P and I have been using AirBNB all month. We officially moved in on August 1st and then opened up our guest room starting on August 3rd. We figured it would only take a day or two to finish that room and then work on the rest of our place. We also opened up our couch once the living room was mostly set. At this time we did not have a roommate set-up and we wanted to ensure we made rent prior to starting our jobs in mid-Septemeber.
How were the people?
Almost everyone who came with us was lovely! We had over 24 people from 35 cities. We made some great friends from some of them. One or two people we never saw, and others we got to know really well since they were there for days.
How much did you make?
We made 60% of our rent in 30 days- not all of our days were booked.
What were the downsides?
A couple people were not happy with their stay because they were first time Airbnb-ers and did not understand how Airbnb worked, or did not read the entire description for the space. One woman stayed with us and was upset after she left because she didn’t realize that she booked our couch in a shared space. She also didn’t read that we didn’t have an AC Unit, and kept our windows open at night. She said that city noises kept her up all night (even though we gave her ear-plugs). She gave us low on all of our items because she did not have the experience she imagined.
We hosted a couple that came for a music festival. They came way too early in the morning prior to our other airbnb guests departure (our check-in time was at 6pm, and they arrived at 9m). We thought they were wonderful until we realized that they left a mess after coming in late drunk. Her date peed on our bathroom floor, and they left their trash throughout the bedroom. BUT, we turned in a complaint with AirBNB and they reimbursed us for our troubles.
Having people sharing your space is hard. It is like having a temporary roommate. If you cannot deal with people you cannot control, you should not Airbnb.
Was it worth it?
Yes! P and I are very excited for our next month’s guests! Also, most guests travel in the summer. So more than likely winter will not be as busy. This gives us extra income in the summer to do things we want to do more.
Tips you wish you knew before?
1. Charge a cleaning fee. At least $10 for a couch, $30 for a bedroom. You need to clean your common spaces daily, as well as the bathroom and linens. Take into account the cost of doing the laundry, buying the products, and your time.
2. Moderate Pricing. If you are the cheapest place listed, people will come to you, but you will not make as much and sometimes it is a gamble about who comes. People that are willing to pay a little more usually respect you and your space more. Look for similar places in the area. Don’t just go by what the Smart Pricing suggests.
3. Moderate to Strict Cancellation Policies. If your are using the site for income, be moderate or strict in your polices otherwise you will lose money if someone cancels on you. This also makes people read all the description prior to booking.
4. Anticipate Questions. Put all your info into the detailed descriptions. Cats, locks, directions, etc. People will probably ask you anyway, but those that are truly interested will know everything up front.