I finally had a handle on the Rover Gigging, but watching dogs was not going to pay the mortgage. I needed to find more income sources.
Heidi’s Hostel, that’s what friends lovingly call my home. I have always opened my home to friends and family as a place to stay. Whether it be someone who’s house is being worked on or a friend from the far corners of the world, I love to host people. AirBnB is a natural fit for me.
AirBnB is a web based service that allows people to rent out rooms, in-home suites, or entire residences. Hosts fill out a form, have their listing and identity verified. Once a host creates their profile they add photos and a description, set the fees and availability, and hope someone books the space. Guests set up their own profile. The thing I love about AirBnB is that hosts can leave a review of guests. This helps to insure that guests are going to be respectful.
Side Note…Rookie Mistake… AirBnB offers Smart Pricing or allows you to set your own pricing. At the time I didn’t know how to set the price for one season and a higher price for another season so I selected Smart Pricing AirBnB’s algorithm does not account for high season. I had people book in January for visits in May at January prices. Learn how to customize and control your own pricing and make sure you are charging appropriately for high season and holidays.
With a little work and help, I turned the downstairs bedroom into an AirBnB listing .
It was the middle of winter, I had no reviews, and there was a lot of availability on the market. I needed to set myself myself apart from other listings. I love to cook so I decided to make my place a true BnB experience and offer a hot breakfast. I know it is hard to find accommodations for pets so I also wanted to welcome people with small dogs.
It worked! My very first booking was a wonderful couple from Vancouver. They had chosen my place because I allowed their dog to visit and they loved my breakfast! As they were AirBnB hosts themselves, they were wonderful at giving me some tips. Whether it was the breakfast, my dog (everyone seems to love Bailey) or the great review the first couple left, my listing started to book up.
Being an AirBnB host has been a great experience for me. I truly enjoy having people in my home. I love serving them breakfast and talking about the sights around town. True, a month of getting up at 6:00 am to cook breakfast can get a bit tiring. Sometimes I just want to sleep in on a Sunday. Yet the ability to open my home to people from around the world and hear their stories is worth a little lost sleep.
I wonder what AirBnB’s are like in other parts of the world…