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Tips...AirBnBing Extra Room in Your Home

My First Three Months of Hosting an AirBnB: What I’ve Learned from AirBnBing My Extra Room
Well, it’s been three months since I have started sharing my extra room as an AirBnB Host. In summary, most of what I have learned has been mostly about understanding human nature, and less about getting paid for people to sleep in your extra room. Here are my take always and tips:
The Deal on Pricing
Set your pricing based on how others in your area price based on what you are offering. What I mean by area, I mean neighborhood not city. If your neighborhood has very few amenities or attractions nearby, your rate will need to compensate for guest willing to deal with this.
Comfy Rooms
Make the room as comfortable as possible. Add a chair and desk. I use a laptop cart (like the rolling over bed cart at hospitals). Offer an electric blanket and small fan for comport control. Keep the room dust free. If you use curtains and rugs make sure they can be cleaned easily. Keep Décor simple and dust free. The less stuff the better. Remember books collect dust.
White Magic
Offer white bedding and towels. Guest what to know their bedding and towels are clean. Also, people just don’t want to feel like they are hanging out in your home. The white bedding and towels give them not only the assurance everything is clean; this will also give them the illusion of staying in a fancy hotel. Offer two full sets of clean towels per guest. Simply buy the cheapest white towels you can find and replace them when they aren’t getting fluffy and clean anymore. You can get sets (bath, hand and face towels set) for $15. At this rate, that’s a super cheap investment.
Hairy Messes
I have never seen so much hair in my life!! People leave a lot of hair around and your job is to find every last strand BEFORE your next guest arrives. No one wants to see hair on anything or in anyplace they will be sleeping. You must me the hair detective. I have found the best way to sleuth out hair is to remove everything from the room that’s not furniture and shake, vacuum and wipe it all before you put it back. Which basically means you should keep your décor simple. Also, sweep and dust behind the doors, baseboards, closets, inside drawers and window sills.
Spa-“ify” the Bathroom
The simplest way to give your guest a wonderful bathroom experience, is to remove all personal toiletries and personal items from bathroom; give them a caddy; and, again, use white bath mates. Offer, disinfect wipes, travels/trails size extra toiletries; and, lots of makeup remover wipes. I use a clear plastic shower liner from the dollar store, which I can change often instead of cleaning. Offering those brown lunch bags for females and other personal waste is super helpful.
Help Guest Help You
I find that most guests are more than willing to clean up after themselves. So, I make my cleaning up supplies conveniently available and as sneaky props. I bought cute and cheap cleaning supplies and have them under sink in bathroom or in closet of guest room. You can get bottles from dollar store to refill shower cleaner, dish soap and multi surface clear. Buy a mini dust pan and sweeper and get a dust buster from thrift store. Of course these are hints!!! Use NOT required.
Clean Often
I make sure my house rule state that the room will be cleaned twice a week. This is how I stay on top of messes, issues and manage concerns. It’s not unusual to find food and dirty dishes in room (even through rules say no food in room). I simple remove the issue.
Speaking of Food
I have decided to only offer kitchen for light meal prep (heating up and warming food). However, I do think this only works because I am located near a wonderful market and delivery services are premium. I offer an array of delivery/takeout menus; and, apps for delivery.
Booking Wonders
My preference is when the magic happens with the 28 day booking. Plus, I like it when I am managing few guest in a month. So, I incentivize the longer stays, and set my minimal stay to 5 days. This may seem counter intuitive for weekend booking opportunities. But, frankly I find booking weekends tie up my weekly bookings.
Pre-empting
Taking photos things ahead of time helps me to facilitate text questions of guest about issues that come up. So, I have photos of me pointing to things and directions ready to go–making it easy to response quickly. For example: how to operate TV, microwave, coffee pot and toast oven, directions to places, how to reset fuse in bathroom outlet; how to reset wifi, where to find extra supplies, etc…

Hope this is helpful!!!

Thanks for sharing these tips. In the thread about rewriting your listing description @konacoconutz said things were cluttered. But here you advise to unclutter. As I said I was mesmerized by the beautiful things but which is it, cluttered, or not?

should read uncluttered

Good luck, dear, Please have a good look round the forum here and make the most of the experiences and skills that have been posted here by long-time hosts.It will help you a lot.

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Will do!!
Thanks, this forum is amazing.
I however, didn’t find anything focus on first time hosting in a shared space. please, if you have a link, I could benefit from it.

I addressed this in another thread. Be really really careful. You are asking for trouble with long stays unless you properly protect yourself with lease agreements. Air is really best for short term stays.

I know you think this is where the money is but I beg to differ. If you charge a cleaning fee you may find the turnovers lucrative.

Search for Airbnb squatter threads in this forum. We’ve just been helping one of our friends through this – the worst nightmare you could have as a host. Once they stay longer than 30 days, they are no longer your guest, they are your tenant. Think about what that means.

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I really like your idea about taking photos and pairing with text messages! I think that could work really well and I’m going to try it. Thank you for sharing!

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This is a well-written list of reminders (but beware typos!) and I think sometimes us “old hands” can learn from a newbie.

I think your suggestion of twice a week cleans is good - I used to run a “proper” B&B and cleaned every day but it got too much - twice seems right. Do you clean on set days or does it depend on how long guests are staying and when they arrive?

I like your “show and tell” idea for operating appliances!

Best of luck for your future hosting.!

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I don’t understand what this is. Do you mean it’s in your listing? Personally I wouldn’t use up valuable space with captioned photos of how to run a TV, etc. we’ve also heard (unsubstantiated) that sometimes Air will remove any photos with text in them, as hosts might use them to go around the system.

Text messages…the ones on your phone.

I get it, but is she saying she sends a bunch of text messages with photos to guests? Why not just create one standard PDF document with everything you need and send it out at the time of booking. For example, in mine, I show photos of the house they will see when they pull up, some of what it looks like at night, where they should park and more. Would never dream of blasting a bunch of text messages with pictures to the guest. For some international travelers that could ding heavily on their data.

That was my line of thinking too. We have a house manual that explains where everything is (both in the apartment and online) plus all the manuals for the coffee machine, microwave, hairdryer etc. are in the apartment.

Also, there is plenty of time during the house tour for guests to ask if they’re not sure how to use something.

@konacoconutz and @jaquo

It seems to me that she doesn’t send a bunch of texts for no reason, she sends them “about issues that come up.” Why make a PDF document that no one is going to read (according to posts here about how no one reads.) She lives in the house so these texts are in response to questions that are texted to her while she is away from the house. At least that’s how I read it.

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They do read my document for the most part… All the way through, too, since they are able to tell me the dog and cat names. :slight_smile:

My doc is a bonanza of good tips and things to do so there is far more than just more “rules.”

If she is getting the same questions over and over she needs to make up a PDF document and print it out for a binder in the room. To answer the same text message over and over means there is information is lacking.

I’m always praised about how much good information I give…and this comes easy as I’m a writer for a major travel guidebook. (Name begins with F. )

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I’m leaving this forum…:frowning:
Thank you for your responses to my post.
For the most part, the posted comments are helpful. I am immensely thankful for your connections. However, as a newbie on the forum, some of the responses feel a bit tense unnecessarily rude. There is absolutely no place in my life where I want to experience such rudeness. I could be that you all are all use to each other and the back and forth–
Honestly, I posted this as a thoughtful approach toward offering something and introducing myself while joining the forum; and, to provide a reflection , share or offer something useful to the forum.
I am upbeat, positive and love connecting with like minded people.
So, far my experience with this board has left a bad taste.
Now,I just need to figure our how to leave the forum and remove my post.

Huh?? I dont understand your question…

This isn’t what I am saying and I really don’t understand the tone of your comment.

Suit yourself. You asked for us to review your listing and we did. If you are overly sensitive to constructive criticism (never rude) then why did you ask!

Those who know me know I’d never be rude but I do tell it like it is. You did ask after all.

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Oh and if you think it’s okay to rent longer than 30 days where you forego any protections Air can offer, then please be my guest. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. If is is the wrong “tone” to take in giving advice then sorry about that.

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@konacoconutz - and you were only trying to help a new host, after all. Sometimes we can all be misinterpreted at times.

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