Host Requirement

I’ve been a member here for several years, and read the questions and responses of both new and old hosts every day, in spite of the repetition of questions. I see so many questions asked by new Hosts who haven’t a clue (or clew) what it is like to be a new or experienced AirBnb Guest. That said…

I would like to see AirBnb require all potential Hosts to have a minimum of say 20 nights of Guest stays in at least 6 different Air listings of different kinds, outside of their hometown/area. Once you see what works and what doesn’t work, when you understand a bit about what it’s like to be a “stranger in a strange land” of someone’s home, you will have a decent idea of what it takes to be a Host, and what to expect as a Guest, and that should help you become a much better Host yourself. During this trial period you shouls be required to engage your Hosts in at least some conversation about their experiences as hosts.


Great idea @KenH - although it would be good to think that new hosts would do it of their own accord. The thought of people entering into the hospitality business with no experience at all could be one reason why there are so many hosts who don’t understand what they’re doing.


I had to look this up; it is informative (I always learn from @KenH).

Wiktionary tells me that one definition of clew is: Yarn or thread as used to guide one’s way through a maze or labyrinth; a guide, a clue.

Another definition is: (nautical) The lower corner(s) of a sail to which a sheet is attached for trimming the sail (adjusting its position relative to the wind); the metal loop or cringle in the corner of the sail, to which the sheet is attached. (on a triangular sail)

So in nautical terms the clew is that part of the sail that attaches or is attached, so that the sail can be set, the wind harnessed, and direction given to the boat.


I started hosting with Airbnb in AZ in 2015 with no hospitality experience. I was super successful there but then it was a hot market for snow birds and just plain birders.

I didn’t start using Air as a guest till I started that business, now stayed at close to 30 places and know what I love and what I don’t.

This location in Virginia has not been great, my set up is different and thru the pandemic of not having much personal contact was discouraging.

Anyway, putting this house on the market shortly and doubt I’ll be hosting in my next location.

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You’re so right! Before I decided to host, I had stayed as an Airbnb guest in several locations. It did give me a reference point as what to do and what not to do.


@KenH Shhhhh, you’re giving away the secrets of great hosts.

BTW, I would add:

It doesn’t really need to be Air listings. VRBO,, etc. would suffice, although using and becoming familiar with the platform(s) you use from the guest perspective would be insightful.

Hosts should stay in listings similar to the listing(s) the host wants to offer.

Hosts should stay in a similar listing with similar ratings to their own about once per year.


While it’s a good idea in theory, and I agree about a lot of cluelessness among new hosts (like they throw up a listing and then start asking how they’ll get paid, how many towels they should provide, don’t know the difference between IB, Requests and Inquiries) who would have paid for me to travel to these 6 different areas for 20 nights? I travelled tons when I was younger and it really doesn’t appeal to me anymore. It’s plenty enough to go to Canada every summer for 5 weeks to visit my family and friends there.

And the last thing I’d want is yet another Airbnb (or other OTA) requirement for hosts.

I have never travelled as a guest staying at an str. That didn’t prevent me from setting up a nice guest space, thinking about what a traveller might need or want, communicating well with guests, knowing how to do thorough cleaning, and getting 5* reviews from the beginning. I also read every Help article for hosts, the TOS, and made sure all my settings were as I wanted them, that I had my payout info entered and correct, and the listing info complete and clear before I submitted the listing. I also had a friend who was an experienced host walk me through the hosting pages, showing me what was what and how to navigate the platform.

Also, I had been a landlord in Canada for 6 years, and managed 2 other little places that rented long term. So who would decide what sort of experience is “required” and what sort of proof would be needed?

Of course it would be easy for me to say “Yeah, for sure, that should be a requirement” now that I’m already an established host and wouldn’t have to do that, but that’s somewhat like moving somewhere, building a house, and then wanting to stop other people from moving to the area or dictating who can move there.


While I agree that staying in STR’s makes one a better host, I’m not a fan of AIRBNB requirements. And like Brian said, I feel being a guest gives me a competitive advantage. LOL.


Conversely, I LOVE requirements. When a local host illegally opens his apartment bedroom as an airbnb, or provides a space without a smoke detector, I’d like nothing more than to see that host booted off the platform.


I’ll edit my comment for clarity. I don’t want Airbnb telling me I have to stay in Airbnbs before I can host. They could give me a discount to do so, or bump up my listing in search because I stay at Airbnbs or any number of incentives, but requiring it? Hard no.

That’s a job for the local government really. Airbnb doesn’t have inspectors. I favor local regulation including inspection and licensing.


I have been an air bnb host for 4 years and prior to that probably only stayed in 3 or 4 air bnb’s. Things like number of towels were not something I focused on as a guest and i used my common sense when becoming a host. There is a lot of info on the airbnb site. I have had five stars much of the time and been a superhost so I dont see any reason for having to stay in a number of air bnb’s to be a host. Even if you did I think it would be a learning process. All sorts happen when you have guests so I think being able to ask others what they think is a great idea on this forum.


@KenH Right on point! It’s why I became a Host. I drove cross-country on college tours with my son back in 2019, and stayed at so many wonderful homes, that I felt it was a calling :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Prior to 2019, I had opened up my home to several Guests during my daughter’s wedding, and one of those couples told me that I was an amazing Host during their stay and that I should consider Hosting on Airbnb. It wasn’t until I stayed in several homes myself that I finally decided to take that leap of faith, and I love being a Host!

It’s funny because I always thought how wonderful it would be to have a home like Forrest Gump where his mom welcomed so many travelers. I only rent out a small part of my home and only the outdoor areas are shared at times. Still ,it is my dream to one day be able to share my entire little cottage and open up my kitchen where several Guests can enjoy a meal or a glass of wine together–a small bed & breakfast. I do provide baked goods and breakfast items for my Guests, but it’s not quite a traditional bed & breakfast.


I did that and it was a big help in my decision to move forward. Great idea!

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I hadn’t been an STR guest when I started my Vrbo 5 years ago, and only have 5-star reviews since. I finally stayed at 1 Vrbo property a couple years ago; not for me. I prefer the amenities of a hotel, personally.

Like others have said, it doesn’t take being a guest in an STR to make you a good host; just plenty of common sense, a sales background and psychology degree which allows me to sniff out the weirdos and not rent my house to them if the hairs on my neck stand up after reading their inquiry.

Being told I had to stay at X number of properties before being able to rent mine would not fly with the majority of us hosts; the flexibility of running our own business without too many ‘rules’ is what drives the majority of us, IMO.


Maybe the strange requirement of staying in many airbnbs, etc. should be done by potential property managers. After all, they are sufficiently distanced from the actual Airbnb-ness of life that this would make a little more sense. However, I’m tending to think that the original poster was kidding.


I don’t think @KenH was really kidding, but I’m sure he knew AirBnB would not ever make this requirement. It was a good conversation starter, though!


The last thing we need is more rules. Strange how so many like rules. Once you give up a bit of freedom - you usually never give it back and it just keeps on coming. It’s no one’s business if people are learning or not -that is part of life.


I think having stayed at other Airbnbs has been a great advantage when it comes to being a good host. At this point, I’ve stayed in well over 60 different Airbnbs, plus some short term rentals on other platforms and some extended stay hotels. It’s all been grist for the mill.

Some of those stays definitely gave me an edge when it came to setting up my Airbnbs and hosting. I do wish there were some sort of minimum standard that had to be met for hosts to be able to list their place on the platform. Having to pass a simple multiple choice test might be helpful.

I recently stayed in a superhost’s Airbnb that was a studio with a kitchenette. There was a Keurig and pods, sugar, and powdered creamer. But there was nary a spoon in the entire place. So while you could have your coffee, in a Styrofoam cup no less, you would’ve been hard put to be able to put sugar and cream in your coffee if you wanted it that way. There was not a utensil in the place, except for some disposable plastic knives. There were no dishes, except for a couple of Styrofoam cups, a paper bowl, a paper plate and two glass wine glasses. There was a microwave, but what good that would be I don’t know since there were no dishes you could use to cook anything and no utensils you could have used to eat anything that you might have cooked in the microwave.

The same Airbnb had a gorgeous bathroom., was decorated nicely, had a nice balcony and seating on the balcony, etc. What it did not have anywhere was a lamp. No floor lamp. No table lamps. The only lighting for the entire studio was an overhead ceiling fan with unshaded Edison type bulbs. A more uncomfortable lighting arrangement I cannot imagine. I actually contacted the hosts and asked them if they could please provide me with a lamp.

They’ve been an operation for a year and a half, so you would think they would’ve figured out a few things by now. It was fairly obvious to me they had never bothered to spend the night in their own Airbnb. That’s something that ought to be a requirement for all Hosts to do before they go live. I stay in each of mine several times a year so I can experience what it’s like to be a guest in the space. It’s helped me make several improvements.


This means no other guest complained about these things or they did and the hosts don’t think it’s important. For example, PitonView said it takes 3 complaints before she considers a change. Or they think they have some sort of prison aesthetic going on and only overhead lights are permitted. As an aside, Edison bulbs are okay for spaces where you don’t need or want especially bright light. I have some unshaded in my guest bath just for the way they look and one (of many lights in my tiny Airbnb room) but it’s shaded. That’s one of those design trends that I don’t think will last due to it’s impracticality. No way they would be the only light I’d have in a commonly used space.

Since there were only plastic knives it sounds like a situation where they need to replenish the supply as the forks and spoons have all been used. It also sounds like a company running rental properties who want low maintenance. No lamps mean no burned out bulbs and one less thing to maintain or clean. I’m curious about how many reviews they have. Someone could be operating for a year and half and have very few stays.


To clarify, I’d address a complaint like no silverware or dishes ASAP. My “three complaint rule” is for more difficult issues.