While your house stands empty during your holidays, or if you have a second home, have you considered being an Airbnb host?
Airbnb is growing in popularity more every year. Whether you have a single room or an entire house you could open to paying guests, certain preparations beforehand will make the experience more enjoyable for both you and your guests.
Give Your Home a Good Clean
It should go without saying, but guests really do expect their accommodation to be clean and tidy. Pay special attention to those areas we might normally skimp on, such as under the sofa or bed, and give special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms.
If cleaning isn’t your strong suit, consider getting in professional cleaners. If you don’t mind rolling your sleeves up, doing it yourself will ensure things are done to your own standards.
Regular Airbnb hosts build deep cleaning tasks into their everyday clean-ups so there isn’t a massive job to do just before every rental.
Airbnb guests might have a couple of reasons for choosing Airbnb, and one of those reasons might be the chance to stay in a real home rather than an impersonal hotel. So, by all means, clear the clutter from your home, but don’t feel like you have to remove every single personal touch. Pictures on the wall, photographs and ornaments all make the place feel cosier.
Leaving a few family photos and ornaments in place is one thing, but it’s wise not to leave your most treasured possessions at home while you’re renting it out.
As well as cherished furnishings, valuable jewellery or other items you couldn’t replace, consider documents too. Your passport (if you’re not travelling abroad at the time), house deeds, insurances, achievement certificates, stocks and bonds, bank statements — these are the things you should put elsewhere for safekeeping.
People are naturally curious, so expect guests to investigate inside cupboards. If you have things you want to keep private, pack them away and store them elsewhere.
One option is a self-storage unit, where you could rent a room large enough to hold furnishings you want to safeguard or opt for a locker as somewhere secure to keep your valuables. Whatever size of unit, make sure your storage company has a high level of security, with alarms, PIN code access and CCTV.
Stock the Cupboards
While you’re not expected to provide a full menu of provisions for guests, having in a few staples they’re free to use will make their stay more comfortable. Things to include are:
- Tea and coffee
- Condiments such as ketchup
- Breakfast cereals
- Tins of soup
Providing a couple of staple items, such as bread and milk, for when they arrive is a thoughtful touch, and if you want to really welcome them you could consider a bottle of wine or some chocolates.
It’s also nice to stock the bathroom with toiletries, just in case they’ve forgotten anything. And, of course, make sure there’s plenty of toilet roll, clean towels and bed linen. Have some spare pillows and blankets so guests can use what they need to be comfortable.
- Make sure guests know where to find a spare key in case they lock themselves out. Suggestions here include having a lock box outside that guests can access in an emergency. Alternatively, if you have helpful neighbours, you could ask them to keep a key for you.
- Create a guidebook of your area, listing a few places they might like to visit and activities they could take part in. You could include directions to the train or bus station, good local pubs, restaurants or coffee shops.
- You’ll also need to leave some basic instructions for your home. Include dishwasher or washing machine instructions, how the central heating works, emergency phone numbers, and where they can find the spare key. Make sure things like the TV remote or game console controllers are in plain sight, and leave instructions for them if necessary. Don’t forget the code for your WiFi as most guests will expect an Internet connection.
- If you have house rules – make sure they are clearly stated on your Airbnb listing, and also leave them where guests will see them. Ideas include acceptable noise levels, no smoking, or if they need to keep any noise down.
- And finally, make arrangements with the post office to hold your mail until you’re back in your own home.
Becoming an Airbnb host is a rewarding experience, and can help pay for your own travel adventures. There are other issues to consider such as insurances and how to create an attractive listing, but your own home is the place to start as this will become your guest’s home from home.
*This is a collaborative post*