- We rent our home regularly, so we want to ensure we maintain the highest level of reviews on our home.
- We, as you know, have 4 little children who have their own things and preferences that we (and our guests) need to respect.
- I’m a…little anal about cleanliness. I’m not a germaphobe by any means when out and about (all the eating off the ground over here!) but am picky about things like our bathrooms being completely spotless before and after guests.
We’re also very pick about who we accept. We don’t accept groups of friends – we’re not interested in it being a party house at all. We prefer families, either immediate or extended. We often get family groups that need a little more space because they have a parent or sister or someone traveling with them. We occasionally have business travelers stay (and they’re usually great as they tend to be clean and rarely even cook here). Many guests have kids, and it’s nice to feel like we can help out the travel community a bit while also making some money. We’ve benefitted a lot from Airbnb over the years (more space and often so much easier with 4 kids!) so we enjoy being able to provide that to other families.One big note is we do not accept ANY smokers AT ALL. Even if they only smoke outside, we do not want anyone who even has smoke on their clothing staying in our home. We had an issue once with someone leaving a pack of cigarettes. We didn’t smell any smoke in our home, but it was still really frustrating. While Airbnb is great at using their insurance policy to reimburse you for any damaged items, they were NOT great at helping out with this sort of situation where there wasn’t a clear issue.
HOWEVER, the guests were actually super nice and very apologetic. It was actually someone who booked for a friend, so the friend hadn’t thoroughly read through all the rules. They were very sorry and contributed some extra money for a deep cleaning of our home in case of any residual smoke. So it worked out, and reminded me that most people are pretty great. And now we have it in our listing about 8 million times that we don’t accept ANY smokers, and I also make that clear in the messaging right after booking.
– UPDATE HOUSE RULES/INSTRUCTIONS. We also have a house manual for guests. We update it if it needs anything (make sure the WiFi password is in there!), and print and laminate it (to keep it in better condition for multiple sets of guests). We include things like how to operate the dishwasher/washing machine/DVD player, where the dish soap is, how to lock one of our doors, etc. We include in our instructions to the cleaners to set out the manual along with a bottle of Trader Joe’s sparkling cider for each set of guests.- UPDATE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS. We have a list of recommendations for activities, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. that we provide to our guests. They really appreciate that!
– UPDATE CHECK OUT INSTRUCTIONS. On the house manual, we like to have a quick and easy check out procedure so it’s clear what they need to do. We ask our guests to:
- Remove all the linens and put them in the laundry room
- Run the dishwasher and wipe down counters
- Clear out any food they’ve brought in
- Take out the trash
- Turn off all lights and lock all doors and windows
– LOCK GARAGE. We typically leave our car in the garage, and have guests park in the driveway. There are two spots on the driveway, and we hardly ever have bad weather here, so it’s never been a big deal. Guests could access our car from inside the house, but it’s never once been an issue…pretty sure no one is going to steal our 11-year old minivan. ;)- WATER THE PLANTS. If we’re going to be gone a long time, we’ll rehome them with a neighbor or friend.