Random lessons I have learned over the course of my year as a host of a private room

Make the bed the most comfortable as possible

This is a very important feature of your listing that will impact greatly the quality of your guest stay. The bed frame must be solid and the matress in good shape. Your guests should not sleep in an old whobly bed with gives backacke. If two guests sleep in the same double bed they should not have the feeling that they are rolling toward the center of the matress.

Choose carefully your linen

The linen should be comfortable and clean for every guest. To help you with the logistics, buy 2 sets of linen per bed so you can swap if there is a check-in/check-out the same day. It is better not to use old duvet covers that have been in the family for generations.

Choose wisely the colours of your sheets. Either white so you can bleach them easily, or very colourful so a remaining stain can be perceived as a pattern from the cover and avoid the feeling that the cover is not clean.

Set up your profile to manually accept every reservation

The room is inside your private space and your own comfort should go first. In general you don’t rent a private room on the basis that you are making the most efficient investment, but instead you want to add topping to the cake. It means that you don’t need to accept everybody at any conditions. You can be picky if you want and you can block dates at your own convenience.

Select a minimum stay of at least 3 nights

The 3 night minimum stay will save you energy and to avoid that you have to work too much doing cleaning and organizing check-in/check-out everyday. Do not turn your rental into a nightmare with new guests everydays. After some time it risks to make you feel sick of it if it is too frequent. You shouldn’t be scared that you don’t get guests, statistically the short term rental users will mostly book more than one night. In general people stay in hotels for one night stays.

Focus on the first impression

Make sure that the house is tidy and sportless before the check-in. If the guest sees that everything is perfect when they arrive, he will be very respectfull and keep your place in good condition. If they see plates and pans in the sink of the kitchen, they won’t feel guilty to put their durty glass next to the pile.

Invest in your listing, in time and money

If you notice that something is worn out, torn out or broken, change is as soon as possible. The reason is the same as for the cleanness:  If the guest sees that your amenities and furniture are in good condition, they will be very respectfull and pay attention not to damage anything. Remember that the money you get may have been originaly dedicated to finance a project like the renovation of your home.

Communicate as much as possible with your guests

As soon as you receive/accept a reservation, it is essential to contact the guests to thank them for their reservation and to ask them their arrival details. It will reassure them to see that you have akcnowledged their reservation. take the opportunity to remind them some house rules and set the frame of your check-in process. It is important to use the system that the booking platform has provided so they can have access to all the information in case of need for help. If your guests never answer to your messages, you will not need to prove it if you always contacted them through the chat system.

Use the platform tools to market your listing : the profile, the reviews

Be as descriptive and as precise as possible in the different description fields of the listing profile. If the guest has a question, you should be able to kindly tell him that the information exists in the house profile. It is better not to phrase it like that, but you will realize that most of them don’t read the profile description. The idea is that they shouldn’t have any question if it is all properly detailed on the platform.

Create a routine, automize as much as possible

It is important that you save time and efforts to avoid that you get tired of your short term rental. Save automatic messages that you can forward easily to the guests (through the chat or by email). Write a document with information to get to your place and how to use the different amenities available to them.

Create a framework to guide your guests

During the stay of your guests, be clear with your house rules, your usual timing and which boundaries they must not cross. As long as it is clearly discussed, no misunderstanding can make things turn bad.

Do not have overlaps with guests check-in and check-out

It is very important, for the integrity of your guests belonging that no consecutive guests are both in your house at the same time. If it does happen, communicate about the situation clearly to both guests so they can understand the situation and respect the situation it puts you in regarding the cleaning of the house.

The most important problems to avoid are:

  •  If a guest claims that something was stolen: you shouldn’t have suspissions over the other guest and include them in the resolution of an argument.
  • If a damage happens or if any of your belonging disappears, you have to be sure who did what.

Be a calm and understanding host

Only a tiny fraction of the guests are bad, and you should handle calmly any problem that can happen. If some house rule was broken by the guest, explain the situation with a positive attitude and appologise if it something you did, even if it is unfair. Anger can easily scale up and any word you may regret can create resentment in your guest. It can end up in an unfair review, a scare for life. If you don’t like your guest, you know that he will be gone for ever in just a few days.

Improve constantly

It is very important to be up to date to your guests expectancies, and adjust your amenities and listing accordingly. You can very easily ask questions to your guests, but at the same time remember that people have different tastes so analyse all answers. Make new photos when you have the opportinities and update your profile when you can. Airbnb takes it into account in their algorythm to keep your listing in a good position.

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