1. Hosting long term or short term visitors? There is a big difference.
Sharing your place with tourists, who have lots of plans is our favorite. They spend most of the time outside, exploring. We love sharing our favorite places with them and talking about local events. But, there is more work with frequent turnovers. Check-ins, cleaning, check outs, forgotten items, cancellations. There is more money in large numbers but it also becomes a full time job. Are you still able to do all the cleaning, repairing and communication in time? While she was very pregnant, Goblinette certainly wasn’t able to do all that to a standard, so we changed to long term.
Long term guests like digital nomads, in our experience, choose the place to stay based on the price, location and wi-fi. There is one check-in and checkout a few months or weeks later. After a while they might start to believe guest rules don’t apply to them, since they are almost your roommates. They might want to have boyfriend sleepovers, parcels from home and extra space in the fridge. In some countries, we hear they get tenant rights after 28 days. Luckily, not here.
2. Join an online hosting group
There are plenty on Facebook. Airbnb is famous for making changes to its rules, pages and algorithms all the freaking time. There is no way you have time to find them all on your own. They will probably notify you in a fine print somewhere you don’t have time to read, since you are busy washing sheets and explaining local bus system to your new guests.
We were part of a great closed group for hosts who use different platforms. If someone had problems with guests or needed an advice about stain removal, answers flew in from all over the world. New type of guests scamming new hosts? We were notified in time by our digital friends we never meet.
Check out group The hosting journey by Evelyn Badia, but I am sure you can find more on Facebook.
3. Don’t discriminate
It started because of racism and it is now including everything and everyone. Once upon a time you could cancel or refuse bookings to people, you didn’t want in your home. Now, everything counts and the mighty algorithms will punish you for being picky.
You also don’t see the guests profile before confirming anymore, so you can’t discriminate based on the look and old reviews. Before you were able to screen the guests before letting them close to your pets and kids. Now, you say yes first and later read in the reviews how Mary is the worst guest someone could possibly imagine. Even if she kicks puppies and steals candy from babies, she has the same right to book as everyone else. Hosts are complaining about this feature, but right now, it is sadly valid. If you agree that Mary is a total crazy b*, you should give her thumbs down and she won’t be able to use instant book anymore or book your place again.
You can also flag all inappropriate communication and requests. Those will get checked and violators profile might be blocked some time in the future. Of course, informing the local police first and Airbnb later is sometimes safer and smarter. Luckily, most of our guests were awesome.
4. Don’t cancel someone’s booking on Airbnb. Ever.
Life happens. All hell is breaking lose and you have guests on the way. Don’t cancel their stay or you will get penalized by Airbnb. Explain your problem to Help desk, they can inform and cancel for you.
Sometimes guests decide to stay, even if something doesn’t work, because you are the closest to the place they want to be. Sometimes they don’t care if your kid has an infectious disease, because they are immune to it. Sometimes they aren’t, so don’t forget to inform them in time.
This way you are only losing money. Panicking and clicking cancel button will haunt you for next few months, because your ratings will drop and won’t make super host in a long time.
I cancelled, once. It was a computer glitch and someone managed to book for the next morning. We decided to not call Help desk and complain first. Almost one year later we were still sorry for clicking the darn button.
OK, if it is a volcano erupting next to your house run first. Ratings will probably be the least of your problems. You will probably need some prof there really was volcano eruption when you manage to find a working PC with internet.
5. Back up everything offline
You have guests coming from across the globe. You might lock yourself out of the app, you might have crappy wi-fi signal. Airbnb might be down or having a glitchy day. Take out your magic book with guest names, bookings, phone numbers and emails and use it. You can ask for the email after they pay over the Airbnb platform, only doing it before the booking is blocked.
Worst case scenario: Airbnb might change its policy to something that totally sucks for you tomorrow. You can remove your listing on your own. They might not agree with something you did and block you with no explanation given (it is a big platform, no time to babysit every new host). even trough you had confirmed bookings for next six months, they are all gone. Unless you have a little list with emails, names and dates. Most people will be happy to book your place again with a little discount after you move your page to another platform.
Nothing personal, it is only a business, isn’t it?
Since goblins love to travel, but usually do it on a budget, we use Airbnb. By using this link to subscribe, you get discount on your first trip, and we get one on our next. If you are not into Airbnb, here is a 10% percent discount on your next booking. Travel as much as you can.