Today I have the pleasure of interviewing a good friend of mine from university, Adam. Adam and his spouse have now been renting out their place in Toronto for a few months and are happy to divulge some Airbnb host experiences and tips with us. This is a fantastic addition to our series on Airbnb, which already includes an interview with Jenn, who rents out a house in Oregon using Airbnb.
Airbnb has a fantastic referral program, too. If you use the links on this site to register with Airbnb, you will get a $25 travel credit, whenever you take your first trip! I’ll also get $25, so it’s a pretty sweet system!
Where did you get the idea, to rent out your own place?
– We had just purchased a house but wanted to keep our loft. We thought there was an opportunity to host folks (as we love to do), make a bit of money as well… And we were still too attached to our first home to let it go just yet.
What part of your house do you rent out? How does that work, for you?
– We rent out the whole loft. It’s a one bedroom place and we also have an air mattress that sleeps two. So, renters are usually two, but we can host up to four people.
What do you do if you want to go home?
– We have a new house we’re renovating. We’ve been staying there more or less during the renovations, and hope to host a housewarming party sometime soon!
What has been the hardest part so far?
– The hardest part was giving it up. Each time we go back to clean, or we show new renters the place, it still feels like home. So, we’ve had to get comfortable with strangers in our place. No matter how much we chat with renters online before they arrive, it’s still odd to meet someone new, take them through your place for five minutes, and then hand over the keys and head out.
What kind of personality do you think is needed to be an AirBnB host?
– You need to be flexible, friendly, and not too territorial. When you give up your place on a regular basis, it’s important to stay connected, but be able to let go as well. People want to enjoy your space and don’t want to feel like they’re inconveniencing you. In short, you need to be kind and hospitable.
What’s the most odd experience you’ve had as a result of being an Airbnb host?
– I will let you know when I have an odd experience… Nothing yet.
This is Money Propeller, and we like airplane references. Who is your favourite person on Top Gun?
– Meg Ryan, of course.
Have you learned anything by the school of hard knocks?
– Yes; irons are hot, long after they are unplugged.
Is it financially worthwhile, for you? What insights can you give us about the financial end? (Do you have an idea of how much the consumables cost, or how much time you spend managing the project/cleaning/etc?)
– We manage the place ourselves, so there’s very little cost involved in the management. We like to leave a few treats in the fridge, fruit on the counter, and there’s always a few drinks in the bar as well. We do well financially from renting the place out short-term. We make more than having a regular tenant, and it also means that we have the flexibility to host family and out of town friends – all we need to do is block the time off in advance.
Will you continue to do this long term?
– That’s the plan.
What are the key plusses and minuses?
– Key plusses are meeting new people, keeping two places, and making a bit of cash on the side. Key minus is the effort that’s required in the marketing of the place online – photos, amenities, neighbourhood, and neighbourhood guide all matter when people are looking for a place to stay on Airbnb.
Who should stay at Airbnb?
– Anyone who is looking for a short term stay, but hoping for more of a personal touch than a hotel. There’s an advantage if you meet a friendly host too, as they can provide recommendations for places to eat and be entertained in town. The neighbourhood perspective can make a good vacation into a great one.
Back to Anne –
As a grounded world traveler, the idea of having the world come to me sounds pretty fantastic, even more so if they come bearing money to give to you. Thank you so much for your insights, Adam.
I’ve loved my trips with Airbnb and highly recommend it as a travel option! I also very, very much appreciate it when people are able to support the site and me by using my links.