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First Lesson Learned as a New Host

When you first started as an Airbnb host, what was the first unexpected lesson you learned?

For us, that was 2.5 years ago. The first unexpected thing we learned about was something that seemed to matter a lot back then and not so much now: third-party bookings.


Guests. Don’t. Read.


Very true. But I think it took us a while to realize that. Our first several guests read every word. Lulled us into believing it would keep happening.


Don’t pay attention to guests saying they will arrive later than expected. Took then at their word, took my time cleaning, was about to finally get in the shower (I had LOTS of time!), the doorbell rings!

Now I do the turnover right away and I no longer have to answer the door with a self-check in key pad.


We learned that lesson, too. I still get antsy if it’s four hours from the next planned arrival and we’re not ready yet.

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The amount of complete disrespect to the home, linens and furnishings.
WET towels on french polished antique furniture!
Fruit left in bedside drawers!
Flooded bathroom causing major ceiling damage to the bedroom underneath!
Expectations of a built in tour guide/ taxi driver to be on call (1.30 AM!)
An idiots don’t read guide to the property has been necessary, but still useless…


Wow, we haven’t experienced any damage or the demand for taxi service yet. I hope we never do!


I would never have furniture like that in a STR.

Well I do! My market is weddings and the house is 140 years old and appropriately furnished for an authentic experience.


My very first guest asked for a late checkout and I said yes. I hated waiting 3 extra hours for them to leave. I learned to say no, and not think I needed to explain it. Now when asked I let them know, late checkout is available for a $45 fee, or I am sorry late check out is not available.



Details details details.1) I clean the minute guests leave. Never know when I might get s last minute booking! 2) The old days of using cast-offs in a guest cottage are gone! Now guests get the best I can offer. 3) After I clean, I go back to check for the stray hair or dust bunny that sneaks in.


An upvote for saying no or charging for early check in and late check out. People just accept it if you are pleasant and firm. “I’ve checked the cleaning schedule and I can offer an early check in beginning at ____ for $ __. Let me know. Thank you.”


It’s not worth using $3 worth of spot remover on a $1 washcloth. Cut the corner off so it’s marked as a rag and move on.


We don’t often get people who ask for late check-out. We haven’t charged for that, but I think it’s a good idea.

Me either, more often they ask for early check in and I respond the same way that it is available for a fee. Once they know it is pay to stay they either pay or show up at the correct check in. That being said I just changed from a 4pm check in and a 11 checkout to 3 check in and 10 check out because so many people want to show up early.



I also had a poor experience with an early check in request, but have still given some. It’s case by case. The best thing I learned in the first year was the value of a camera at the front door.

I also learned that the advice freely given on this forum was well worth the price of admission.


My first lesson was to create rules about kitchen . It took me awhile to not allow cooking at all as limited cooking didn’t work well for me as each guests interpreted it differently .


Sounds amazing :heart_eyes:


My husband and I inspect after each other. If one of us cleans and dresses the bedroom, the other one inspects. Same with the bath. For as many times as we’ve done turnovers, one of us still occasionally forgets the paperwork that goes on the bed, the shower curtain (gets hung up last), etc. With two sets of eyes, we have everything covered.


Absolutely! They never never read the entire listing instead they just ask you a bunch of questions because they’re too lazy to read

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