4.14.2016

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Airbnb Hosting

Airbnb hosting
Many of you know that my husband and I are Airbnb hosts. After nearly a year of me trying to convince my husband to join Airbnb, we finally took the leap this last September. Since then, we have fallen in love with hosting and actually done quite well at it. We recently received superhost status.

I'm going to give you a quick rundown and then move on to some frequently asked questions. PLEASE feel free to ask more questions below and I will update this post with responses!

So what is Airbnb? Airbnb is a community where people can list, discover, and book various accommodations around the world. I love Airbnb because not only can you find super unique locations to stay, but you can also find them at an incredibly affordable price. Hosts can control as much or as little as they would like and they completely call the shots when it comes their listing, so things vary place to place.

Hosts can also determine who they do and do not allow to stay with them, what amenities they will offer, how much space in their home they will list (whether it's one bedroom, two, or their whole place), whether people can bring their pets, and so on and so forth.

Hosts get complete control over the minimum number of nights a guest must book, how much they charge per night, and which guests they allow to book. You can completely control which nights are available and which are "blocked." Airbnb has a great blinded review process which allows hosts to read about a guest's previous reviews before allowing them to book your listing. They have a verified identification process for each guest which requires guests to enter their driver's license or some other form of identification to verify they are who they say they are. Airbnb also has amazing customer service, host protection up to 100,000 and a completely secure payment process (mine goes to paypal). I have never felt "exploited" or taken advantage of by Airbnb.

Airbnb hosting
When we first started hosting in September of last year, we weren't sure if we would even get any bookings. After we listed our space, we had a booking within 15 minutes! Since then, we have hosted nearly 30 trips. The last two months, we earned almost our entire house payment on Airbnb income alone. However, I also want to point out that we don't do this for the money and if that's your only motivation, you might find this to be a lot of work. We give part of our earnings to our church and, honestly, we use it as an opportunity to be missional. Having people in your home, showing them hospitality, and loving them well is a great way to show Christ's love to people that might not otherwise spend time around believers or in a believer's home. We also have a rule that if it becomes too stressful or interferes with our marriage in any way, we take a week or so off from hosting. I think it's important to think about your motivations for wanting to be a host and to set boundaries for yourself.

Keep your eye out for a post on how to have a great listing and tips on how to be a stellar host!


FAQs
Don't you worry about getting very unpleasant guests?
It would be unnatural not to worry about that, but really, it's less of a concern now that we have been hosting for a while. Sure, we have had some more challenging guests (one who was terrified of pets... we have 3), but the majority of people are really great. You can screen out "unpleasant" guests by reading through their reviews before accepting their request to book. If guests don't have reviews yet, you can always not accept their request. However, people are usually really grateful for our hospitality and very respectful of our space.

That being said, I really believe in the review process. It's your job to inform other hosts about unpleasant guests so don't feel bad giving guests bad reviews if you have to. It's how we keep Airbnb honest.

Isn't it weird to have strangers in your house?
Again, it was at first. We are both complete introverts and worried that we wouldn't be able to relax with people here, but the majority of people that stay with us are rarely even around. People don't book to hang out at your house... I think you get over having strangers in your house pretty fast once you start hosting.

We have pets, would that be a problem?
NOPE. You can indicate this on your profile so guests know ahead of time that pets live on your property.

Do I have to own my space to list it?
Negative. I have friends with extra rooms in their apartments who are hosts!

Do you have any more questions for me about Airbnb hosting or related topics? Leave them in the comments below!

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