It was May 2016 and I was knee deep in planning a girls’ weekend trip to Portland with a few friends. I’d been sitting on my bedroom floor browsing attractions in Portland when I randomly began thinking about how my guest bedroom had never been used since I moved into my townhouse almost 2 years earlier.
I shelled out money for extra square footage, and for what? So dust bunnies had a warm place to sleep? As someone who likes to take full advantage of the resources I’m given, this oversight bothered me.
In that moment, a brief thought entered my head, “I could be an Airbnb host!”
Worst Case Scenario
I’m the queen of talking myself out of doing something that I previously decided was a good idea. Just as soon as I decided to look into becoming a host, a flood of negative thoughts found their way knocking at my mental door.
“That’s absurd! Someone will trash my place and then kill me. No one will be here to feed my dog and she’ll have to resort to eating my decaying dead body.” Makes sense.
Though getting murdered in my own home wasn’t probable, that’s just how we operate. Our minds wander to the worst case scenario and keep us stagnant.
But me? I’ll try
anything just about anything once.
My minor freak out was assuaged (thank you Dictionary.com Word of the Day!) when I remembered that my other single lady friend, Erin, had been hosting on Airbnb for over a year. Miraculously, she was still alive and kicking and had only positive things to say about her hosting experience.
My First Booking
I didn’t jump straight into the Airbnb pool, I dipped my toe in.
I decided that I’d list my townhome while I was visiting Portland. I could make money while I was on vacation, and I although I’d have guests, I wouldn’t be inconvenienced by them since I’d be out of town. It had been decided. I took a few pictures of my townhome, wrote up a detailed description, and a day later, my listing was posted.
2 weeks after I listed my property (and long enough with no activity that I actually forgot I’d listed it), I received a reservation request from a young military couple who were planning a trip to the Seattle area.
Along with the booking request, I received a nice introductory note from Allison* explaining the purpose of their trip and how much they loved the pictures of my property. I felt relatively comfortable with her message and the fact that she could spell correctly.
This was their first time using Airbnb and they were a bit hesitant as well, so I figured we’d wade the Airbnb waters together. They were hoping for a smooth experience just as much as I did.
Even more appealing was the fact that for 3 nights, I was going to make $300.
I clicked the “Accept” button reservation request and then proceeded to freak the hell out. What had I done?! I just booked a young couple in my home and this obviously meant they were going to have a wild orgy in my living room and snort cocaine off my dining room table. (Naturally.)
What had I done?! I just booked a young couple for a 3-night stay in my home, which obviously meant they were going to have a wild orgy in my living room and snort cocaine off my dining room table. (Naturally).
I had to remind myself that Erin had great experiences so far, so it was likely that I would too.
Worst case scenario? I’d try it once, if it goes south, I don’t have to do it again. (Assuming that I’d make it out alive.)
My guests checked-in the same day I left for Portland, so I didn’t actually get to meet them, but we communicated several times before the trip so they knew how to access my place and to ensure I answered any questions they had.
I didn’t hear from them during their 3 day stay so I assumed everything was going well.
The day I returned from Portland was also the same day my guests were checking out. I was driving on I-5 heading back to Seattle when I heard my Airbnb app notification.
My guest, Allison, wrote me a note thanking me for providing such a lovely stay and letting me know they’d just checked out and were heading to the airport. So far, so good. The true test would be when I got home and inspected my place.
Once I got home, I stood in my garage with my hand on the door knob….I was about to enter my living room and get the real scoop. I turned the knob, closed my eyes and opened the door.
And there right in front of me, I saw it.
The living room looked exactly the way I’d left it before my trip.
I walked through the house taking note of everything I saw. The kitchen was still clean and dirty dishes had been placed in the dishwasher. I headed upstairs to the guest bedroom where the sheets and towels had already been washed and folded. The trash cans had been emptied.
Wait…what? Why isn’t my house a disaster? Maybe I didn’t expect a completely trashed house, but I also didn’t expect to have tidy guests who picked up after themselves. To say it was a pleasant surprise is an understatement.
$300 richer and a glowing review later, this would be just the beginning of my Airbnb hosting journey.
Just the Beginning…
As of this posting, I’ve been an Airbnb host for over 8 months and have garnered the “Superhost” designation.
I’ve hosted people all over the world and even started hosting travelers in my guest bedroom while I’m home! *clutches pearls*
While I understand the hesitation that many people have at the thought of hosting, if you can work past your natural fears to decide if the benefits are something that could work for your life, you might find hosting to be an enjoyable experience.
Airbnb hosting is one of the main sources of income that allowed me to quit my corporate job, and for that, I’m grateful.
If you’re interested in being an Air host, I encourage you to give it a try.
If you’re a current Air host, let me know your experience!
Thinking of hosting but want more info? Drop your questions in the comment section!
This post was proofread by Grammarly