Hosting on Airbnb can feel a bit daunting – at least, it did for us before we started doing it nearly 10 years ago. We had so many questions – how do we start? Is it safe? What are the requirements? Are there any safeguards and protections? I wish I’d had these tips for Airbnb hosts to help us feel more comfortable hosting on Airbnb.
I wrote a whole post on our routine to get ready for a guest, but I also wanted to share a set of Airbnb host tips, especially if you’re new to hosting. These are things that are helpful to us to keep things streamlined and smooth, so it’s not more headache than it’s worth. (And if you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can use this link to get $40 off your first stay!)
I always get so many questions about hosting, especially with kids – do we put away our stuff? Have a locked closet? Have different sheets? What are our Airbnb house rules? Hopefully these tips for Airbnb hosts will help minimize anxiety about having others in your home, and let you focus on the income that supports your own travels.
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10 AIRBNB HOST TIPS WHEN RENTING OUT YOUR HOME
TIPS FOR AIRBNB HOSTS #1: VET YOUR GUESTS
TIPS FOR AIRBNB HOSTS #2: HAVE A LOCKED SPACE, and PHOTOGRAPH BELONGINGS
Set aside a locked space
People are most often worried about security when they consider becoming an Airbnb host. Hosting on Airbnb can definitely feel scary when you’ve never had a stranger stay in your home before! Having some sort of locked space is great for keeping private things private.
The space size depends on what you need to store. We don’t have many valuables so we have a very small locked area for paperwork (tax docs, etc.). We also take my violin over to a trusted neighbor’s house. Other than that, we’re not so worried about someone running off with our $300 Amazon couch.
If you have more valuables, you may want to consider locking a closet or perhaps even a whole room. Having that separate space, no matter how small, will give you peace of mind.
Making a claim with Airbnb
Also, Airbnb has a $1 million host guarantee. We’ve found for the slight issues we’ve had that didn’t involve physical damage (e.g., someone left a pack of cigarettes and smoked outside our house, despite our very clear no-smoking rules – details below), Airbnb was pretty much useless. However, another time when a minor cord was damaged, we had no issues submitting a claim and they took care of everything very promptly.
Because of this, we feel comfortable leaving out electronics like our TV/DVD player. We don’t have anything fancy or brand new when it comes to those items, so we wouldn’t be heartbroken if they had to be replaced, and we trust Airbnb to take care of it.
We do take pictures of our home before leaving, so it’s clear what belongings were there and what condition they were in. Unlike some other Airbnb host tips, this one takes minimal effort and is great security. If we ever need to submit a claim, these photos will be helpful. We’ve never needed to use those, but it’s nice for peace of mind should anything ever come up.
TIPS FOR AIRBNB HOSTS #3: PACK UP SPECIAL ITEMS, BUT NOT YOUR WHOLE HOUSE
Items don’t have to be expensive to be special. So another of our tips for Airbnb hosts is to just put aside those special items.
We have a couple of plastic bins in which our kids can put any special stuffed animals, LEGO creations, or play jewelry. It helps them feel better knowing another kid won’t accidentally break something that’s important to them.
That said, Airbnb hosts do NOT have to pack away the entire house. For the most part, we leave our clothes in closets and drawers. We clear out some space for guests, but certainly not the entire closet. There’s also a shelf in our bathroom cabinet that we leave clear. We make it clear in our listing that it is a family home and that personal items will still be around.
Also, figure out as Airbnb hosts what is actually special or valuable to you – will you be devastated if an heirloom sofa gets a stain on it? We figure, people aren’t going to care one whit about my $10 Target t-shirt or basic sewing machine. We leave the kids’ craft supplies in that area of the playroom, and just ask guests to replenish anything they’ve used heavily.
TIPS FOR AIRBNB HOSTS #4: HAVE SEPARATE SHEETS AND COOKWARE
TIPS FOR AIRBNB HOSTS #5: HIRE CLEANERS
TIPS FOR AIRBNB HOSTS #6: MAKE YOUR AIRBNB HOUSE RULES CRYSTAL CLEAR
TIPS FOR AIRBNB HOSTS #7: CREATE A HOUSE MANUAL
TIPS FOR AIRBNB HOSTS #8: SET OUT TOILETRIES
TIPS FOR AIRBNB HOSTS #9: BE RESPONSIVE
TIPS FOR AIRBNB HOSTS #10: MAKE IT SIMPLE
When hosting on Airbnb, we like to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible. We keep check in simple with an electronic door lock with a pass code (or you could just use a lockbox with a key). Spell everything out in the house manual – even the simplest of things. If guests need airbeds, set them out in the room so they don’t have to search through closets.
As much as possible, keep everything as simple, straightforward, and streamlined as possible.
BE LEGAL WHEN HOSTING ON AIRBNB
One final note – be sure to check the rules and regulations in your city/state, as well as your home insurance/HOA, as some don’t actually allow you to rent out your home. Make sure you’re familiar with what is legal!
MORE POSTS ABOUT TRAVEL ACCOMMODATIONS
IF YOU LIKED THIS POST WITH TIPS FOR AIRBNB HOSTS, YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE POSTS, TOO:
- Renting Your Home on Airbnb: A Start-to-Finish Routine
- How to Find Family Accommodations for Travel
- An Unsponsored Airbnb Review for Traveling Families