No one hosts “just for fun”, frixx, and it’s belittling of the time and effort it takes, to portray hosting as ever being that. I say that because while hosting can be quite enjoyable, it’s also a lot of work. No one cleans other people’s hair and soap scum out of the shower drain, or works to get stains out of sheets and towels “for fun”. There is also work involved in keeping one’s listing and calendar up to date, answering guest messages in a timely fashion, and dealing with platforms which constantly make changes, many of them not at all what hosts consider to be improvements. There are also guests who can be stressful to host- constant complainers, scammers, people who don’t clean up after themselves, those who push boundaries. It’s a job, like any other.
That said, yes, most hosts do it as a money maker for sure, and rely on the income, but there are some of us who wouldn’t do it just for the money.
I started hosting my guest room because it just sat empty for most of the year unless friends or family came to visit. The money isn’t something I rely on, but I wouldn’t do it for free, either.
I only host one guest at a time, and have met people from all over the world, almost all of them really cool, interesting people. I have taken them to beaches they’d never know about as tourists and wouldn’t be able to get to without a car, invited them along to a party, walked around town with them, pointing out the good places to eat and shop, talked over a bottle of wine late into the night. Because I share my kitchen with them, we sometimes also share meals. Some past guests I have kept in touch with.
I think that’s what you mean by “for fun”- that it’s an experience that enriches my life in ways other than financially.
But when you list on a booking platform, not all guests are going to be the sociable types, and I have certainly had guests who I see very little of- they are out and about most of the time, are quite private when home, staying mostly in their room, not interested in hanging out or chitchat, eat their meals out, so might only use the kitchen to stash some drinks in the fridge or fill their water bottle.
That’s fine with me- I take my cue from the guests as to how much interaction they want. You can somewhat control what type of guests you get by how you write up your listing ad, who you market to, and by not using Instant Book, so you have an opportunity to check out a guest’s past reviews and commumicate with them before accepting their booking, but just be aware that you won’t have a huge amount of control over only getting the same kind of guests that you are.
Ideally guests who book homeshares enjoy that type of living situation, and the “live like a local” vibe, and are a good “fit”, but some guests just book private room/shared space listings because they are cheaper.