Should I start hosting?

Hello! My husband and I recently purchased a 2 bedroom/1 bathroom apartment in a major east cost city. It is completely renovated with new appliances (dishwasher, washer/dryer, cable TV in every room, wifi). We live on a 3rd floor walkup with a dog and 2 cats (we constantly have the air filter going, and all the “pet related” stuff is in our bedroom). I live in a very up and coming neighborhood that’s 15 minutes by subway to Midtown.

We were thinking of renting out our 2nd room (looking at other airbnb’s in our neighborhood, we see someone whose renting out a couch in a living room for $65/night and has 25 reviews) but had some questions first -

  1. We noticed that some people don’t provide keys to their guests - is this normal? The person who airbnb’s their couch states they leave with the guest and come back with the guest. We read an forum about how guests might duplicate keys and come back and rob a place.
  2. Do people who have pets have lower offers by guests?
  3. If we do just weekend (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) bookings, would people actually book us?

Thanks for any replies in advance! :slight_smile:

I’ve read of a few hosts who don’t provide keys to their guests. As I’ve usually read it in negative reviews; I don’t think it’s the norm. If you’re concerned about guests duplicating keys, you should get a keyless entry system.

I have two large dogs. I’ve had many guests who book specifically because they want to be in a listing with pets.

You might have a difficult time with only hosting Thursday, Friday and Saturday as that severely limits the guests you will accept, but why not list your place and see how you like hosting. As our veterinarian likes to say, “It’s not a train. You can get off.”

Thank you for the response Ellen! We were thinking of a keyless entry system where we can change the code for everyone when they leave.

My dog is only around 30lbs - she’s very sweet and does not bark (unless she sees food that the cats are eating lol)

My apologies, I actually meant Thursday-Sunday - I live in an outer borough of NYC, about 25 minutes to Times Square and 15 to Midtown - I realize it might be tough as you said, but I’ll give it a shot once I’ve purchased some supplies to “spruce up” the bedroom.

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

  1. First, to the security/keys question: that’s just weird. :slight_smile: However, if you’re nervous about it, try a digital lock that allows the guest to use an app to get in and out. The August is about $300, and others are less. I haven’t tried it, but they are well reviewed and would solve the key-duplicating concern.

  2. Next, I don’t think the pet thing is a huge issue. It’ll prevent about 5% of guests from booking, because they have a pet allergy, but it might encourage others to book, because they’re pet lovers. Probably won’t be an issue.

  3. Yes, people will actually book. :slight_smile: Weekends are by far the most popular days.

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Are you allowed to host in NYC? I thought the rules had changed?

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Thanks for the encouragement levijw! Makes me feel a bit better about being so paranoid haha

I looked through this and don’t believe my listing will be breaking any rules -

I’m not renting out the whole place and will only be doing a 4 night max :slight_smile:

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Yes hosting is legal in NYC with a few rules. If you are a single or two family dwelling you can rent short term. Multiple family dwellings are 3 or more units and the rules are strict. You can Airbnb for fewer than 30 days if you are present in the rental when the guest is staying.

Which borough are you in?
We are NYC hosts with pets. If you want to pm me I will try to advise you. We are hosts since 2010. Superhosts whatever that counts for lol.

I have keyless entry and it works a treat. My space is only ever occupied on weekends as that’s when guests are attending a function close by. I also have a dog that is listed in my description so the guests arnt surprised when they arrive and all of them love her. She even gets mentioned in the reviews!
I was apprehensive to start with about having strangers in my home, 6 months in, im so calm about it all now. They have all treated my home beautifully. Love the extra money.!!

I second the August even though it’s been frustrating to get up and working smoothly. The hardware is good but software still is buggy. If you buy the wifi bridge and keypad (August Keypad you can both control the lock on your phone from anywhere and also once you integrate the ap with Airbnb can auto-generate a unique keypad code for every stay that stops working when they checkout! It’s a killer combo for automation and security if you can get it working smoothly.

Because I’m still working out the kinks with it I’ve changed out my deadbolt to a higher end brand you can buy at a locksmith with keys you can’t replicate and leave a lockbox out front with a key in case the August malfunctions. I don’t provide the lockbox code unless the system doesn’t work. If you don’t already know the August lock installs on the inside of the door and works with most traditional deadbolts that stay in place with key entry on exterior.

Hi Maggie! I’m sorry, but not sure how to private message through this site, would you mind PMing me? Would love some advice on how to get started! Thanks so much! :slight_smile:

Hi Joyce,
Just click on my photo icon and you will see a way to send a pm

Hi Maggie,

My apologies for being a newbie, but this is all I see when I click on your photo image -

Do you know where I click to send a private message?

Thanks for any help in advance!!

Screen shot of you

This is what I get when I click on your image from the post:

Hmm… perhaps I don’t have messaging rights since I’m a newbie?

Yes I believe that’s the issue. I pm’d you so see if you can reply.