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Newbie - Private Room Listing Questions

#1

HI all. my husband and I are thinking about becoming Airbnb hosts. We have an extra private room and thought it would be nice to rent it out, meet some new friends, and make a little money. Just wondering if anyone else on here does that, or if it is mostly just extra guest house, etc. If you do rent a private room, how has your experience been? Was it good, awkward, loud, ect? Thanks.

#2

I did it for my first 2 years or so, now they have a separate entrance and their own bathroom. When they were in my home there were times when it was awarkward or unwelcome. So much depends on things you haven’t told us. Where you are, price range, your personalities, etc.

In some ways it was the easiest money ever. In other ways it’s not that easy. If you are good at it, it’s easy. LOL.

Blogging about Airbnb seems like a really crowded space so I don’t know if you can leverage that aspect much.

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#3

We rent out a room with a private bath in our home. It has been wonderful! We have met people from all over the world and they have enriched our lives so very much. They can come and go without interacting much with us if they want but we invite people to have tea and conversation with us in the early evening.

One very important aspect - all the decision making adults need to be on the same page. It is awkward and uncomfortable for the guests if they sense they are unwelcome by any member of the household. We schedule occasional time away for alone time. Ironically, we often stay at homestay Airbnbs and chat with hosts!

We don’t make a lot of money but the extra income is nice.

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#4

Thank you so much for the message. It is just my husband and I and we are on the same page. :slight_smile: I just started working from home, and thought it would be fun to meet people from all over the world. We love to travel and feel we would have a lot in common. I know it would be an adjustment, but I figured it would be worth trying. Here are a few details I didn’t share earlier. They would have a separate room but we don’t have a separate entrance. We have a guest bathroom, which would be solely for our guests usage, but is not connected to the room. They would have access to our kitchen, and backyard as well. If you have any advice, suggestions, etc, it would be greatly appreciated. Obviously we are still in the very early stages of this. How long did it take you to get started?

#5

Thank you so much for the message, and honesty. I recently started working from home, and thought it would be fun to meet people from all over the world. We love to travel and feel we would have a lot in common. I know it would be an adjustment, but I figured it would be worth trying. Here are a few details I didn’t share earlier. They would have a separate room but we don’t have a separate entrance. We have a guest bathroom, which would be solely for our guests usage, but is not connected to the room. They would have access to our kitchen, and backyard as well. If you have any advice, suggestions, etc, it would be greatly appreciated. Obviously we are still in the very early stages of this. How long did it take you to get started?

#6

It didn’t take long - we researched our local laws, figured out what we already had that we could use, and bought new mattresses, bedding, and towels.

We have stayed in several Airbnbs and took note of what we liked and what we didn’t and incorporated them into our room. I have also learned a lot from reading through the posts on this forum.

Lastly, we slept in our Airbnb room for a few nights and made adjustments on that experience - changed the lights, became aware of a loudly ticking clock, and what we would have liked in the bathroom.

I also work from the home and the combination has been great!

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#7

Your space sounds exactly like yours - a spare room with its own bathroom (ID 15575663). We’re in Lancaster, UK, by the way. We’re quite old-school - we’re both over 70 and have been doing this for two-and-a-half years. We don’t want to spend all the time working, so we have a two-night gap between each guest and aim to have guests for about 12 nights a month. We offer a little continental breakfast (I make my own bread, which goes down well). We make about £3k a year. So far 78 reviews, 76 5*. You need three sets of bedding, four large and four small towels. We provide shower gel and shampoo in the bathroom, and a tray with tea and coffee makings in the bedroom. We try to help people as much as we can, for example by picking them up at the railway station and giving them lots of tourist info. We’ve met some absolutely wonderful people, with only one couple that were slightly creepy - no other problems of any sort at all. Go for it!

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#8

My advice is here in my 10,000 posts on this forum. LOL. I know that sounds snarky but I simply mean that there’s a lot to know but a post that says “how to do Airbnb in your guest room” is just not one post. The more you read here the better. Also familiarize yourself with Airbnb terms of service and read their help center articles. We see people here all the time who have been hosting months or years and don’t know major policy provisions. The more specific your questions the more helpful we can be. This forum does have a search function.

I’m not sure I understand the question. It took a few days to take pictures and type up the text, look at similar listings in my town, read the small print on Airbnb, set up my account and go live. I had my first bookings within a couple of weeks. My first year I was still working full time outside the home and I also board dogs in my home so I was quite limited in how many bookings I could manage. From May to Dec 2014 I made less than $2000. But it was going well enough that I decided to retire from teaching so I could rent more on Airbnb. After a few more months I decided to remodel my home to put in their own en-suite bathroom and separate entrance. So I had a set up like yours for about 1.5 years and what I have now for 3.5 years. It’s much better and easier the way I’m doing it now. More guests prefer the privacy and ease of self check in at any hour. I can socialize with guests if they are looking for that but if I get an oddball it’s easy to manage.

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#9

Welcome @samstravblog!

What bothers me about your question is that it seems that you assume that this is something you can find out about from a question on an online forum. Hosting, if it’s going to be done properly, is a huge subject. That being said, you’re in the right place - read as much as you can here. This forum is largely used by experienced hosts so you get real information rather than internet articles by people who have no idea what they’re talking about :slight_smile:

(Yes, we get some interlopers but you’ll spot them easily enough).

It’s basically just like any other business. Be sure to get in touch with your local authorities and find out what licenses you might require. There might also be regulations about what you can and can’t provide. For example, here I’d need a vastly improved kitchen set up if I was to offer guests breakfast.

The local authorities might have essentials that all short term rentals must have - safety equipment and so on. It’s a good idea to actually talk to them rather than rely on website information. Our local authority, for instance, insisted on two things that I thought were bonkers. When the inspector came to see the place, he agreed that they were crazy requirements. Real people are better than websites any day.

Another essential is STR insurance. Be sure that you’re well covered for everything.

You like to travel so you probably won’t be hosting all year round so because of that, it’s a good idea to have a good promotions plan worked out in advance too.

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#10

My Airbnb is very similar. I live in a single family home with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. We rent out an upstairs private room with attached bath and a downstairs private room with attached bath. Guests come in through our front door.

We’re on our fourth summer season. We make a lot of money but it’s a lot of work. When we first started I worked from home too, and things were a lot easier then. Now I need to be outside the house quite a bit, and that makes difficult and stressful at times, what with trying to schedule work things around Airbnb guests that won’t tell me when they are showing up until the last minute and trying to get the guest rooms turned over.

You will meet some nice people. You’ll also meet demanding people, entitled people and weird people. You’ll meet ones that either don’t read any of your rules/information, or assume it doesn’t apply to them.

Put a lock on any door you don’t want guests snooping through, because they will snoop. The bath in our upstairs suite is a jack-n-Jill, which means it connects to a bedroom on each end. We use the other bedroom as an office. I have stacking wooden shelving in front of the door in the bathroom that leads into the office, but it’s pretty obvious the shelves are in front of a door. I had a set of guests once who moved the shelves and tried to get through the door.

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#11

In another thread dpfromva suggested filling the space between two doors in her home with ping pong balls (for fun, I don’t think she’s serious). Maybe you could do something similar though. I have a door with a lock that leads to my part of the house and then a second door. So in effect it creates a closet like space at the end of my hall. It would be fun to put a sign that says private, put a simple privacy lock handle (the kind that’s easily picked) and then have a surprise on the other side for anyone who unlocks the door and opens it.

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#12

I think it’s absolutely brilliant. I’d do it, definitely, if I had that kind of set-up.

I have a closet in each apartment that are both lockable but don’t keep anything of value in there (loo paper and stuff) and no-one has ever broken into either of them but I’d love to do the pong pong trick, just in case. :smile:

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#13

I’d love to have a motion activated camera. It wouldn’t be hidden, in fact a flash that goes off when they open the door and captures the look on their face would be fantastic. I could even disclose it in the listing. “Private owner’s closet monitored by camera.” Somehow I picture the snooper guests also being the ones that don’t read the listing.

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#14

Your setup sounds exactly like mine (ID 4121784). I have a 3/2 house with a split design - 2 private guest rooms and a bath on one side of the house (my office is the 2nd bedroom) with a pocket door for added privacy. I work from home and state that as well as pics of the cat in my listing.

Before I started, I spent months researching and watching the Air and VRBO rentals in the area, checked pricing, looked at the photos to see what I should do and not do in the room, had feedback from friends and family as to bedding, comfort of the bed, etc.

I’ve met some lovely people and only recently hosted some weirdos. The weirdos were stressful and left 3 or 4 stars for things I couldn’t control, such as all the roadworks in the area (which I discussed beforehand).

I’m in the process of getting some new pictures and painting some furniture to get more of that upscale beach vibe that brings folks to my neck of Florida.

The number one thing with a shared entrance is getting a programmable lock for the front door and guest room and your master suite. It’s been fun, that’s for sure, but it’s been a lot of work (I’m alone and the cat doesn’t do chores).

Good luck!! And read every post here about house rules - you’ll find valuable information. I’m always tweaking mine based on the great info here and the odd things guests do.

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#15

I rent out my two spare rooms in my home, so it’s a pretty similar set up to what you are describing. Here is one on my listings if you’d like to take a look:

Here are some of my top tips:

  1. Decide on your house rules and stick to them. Since they will be sharing your space, you MUST define your boundaries clearly and well. Enforce your rules. Guests are your customers, not your friends. You’ll have an easier time if you maintain a business relationship with the people sharing your home.
  2. I strongly suggest having a keyless entry keypad. They are easy to use and program, the guests like them, and you don’t have to worry about lost and forgotten keys to your own home.
  3. I also suggest having a doorbell camera at your front entrance.
  4. Don’t be afraid to set guest hours for any shared space, such as the kitchen, living room, and laundry room, as well as “quiet hours”. You’ll be more relaxed about sharing a space if everyone knows when it available for use.
  5. Make sure the guests understand they have booked a room in a shared home. Send them a message as soon as they have made their reservation. I still have guests turning up thinking they have booked a hotel room, whole house, or are surprised they have to share the common areas. To that end, I NEVER accept third party bookings. Make sure the person who made the reservation is the one who will be staying.

I hope this helps, I’ll probably think of a few more, so I’ll post them as I think of them!

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#16

If I am ever in your area I will look up your place - your price point is well within my budget :slight_smile:!

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#17

Thank you so much for the listing and great advice. Really appreciate it.

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#18

Thank you so much for the great advice. Really appreciate it.

#19

I love your place and your “helpers” are adorable!

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#20

@daniellealberta I didn’t look the first time but the tip there were “helpers” had me looking. I probably wouldn’t ever be in Edmonton but it’s exactly the kind of Airbnb I look for when traveling solo. It’s lovely and the helpers are adorable indeed.

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