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Mixing letting room / letting complete house

I am so far letting our guest room through Airbnb. It works quite well. I have been thinking about also letting our complete house at certain times. The main time to do this would be during holidays, when we are away. We have space for at least five people.

Does anyone have this setup already? How do you combine the two ads, the one for the room and the one for the complete home? How long time beforehand do people typically book larger homes? I find this issue a bit tricky.
Any input on how to manage two ads for the same home would be appreciated.

Yes, we do this exact thing. We have 2 separate listings - 1 for the private rooms and the other for the whole house. We just block off the appropriate dates on each listing.

Before you rent out your whole house and leave on holiday you should install security cameras on the outside of your property so you can monitor what’s going on while you are away. Or vet the guests very very carefully. Many of the complaints on this forum are people who rented a place where they were no on site and people smoked, or brought extra guests or pets without paying or had parties.


@Geddy3: Is your idea to have the guests coming on a certain day, when you are leaving? I am thinking about the practical issues. I could of course leave the keys with neighbours and have the guests coming somewhat later.

Do bookings of the whole home typically differ from room bookings? I mean how far ahead they are made and for how many days the guests are typically staying?

To have some security concerns seams reasonable. In Stockholm we have had several cases of Airbnb homes being turned into brothels. The guests themselves have appeared nice but some more people have turned up once the owners left.

To be honest we’ve only had whole house bookings twice so far. On both occasions the guests have arrived after we’ve departed. We have a combination key safe. We’re very lucky though that my brother in law lives just around the corner so he keeps an eye on the place. The first booking that we had was for 3 actors who were working at a local theatre. I’ve worked there quite often myself and I know all the staff and crew there. I let the guests know that and somehow that made us feel like we had some kind of link with one another. So that made it easier. The 2nd time they were a couple who stayed for half the time we were away. We exchanged quite a few messages in advance (more than I would for a private room booking) and I just got a really good feeling about them. Plus they had lots of excellent reviews. Both these bookings came in with a few weeks notice.

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@Geddy3 Are you living in the US and have “domestic” guests coming by car? Since I live in Sweden most of our guests come by plane and arrive at our local airport. Domestic guests are very rare, mostly everyone comes from abroad.
When travelling by plane you usually need to plan your travelling beforehand. Otherwise the plane tickets tend to get expensive. In this situation I would believe the bookings could typically be made earlier. I have no proof but that is how I would typically behave if I would book something abroad.

I think that’s the case, but since Air charges up front, people may book their trip a lot closer, especially if they can get good deals on last minute airfare. People tend to do things a lot more spur of the moment it seems.

We’re in the uk. Both our whole house bookings have been British but our private room guests are from all over the world. Almost every time they have a rental car. In fact, because public transport is terrible in our area, we strongly encourage guests to have a car.

It’s not unusual for us to get bookings from European guests at short notice. Sometimes as little as a few days in advance.

I am an off site host. I put a cheap WiFi surveillance cam up outside, just above and to the side of my front door. I mention it in my listing and you can’t miss it when you walk up to the door. When triggered it takes 3 quick, time stamped snapshots and emails them to me. I turn it off after arrival if the group looks OK and turn it back on just before the scheduled departure and leave it on when the cottage is empty. So I can tell when they arrive and when they leave and when service people come and go. It does video but I don’t use it. I can also watch it live, but I don’t do that either. I mention it in my listing. It keeps honest people honest and keeps the scammers away. Also, I can see when service people come and go. I recommend putting it up in full view as a deterrent.

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Where are you in sweden. We are in örebro. Not so often an host from.sweden in the forum

I understand that people may be spontaneous when planning their travels. My idea was simply that a family with two or more children or another kind of larger group would be less spontaneous. I was thinking this would be my main target group when letting the whole house.

Of course we might as well ending up letting the whole house to couples, who just prefer renting the whole home.

I live in Stockholm

Why not just make a listing for the whole house and see what happens?

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My neighbour has done this as she goes away for the whole Summer (and our daughter does it in France) They both have children so market the houses to families who are delighted to find toys that their kids can play with and also house that is, shall we say, a little less than immaculate!

My neighbour has a very good support network, which I think is helpful. Her business partner manages it for her and meets guests with keys, she has an ex-housekeeper who does weekly and turnaround cleaning and whose husband will do garden maintenance and anything that needs fixing in the house. Also, although our estate is not gated, we have a very good security guard team who constantly drive around looking for any suspicious activity. I don’t think any of these things are absolutely vital if you’re renting the whole house (my stepdaughter’s house is in a tiny French village and she does the whole lot as she lives nearby) but it certainly does help if you have people you can call on for backup.

Of course, many people do home exchanges which have something in common with letting your whole house (although it’s an important difference that you’re not staying in their house too!) but some of the practical issues like keys will be the same. With a home exchange you’re encouraged to get to know your exchangers beforehand. Guests who are paying might not want to be bothered with this I guess if they could just hire a holiday villa with less fuss … so I think you’d need to reflect this in your pricing.

Can you guess from my long answer that we’re thinking of doing this too?!

I have been thinking a bit about this issue. My conclusion is that the most reasonable measure
is to provide in depth recommendations and instructions. Apparently some people are not interested
in visiting museums. They are more into some sort of “everyday lifestyle”. As for this to include leaving
the house I most likely have to provide information to match various tastes.

That could mean going to the beach, going shopping, taking walks in the neighbourhood, local spots
of historical interest, places for bird watching, sports clubs, entertainment venues and so on. This is
basically all the kind available that is not usually targeting tourists.

The information would have to include both instructions of how to get there, information about costs and
maybe some photos to make it all look attractive.

I actually run 3 ads on the same house. I have a whole house ad. Then I also make it into a duplex by locking a door so I have 2 ads for those 2 2 bedrooms. If a 2 bedroom is set wanted I close the whole house ad. Sometimes the other side gets taken on the same days. A good manager should handle this easily.

Would you please post the brand of surveillance camera you have? I have a townhome that I rent via Airbnb but I live 15 minutes away. For JesseX – I have a key pad lock on my front door (no need for a key) and my neighbors rat out any bad guest behavior (I reward them with left-over beer and other alcohol left by guests). If I’m the least bit weary of incoming guests, I give them the names of my neighbors “just in case they have an immediate problem” and let them know that at least one of them will be home at almost any time. That way, they know they are being monitored by someone on site. However, I rarely have problem guests as I figured out who not to rent to – groups of 20-somethings that are unrelated (i.e. no one in the group is married to another person in the group). Unrelated yahoos will blame each other for any damage and you get nowhere with them. Since I started that policy, I’ve only had one problem booking, and it was a third party booking – a personal consultant booked for his guests who trashed my place and damaged my screen door. I retained the full damage deposit. Airbnb tells us not to do third party bookings for a reason!

@sandy2, I have a Foscam F19831P I bought from Foscam USA which I think no longer exits. It was pretty hard setting up the video but once I got it working it works fine. Now that I have had it for a while, I wouldn’t have bothered setting up the video (since I never use it). The snap shots emailed to me are all I need. It is an “indoor” camera but it is outside in a weather protected area (front porch) and it’s been up and working since February. When it dies I’m going to buy a better one. Whatever you buy make sure they have free tech support.

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I also have two separate listings.
One for the whole house, one for the house share (private bedroom/private bath).
When I first started with ABB, I was doing only the whole house.
Now, I usually only do the house share as its just easier for me.
But, when I go away for any reason, I always try to rent out the whole house.
I unlist the whole house, turning it on only when I need to.

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