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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!