What 2 things do you wish you knew before you started hosting?


Getting ready to start hosting and am loving all the information on the site. What two things do you wish you had known before you started hosting or what are your 2 biggest headaches?


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I quickly learned that I needed two complete sets of sheets for each bed or I would be sent to the asylum. The rest I understood, but I had worked in hotels and B&B’s in the past. I strongly suggest not buying things until it is clear that your guests need and/or want them. No anticipating what type of guests you will attract.


Thanks. Do you ever have the guests start the laundry?

I wish I had known that

Bookings do come - and sometimes the phone goes dead silent and it feels like the business is a total flop - but those times pass and then the flood comes, and before you know it you’re sweating all the back-to-backs.

Something I’m still learning (we host in the home) is to be relaxed just being who we are. Sometimes my kids watch tv or play video games, and that just has to be ok; I can’t worry about our reputation, the reputation of home schoolers, or the reputation of US kids.

Oh, a third - to be very upfront with the guest when they are creating a problem. Don’t just let it keep going making your family miserable, becoming a bigger and bigger frustration - just be honest and upfront quickly.


3 sets of duvets, loads of towels, ( not easy to dry in wet climate I live in ) lots of bleach and cleaning products. You spend too much time on your knees scrubbing. Even if you are having a crappy day, you have to put that smile. keep track if using more than one platform

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This is so important. I read comments from hosts all the time who get stressed out over a broken glass or the trash not being taken out or other minor things. So for me anyway, the first thing a new host should work on is to not get stressed or emotional at all.

The other thing I wish I’d known is just how much work it can be. When you have month after month of back-to-back bookings there’s no need to go to the gym - you’re getting regular workouts :slight_smile: . And even if you don’t do the cleaning yourself, it’s still a lot of work getting everything ready, meeting-and-greeting, dealing with problems and even the internet work takes longer than I’d first imagined.

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  1. If you get a negative gut feeling about a guest, DO NOT leave a review. If you don’t leave a review for them then a review for you will not show up. Not leaving your guest a review is better than risking a negative one for yourself from them.

  2. For international guests leave little instructive notes (if you’re not there) by the stove, dishwasher, laundry, even how to work the shower. We live in a world where all of the same things work in surprisingly different ways!

Hope that helps and best of luck!


If the guest writes a review; it will show up 14 days after the stay ends regardless of whether the host has written one.


Didn’t realize - thanks for the info.

Not true!!! Maybe it was a coincidence in your case… but if they write one for you it WILL be posted after 14 days.


Sorry Abraham I come corrected - I’ve been told regardless of what you do their review will show up in 14 days, obviously I did not know this and would not purposely give you false information. With any luck no-one will care what they have to say after 14 days anyway!

No coincidence, I just didn’t know this. Their statement about a review not showing up unless the other one was sent mislead my idea about that.

Nonsense. Any guest’s review WILL show up.

All right, got it guys. Would not purposely give false information and have apologized to Abraham. I’m not a bad guy, this is all a learning experience. Did not know about the 14 day curse, thanks.


Don’t accept long bookings when you are trying to build reviews on a new listing.

Don’t give weekly discounts.

Hard lessons learned from my first guests, who were the worst I have hosted and stayed three weeks.

Yes, to hide stained linens. Obviously doesn’t work very well since I find the stains later. :stuck_out_tongue:



  1. Keep your rates high. Cheap rates leads to low-quality guests and the pickiest ones.
  2. Don’t depend on Airbnb. Find alternative channels to keep your hosting job on going.

I agree with this,word to word.
And if you have a job and host too,like I do,you can find your self working 24/7.
But all in all it has been and still is a learning process.
The biggest challenge for me is controling my emotional reactions-create no drama environment.

  1. Best towels – JC Penney’s 100% cotton waffle pattern quick-dry towels. They are fluffy and last a long time. I’ve had mine for almost two years and they still look new (I buy the bath towels, wash cloths, and hand towels in white – they bleach well). They are also awesome for cleaning glass. Get the JCP credit card – totally worth it for the discounts.

  2. Try to always greet your guests. This is what differentiates us from hotels. Guests (mostly) want to meet you, and I get better reviews. It also gives them a chance to ask you about the area that you don’t cover in your guide. I recently had guests who are thinking of relocating here so they had a lot of questions about the real estate market. I got a GREAT review from them :wink:

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No worries, glad we both learned something.

Incorrect on the review…theirs will show up at some point even if you don’t leave one.