Building an Airbnb Lifestyle

Happy Birthday to you! Feliz Cumpleanos a ti Happy birthday, dear Airbnb. Happy birthday to you…Airbnb. Hey, they just turned eleven years old this week. Does it feel like forever? Right.

Just like The Hosting Journey podcast with our 80th episode. WHAT?? Yes, dear hosts. 1, 2, 3. 4, 5, 80 episodes. Where has the time gone? If you have been with me from the beginning, muchas gracias. I appreciate you. I don’t take you for granted, and I value you. 

My Mission:

Since the first time my amazing audio engineer Joe and I pressed record, my goal has always been to be of service to you; to provide you with the right tools, and to bring guests onto the show who are the right fit for my mission. 

My main goal? To provide you with valuable information and insights into the vacation rental world. 

Dear hosts, I want you to have the confidence to create an Airbnb your guests can’t stop raving about. Whether you’re sharing a room in your home or renting a private apartment or just thinking about transitioning into the vacation rental market, I want you to know that I got your back. So, thank you for staying with me and welcome if you are just tuning in for the first time.

Like The Hosting Journey podcast has evolved, so has Airbnb. And if you’re a brand new host or haven’t even started out, you will evolve. You are my audience. Yes, I’m talking to you. The vacation rental that you will create today will change through every interaction, every guest, every mystery stain. 

Today’s episode is, “Building an Airbnb Lifestyle.”

The Ultimate Room-to-Room Checklist:

Dear hosts, If you’re just starting out, you may be worried that this overwhelming feeling will last forever. Even if you’re not brand new and you’re building your next Airbnb, there is always some emotion involved. Plus, if you don’t have your systems in place, things can get a bit hairy.

I’m building a new Airbnb here in Puerto Rico, and I forgot about all the shopping that was necessary to get started. I went ahead and printed my updated Ultimate room-to-room checklist so that I’m not missing any items. Because even though we have some items, I didn’t want to forget anything, like wine glasses. Yes, you can get your hands on the checklist I created below.

The Ultimate room-to-room

The Top 5 lessons to building a realistic Airbnb Lifestyle.

Adapt: 

Airbnb isn’t the little company they were eleven years ago. The founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia started with an air mattress in their living room. Now, with Nate Blecharczyk, they’re running a billion-dollar company. They’re definitely not sharing bathrooms with strangers anymore.

Through those eleven years, they have implemented changes to the platform. We hosts don’t always like these changes, like Instant Booking, but sometimes we try them out and actually love them. Listen to “Episode 05: Instant Booking Pros and Cons” if you want to learn my strategy for using Instant booking.

Building an Airbnb lifestyle is all about learning to adapt.

I don’t know your specific reasons for thinking about joining the vacation rental world, but for me, it was because my career as an advertising producer was changing when the economy shifted back in 2010. I found out about Airbnb, and here I am nine years later with over 1,942 guests from over 45 countries. I am Eveland Worldwide.

I adapted to a lifestyle where I know way too much about laundry and cleaning, and I have learned that even though I’m grateful to Airbnb every single day I also know that I can create something out of anything should my hospitality world change as well.

Don’t Take It Personal:

Ahh, we as hosts love our homes. we put our hearts and souls into them.. We ponder way too much about getting the right sheets and towels. We strive for those 5-star reviews. And when we don’t get them… Take a listen to “Episode 62: Still Thinking about that Review” to hear more about my thoughts on reviews. I understand we’re all humans, having very human experiences.

But what about if we decide to not take it as a personal attack and instead as an improvement to our listing? Look, I just had a guest give me a great review, 5 stars everywhere, but then she mentioned a set of stairs. I know, me and my stairs, but hear me out. This is another staircase. In her review, she talked about mobility and her family member having issues, etc. Instead of me getting offended, I was thinking, she could be right. I have to highlight the photo of those stairs and caption it better.

I also had another guest who loved my home but gave me 4 stars for location. At another time, I would be upset. I would instantly be posting on my Facebook Group, The Hosting Journey, asking why, why, oh why. Instead, I thanked her for the great review and without any emotion or attachment, I asked about the 4 stars on location. We had a very pleasant exchange about it. The guest was confused about how far I was to her sister. It really wasn’t my fault, but I could make my location information clearer. I could post a map about Brooklyn.

Maybe you are going to say, I’m not Google maps. Airbnb provides that. All I’m going to say to you is this: Have you ever been a guest (which I also recommend for becoming a better host)? Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out exactly where a listing is located in relationship to where you want to visit just by looking at an Airbnb map. Which brings me to tip number three.

Make it Easy for Us, and Make it Easy for Our Guests: 

Back in 2010, I didn’t even have a coffee maker. Hey, I was still cleaning from a party the night before when my first guest arrived. You can hear that story on Episode 1: My Personal Hosting Journey.

I learned quickly and bought not one coffee maker but three. Now, I provide choices: drip, french press, and espresso. But it took time. I also clean before a guest arrives. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t been caught…mistakes happen…but now I have a system.

I created an automated communication sequence for my guests that is very specific, a 5-star House Manual, and a team that helps me out. I also have a Schlage Encode Smart Wifi Deadbolt and a Ring video doorbell.

Again, all of this took time to create and build. You can’t compare the host I am now with the host I was when I first started out in 2010. It’s the same for all of us, so be kind to yourself, especially if you are just starting out. But we can all learn from our mistakes.

Team:

Creating a team is essential to having a smooth Airbnb lifestyle. I get it. You might say, but I’m not making any money yet. But you need to start thinking of a handy person, a cleaner, electrician, plumber. Because your team…oh, your team… Your team can make or break your business.

If you’re remote hosting, your team is even more important. “Episode 33: How to Build and Keep a Team for your Airbnb

Is a great episode to get you started on how to find the right people for your team. And “Episode 43: Hiring and Keeping a Cleaning Person” is a must to learn about the most important member of your team.

Have Fun:

Yes, pipes will break. Guests will ask for discounts. Towels will get stained. Some will actually get ripped. others will get stolen. Yeah, it happens.

But don’t forget to have some fun in the midst of all this chaos.

You’re creating memories for someone. Hopefully good memories. For the most part, guests are good people. They tend to be understanding when unanticipated mishaps happen in our homes. As you know from listening to my 80 episodes, I have had tons of mishaps. But you also know that life goes on. Like I said in the previous episode, what kind of life do you want to live?

Building an Airbnb Lifestyle doesn’t have to be that hard… We can adapt to the many changes that will happen if we don’t take things too personally. We can create systems to make it easy for us and our guests. With the right team and setup, we can remember to have fun during the journey.

Your host,

Evelyn

And I know you want to check out Tammi and Alex’s places in Seattle, San Francisco, and New Zealand, so here’s their link for your viewing and booking pleasure.

Also, here’s Alex’s fantastic company, Properly, which is a must for every host:

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