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New host looking fore advice

I am brand new to Airbnb. I have recently purchased a second home about 2.5 hours away from my current residence. Our new home is located in a Lake Lure NC. It overlooks the lake it’s right on a golf course. We will be staying at our house a few times a month, and hoping to rent it out a fairly decent amount when we are not staying there. My question is do you have any advice for a new host? I am currently looking for a cleaning person/company. I am also considering some video cameras outside the property to see who comes and goes.
Thanks,
Mike

There are a lot of threads in this forum with tips for new hosts. So my advise would be to read a lot, and then ask if you have some specific questions. Good luck for your hosting!

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Some things I have learned being a newer host that aren’t the common things one would think about:

  • Learn about your guest, we now ask for first and last name of guest if they dont provide it before booking. Sometimes we ask age!
  • Ask who is staying at your house if they dont provide it, Its your house…you should know who is there
  • Set specific SPECIFIC rules…you will add to them often
  • Have a great guide book
  • Don’t be afraid of declining a booking
  • If you can, google your guest before booking them. I have had a few that looked ok on airbnb but when I went to FB oh lordy!
  • Be firm in your policies, people will try and bend the rules if you let them
  • If you can, allow late check out/early check in…it goes a long way!
  • DON’T rent to friends! Just dont, we learned the hard way. The ONLY guests we have had issues with are friends we rented our house to at a major discount. Its not worth it!
  • Set your rate a little lower at first to get guest and reviews, this helps your listing go up in the search with airbnb
  • offer a returning customer discount IF they leave a review (this helps you get reviews under your belt!)
  • Communicate very well. I always get complimented cause I am very eager to help, communicate and the guest are faced with surprises and usually none have questions. We arent on site so I like to leave them feeling secure with the info I give them
  • relax and enjoy it! Its hard to do but I have met (virtually) some pretty neat people!
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Please check first with your local authorities to be sure that you are allowed to rent…and then find out how to collect, submit and report taxes. After that, proceed to setting up your rental. But first be sure you are handling everything legitimately and have proper registration, insurance, and licensing.

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You google your prospective guests?? Wow. I find that very intrusive. I would never do that. It’s none of my business what they say/do on their Facebook.

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Superb list. Like to add: Guest Book.

Yep, I sure do @Magwitch ! If its on social media, how is that intrusive? I have had two guest try and book with me that I later found out did drugs and posted it all on FB. We are a beach rental, I refuse to let my house get trashed or ruined cause someone thinks its intrusive to see what a renter puts on public websites. They can google me too! I dont mind, nothing bad will pop up!

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@IslandNeuk
Totally agree, I google every guest and so far it’s been all good!

ok fair enough. If someone is stupid enough to post publicly on FB about their illegal activities, then they don’t deserve to stay anywhere!

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Absolutely. I check out everything I can. I don’t think that is intrusive at all.

I’m wondering how you search for guests when they’ve only made an enquiry, though? You only get their first name at that point.

@Magwitch - if they have used their profile photographs on other sites you can sometimes find them on Google images. With two browser windows open, one with the profile and one with Google images, drag the profile pic onto the Google images page. This will find other online instances of that same image.

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True. I guess a lot of guests link up to Airbnb through Facebook. I’ve only looked people up when they say they’re a writer or actor or something like that. Sometimes I wished I hadn’t. I then need to pretend that I haven’t read the terrible stuff they’ve done. So I guess I withdraw my comment that it seems intrusive! I can see how it can be important when your listing is an entire high-end property with the potential to be abused.

I’d like to another point to this excellent list: Don’t over-sell your place. It’s much better to have guests be pleased that it’s a really nice place than be disappointed that the reality doesn’t match the promise.

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Holy Moly! Never knew how to do this or that it was even possible! I just did it using my own profile photo from my ABB. Wow!

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yep… takes stalking to a whole new level. :wink:

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Presumably it should be possible to just use the URL of the image.

Yes, I think it is. I only use the drag method but I think the URL will work just as well.

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Yes from memory they do a drag drop upload and also allow url input.

I don’t have time to goolgle prospective guests, and besides, I have instant book. But I do check out my booked guests, time permitting. This is including what reviews, if any, they have left for previous hosts.

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