Welcome! We are a community of AirBnb hosts

This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!

I'm getting burned out!

Hi all! I started hosting in late 2015, and was burnt out after just 10 months and switched to a long-term renter. I started hosting again a little over a year ago, and I’m hitting the point I’m getting burnt out again. I can’t afford to switch to a LTR right now, especially as we head into the busy summer months. What can I do to prevent burn-out and get through September, the end of our busy season?

What’s burning me out:

  • The endless cleaning
  • AirBnB moving further from the home-sharing model paired with unrealistic guest expectations
  • A decline in reviews. Not so low as to lose Superhost (yet), but my review average has dropped from 4.9 to 4.8, and 88% 5-star reviews to 86%. I could blame guests, but perhaps my burnout is reflected in the quality of experience I’m offering?

What I’ve done to counter the burnout:

  • Set a 2-night minimum
  • Raised my cleaning fee and nightly prices. This may also account for the drop in my ratings.
  • Stopped dropping my price on unbooked nights to attract bookings

I made about 30% less in April than March (and April is busier here) due to no longer accommodating 1-night stays.

The only other thing I can think to do is hire a professional cleaner, though I think that would eat into my profits too much to be worthwhile.

Does anyone have any ideas of what else I can do to get through the next five months?

1 Like

If youve raised cleaning fees wouldnt that help cover the cost if a housekeeper? Know anyone who isnt a professional housekeeper- maybe a stay home mom looking for a few hours- that could lend a hand and make a few bucks?

6 Likes

I experience the same pain! So I changed from 2 night stays to 5 night stays and to encourage longer stays I offered a 10% discount. I actually earned more and it was a lot less cleaning. When I had the two or three night stay I had to come and clean 20 times. With the longer stays I only had to clean 12 times. So my advise to you is to change from two nights to four or five nights.

9 Likes

Hire a cleaner, professionals do a good job, I always get high marks for cleaning. Best part is , no cleaning.

6 Likes

I put on a length of stay discount and raise the nightly rate. You get less 1 night stays and more longer term stays.

4 Likes

No idea whether this will help, @Xena, but what gets me through the endless cleaning is listening to podcasts/audiobooks while I do it. I’m staving off the burnout a bit with that.

8 Likes

I think most of us feel burned out at one point.
I can’t say I am burned out but getting more and more annoyed with several aspects.
Cleaning doesn’t bother me as much…I like to clean . It’s guests behaviour mostly. And constant presence of a stranger in my house .
I did few things to make it easy on me .
And accept now 1 guest only. May be reducing number of guests will help.
For it made big difference .
If a person is alone he can’t talk loud and laugh and disturbing peace and quiet that much. Less shower time.

Also I finally forbid cooking. It took me 4 years to come to this decision. Guests still can use kitchen to make hot drinks and warm up, use toaster and microwave . But not stove top.
That thing alone brought huge change .
I do give weekly discounts , that helps with reducing cleaning and I think I still pretty much make the same money as if I rented on daily basis

8 Likes

Sounds like you need a break…I try and block a couple days out of the month just to regroup and enjoy some down time. Right now I have 5 individuals, we are a private room location, that are here for the week…woohoo…means a lot less cleaning for me and some down time (naps anyone?). There is nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself every month. You have plans with the family…block off the dates. Be very specific about what you are willing to offer and then go no further, go to a longer stay requirements and do not offer any amenities that stress you out. Do a basic stay and reflect that in your listing. A clean welcoming home is better than bunch of amenities that maybe haphazard.

7 Likes

We have all been there. I have hired cleaners and a property management team and never looked back. Yes, I make less money, but I’m now earning a passive/semi-passive income so I get to travel and have my days free, where before I had an almost daily job. Assuming you’re not wanting to go back to LTR, you may also consider hiring cleaners/cohosts part-time, like two to three days per week, just to unburden yourself a bit and give you more personal time and freedom.

1 Like

Feel the pain too! Without knowing what kind of listing you have, it’s hard to give any practical advice. It sounds like you have a shared space, right? Do you allow kitchen access? What’s the size of the place? Can you restrict access to certain areas to minimise constant cleaning? What price range are you in?

If hiring a cleaner is going to eat hugely into your profits, you’ll probably only end up even more resentful! Ie. I’ve got strangers in my house but not making much money, what’s the point!!

If you raise your prices too high, you’ll either get disappointed guests or you won’t get booked. You need to aim for that sweet spot where prices are high enough that you can afford to take a couple days break now and then.
If one-night stays are the most popular in your area, then maximise that - push the price as high as you can and block a day off before and after.

There is no easy answer. Being a host in a shared space is not an easy carefree option for making money.

I am currently enjoying three nights without any guests. After that, it’s full on until September when I close down for two weeks. Oh god… :cold_sweat:
Exercise and wine helps…

4 Likes

We have a professional deep clean the whole house every two weeks. It means I can focus my cleaning on the bathroom and kitchen, which helps my crispiness.

Also, I really love smartbnb. What I found was, even though I didn’t mind messaging guests promptly (and I still contact most guests personally because they have questions), it reduced how much brain/ patience I was using for that, so I had more brain/patience for the cleaning and space sharing. Also, i’m sure their pings to my listing made a difference with the algorithm so I showed up higher in area listings.

It is $18/month for me, and my income doubled. (From just over $6k in 2017 to $13k in 2018) It was easier to be pleasant with guests when I was making so much more money! :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Cleaners are a deductible expense, your labor is not.

2 Likes

I got a blend of long term and short term long termers. One is a wisecracking disabled woman who loves people. So there is an in house co host. She doesn’t clean much, but it’s refreshing. The rest are long stays. Less turns, less cleaning.

I engineer working people, who are less likely to sit around all day expecting entertainment. I have smart tv’s in every room. The ones that need the most intervention are new Canadians, but it’s a Labour of love.

1 Like

We used to have two listings a granny flat and a farm. As I’m a teacher and our busiest times are school holidays I found often doing two turnovers in a day just got too much. We took the farm off and now it is so much better. It also means we can escape to the farm to get away from people and not worry about our dogs annoying guests. My husband also built an outdoor wood fired bath house at our farm and i’m so glad we don’t Have to explain to guests how to use it. Soaking in it for hours also reduces stress and burn out.

4 Likes

Sorry for the delay in reply, everyone! I’ve been checking these forums once a day or less.

This is a great idea and I love helping out those who need to make some extra cash, though we’re in somewhat of an unusual market here in Seattle. This city has gotten so expensive that the going rate for a babysitter starts at $20 an hour and housekeepers start at $30. Some of the reliable AirBnB cleaners start at $40 an hour. I would probably want to hire one of the cleaners who professionally flips BnBs since they know how high the standards are and which amenities need to be restocked. Part of my issue is not trusting anyone to do the turn-over to my standards (I don’t even let my own husband flip the BnB).

Cutting back on amenities is an interesting idea. I’m starting to share Kona’s opinion that more and nicer amenities don’t mean better reviews. I may offer wine and robes, but guests will still leave 4-star reviews because my listing is a basement. I used to be more “bare bones” and guests left happy.

If you’re comfortable sharing, what percentage of your earnings goes to the co-host and cleaners?

I rent my basement, which has a separate entrance. I used to let guests come upstairs and use the kitchen, but after my first (and worst) guests I restricted the guest space to the basement only. I list as a guest suite. It’s a 1-bedroom apartment without a kitchen.

Me too! What a lifesaver. Well worth the $18 a month.

3 Likes

Mine is a basement too! Private entrance, private bathroom etc.

My wife and I might be the exception. We have no children, grandchildren or other family who visit us at our semi-remote Northern California mountain home with our downstairs two-bedroom rental unit.

For the past few months, we have been averaging one booking every five weeks. So, it makes us happy when strangers stay with us, who sometimes join us for wine and appetizers.

4 Likes

For three months I have taken care of all aspects of our new AirBnb listing but due to family medical issues, I can no longer be here a lot of the time.

Although we did not mention any of this to our neighbor, she recently volunteered to take over the cleaning and admitting guests into the apartment for $30 per guest. We have a SmartLock, so getting them in would not be an issue.

She is a retired school teacher and trying to add to her income. We have a large master-bedroom and bath, and an adjacent full kitchen with living room. We also have a pool with spa, so might have to bump up that fee to get her to also take care of the pool.

2 Likes

Shoot, forgot the most important part–shy don’t you discreetly approach your neighbors, perhaps even put a note on a local bulletin board looking for someone reliable who needs to make a few extra bucks.

I see it as a workout and think about the money I’m saving by not going to a gym :slight_smile:

It’s interesting to read that so many people also experience burnout at some time. I never have and I’ve been doing this for longer than many so I’m trying to work out why.

I suspect that it’s a matter of the host’s mental attitude and ability to realise that at the heart of things, this is just a business like any other and not something that we should get emotionally involved with.

I can imagine how stressful hosting could be if a host was constantly worrying about bending over backwards to keep guests happy, about getting less than perfect reviews and about managing guests. Add to that the stress of worrying about Airbnb. search placement, standards and trying to be the cheapest … I don’t think I could handle it.

6 Likes
Altcoin Fantasy - Crypto Fantasy Trading and Simulation Game - Win Bitcoin and Altcoins!