because while they want to be in a beach town, they don’t like the hustle and bustle and noisiness of town and like to be able to enjoy it, while being able to come home to a quiet, peaceful place where they can hear the birds and crickets and relax. They aren’t here for the late-night bar scene in town. Some will spend a whole day here on a week booking, just reading their book, doing some art or yoga and relaxing. And yes, they are on a beach holiday, so they are here to have a good time and are usually quite happy and laid back.
You raised an interesting point, Johnny. Most of my guests are pretty stressed on arrival. Certainly a contributing factor.
These are both very impressive ratings! Well done.
You are for sure one of the few hosts who like cooks. For me it was major nuisance . And I tried believe me …I was trying very hard to not forbid cooking all together. While some guests didnt cook , others cooked so much and were so messy and occupied kitchen for hours and i always had to clean after them. They burned my pots and pans, taking my expensive olive oil and other condiments, going to my fridge and borrowing this and that. And unlike your guests none of them ever offered us any food.
Now my longer term guests dont cook. 2 of them just dont cook naturally . 2 days ago I let 3rd guest cook a little. Because he is the cleanest and most considerate person I ever met. And thisnis after 5 months
If this was our experience we would forbid cooking as well Yana. There are a number of factors involved I guess. I think that the critical ones for us are:
For 2019 (literally - today being New Year’s Eve for us) we have an occupancy rate of 71% for our two bedrooms. So that is around 500 room nights.
Of that number I would guess that there were say 100 nights when guests used our kitchen to cook dinner. Breakfast and lunch is not an issue at all.
There are lots of restaurants, bistros and bars within a 5 minute walk.
We are located in a tropical beach destination and our guest profile is international travellers in the 20 to 35 age group. Everyone is soooo relaxed.
Our guests are not ‘living’ here. It’s a place to sleep, wash and snack for a few days before moving on.
There was only one time when we considered closing the kitchen to guests. That was when a French chef and his partner stayed with us for a week before starting work at one of our resorts. He created culinary masterpieces for breakfast, lunch and dinner using every appliance and kitchen accessory and never offered us a bite.
Us too…we are in tropical near beach location, we are 2 minutes away from plaza with 8 restaurants , very affordable too of every cusine possible. First half year it was terrible. I actually came to this forum because of a group who cooked non stop . I was advised here multiple times to not allow kitchen all together .
I felt bad and kept allowing making it limited and vegetarian . Nothing helped. They cooked meat when I was not watching . Throwing dirty dishes in a sink for me to wash. Dropping sauces on marble floor and staining it .
I am glad it works for you …because for most it doesn’t in shared house.
Happy new Year!
That would be me…with exception that I do look at Airbnbs as a cheaper option. I prefer hotels by much wherever I can afford them
We have shared our home since 2012 going from one room to now three. During high volume the third room used is our master bedroom. We only have two shared baths, no ensuites. We have had almost 400 reservations. About 20% are repeat guests who are more like family and friends. Negative experiences are too few to mention and have never been major disasters. Every guest is different - quiet, chatty, messy, neat, etc. I think we are pretty fortunate that our biggest pet peeve is people leaving wet towels where they should not. We have gone from keys to lockboxes, but our neighborhood is so safe (knock on wood) that our home can be open most of the time making self check-in possible although not preferred. Guests often mention that we have thoughtful touches and we have been superhosts since the program started. Our guests have been from over three dozen countries and 42 states. We don’t travel as much as we used to so now we bring the world to us. We enjoy a break now and then, but appreciate that the income has made retirement much more comfortable. We do lament that Airbnb has become so big so fast resulting in a more corporate atmosphere than the company with which we started.
When my insurance company decided that it was ok for guests to cook, my present long termers could care less- except for one. He loves bacon and eggs. The thought of fried food wafting through a small house put me off . McDonald’s is 400m from here.
So I said no.
Part of it came from the condition of his room. It literally stank. Took the weeks to get the odour out.
There are fridges and microwaves in each room. Anyone else would call that a kitchenette. Enough is enough.
Same here i put mini fridge and microwave in each room