I think I have a great situation? Newbie needs help


So I just applied to become an airbnb host and I have to say, I am very excited to try this out. My boyfriend and I will be moving into our new home next week and have more space than we need- it is just us, our 4 month old daughter and 2 year old pup.

Our house has what is called a “mother in law suite” with a private entrance (keyless entry so I don’t have to worry about keys at all), bathroom, kitchen, living room and two bedrooms. There is also a cool little Alice in Wonderland type nook I was thinking of having outfitted as a reading nook.

My boyfriend is a little wary of renting out to strangers, but I am the overly optimistic one who sees it as a great opportunity to make some extra cash and allow people to enjoy our city. The private entrance runs by our living room, but at no point will any guests enter our home unless we allow them to.

So, I guess my question is, do you think this would be a good fit for the average traveler? Our daughter is less than fussy and even when awake she just needs to be held and she will gladly play with her hands and coo herself to sleep. The suite is located on the upper level of our home, so I doubt any sound will carry much regardless.

I am planning on listing it as a luxury suite as I have some interior design experience and plan on decorating it with a modern meets high end feel.

Any thoughts, advice or warnings for a newbie like me?


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Good luck!! I’d advise you to start doing it, that’s the best way to learn :slight_smile: Also browse this forum, you’ll get the best stories from both sides.

First step is to collect a few reviews, I reckon, the rest should fall into place naturally.

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I agree that learning by doing is best. As for your boyfriend’s concerns, since they won’t be in your house the risk is very low. I am a single woman who for the first 1.5 years rented a room in my house and they did come in the front door. I would go to work and tell people to lock the door behind them. Over 100 guests and never a single problem. Not one. I think you can make more money and potentially have fewer issues than having roomates. Now I’ve remodeled to give it a private entrance and an ensuite bathroom. Guests still come in the house to use the kitchen or laundry

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I think it’s perfect having the mother in law suite and you should absolutely positively rent that out on airbnb! It’s a perfect way to make extra income, just silly to have the space sitting there :slight_smile:
Many people are hesitant about renting “to strangers”, but I’ve only had a couple instances where I did not like the people who stayed at my home.
One piece of advice, open up a separate checking account to use for Airbnb, so all your deposits go there instead of your regular checking account. Once your boyfriend sees that bank account balance getting larger, he will be right on board.

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A couple of more critical remarks as family life is most important in my view!

-Not a mother-in-law suite as these are typically in the bottom portion of a house, only 1 bedroom and with very small kitchens.

-Sound carries unless you are in a new construction home built with that in mind.

-Require guests have Verified ID (4 pieces) as it will reduce the creeps.

-Also, rent to people who are like you, with a child. Ourselves & our neighbours have Airbnbs but we are not in competition because they have a young family & rent to other people with young families because their schedules are similar. We rent to couples & retirees since we have an adult child who only occasionally needs to return home!

Good luck and have fun! Once you get these things in place and pick people you like, everything else should run smoothly!

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Where are you located? What type of traveler would your neighborhood attract? Also, I would be cautious about advertising something as luxury until you have a number of reviews under your belt. Using that word brings out the worst in people. Under promise and over deliver.


Thanks! We are getting the keyless entry set up to avoid anyone having a key to our front or back door- he is a complete daddy’s girl and is now more paranoid about strangers than ever before lol.

I am in Greensboro, NC- for the most part we have a lot of business travelers, but we also have a good amount of concerts, the PGA tour, ACA games etc etc so it is a mix up. My neighborhood is smack dab in the middle between downtown and a huge shopping center, the street itself is quiet and mostly young professionals or families.

Thanks for the tip, I will have to edit my descriptions!

Thank you for the tips! I didn’t even think about additional id’s- I will definitely add that to my description.

I guess it is technically a separate apartment then as it has a full kitchen (fridge, sink, dishwasher, stove and cabinets) and full living quarters. Can you suggest a better way for me to phrase exactly what it is?

Apartment Suite?

Separate Suite?

Thanks again.

Your situation sounds similar to mine – we live in a large SFH in the city and there’s a 2 BR in-law suite on the bottom floor – separate entrance, kitchen, living room, washer/dryer. When I started renting on Air I had an 18 month old and I had another baby during our second year of AIR (I pulled the listing for 4 months after I brought the baby home as I didn’t want to deal with the laundry and guest logistics).

My nanny gets the cleaning fee to clean the apt and she really likes the extra income. The noise my children make is a source of anxiety for me so my listing states that the kid noise begins at 7am and the apt is suitable for early risers. My rate is discounted compared to other units in my neighborhood and my guests have been happy with the quality of the unit and the price. I get many grandparents visiting new grandbabies in the neighborhood and I love them – they are returning guests who tend to be clean and quiet.

I advertise my place as kid-friendly and offer a pack and play, stroller, etc. but only 3/60 sets of guests have brought young children with them.


I describe my suite as a separate suite and use a name to brand it, SoMa Suite. It describes the area of the city it is in and also has the nickname of my grandmother, Ma, who, after my grandfather died took in Boarders and was a warm, strong provider! I am sure you can come up with something catchy & descriptive!


I’m just going to play devil’s advocate here for a moment as so far everyone thinks it’s a great idea. And it could be.

Don’t assume the noise of a crying baby won’t carry. Let her cry and have one of you go upstairs and spend some time listening. The sound of a crying baby can be horrendous if you’re not a parent - or even if you’re through that small baby stage.

Yes, she’s a good baby now and quiet, but she’s still young. Consider the stress it will add to your life when you have advance bookings you can’t cancel, she begins teething, or gets a fever or any of the multiple things that can distress a baby and make them cry for hours on end. Right now you’re full of the joy of new motherhood (and congratulations by the way) but don’t add stress to the situation unless you really need to.

Whatever you choose to do, good luck with it.


You can upgrade the door to the suite for more protection. In some areas, a fire door may be required.

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Great ideas and your description sounds lovely!

I agree completely, I plan on doing a sound test this weekend to see if she can be heard upstairs- it is a good bit of a walkup, but I want to make sure I don’t get any reviews of “baby cried all night”

I feel like that would be the death of my listing lol.

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I have barking dogs here and only one noise complaint out of 120+. Don’t underestimate people’s willingness or ability to tolerate noise at the right price point, If you have two bedrooms your guests are also going to make noise if they are groups. So it goes both ways, you don’t want them waking the baby.

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Door insulation helps a lot with noise. We can’t do.anything about noise of my kids running above the apt but a lot of sound traveled up/down the stairway via the common door betweven the apt and my basement hallway. I used weather insulation products for blocking drafts & it made a huge difference. Our monthly average was 1400 last year (before income tax) & we only rent the place a couple weeks each month. (We rent it out more during high season so most of our money comes in may -sept).

If you disclose the noise issue in your listing (& warn every inquiry/request before confirning) I’ve found that it weeds out everyone who will be bothered. U def need to bring it up because many don’t read the listing and they thank me for being upfront & cancel their request. Those are dodged bullets as far as I’m concorned as I only want happy guests.

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From what I understand, all new listings are now required to use Instant Book. I think it’s as a result of the class action suit against airbnb. So make sure that if you are having to use Instant Book, you are very specific about who you will allow (verified guests recommended by other guests, for example) and how far ahead people can book.

Look at examples of other hosts house rules, and make yours detailed. Saying “no parties and no smoking” isn’t enough.

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@superhostnyc is there any documentation anywhere regarding requiring InstantBook for new hosts?

This answer re IB and newbies was shared in another forum form Air Customer Service.

‘As we advance in our abilities to match hosts and guests, we are working on developing Instant Book so that it’s helpful to everyone. As part of our efforts to learn from hosts and improve the feature, select new hosts can ONLY share spaces that are Instant Book listings. If you have feedback about Instant Book, share it with us.’

I recognize it for what it is, of course, less control for hosts and more of ABB using our homes as their capital. Sigh. Good thing I get a lot of guests from the other platforms.