My husband and I have been doing AIR for about 2 months only on weekends. Our longest stay has been 3 nights. I don’t know much about other sites like homeaway, and I’m wondering if another site is better suited. We will be on the road for 3 weeks to a month and it is our home that we rent out. I have always done greeting/key exchange in person and I always go straight home after guests have checked out and we have always been 45 minutes away in case something happens. We are on a tight budget for our trip and it would be amazing if we could offset the cost, but I’m feeling apprehensive about not being in town… Any suggestions greatly appreciated!
Got a friend? A best friend? A best friend who would take a few bucks to check people in and out and basically manage for you? Hopefully someone a lot closer than 45 minutes. That’s what I would do.
When my daughter and I went to Italy for almost the entire month of June, I hired one of my daughter’s friend’s mother, who cleans homes for a living to clean while we were away. I bribed (paid her) well to do the job. My situation is different than most as I am in a place where I get $300-$350/night in the summers, so I paid her $200/cleaning. I bought enough towels, duvet covers, sheets, dish towels, etc. that I washed and ironed before I left so that she didn’t have to do laundry. Since she is fully booked during the day, I blocked out the night before and after each stay during our absence so that my cleaner had 24+ hours to clean (which I took as a cost of going on vacation). She did not greet our guests. However, I notified my guests that I would be in Italy (after they booked) and kept in constant contact with them while away. I have a keyless entry so guests can do self check-in. I also had my handyman on notice that he would be paid well to take care of any problems that my cleaner couldn’t handle.
My cleaner made $1200, for which she was very grateful. I made $5000, which greatly off-set the cost of the trip. No disasters so I didn’t have to pay my handyman anything. All of the guest were super gracious and were awesome. One set broke a little ceramic bird but – hey, I was in Italy – so I bought a handmade snail to replace it ($12 – I usually buy this stuff at thrift stores but I couldn’t resist the snail). I received five stars from all of my guests.
I think the key components are – cleanliness (a professional cleaner is much better than a friend who thinks they know how to clean), and vigilant communication. I was even able to book future guests while I was abroad,
Had I stayed home, I would have made at least $8000. But the trip to Italy? Like the MasterCard ad says, “Priceless”!
Annika, that one time when i went away, AC unit broke. It was 22 years old AC, i know it was old, but did it have to be broken when i was away. During my daughter’s graduation ceremony i had to stay on a phone with my AC guy trying to figure out things, when my guests were baking in 95F heat.
I would strongly advice to have someone close by, a friend or family member in case of emergency. Or if you have a cleaning person who can greet guests, its not uncommon.
Also, will you have a phone connection while you are away?
I have 2 people who take care of my house: pool guy and a miantenance guy , who i can call at anytime and ask to help.
I would not just leave my house to a guest without having anyone at all in case something happens.
In my opinion Airbnb is the best site to deal with in case of a problem. I dealt with other sites, and they really carry no responcibility for you