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Potential New Hosts with Questions

Hi all!

I have used ABnB a few times as a guest myself but I am considering a situational hosting.

My boyfriend and I are headed out of the country for 2 weeks. I had considered asking a friend to drop by our apt every few days just for piece of mind but then it occurred to me that we can host which would bring in income and help soften the blow of our unpaid vacation time from work.

Hosting of course comes with concerns. My main concern is theft. Of course we would make a decision on the guest based on profile, feedback and communication but what else can you do for some piece of mind in this case?

I have seen people suggesting 3rd party rental insurance and such things but have I missed anything? I want to be protected but I’m not sure if the income from renting out our place for two weeks outweighs the concerns of theft and hassle of getting insurance or whatever else we might have forgotten.

Here’s a little more info.
We would be renting a 1 bedroom apartment which can accommodate 1-3 guests as there is an air bed available. We are in downtown Los Angeles about a 15 minute walk from the subway station, right off a major bus route and in an area serviced by Uber/Lyft 24/7 as well as delivery apps like Postmates. Since we are travelling out of the country, both or our cars would remain in their parking spots and only street parking would be available if needed. Based on the time we will be gone and location, comparable apartments are available on the site for $110-150 a night although most in this area are $200+ which offers things we don’t have like pool/gym etc. We would prefer to take just one reservation during these two weeks.

The reason I am concerned with theft is we are both gamers so we have a nice 55" flat screen, multiple game consoles/games and other than that I have a large collection of Korean pop culture items in the bedroom. They aren’t worth much to the general public but in the right market they are worth a lot. I don’t have a place onsite or off to lock them away.

Is there any less “risk” associated with international travelers in your opinion/experience as opposed to domestic?

I had a secondary concern but I can’t think of it right now.

Thanks for all the input! For better or worse we’ve decided not to host while we’re out of the country and so closes the topic.

To be honest with you I have had 16 completed trips and nothing has been stolen that I’m aware of. I’m sure theres people here who have had hundreds. Nothing in life is gaurenteed. I honestly wouldn’t worry about it.

I know it’s probably on the mind of a lot of new hosts. I wasn’t worried though. :slight_smile:

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Your flat screen will not be stolen. The other things sound to me like they can be packed up for your peace of mind. Either lock them in a room that won’t be used by guests, or take them off site to a friends.
I personally would keep the number of guests down, forget the airbed. Fewer people is always better in my opinion. I also would not rent for the entire 2 weeks, but that is just me. I would have a 3 day minimum with an 8 day maximum. You will be out of the country and you don’t want to be worried the whole time, you’ve never done this before. It will still provide you with some income, yet there will be plenty of days for you to just relax. Of course, arrange with a friend to do check in/check out.

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I wasn’t really worried about something large like the flat screen but smaller, less noticeable items.

My collection is a large display of items of various sizes in the bedroom. Certainly a pain to take down and a double pain to store elsewhere since I don’t have a place on site to lock them away.

Thanks for the advice!

I wouldn’t use your trip abroad to try out hosting. It can have a high learning curve… And I just personally would not start out by not being home. I don’t even like doing it when I leave on a trip because so many things can go wrong.

If you have pricey gaming equipment you don’t want guests to use, you need to lock it away.

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Since we only have one bedroom any potential guest would be sleeping in the living room on an air mattress which doesn’t seem ideal for guest or hosts. Considering what you’ve said, it may be best that we scrap hosting since we don’t have another time to try it out.

My second idea was to see if any family or friends from out of town wanted to stay at a reduced rate. That suggestion gets a bit hairy because it’s helping them by being able to stay for far cheaper than any other rental but even with an explanation as to why we’d be charging for a stay, that we would otherwise offer for free if we were home, might come off garish.

I have to agree with konacoast. This is NOT the time to try out hosting with AirBnb.

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I host in Los Angeles and I highly recommend that you don’t host while you are away, especially not your first time.

We haven’t had anything stolen. We have had things get broken because guests don’t know how to use them. We have the half moon style window latches on our double hung windows. In the guest room the window frames are all gauged because the guests don’t understand how to use them. We’ve had several English guests who are frightened because our oven and burner pilot lights are always on. We’ve routinely have to tell guests several times where the drinking glasses are located. These are just a few examples. To stave off multiple posts telling me to have a house manual, I do. To host, you must be reachable to answer questions and put out fires (figuratively).

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I’ve only been doing this since April, but if I were going away I would block off those dates, not get people in. You need to be available to answer questions or go to the property. You don’t want to start off as a new host and get a bad review because you were unavailable to your guests.

I would not do this while away. And, check your lease you may be prohibited by your landlord or HOA if there’s one. The fines potentially could be steep and you won’t be there if they bother your neighbors and they complain. Don’t ruin your own vacation.

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Promoting! Your services, this is annoying. Do you host on Airbnb?

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Hi Maggie, I’ve hosted on Airbnb since 2012.

Not sure what service you’re talking about

Your website is full of the how to stuff to capltalize on hosts just sounds so salesie, post a link to your listing

Thank you for your feedback. Just to be clear, I just linked to an article that’s relevant to the OP’s question, I’m not trying to sell anything here, sorry if that upsets you though.

Here’s a link to my listing:

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@KenH Absolutely agree. Not the time, not thought through and, no doubt, not fair to your neighbors who have no say in it. Looking to make a quick buck without thinking what really goes into hosting.

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No problem. Just made some changes to my front page based on your feedback :slight_smile:

No soliciting. Please take your pitch to the vendor forum.

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We get so many people pitching here. Trying to interject their services into a conversation. Isn’t that what you are doing?

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I’m not sure what service you’re referring to

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