Renting Your Home on Airbnb: Part 2
How To Prepare Your Home For Guests
After we completed our listing on Airbnb (check out part 1), and constantly getting emails from Airbnb suggesting we lower our price to less than a hotel, it took just shy of 2 weeks to get our first booking.
We opted for the instant book option so long as guests met our criteria and within a few minutes of each other we had two groups of guests staying back to back. Both groups weren’t coming for approximately a month, so we still had plenty of time to prepare.
Airbnb allows you to cancel the listing within a timeframe if you don’t feel confident or secure in having any particular guests stay in your home. We did a quick Facebook and Google search of our guests, plus we scoured the reviews on their Airbnb profile and felt confident both groups would be welcome guests. We then immediately raised our price on Airbnb.
► Ranking: #cleandiaper
Preparing for Guests
Essentially you are preparing your home to be a full service hotel. We had to dissect our home and determine what things would be staying, what would be going, and what we needed that we didn’t already have.
The first of these items was appliances. Because we do not drink coffee, or use a microwave, both of those items needed to be purchased prior to the big day. We also opted to provide coffee, creamer, sugar and liners for the coffee maker, as a courtesy. Guests expect a full service kitchen including utensils, blender, cookware, etc. We purchased all silicone tipped utensils (other than flatware) for guests and removed anything stainless steel. This was the same for pans, we removed our stainless steel pans and purchased Teflon pans for guest use. We’ve stayed in enough Airbnb’s to know guests need silicone utensils because guests will scratch the crap out of your new pans.
Even though many hotels have been caught red handed not changing sheets between guest use, gross!, we definitely needed to make sure we had enough sheets for our family for both before and after our guests, and also for both the first guests and second guests. Because we only had 4 hours to prepare the house between the two groups of guests, we needed to have 4 sets of sheets per bed. Our home has 4 beds, plus an air mattress, and we allowed people to sleep on our couch (not pullout). We also had to make sure we had comforters for every bed. Last Christmas, I quilted all three of my children specially made and designed quilts of their favorite things. My children use these as comforters, but they are definitely not for guest use.
We didn’t much prefer using towels that others were rubbing themselves on, so we opted to purchase guest towels. Costco offers a pack of 6 towels for $12. At $2 a towel we provided full size, fluffy towels. This was a win-win all around. We also didn’t have any dish towels, or hand towels for the bathrooms (we simply use regular towels, or paper towels) so these also needed to be purchased. You also need to have spare bath mats for each transition.
Closets and Dressers
All closets need to be empty, including dressers and shelves, all bathroom drawers and cabinets as well. Don’t forget your junk drawer, and to remove all your dirty laundry too. We used tote bins to temporarily throw everything into and took them to the off limits rooms.
As a courtesy, we left small amounts of laundry detergent, dish washing soap, dishwasher detergent, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, paper towels, extra garbage bags and left our spices in the cupboard for guest use. This wasn’t just for ease of guest use, we felt this way we could oversee what items were being used in our homes and drains and that our things were kept as nice as possible.
Because we do not subscribe to live television, and also didn’t want to leave our Playstation for guest use, we purchased Roku for guests to use. You’ll also want to set up guest wifi, so they don’t have access to your network.
Place all the blankets and extra pillows (with cases) in a centralized location, along with any extra bedding such as a queen air mattress. Every room needs a garbage can, and every garbage can needs a liner (unless you want to make your life really hard).
We opted to purchase a lockbox in case our guests got locked out. This way we wouldn’t have to rush over to let them back in. This also served to be a nice commodity for when guests aren’t ready to check in at the agreed upon time.
Everything needs to be spic and span. How would you expect the cleanliness of a home you were renting to measure up? Make sure you check under the beds for loose articles of clothing and toys.
Ensure all drains drain, showers don’t leak, doors latch and close, locks are tight and keys work, thermostat is programmed, etc.
We elected to purchase 3-ring binder and plastic sleeves to print out our entire house manual. This includes rules, expectations, check in check out, where to find things, wifi codes, etc. Everything the guest may need to know to stay at your home.
We originally noted in the home description that two rooms would not be available for guest use. The garage, and a 4th bedroom. The last thing we did was close off these two areas of the house. We bought keyed door knobs that could only be opened with a key, separate from the house key. These rooms were used to store items that needed to be removed from common areas, such as clothes, laundry, extra sheets, etc. We placed a small miniature fridge in the 4th bedroom for medicines and other perishables. After that we taped printed signs that read: Not For Guest Use on the pantry, specific cupboards, and one side of our master closet, including the two locked rooms.
Don’t forget to put your mail on hold with USPS!
Now we just had to wait for them to arrive.
Stay tuned for: Renting your Home on Airbnb: Part 3.
Check out Renting your Home on Airbnb: Part 1.
Are you interested in hosting? Sign up with Airbnb using our referral code: https://www.airbnb.com/r/colson490?s=8&i=
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