I love to host on Airbnb because it gives me a chance to meet new people and share my home.
Hosting on Airbnb has been a wonderful way for me to connect with people from all over the world. It is so easy to get caught up in daily life and forget about the larger community that you are a part of, but hosting travelers on Airbnb has been a great way for me to remember how amazing it is to meet new people and hear their stories.
I love being able to share my favorite places in the city with people who have never visited before, or even heard of it! I also enjoy teaching guests about the different neighborhoods they can explore while they are here. One of my favorite things about Airbnb is that I feel like I am getting visitors from faraway places, because they come in excited not only about staying at an Airbnb, but also about experiencing what a real Chicagoan’s life is like. My favorite part of hosting has been making friends with people who live far away; it’s always sad when we have to say goodbye at the end of their visit!
Before guests arrive, I clean the house thoroughly and make sure it is ready.
The most important thing to know about preparing for guests is that you’re essentially doing what a hotel does when it gets ready for new patrons. You need to make sure the space is clean and tidy, and all of its amenities are in good working order.
To get started, you’ll need plenty of time set aside for this project. You don’t want to speed through the work only to find out later that you missed something–you’d have to start over from scratch! Next, gather your supplies and tools: mop, broom, dustpan, sponge, vacuum cleaner (or Roomba), glass cleaner/spray bottle, rags/paper towels, buckets of soapy water as needed—the right tools will help you do the job right quickly. Now you’re ready to tackle each room on a checklist: floors swept and mopped; surfaces dusted; furniture polished; mirrors wiped down; windows cleaned; toilets scrubbed thoroughly; carpets vacuumed cleanly…the list goes on and on.
Every day that my house is being rented, I check in with a maid service and make sure everything is going well.
So, the maid service. I’m sure you’re crossing all your fingers that you’ll never need to whip out that contract you signed in the office with Fabio, but it should be folded neatly at the bottom of your linen closet just in case. Every day that my house is being rented, I check in with a maid service and make sure everything is going well (or as well as can be expected).
The first thing I do is check my cell phone for any new messages from my cleaning company. The company I work with has an automated system where they give me a text with a link to their website; that way, if there have been any problems like missing towels or broken lamps, it will show up right away on my computer screen. This doesn’t happen very often and most of the time this step takes less than five minutes (if not less than 30 seconds).
If there are major issues with renters, I can get involved to make sure they don’t become recurring problems.
- As the owner of an Airbnb property, I have a lot of responsibilities to make sure that renters enjoy their stay and that my rental properties are kept in good shape.
Luckily, I hire a maid service to take care of most issues, from bedding changes to general cleaning to facilitating check-in/check-out procedures for renters. If there are major issues, such as theft or damage to the property, you can be sure I’ll get involved.*
Sometimes there are unexpected challenges, like when guests leave a house as messy as if they were moving out of it.
One of the most challenging parts of being an Airbnb host is dealing with unexpected challenges. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that you can always expect the unexpected. Sometimes your guests will leave your house as messy as if they were moving out of it. Other times, you may have guests who are so problematic that they seem like they’re trying to sabotage your business by leaving negative reviews and posting complaints online. Dealing with these things can be very frustrating, but in time I’ve learned how to manage my expectations and take steps to minimize problems before they arise.
One thing I’ve found helpful is making sure there are clear communication channels between myself and my guests. If a guest doesn’t know what she can expect from me and what I expect from her, then there will inevitably be problems down the line. So one very basic step is just to make sure everyone understands what their roles are in this relationship before it even begins! That way, when things go wrong—because sometimes they do—you know whose fault it is (theirs).
When that happens, my maid service needs to spend extra time cleaning and I need to find a new cleaning crew for the next time around.
When I’m playing my cards right, I’ve got a good backup and a contingency in place. That way, when the maid service cancels at the last minute because someone else scheduled a cleaning before me, or when guests leave reeking of smoke and my house smells like an ashtray for the next 10 days, or when one of those “this is not what it looks like!” incidents happens (and you thought only your family had those), then it’s no big deal.
Over time, it’s become easier for me to get the job done because of these unexpected challenges and the lessons I’ve learned from them.
Even though I now have plenty of experience in cleaning up after all sorts of tenant mishaps, I can’t pretend that it’s always easy for me to get the job done. So much so that I’ve wondered if this is really what I want to be doing with my life. But over time, it’s become easier for me to get the job done because of these unexpected challenges and the lessons I’ve learned from them. If a shower handle has been pulled off in your bathtub and you’re short on time, you’ll learn how to clean up vomit faster than you ever thought possible.
Being an Airbnb host is challenging but also rewarding and worth the effort.
Being an Airbnb host is not for the faint of heart. It’s a demanding job that requires a willingness to be flexible in the face of unexpected challenges. You must be patient and able to adapt to unexpected changes in routine. And if you’re in it for the money, think again: there are simply too many other ways to make more money with less effort or stress. Airbnb hosting is not for those who like their jobs easy, stable, and predictable.
But if you’re willing to go with the flow and trust that it will all work out in your favor, you’ll find yourself learning about the world around you—and about yourself—in new and exciting ways.
My best advice: build a safety net into your life by surrounding yourself with trustworthy people who can support you as needed on either a paid or volunteer basis, depending on what works best for everyone involved. This allows greater freedom when it comes time to schedule guests and activities related to hosting them (cleaning, maintenance, etc.). The more responsibilities that don’t fall on your shoulders alone, the better off everyone will be!
And finally: don’t forget why you decided to become an Airbnb host in the first place! Make time each day or week—whatever feels right—to refresh your memory of why this path suits your goals and how much value it adds to both your life and those of others.