So, here is part two of the Airbnb hosting info sesh where I address the common questions I hear. Thanks for reading!
1) Is it weird for random people to stay in your house?
This is by far the most common thing for people to ask first. I feel like the answer should be yes. I mean, it seems that if this is the common question then it seems weird to people. Maybe I am just weird so weird seems normal but it doesn't bother me at all. I mean, we all know I am an open book so if you are a very private person then yes, it might feel uncomfortable for strangers to be in your space.
Now, I personally don't expect that anyone is going to have the urge to look at my underwear drawer. But, I mean if they do, I don't really care. Ya know? It's like, have at it, freak. But, there are certain things you might want to hide or deny access to. For instance, we always remove firearms when we have someone staying. Maybe you have files or a computer you don't want anyone to bother. In that case, I would suggest making one room off limits and locking things in there. A simple thing you can do if you have a garage is to put all your secret things in there and then turn the doorknob around. That way you can only unlock it from the inside of the garage rather than the house and you are the only one with the garage door opener.
2. Do you have to clean/organize all your drawers and closets?
It's up to you! I expect people to open closet doors to take a peek so I would straighten them up and make sure there's no sippy cup full of week-old milk in the closet floor but other than that, I don't worry about it. Now, drawers that the guests may need to use such as the bathroom drawer with the hand towels or the kitchen silverware drawer should be clean. But I really doubt anyone staying cares about your cabinet organizing skills.
3. Do you meet them and let them in or do they use a key or what?
Again, this is up to you. You can leave them a key, a garage door opener or use a lockbox. You can meet them when they arrive and/or when they leave or never see them face-to-face.
4. What if they mess something up?
First of all, two small tornados live in this house so I probably wouldn't notice. However, if you are very fancy and have lots of valuables to worry about, Airbnb does have a host guarantee that covers permanent damages and theft. You can also charge a security deposit (which seems totally unnecessary to me because of the host guarantee but I guess it makes people feel more in control). You can also charge a cleaning fee if you choose. Many hosts do; I don't because I think it makes our place more attractive to guests to not have that added expense. We have never had anyone leave a mess before.
5. So, they just sleep on your sheets and everything?
Yep. There are some places that do not provide towels and bedding and such but that is not somewhere I would want to stay as a guest. We want people to feel at home! I just put clean sheets on the beds and change them when we get home.
6. Do you have to provide anything else for them?
Nope. I like to leave snacks and packaged breakfast items, make sure there is coffee, and put some drinks in the fridge. But that's because I want people to like me. I also make instructions on how to work the TV, etc. but that's about it.
7. What if you or the guest needs to cancel?
There are provisions for that! You can cancel, however, it will be reflected on your profile if you choose to do that. If it is something out of your control, you can file an appeal with Airbnb. We had no problem being excused when we had the water pipe burst. If a guest cancels on you, you do not get paid.
8. How do you get paid and how long does it take?
There are several different options for how you receive your payout, including direct deposit, PayPal or a mailed check. The time it takes to receive it depends on the payout option you choose and can take anywhere from 1-7 days. Airbnb collects and disburses the money so that is not done between you and the guests. Your payout is released about 24 hours after your check-in time.
9. How is the price determined?
You choose. You can charge whatever you want. Airbnb will also suggest prices based on what other places in your area get so you can set it to accept their suggestions. I like to choose my own price.
9. What is the worst thing about hosting with Airbnb?
Trying to clean while we are living here and get everything done and get out on time. You know how it is when you have people coming over. It's like this video. So, yes, it can be a pain if you are living in the place but to me it is totally worth it to do it a few times per month!
10. Is it legal? What about taxes, etc?
Well, this depends on where you are. Airbnb does report earnings to the IRS so you will pay taxes if you make over a certain amount. You are able to charge your guests for taxes if you want to do it that way. Some places make it illegal because they consider it to be a business so if the house is in a residential rather than commercial zone, blah, blah, blah...That stuff is up to you, my friend. I do not expect the FBI to show up and arrest me but I've been wrong before!
Want to try it out? Check your local community calendar and see if there is a big event coming up in your area! We can make our monthly mortgage payment in one weekend when there is a ball game or other university event happening! It's a great gig for poor people! Use my link to sign up and start hosting today (it's seriously so easy)!