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New host who thought it was going to be easy money!

Not quite local to me listing that is now closed, long distance host, now selling all the contents.
Asked why she is closing it down after 6 months…
Thought it would be easy money.
Didn’t set up with a an excellent cleaner.
Didn’t think guests would treat the home so badly.
Lots and lots of neighbour complaints.
No Co host close by.
Didn’t think it would be so hard to manage long distance.
Difficulty getting maintenance done.
Thought she was covered for guest damage by Airbnb so didn’t have insurance.
Found Airbnb to be non supportive on guest issues.

I know some hosts do long distance successfully…but does all the above sound soooo familiar?

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My now out of business neighbor made it one year after telling me she & her husband had watched me make easy money for years, and they wanted in on it. It couldn’t be that hard.

Many of the same issues you mentioned except they retired to the area & purchased a house 2 miles away so local (did own cleaning) & husband said he would do all maintenance. Ummmha, sure. Easy money.

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It certainly seems like it’s easy for new hosts to fall into the trap of watching internet videos and reading Airbnb’s marketing fluff. I’m sorry that it happens, but hosting is an investment and people should research investments, especially when the investment is hundreds of thousands of Dollars/Euros/whatever.

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I wouldn’t say that home-share hosting is easy, but all it really takes is discipline. Keeping the house clean over all (and the rented rooms in particular) is the most time-consuming part. At least so far, for us. But I’ve had some really hard jobs in my life, like managing 60-plus people doing different jobs all over the US. That was hard.

My husband and I have been entrepreneurs in biz together (a photography biz) before we started Airbnb. We know that we have the same values when it comes to customer service. We find that to be essential, at least for the two of us to share this biz. We understand how to split tasks and pinch-hit for each other. Also essential. We have the same definitions for “hospitality,” “honesty," and “clean."

Because we home-share, we have to keep our house in excellent condition (maintenance and cleanliness) between guests and of course while guests are here. The cleaning never really stops.

Dealing with people can be challenging, especially for introverts like us. Like our house, we are on display as a couple to guests who want to interact with us. So we have to be committed to staying “on” during guest stays. That takes discipline, too.

I believe the discipline of hosting is the most crucial part of succeeding. With that in place, hosting isn’t hard.

Sadly, most people who go into business for themselves, whatever the business, don’t have the skill of discipline.

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I think it is the perception that hosting is easy.
And you learn fairly quickly that it isn’t!
Dealing with the public can be a skill.
Hospitality is also a skill.
Presentation of a product is how I see hosting.
I get a very good return on the physical, emotional and financial investment, but I am on duty 24 hours a day.
This is not a set and forget process.

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I probably should have switched from year leases to STR about 5 years ago, instead of 2 years ago.

It was the commitment for the furniture that was the sticker, since I’ve always been paranoid about getting in much more debt than the mortgage and commercial vehicle loans. Plus my other business was also tourism related, and we have a Far North 5 month summer season, with the same cash flow cycle for both, that is, no cash income every spring until May, but flush in September.

So I sat and watched, and talked to the friends that were Airing (one room each), and tracked how often rooms were not available at all. I also tracked availabilities for our two really high end historic home B&B inns (who mostly do weddings).

We’ve had a summer hotel room shortage for years, and a room at the local Super 8, near the airport and 10 miles from downtown dining and nightlife, is over $100 in high season. A room at any of the major hotels here is $250-$300 in high season. I should not have been surprised that I stayed as full as I did with a new listing.

But I never thought that it would be easy money, any more than I thought that providing cruise passengers visiting for a day with a truly memorable tour would be easy. Both required advance planning, marketing, promotion, and meticulous attention to details.

I learned in other occupations to focus on giving clients and customers a good experience, because if I do that, I’ll not only feel good about it, but money will inevitably follow.

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A dear friend & neighbor became a very successful host.

She (similar to @NordlingHouse) watched & evaluated. She retired then her Dad’s health meant she nor her sisters could provide an adequate level of care. She began hosting as a way to help provide the funds to care for her dad.

She worked hard & never considered it to be easy money.

She has succeeded well. The neighbor who considered it easy money, just didn’t make it.

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I agree. The perception is that airbnb is easy money. Passive income

That’s far from the truth.

A lot of guest don’t have respect for peoples property

Consequently, there’s more wear, tear and damage which will need maintenance /repair

I’ve had guests stay for only 2 night but clog my sink, damage my toilet and doors. Not to mention the ones that stink up the joint with curry and smoke

Lucky for me, i am an experienced handyman, so i maintain/repair is all handled by me.

One thing I’ve learnt is to not judge a book by its cover. The people i worried might damage my property were absolutely exquisite guests.

Conversely, the ones who were friendly, smiley and looked good on paper were absolute devils

It’s real dissapointing to hear that Airbnb are non supportive on guest issues.

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Like any line of work, some people aren’t suited to it. For example, there are people who post here who seem very unhappy and all they post are complaints and problems. It seems there is a chicken and egg situation. Do unhappy hosts attract undesirable guests? Are the guests fine but the hosts don’t know how the handle sticky situations?

I’ve said before that I think Airbnb is the easiest job I’ve ever had. But it is a job. The only easy money I’ve ever gotten was when I bought a stock that went up in value before I sold it. That’s not work. People should expect to work at a job. They need to see Airbnb as a job, not an investment, unless they are going to hand over the work to a property manager.

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I had a neighbor (longtime vacation host) tell me when we were starting out that “this will be the easiest money you ever made”

So far he’s been right.

But it takes a lot of time, attention to detail and caring…and yes, discipline. Plus the missus and I have both been self-employed entrepeneurs our entire lives. And we are naturally good with people (for the most part :-). It doesn’t hurt that I am a retired builder that genuinely enjoys doing maintenance and repairs, and my wife, in her youth, was a hotel maid…

But I could see that someone with no prior business experience might find this to be much more difficult, and possibly even a big PITA…! It certainly has the potential.

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Because I’m in a sought-after location I’ve had dozens of neighbours who’ve lasted about a month or so. As this forum is the ‘Airbnb university’ I hope that would-be hosts read this thread. :crazy_face:

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Thanks for bringing this up! One of my neighbours said the same thing two years ago – that I was making easy money and he wanted in on it. So I helped him understand the website part of it, and he put up his bunkie. Hit superhost right away, but in the end lasted only a year. Granted, last year was a terrible year, but even before the pandemic he was complaining every time I saw him.
When I think back, I started from a place where I thought it would be difficult. I thought I would have a hard time pleasing people, that no one would want to come way out here, things like that. It might have helped, because it turned out it was easier. Not as easy as my neighbour thought, but easier than I thought.

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Easy money… oh yeah!

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Wee bit of cleaning, wee bit of chat with guests then just sit back and wait for the money to roll in.

Absolute doddle.

JF

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I never thought it would be Easy<><> But for us it has been pretty smooth sailing! Especially after reading all the info here while setting up!

I worked my butt off for 3 years building our Tiny Tiki set up on our 1 acre property (our home is on the same parcel). Now, keeping it clean and in good order is relatively easy. The maintenance, laundry and guest interaction are all par for the course, the geographically desirable and easy dough is great compared to a 100 rt mile commute working in the fashion industry. I am continued to be pleasantly surprised that all the cool stuff and decor provided has lasted so well, considering much of it is semi-antique or custom.

Our guests get pretty psyched to stay here when they find us and book, then they are even more happy when they see the “over delivery”! We continue to upgrade!
I always always remind them again to be respectful of my trailer… " Enjoy it respectfully as if it were your own Grandmother’s treasured getaway." They know we value it and they are willing to pay top $$ for the experiences found only here.

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I never even considered whether it would be easy or hard. I’ve never found it hard- I’ve always gotten basically hassle-free guests, and “wee bit of cleaning, wee bit of chat” is pretty much my experience, too. Sure, there’s some challenges sometimes, but certainly not more than any other job that brings in income.

I suspect the ones who jam out after a few months or a year don’t really enjoy any aspect of being in the hospitality business other than the money.

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We’re new to Airbnb and I too thought how hard can it be? We got very lucky finding a great guy to clean! Our neighbors are really wonderful, but do us know when there’s an issue. My problem is that I’m getting more and more attached to our cottage and I get so frustrated, shocked and seriously upset with how people treat our place! I just got a text from our cleaning guy that there’s a large ink stain on the kitchen table. What is wrong with people? They don’t even notify us! What is the “norm” to charge for security deposit? I read these messages and am happy I’m not alone in this!

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The security deposit on Airbnb is not charged and then refunded.
The guest has to agree to pay it!
So pending what sort of person the guest is, it can be a coin flip.
You can go through resolutions for damage, within 14 days or BEFORE the next guest checks in…: and then you have the review to be concerned about.

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@Debthecat is correct

To build on that a key component seems to be having a picture of the item prior to the guest visit then a pic after to prove that guest did that damage

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My security surcharge/ “deposit” is 925$. The only chargeable damage we have had was a small custom table, which I asked 200$ (not through resolution) for and received right away

I live 600 miles away, but have a local co-host who actively communicates with each guest during his or her stay. And an expert cleaner who does other properties as well. So far I’ve been lucky, with 7 guests and good host ratings. Just minor damage to the doorsill by one unknown guest. I chalk that up to a poor quality doorsill, and to normal wear-and-tear. Now, the short-term rental income certainly helps offset the ownership costs of the property. However, whether I am actually making money will depend on what happens when I fill out my tax return next April…

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