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First time host - Should you start slow?

Dear fellow hosts,

For a new host, would it make sense to start slow by blocking 2 nights before and 2 nights after the initial bookings? I feel I’d be more comfortable starting slow, gain experience and then eventually when I’m confident enough allow back-to-back bookings. I would love to read your thoughts!

There are many factors to consider. For about 5 weeks, you get a boost which, assuming it is a time of year where your part of the world actually has visitors, will result in quite a few inquiries. I wanted to take advantage of that boost to cover my start-up costs as quickly as possible. I was fairly sure, since I have a two night minimum, that I would have a few scattered single nights to recover. And I did.

However, I have experience with hosting in other venues, and as a traveler who has rented and house swapped all over the world, so I was fairly sure that I was not clueless. Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn some things, trust me!

You also need to look at your real life. Do you have time during day light hours to flip a room, and have it be immaculately clean? How long will it take to clean the space and prepare it for the next visitor? What is your laundry capacity and how much laundry will you need to do between visitors?

There are many good tips on this forum about getting ready to start hosting. Do some reading. Write up your Guest Handbook, have a list of restaurants and attractions, know where the nearest laundromat is, etc etc etc.

Good luck!

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@smtucker gave some great advice! Listen to it!

The problem with blocking off the days in advance is you could very possibly lose bookings altogether.

What I mean is this: If you block off a Sunday and Monday, you eliminate everyone wanting to stay on those days. Perhaps a guest wants to travel on Monday-Wednesday. You won’t get that booking because Monday was blocked off. So you limit your guest pool considerably; therefore, you may not book Tuesday or Wednesday.

Maybe someone else can explain this better.

What I do is wait until there is 1-2 days between bookings, THEN bock them off. That does give me some back-to-backs but I can handle that.

As @smtucker said, be sure you have the time. Are you working out of the home long hours? Running kids around town all afternoon and evening? Have elderly parents you are responsible for? I met a woman running a shop who said “breakfast? I throw a granola bar at my kids every morning and run out the door, late - then I’m here at the shop - always at the shop - I just manage to get home long enough to feed the family and then I’m back here”. And what is she doing? Refurbing her basement into an airbnb.

At the least, have extra sheets and towels at the ready so you don’t have to wash everything between guests.

There’s a great thread here called ‘what do you wish you knew’. You’ll get a lot of good stuff from that.

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"I feel I’d be more comfortable starting slow, gain experience and then eventually when I’m confident enough allow back-to-back bookings. "

We are coming from many different places and booking in different markets. If that is how you feel, then start slow. You can free up and/or block your calendar any time you want to.

@smtucker said it all :slight_smile:

I started the hard way, with constant back-to-backs. I liked it that way. It was because we started right at the height of the season. It was a sort of baptism-of-fire thing. I knew in the first few months that if I could handle constant same day turnovers all the time, I was going to be okay :slight_smile:

Just block one day off on either side for the first few weeks until you get your confidence if you’re feeling overwhelmed. As for same day turnarounds, if you’re only hosting a room & not an entire place the cleaning shouldn’t take too long.

I agree with @Lou. I started off with 2 bedrooms and a room in a common area. After we had guests issues, i realized that I couldn’t do 5 guests. 3 suits me better. Start with what you feel comfortable with. We have on been hosting since July. With each guests there is something we learn or tweek a bit. And yes, get extra sheets and towels. I had a cute duvet cover that i wash each time. Then it got to be a pain to load in the comforter, i just ordered a coverlet so it is easier for me.

There is a reason why you asked your question in the first place, so yes start slow and see how you like it, and that will tell you if its for you. Hosting is an experience on dealing with human nature; interesting definitely, but also challenging at times.

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@BSuze would love to see a pic of your coverlet if you can find the time and willing to share. I’m new and placed a JC Penny order yesterday. It arrives tomorrow, but I think I may have made some poor choices in bedding/towels. TY! Appreciate your post.

Cotton Box Classy Lena Grey/Beige 100% Cotton Duvet Cover Bedding Set Reversible (Queen) This is the cover that I bought on Amazon

I just received the coverlet from Target. I still have it in the bag, but i am going to use it when i have guests close and need to swap stuff out.

Kelly 4 Piece Coverlet Set - Yellow/Grey (Full/Queen)

This is the one that i just got from Target. My bed is a queen, and i REALLY don’t like to get the queen/ full option, generally not big enough for my liking. But I’ll try it this coming week and see how it fits.

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