First time STR host

Hello everyone! I’m brand new to this forum and hoping for some good insight,. My partner and I are preparing our first ever STR and are looking for recommendations on items you think are a MUST have in our rental. Also need a recommendation on the number of towels i should be providing (4 bed house), and really anything else you all think we should know. I thank you all for your time and Happy New Year! :smile:

Welcome to the forum kurrutia13.
Where are you located?

You can use the search function and read as much as you can its the best way to learn from experienced hosts here!

I provide 4 towels, 4 face towels, 4 wash cloths (all white) and 4 darker colored wash cloths for 2 guests, a 2 nights booking.


Are you going to be onsite or across town?

  1. You need to be an active host. You need to monitor your property in person, with exterior cameras or both. Don’t count on anything from Airbnb except bringing you guests and delivering your payment. Yes, they promise more and maybe you’ll get it, but maybe you won’t.

  2. Guest proof your home. Don’t count on the guest to have your idea of common sense.

  3. Underpromise and overdeliver.

  4. Read the forum but realize that people come here to complain and that mostly hosting is not a disaster.


So I’m not onsite but we will have an experienced property manager helping us

There is really no “must have” in a rental, as listings run from simple and basic budget-priced to expensive high end luxury. The important thing is to set reasonable expectations for what you provide in your listing ad.

You should also identify your target market. “Must haves” are dependent on your target demographic. Appealing to digital nomads means you should have a proper, comfortable desk and chair, plenty of electrical outlets and good desk lighting. If you are catering to families on vacation, you might provide some kid-friendly amenities like a high chair, a pack n play, a box of toys, etc.

Do not try to appeal to anyone and everyone, it’s best to market towards the guests who will be a good “fit”.

There are a few errors I see new hosts make, which apply to pretty much all types of rentals:

There should be bedside tables on both sides of a bed intended for 2 people, with a reading lamp on each table. Just because a couple shares a bed doesn’t mean they have the same habits. One might like to stay up and read in bed, the other turns his light out and goes straight to sleep, etc.

Make sure your maximum guest count corresponds to more than how many beds you have. If you list for 8, make sure you have a dining table and seating for 8, as well as that 8 can sit comfortably in the living room. Don’t expect 6 people to share one bathroom. Resist the temptation to try to cram more guests in by using sleeper sofas, etc.

Furnish with items that are easy to clean and not too expensive. Guests can be hard on things. Stay away from “sets” of things like dishes and bedding that will require you to buy another entire set if things get broken or stained beyond redemption. For instance, you could go with dishes that can be purchased by the piece to match what you already have, like at Ikea. Keep spares on hand, packed away, so you can quickly replace if you find the guests have broken 2 plates out of a set of 8.

You could go with all white bedding and towels, so if your bottom sheets wear out before the top sheets, you can just buy new fitted sheets. Or a color scheme, like various shades of grey, or blue, or whatever, so you can mix and match and it still looks purposeful.

Stay away from purely decorative items, aside from wall art. Guests aren’t interested in knicknacks or clutter- they want a place to put their own stuff without having to move a useless vase of dried flowers or some little statue. And you don’t want to increase needed cleaning time with shelves full of things that have no practical purpose that are just dust collectors.


What does the ‘experienced property manager’ suggest? Since the PM will be dealing with changeovers, etc, you should be discussing that with them - for example, are there laundry facilities on site? Is the changeover assuming that all linens etc will be reused on the next guests or will you be rotating?


Thank you! That was super helpful!!

He is someone who manages other properties and came recommended by another friend. We have yet to meet him but per your recommendation we will reach out and see what he suggests

I suggest you read this post carefully: Property manager says 30% but fees come to 65-80% of nightly rate
Read and understand your agreement with the property manager. Ask questions before you sign. Post on here if there is a question that you are uncomfortable asking the property manager.


Welcome! I would suggest getting three sets of sheets for each bed. Buy all the same color and design so if a sheet gets damaged you can still use the pillow cases.

If you’re hosting 8 guests make sure you have 10 plates, 10 forks, 10 cups, etc. Don’t just get 8 because you might be short for the following guests if your previous guests broke a plate or glass.

In addition to the first aid kit, put in the medicine chest extra band aids, aspirins, burn ointment, etc.

Also leave extra rolls of toilet paper as well as an extra roll of paper towels.

Depending on your price point, you might want to provide a basket with some snacks.


STR insurance. Yes, it costs a lot more than household insurance but it’s essential.

In some areas, you won’t get your business license without showing your STR insurance.


Thank you for letting me know, i hadnt thought of that at all. We will be meeting with him soon and ill make sure to review to contract carefully :pray:

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You’ve received a lot of great comments here.

Think through your maximum occupancy and make sure ‘it works.’ That is, will guests be comfortable? Maybe you can fit in room for 10-12 to sleep, but if it’s one bathroom and a dining table/seating for four it doesn’t ‘work.’ So set the maximum occupancy appropriately and make sure that your seating and dining match that. [Oops! I see @muddy made this point. Great minds. . .]

Make sure you have two bed pillows per person. So it sounds like 4 x 2 x 2 = 16 pillows.

Get kitchen gear and appliances, like a coffee maker, that are easy to operate and is consistent with what you’re offering, with who you’re seeking to attract.

On towels, folks here have suggested having spare hand towels, wash cloths, bath towels so people who want to change more frequently or use an extra one to dry hair have it available. Most guests won’t ask for more, but have it available, like in a plastic marked bin in a closet.

Make sure your mattresses and all your pillows have protectors from dust mites, bed bugs, stains. I use this brand but I’m sure there are other good ones: Protect-A-Bed AllerZip Smooth Waterproof Pillow Protector, Blocks Bed Bugs, Dust Mites and Allergens, Machine Washable.

Make sure you have an extra duvet cover for each bedroom.

Stay a few might at the STR. Live there for a few days and find what’s missing and what works well. Invite a friend to stay a couple of nights without you. See what they say.

Does the House Manual tell them what they need to know?

Should you label things for the guests who don’t want to read the manual?

Are they comfortable?

Is it super clean?

Is there anything missing that your target market would likely expect?

Is your property safe? Check this out: Is Your Property Safe? Take the Challenge -- A 75-Point Safety Checklist


Then I would ask your property manager . @kurrutia13 - that’s part of what you are paying them for .

By the way never sign up with a property manager who wants to put your listing under their profile.


Consider these for outside, especially the smaller solar-powered motion-activated units near stairs.

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Welcome, @kurrutia13 , congratulations on beginning your journey. You will learn just about everything you need to know by reading as much as you can on this forum. Just make it a daily habit to read the new topics every day. Search random terms. Be advised, however, that many of the people posting here are experienced, opinionated and don’t give a hoot if someone else doesn’t agree with them about anything under the sun. I “stomped off” early on when my feelings got hurt but realized I was “cutting off my nose to spite my face.” I attribute any success I’ve had to a) excruciatingly hard work and b) wisdom gleaned here.


And despite many posters here seeming to be jerks/tedious/arrogant/etc., after almost 8 years here, I really believe all the regular posters have good intentions to help others be successful and to improve the hosting pool. We aren’t a support group; some “hosts” take actions that should not be supported.


I, too, have found great help on this forum. I started out just reading, some years ago. After you’ve read for a while you can identify whose answers you can most likely trust.

I suggest that any new forum member learn the way around here by a lot of reading. You might be able to find a “renegade” answer here to some issue you encounter, but make sure it seems to be supported by people whose advice seems solid.


I provide two pillows per person and four bath towels per person. Why? Because I use two pillows and two bath towels myself. I have ample towel bars and drying hooks so towels can be reused. I keep baskets of hand towels and wash clothes in each bathroom so guests can change out as needed.

All my sheets and towels are white and linens go to a professional laundry. To date I had to throw out one kitchen towel and one hand towel because of stubborn stains.

Utensils, dishes, mugs, drinking glasses, etc. are the number of heads plus two. I have a six person rental and have service for eight. Expect to replace non-stick pots and pans every year or maybe more as guests will not treat them as you. They are cheap enough to replace so don’t obsess over it.

Do not underestimate the laziness/stupidity of guests. The stories I could tell about guests not being able to operate a simple (in my opinion) coffee maker, see the emergency #s posted on neon yellow paper by the front door, etc.

Invite any friends, family and acquaintances who will be honest with you to stay (for free). I was surprised by some of their ideas which included a coffee grinder, door stops for exterior doors (for unloading the cars).


Yes, it’s the ‘little things’ like this – and there are likely many more – that make the property a really comfortable ‘home’ for your guests. They will notice the difference.

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