When we were living in LA and traveling frequently, we decided to list our apartment on Airbnb just for funsies to see what would happen. We figured it was such a waste to have an empty apartment so often, and we used Airbnb to rent places all the time. So we might as well go all in and list our place for other people to rent. Turns out, it was one of the coolest things we’ve ever done. When we first had the idea we were a little freaked to let people come stay in our house, but after getting it all set up and having guests I would never go back. My first time out I would have loved some guidance from a seasoned host, so I thought it could be cool to share our experiences putting it all together.
Listing Your Place. Ugggh, I know, just the thought of setting up another online profile is enough to make you crazy. But the site makes it suuuuper easy to list your place and you can have a profile up and running in a few minutes. Also, did you know that you can have a photographer come take pictures of your home for the listing? What?! Brilliant. That way if you don’t have a great camera you can still get awesome photos to showcase your place.
Setting Up Shop. Okay, this is my faaaavorite part. When we’re putting our home together for someone to come stay, we always think of the things we’d like to have if we were staying in someone’s place. There are always fresh towels, bath products, and stuff to cover extra personal care needs. Cleaning supplies like laundry detergent, dish soap, and sponges come in handy. The kitchen stays stocked with spices and basics in case our guests like to cook. My favorite part is a welcome basket — I like to leave a little tray of snacks and wine for guests when they first arrive. You know how after a long day of travel you want to just get to your place and relax for a few? I always picture our guests popping the wine and having a little snack right when they get there. (At least that’s what I would do!)
We have a few fun extras, too, like board games, swim towels, a tv setup. The last Airbnb we stayed at had these amazing fluffy white robes for guests — maybe we’ll have to get a few of those…
Creating An Experience. Once the house is all set for people, we leave a packet of information for our guests about the home and the surrounding area. It’s a file that we just keep on our computer and edit & reprint as necessary. There’s actually a spot on the Airbnb site for info as well, but it’s handy for people to have a hard copy. We include things like house rules and directions for all of the appliances, electronics, and so on. But the juicy stuff is the info about the neighborhood. We list out our favorite restaurants, shops, and attractions so guests feel like they are familiar with their surroundings. It’s so helpful to have a jumping off point while you’re making your way around a new area.
Feeling Safe. I totally understand that for some people, it might be a little daunting to have someone come stay in their home while they’re away. Before we listed, I felt the same way. But there are lots of checks and balances to ensure safety and stay well-informed about hosts and guests. Each stay is reviewed by both the host and the guest, so you can look at members’ reputations and review them before approving a stay in your home. You can see verified IDs, and lots of guests and hosts also connect their personal Facebook pages, so you can see if you have any friends in common. That one has been particularly useful for us.
I seriously can’t wait to set up our next Airbnb for hosting; I love the idea of creating an experience for people as they visit and get to know a new part of the world. I think, for me, that might be the best part. Travel can be such a life-changing experience and to be a part of that for other people is so exciting. We’ve had guests who were traveling for everything from business trips to anniversary trips, and I think it’s so rad that our home is now a part of each of their stories. And I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty incredible that you can make a little cash while you’re providing a temporary home for your guests. Our Airbnb income turned right around and funded lots of our travel adventures; there have been plenty of times where we’ve been away, staying in an Airbnb while we had guests in our own place. Tell me that’s not awesome!
If you’ve got the travel bug, try listing your place next time you’re away from home! Would you ever? xoxo
Images from a couple of our favorite Airbnbs around the world!
This post is sponsored by Airbnb. All opinions and experiences are my very own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!