This post is all about Airbnb s, from Hosts to guests, the Do’s and Don’ts.
Airbnb accommodations are apparently a big trend at the moment. It was last week I think I saw a video from Vicegr regarding airbnbs in Athens. What they were saying in the video was that last summer a lot of tourists chose airbnbs to stay in Athens. Not, only that, but according to some people in the video landlords were evicting their tenants in order to list their apartments on Airbnb. If something like that is true, then we live in a really mental world! But that just shows how successful Airbnbs are! I believe that it really is something very positive (not the eviction part – if it’s true), as it helps the economy to grow. In addition it is a huge help for tourists who are now able to stay in places where no hotels or BnB’s are available.
Anyway, on our last trip to Milan we booked an Airbnb (read here). The experience was not great. So I decided to write some basic guidelines based on pure logical thinking. I will also show you some photos – examples of another Airbnb (wooden house). I stayed in the wooden house (see photo below) in 2011, before it was listed on Airbnb. For more info about the wooden house you can click here
For those who are not familiar with the Airbnb concept I’ll explain it briefly.
Airbnb is a website where everybody can list their property and rent it. It might be a whole house/ apartment or a room (shared or not). And that’s it! The hosts then lists the rules and the amenities.
The Do’s and Don’ts for Hosts and Guests
First of all, it is important to say that every host has their own rules. These rules may vary, depending on the country, the area and the type of accommodation.
Regardless of its host’s rules, there are rules that all of us should follow.
So here it is:
Be there on time!
When you book an Airbnb, the host will contact you to arrange a meeting to give you the keys.
So if you are the guest be on time for the meeting!
If you are the host be there on time, your guests are probably in a foreign country. Waiting in an unknown area, not knowing if it’s safe or not!
I know that sometimes external factors may cause delays. But that’s not an excuse, use your phone (or a phone) to inform the host or the guest for the delay. And if you are the host don’t forget to reassure your guests that everything is ok! Do not forget to apologize for your delay!
Whether you are the host or the guest respect first of all, each other’s personal space! This applies mostly on the shared room accommodation or for just the room. Usually the hosts will tell you in which spaces and rooms you can go and where it is forbidden to enter. You should respect those rules. You are going to live in somebody’s else house! The same applies for the hosts. You provide a room of your house to somebody else to live. Even if it is your house, it is not polite to enter. Especially if your guests are not inside, you need to ask for their permission. Secondly, respect the accommodation. This applies mostly to guests! It is not your house. It is not your room. You paid to stay there, but that does not give you the right to do whatever you like! Show some respect!
I know this might seems obvious but, sometimes it is important to remind ourselves these small obvious things that make a big difference! So yeah, be kind, smile, say please, thank you, you are welcome etc.
It is not a bad thing to be honest! If you are a host it is always a good idea to be honest regarding the accommodation. Your guests will appreciate it and they will enjoy their stay at your house, as they will be aware of what to expect! For example, Ariadni (renting the wooden house) is very honest and clear in the house’s description.
“Ecological wooden house, 70 square meters on 2 levels, energy independent with fireplace. Solar system and rainwater tank, in a property of 4.5 acres of oak woodland at Holomontas mountain. 3 km from Taxiarchis village and 30 km from the beaches of Chalkidiki (Metagitsi, Pirgadikia) for peaceful natural living.”
She is also very honest in the house rules.
“It is meant Only for Nature Lovers and people who respect my private things in the house!
Although I do my best to keep the place clean, the house is in the middle of the forest, so be prepared to find dust, or dead insects inside!
Hot water only in summer time (solar tank)- NO hot water during winter time – but you can always boil water in the gaz kitchen…
You should buy bottle waters to drink.”
As you can see, Aridni is honest and truthful in her words. So if you visit her house and then complain for the lack of hot water, or bugs (dead or alive) it would be your fault for not reading the rules and the description. The house is in the middle of the forest it is not in the middle of a city. If it was an apartment or a house in a city you would expect different things. Like for example air conditioning for the summer or heating for the winter. So imagine to go to an apartment in a Mediterranean city in August. It’s so hot that you want to turn on the air condition, but it doesn’t work! (At least you won’t have similar problems in the wooden house in summer!). Then you will have to contact the host and ask for help. You can’t really know if the AC was always faulty or it just happened. But a good host must be honest, if they were aware of the faulty AC, they should have informed the guests. Furthermore, they should try to fix the problem as soon as possible. Or maybe they should refund part of the payment (?).
These 4 things I believe are the basics for any human interaction. Respect, kindness, honesty, punctuality.
The Do’s and Don’ts for Hosts
In order for people to choose to stay in your accommodation you will have to present it in a nice way. I know, again this might sounds obvious, but it’s not. While browsing rooms and apartments I saw some listings that even if they were cheap they looked awful. Low price is not an excuse for a messy room! Again, take for example Ariadni’s wooden house:
As you can see, the house looks bright, clean and tidy. It isn’t cluttered or messy, that’s why it feels welcoming!
Therefore, it is important to first of all have the house/ room, clean and tidy. Secondly, it would be great if you could hire an interior photographer to take some professional photos. If you cannot do that then try to find guides on the internet to take the photos by yourself. The most important thing about the photographs is lighting! Choose a bright day to take some nice clear photographs.
There is one quote by Giorgio Armani regrading details that I really like.
“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.”
Focusing on the details not only will give your guests a pleasant stay in your house, but they will most probably return to stay there again. And who knows, maybe they will suggest it to their friends and family!
But what are the details? Having your house clean and tidy, are not the details! Details, are small things that your guests won’t have to worry about! For example if your accommodation provides a kitchen or a kitchenette, make sure to have clean (new) sponges and dish soap! Have enough plates, cutlery, mugs and glasses. Also it is important to have some kitchen paper roll. I mean you don’t have to provide a fully equipped kitchen but some basic things are important.
Another example is the bathroom – toilet. It is important to provide some basics there too, for example toilet roll and hand soap. You can provide some more things like for example, cotton balls and cotton buds. And if you can provide clean towels for the hands, face, body. Then that’s an excellent service!
Another important space you need to pay attention to the details is the sleeping area. It would be great if you could have a second set of pillow cases and sheets. This is important when people are going to stay at your house for more than couple of days or when they are travelling with kids.
The Do’s and Don’ts for Guests
Finally, the do’s and don’ts for guests!
I’m not going to write a list here. I truly believe that guests should be respectful. This means that they should not make a mess in the house and leave it dirty! It also means that they should follow the host’s listed rules. You always have the freedom to choose another accommodation if you don’t like the host’s rules!
And last, you should always write truthful, honest and polite reviews. I’ll repeat myself, if inside the description of a house it says for example “the accommodation doesn’t have internet” don’t complain in the review saying “we didn’t have internet”! Always read the description and the rules twice! So you will know what to expect! And try to enjoy your stay in any Airbnb accommodation!
I would be glad to hear your bad and good experiences! So comment below!
Thank you for reading my post!