There are so many positives to being an Airbnb host – getting to meet people from all over the world, the joy and pride that comes with someone else having an incredible experience in your home and city and of course making some extra money.
However, being a successful host isn’t without it’s challenges and some people decide from day one that it’s not for them while others can come to this decision over time and develop what has come to be known as Airbnb Host Fatigue.
Being a successful host takes time, commitment, passion and skill, and it’s not for everyone. Below are six of the most common reasons why people develop Airbnb Host Fatigue and at the end we’ve included a tip or two on how to avoid it.
Common reasons for Airbnb Host Fatigue
Frequent interruptions from potential booking enquiries
Remember when the Blackberry first became popular and it quickly became named the Crackberry because of the addiction people developed from the constant buzzing of messages being received? While this experience isn’t uncommon nowadays due to the constant alerts from our smartphones, the Airbnb messages come with a little extra spice – potential income – and if you don’t respond back to booking requests very responsively then there’s the risk that you’ll miss out on the potential booking since another host will.
Not only do the messages come in regularly they’re often a “false hope” where the enquirer is simply looking around and no booking materializes from the enquiry.
Cleaning and laundry
When was the last time that you ironed your bedsheets 2 to 3 times per week? Cleaned your home 2 or 3 times per week? Changed the bedding 2 or 3 times per week? Tried to get the laundry washed and dried 2 or 3 times per week. Or…well, you get the point.
There’s a lot of cleaning to be done and unless you were born with the unique gift of loving cleaning, this can get pretty tiring, very quickly.
Meet and Greets and Keys
“We’re running late, can you meet us later?”.
This is something that you’ll hear quite regularly. You’ve planned your Sunday afternoon to see your friends or family after the pending arrival of your guests and you receive this message. What do you do? Say no and risk a bad review? Change your plans with your family and friends or simply cancel them altogether?
The decision is different for everyone but every host has to make this decision quite regularly, unless they’ve put aside a lot of time for hosting.
Some hosts do decide to leave the keys under the doormat but this leaves them exposed to obvious risks – the security risk of someone finding the keys or just not being able to show the guest around your home and given that guests rate hosts on their arrival experience this can negatively impact your review score.
Murphy's law reminds us that "whatever can go wrong, will go wrong” and this is often the case with hosting.
Being a host can be very disruptive to your life and few things are worse than receiving a call from your guest when you’re in the middle of a work meeting or asleep and they’re in a panic saying “there’s water everywhere and we don’t know how to turn it off!”. You may have thought ahead and recorded the location of the water mains in the guestbook but the chances are that they won’t have read that part of the book.
Loss or damages
Airbnb’s Host Guarantee gives you 14 days from check out or until the next guest checks in to notify them of an issue and in the chaos that can come with preparing your property for your next guests things can easily get missed.
Having something broken or disappear can be quite frustrating or upsetting and while it is rare it can happen.
As we’ve discussed above it’s not easy to become and remain a successful Airbnb Host and with all that hard work you want to see the results and that doesn’t always happen.
Some people buy a property, place it on Airbnb and have the expectation that it will almost looking after itself and they can just watch the money roll in. Most find out very quickly that this isn’t the case and they either don’t see the expected results, such as occupancy rates and therefore the income, or can’t keep up with the work that comes with running a successful Airbnb home while juggling their everyday life.
Some people, on the other hand, absolutely love the experience and enjoy the activities and time it takes to create a magical experience for their guests each and every time.
Tips for avoiding Airbnb Host Fatigue
So, what can you do to avoid Airbnb Host Fatigue?
There are many things that can be done to reduce or avoid Airbnb Host Fatigue and we’ve covered some of these below.
Goals and expectations
The most important thing to do is research what is required to be a good Airbnb Host so that you know what you’re getting yourself into and decide what you want to get out of the experience. Is it extra money, to meet travelers or simply to share your home?
Once you know these things you will be well placed to understand and meet the demands of Airbnb hosting along with having a realistic expectation of the returns.
Respond to requests and queries at certain times of the day and/or turn on Instant Booking
While the strategy of only responding to queries and booking requests at certain times of the day may result in you missing out on the odd booking or two, it may just help you keep your sanity and passion for being a host.
Alternatively, you can enable Airbnb’s Instant Booking option and with the conditions of use of this feature becoming more granular and specific (to the host’s requirements) this is increasingly seen as a less risky and more beneficial option by hosts.
Find a cost-effective cleaner and/or laundry service
This is often the first thing that people want to outsource since most people just don’t enjoy cleaning. You don’t have to use it all of the time but giving yourself a break every now and then will do wonders for your interest levels.
You can also buy extra linen so that you’re not having to do the laundry as frequently.
Enlist the support of family and friends
While your friends and family may not appreciate you calling on them regularly many hosts have a few people that they can call on in an emergency or just to help them while they are away.
If meeting guests isn’t your thing and you want to automate the process, then there are a number of products out there that might be suitable for you. Again, this might negatively impact the rating that you receive from a guest but it does take away the need to be there for every check in.
Search “keyless entry Australia” for a range of products and providers and here is one to get you started. http://www.lockweb.com.au/en/site/lockweb/lockwood-products/keyless-entry/
Complete the Airbnb “Home Safety” details and have your tradesmen contacts in place before the emergency strikes
When there’s an emergency it’s not good to discover that your guests have none of the details required to quickly and safely put a halt to it or if you need the help of experts that you can’t find someone to fix the problem.
On your Airbnb listing you have the “Home Safety” section where you can record the relevant details - such as where the gas shutoff valve and fire extinguisher are located and any available emergency numbers.
So it’s a good idea to obtain a few emergency contacts, including backups, and give them a call to make sure that they can help you in your time of need and how much it might cost.
Once all the details are in the “Home Safety” section of your listing you can print the Airbnb Safety Card and provide it in a visible place for your guests.
Security deposit and landlord insurance
Ensure that you have a good sized security deposit in place to cover any loss or breakages and while this, along with Airbnb’s Host Guarantee, is great we always recommend that our customers take out their own landlord insurance since this is more comprehensive.
Increase the minimum nights stay and do not host back-to-back
While these methods will reduce your overall income (since both techniques will result in a lower occupancy rate), it is a good way to minimize the turnover of guests and workload. The reduced income might just be worth it for the reduced hassle.
Again, this one comes back to your goals and expectations. If you’re looking to maximize your income, then this may not be for you.
Call in the experts and sit back and relax
While the above tips will help, they won’t take away all of the effort and commitment required to be a top Airbnb Host and, not surprisingly you may say, we would recommend finding yourself a specialist company to manage the entire process for you.
If you want to continue to receive the benefits of being an Airbnb Host but no longer want the hassle that comes with it then take a browse of our services and pricing or get in touch as we’d love to hear from you to see how we can help.