To BnB or Not to BnB
When I tell people i'm an airbnb host some people say “I could never do that." Or "I wouldn't want strangers in my home.” Others think it's totally cool and can't wait to get home and start their own.
My response to them is "That's great!!!"
“What is your lifestyle like?”
When I first started doing airbnb I had two small children and I was home a lot. It worked into my lifestyle to have a different guest every night and to spend an hour or two each day cleaning up after the last guest so I could welcome the next one. Once I had three kids this became increasingly harder, to the point where I only rent out one room on special occasions. (At one point I was renting 3 rooms.)
Things to ask yourself before considering signing up to be a host:
1. Do I like socializing with people that I have just met?
Some guest won't want to interact with you at all. Others will. Most people can tell when you aren't interested in interacting with them. However, there are people who just don't get the message and will corner you in your kitchen for two hours talking about programming stuff that you don't understand. TRUE STORY. If you aren't the socializing kind you might want to rethink doing airbnb.
2. Do I feel safe sleeping in a house with people I don't know.
In my opinion 99 percent of the time people who book are good people. My philosophy is that people who do bad things are worried about other people doing bad things to them and don't feel comfortable staying in a random persons home.
You can set up your house to make you feel more secure and I'll do a later post on that.
3. I am home enough to be able to check people in/ reset the room?
This can all be time consuming. Responding to potential guests, communicating with booked guests, washing sheets, cleaning bathrooms. Everything must be reset and this takes time. Being a stay at home mom this was perfect for me. You need to assess what time it will take you to do everything for each guest, figure out the rates for your room, and do the math to see if this will be profitable for you.
4. Do I like keeping my house clean?
In my experience guests are the most judgmental about cleanliness. You can have the whole room sparkling, and then have a fly die and land on the window sill right before they get there and receive 3 stars for cleanliness. Keeping your house clean and free of clutter is essential to success.
5. Will a bad review bum me out?
It doesn't matter how perfect of a host you are. Every once in a while you could mess up. You might get a grumpy guest who is never happy. Having a thick skin about reviews will make your life much easier. This is hard for me. When someone says something bad about my listing I take it personally. This is my home they are reviewing, I put a lot of work into it, and it hurts my feelings when someone gives me less than 5 stars.
6. Do I mind being woken up/being quite in the morning and night?
The likelihood of your guests wanting to go to bed, or wake up when you do is slim. If you like to play the drums at 8pm you might have a guest who just arrived from Europe and they are already asleep. If you like to work out in the morning to loud music, you might find out that your guest was out late and want to sleep until noon. No one likes being woken up. To have the best results you have to respect your guests sleep cycle. This does not mean your guest will be so considerate of you. If you are a light sleeper you might want to rethink it. Lucky for me i’m a heavy sleeper.
I'm Colleen, and I've been doing Airbnb for over 2 years. There are guests that I have loved and guests that I just can't wait to get out of my house. I've learned a lot from trial and error. It's a great way to earn extra income and I'm here to share my experience so I can help others make some great passive income.
Contact me if you want to hire me to help you set up your BnB!