What motivates us? Hosting philosophy

I’m just curious as a fairly new member I see such a variety in hosting styles. (My first clue was the sheet-ironing discussion!) How much do the following impact your hosting style:

A. Show Me the Money – it’s all about maximizing income (Where’s that IKEA furniture order? Need to pull up my spreadsheet and recalculate my cap rate.)
B. Customer Delight Expert – my space, amenities and services are perfection (Can I leave these homemade muffins on the vintage lace-covered table for you?)
C. People Person – love meeting people, the host-guest interaction (Hey, want a beer? Grab a chair. Where are you from?)

I thought I was 100% A going into this, but I’ve really enjoyed making my space well organized and useful to customers. I care about them! Also, my space is attached but separate, but I’ve interacted with guests coming and going – and enjoyed that aspect – much more than I expected. So I’d say I’m 60% A, 30% B and 10% C.

I’m a real host I’m not developing any products or doing a marketing thesis!

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I think we are similar and have a similar set up. I started out 80% C/20%A. After a while you find out you like people but not all the people, all the time. Now I’m probably 50%A in the sense of spending a lot of money to get the people out of my space. 10%B, 40%C. My attempted mantras are “treat others the way you want to be treated,” don’t judge until you’ve walked in their shoes, and “how can I help” leavened with a heaping helping of “leave me alone.” LOL.


I first started because we had just bought a 3 bedroom home but my sons wanted to keep sharing a room like they had in our old place.

I live in New York City, and frankly space is at such a premium that to have an entire empty room just sitting there unused felt like a secular sin.

But we did use it when relatives or friends visited the city, so having a long term boarder didn’t work for us.

That’s why I started- because sharing what I have (on my terms) is important to me.

Also, as a stay at home mom, it’s easy to get depressed about the endless housework cycle. Getting paid by strangers to sweep my own floor helps me hate it less. :slight_smile:

This year, the money is more important, but it’s still only 60ish%. (My sister’s roommate did a runner. As soon as she gets a new one, A will be back to 40%)

B: oh gosh. I have that tendency, sure, but it’s not one I can really pursue with a toddler. Unless my guests are delighted by stinky diapers, that’s a 5%. I did try going that route when I first hosted (croissants from our local bakery…) but my guests didn’t want it. (My kids were happy to make the snackrifice and no croissant survived the day)

C: …er. sometimes? But usually I just don’t have a span of time necessary to chat properly.

I’m sorry, I don’t know where to fit my reasons in those categories. I’m pretty awkward like that most of the time. :smiley:

Most people are dependent on income. I mostly suggest people not become dependent on AIRBNB. You were renting your room pre-airbnb so you are ahead of the game. You can live without them, you always did until recently.

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Yeah but the difference in income is pretty big! With Air I easily make double what I got with a standard rental. You’re right, though, it’s not a game you want to play if you have nothing else up your sleeve. I’ll always get by somehow, just not through baking that’s for sure.

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This is a business for me.
I am in my 50’s and was made redundant and could not get another job. I own 9 houses and after a couple of disasters of long term tenants I find STR a lot less stressful and I am making more with less hours. I am only STR 2 houses, but am considering 2 more.

Wow, you are a real estate pro! How is STR less stressful? Not stuck with a potential bad tenant long term?

Have just gone thru a court eviction that took 5 months! The ex tenant now harasses me by phone.
Another house was rented out to a government organisation who rented to a young man who was completely incontenant… ruined floors and unbearable stench…

Exactly! There is no comparison. It depends on your goals.
I think short term rental is an excellent business if you put your heart in it. And ia m sure we can make it very worthwhile .

I’m new to this whole thing, but I would say I’m 10% A (I was a stay-at-home mom prior to starting this, so any income is above and beyond what I was making!!), 50% B (I love making the house beautiful for my guests…how about some locally made chocolates…) and 40% C (I LOVE meeting people and hearing about their lives! I have to remind myself that my guests rented a whole house because they didn’t want to hang out with the host :slight_smile: )

Money motivates me the most but i think if idid not really enjoyed what i am doing i would not be able to continue.
I think short term rental is a combination of both. I get to meet people from all over the world, and i am making good income. I am a traveller and i am curious about people, for me its an awesome job.
We can be as altruistic as much as posisble but if we dont take care of our well being at one point we as hosts become burned out and its not good for anyone, host or guest. to keep a proper balance is the key, in my opinion.

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Option D. To give my guests a great authentic experience of Hawaii without breaking their bank, or mine. No extras, no muffins, no small talk. Just a clean, private space at a reasonable price which doesn’t cause me more work, headaches or expense than it’s worth.

I started my Airbnb in 2010 when no one had ever heard of them, and people I told were aghast: “You are renting to strangers on the internet??”

This was to stave off foreclosure and save my house. It’s still for that!


5 houses/flats later are still firmly ‘A’. We have met some cool guests, but that is maybe 10% of thjs business to us. I started in 2009/10 in order to help pay my rent since I traveled 20+ days a month for work, and it just snow balled from there. Instead if being a crazy cat lady I would like to be a crazy house lady.


I wish I srarted doing the same when I started traveling using Airbnb for accommodation in 2010. I had a thought of renting my spare 2 rooms after my first stay in Airbnb room ( if they can do why can’t I), I even tried to list back then but I have to disclose a very stupid fact why I did not start then: I could not download pictures😂. And just dropped the whole thing.
Then my dog was with us still . Charlie was a beautiful Weimaraner with 90 lb on him and very protective personality. He did not like strangers for sure.
Then my husband thought that this thought was completely crazy and he needs his piece and quite.

Then many things happen and one day I decided to try again with just one room and see if I can at least pay with Air money for round trip ticket to Europe. When I made this money within first 2 weeks this is when it’s all started. 6 months later another house was bought.
I wish I did Air at least before 2013 when real estate here in South Florida was still very affordable but now prices went up and though we hear here all the time that they will
Drop soon I don’t see it happening. Otherwise I am like you will keep on going .
May be I should look at option abroad

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My main motivation for doing Airbnb is the money it brings in. I’ll say, 70%. When we opened our first room last summer, we were just trying it out. We wanted to furnish the downstairs guest room anyway, and figured if we could break even hosting guests, that would be awesome. We broke even and then some, and this has since turned into a real source of income.

B gets 10%. I truly enjoy making guests comfortable and happy. I take pleasure in creating an attractive space and I want people to enjoy the time they are here.

C gets 20%. While I do enjoy meeting new people, and while some of our guests are truly amazing, I really need my own space, and being “on” for strangers is sometimes a lot of work for me.

I am soooo jealous of @KKC’s set up. I keep dreaming of ways to expand the downstairs guest room so it’s got it’s own entrance!

I don’t know how your house is set up but it’s probably easier than you think. I’ve seen several offerings of private entrance where the guest enters through the back yard. Take out a window and put a door and a small porch or vestibule.

When I first had a contractor to my house I was looking at some remodeling and it was going to be 6-8,000 for what I wanted. He said I can add 100 square feet on the front for about 10,000. And that’s when I went off in a new direction mentally. Of course it ended up closer to $16,000 but that was mostly me adding things. I don’t regret a penny of it.

I started off with A & B evenly split. I’ve always loved helping people with travel and trip planning. I love helping people make the most of their stay here and I love knowing that they’ve enjoyed our place, etc. We’ve always had long term rentals so this is a bit of an experiment for us. My husband just wants to see if we can make enough extra money to make it worth our while, but now I am loving it so much I joke with him and say, “don’t make me give up my new hobby”! Seriously though it’s a lot of work, we’re fairly new, but I would say B drives me more than the others, but without A it would all be pointless. I enjoy meeting people, C, but sometimes I never meet them in person (I work full time so my husband often does the check ins) and that’s okay. I like the contact via air during their stay, but mostly just regarding suggestions of things to do, etc. I guess for me still split between A & B, but if I wasn’t driven by B, I wouldn’t be enjoying it so much.

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@dpfromva, my goal is to make money and my philosophy is to offer value, and, if possible, delight my guests. I have a full time job, so this is merely a side gig.


Temporary unemployment due to administration change + big mortgage. Was 100% in A, but I find enjoyment in B, and in @konacoconutz’s D.

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