The Non Vacation Rental Airbnb

After mostly lurking for several years, I thought I’d share my experience with a very basic (but cute and clean) Airbnb in a not-so-desirable neighborhood because I hear from so many of you
who seem to deal with pickier guests.

I’ve been hosting my first place for 2 1/2 years and just renovated the basement of my 113 year old home for a second Airbnb which opened January 2019.

I live in a “diverse” neighborhood and state that on my listing. It’s not a quiet neighborhood in the summer because my delightful Hispanic neighbors throw great parties.

All this is to say that I seem to attract folks who are traveling through for work. I attract a lot of women who like the self check-in and separate place to stay.
Although I make less per stay than a fancier place that caters to guests on vacation, I seem to have far less problems with rude guests who act entitled. I think most of my guests are surprised by the cleanliness and overall welcoming atmosphere of our places because they don’t have vacation expectations.

Btw, one conversation piece has been the chalkboard wall we painted in our first Airbnb (and plan to do the same in my newest place). I had my daughter write some quotes in her amazing calligraphy and we also added local recommendations for eateries as well as the wi-fi password. The rest gets filled up by the guests (we leave a chalkboard pen for them to use) and we love the creativity, quotes and drawings that grace the wall! My favorite said, “She said ‘Yes’ to the most important question!!”
We also have a guest book but the wall is more fun.

As a single mom of a very large family with three still at home, my humble Airbnbs allow me to pay most of my bills, deduct renovation expenses and not rely entirely on my job.

Because they are smaller places, I can clean them more quickly (and I do accept back to back bookings in the winter when we have far less bookings). Our rates swing between 55 in the winter to 80 in the Spring/Summer/Fall so, between the 2 small places that adds up. I do have a swimming pool that I haven’t let guests use in the past but may increase my rates and allow usage this summer (after increasing my insurance).

Just some thoughts!



I agree that this kind of rental for travelers, not tourists, residents, drifters, transients works very well.

Actually, I get almost all work-related travelers. I don’t get transients/drifters. It’s not an ugly little place and I do require all identification etc. for my instant book guests.

I’ve had folks stay with me from other countries and those who are moving across country to the Seattle/Portland area. They are often professional people who appreciate an affordable place with easy check-in.

I wouldn’t be hosting if I was attracting creeps.


This sounds very nice. I’m glad it’s working well for you.

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I think your sort of place (work travellers) and my sort of place (remote, off-grid) are the easiest to run if we do it right, @momof08. Like you, I’m conscious of it, and play to its strengths. Very grateful.


Ditto. I AM in a touristy spot but having just started doing STR in the fall, I have yet to get many real tourists… mainly workers in the area for one thing or another, visitors to our military base, or college parents. I have other hosts in the state crying that I undercut their prices- but the places arent really comparable. Their whole apartment in the busy city doesnt compare to my quiet town, near the beach (Im on an island and they arent), basement suite. I stay home with my kiddos and the extra income helps pay for the all the epipens etc.