My first Experience as an Airbnb Host

Just over a week ago Ryan and I pulled the trigger and listed our carriage house on Airbnb. It wasn’t 100% ready for guests but close enough that I felt confident I could put the final touches on everything before our first guest arrived.  I honestly had no idea what to expect, and assumed it would be at least a couple of weeks before we saw real traction and had someone checking in…after all this was a new listing without any reviews. Well, I was completely wrong! 

It’s been exactly 10 days now since the listing went live and we are booked for nearly the entire month of July and half of August!  The first 48 hours were incredible with the number of inquiries and bookings and they just keep rolling in.

So less than a week after our initial posting we hosted our first “guest” this past weekend. And let me just say it was an interesting experience, one I imagine is not typical of most hosting situations…

He was scheduled to check in on Saturday, staying for one night as he was in town to film a local event.  Being the perfectionist I am I took Friday off of work so I could get everything ready, picking up the few final items I needed to make the space feel homey and ensure a five star review.  I had even planned on leaving a hand written note and a bottle of wine celebrating that they were our first guests.

But over the course of Friday a couple questions came in from our guest…

Carriage House

  • I noticed the picture of the outside of the house and was wondering if there was a downstairs portion?
  • I have a friend in Atlanta I would like to catch up with and wanted to know if there was a policy for visitors?

While respectful and quite possibly innocent, these questions these were a reg flag to me. Not enough to cancel the booking, but just enough to know not to leave that extra touch with the wine bottle and personal note.  I should point out that he had one review from a host and it said “Though the experience was not like most I had, it was not necessarily bad either.” So I was overthinking it all at this point.

I responded very kind and professionally but reaffirmed they were renting a carriage house above a garage and only had access to the 550 sq ft unit and that while visitors are welcome to stop by please make sure they park on the street and do not block access to the driveway or garage.

So Saturday comes, we have a lot going on and are not planning to be home when our guest checks in. But the space is sparkling clean I’ve still left a welcome note with our “house rules” and local restaurants and bar recommendations. I even sent our guest a text with clear directions on how to find the carriage house, where to park (on the street) and the lock box code. Check in time comes and goes and I never hear from him, so I assume he got in ok and there are no issues.

We got home around 8pm from dinner and were planning to park on the street ourselves, as not to to disturb our guests with opening the garage door. But as we drive by our driveway there are three cars parked in our driveway. I was a little upset, and I know it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but I had made it very clear that we could only accommodate one car in our driveway.  But we decided to let it go and not say anything.  Then, about 20 minutes later, we see another car pulling up to the house…and when I walk out back to see what’s going on there are now FIVE cars in our driveway!  To be honest I had no idea we could even fit that many cars there. So at this point I politely ask the gentlemen directing the fifth car in to move four of these cars.

While he was not the one who booked the space he was very polite, agreed to move the cars and assured me that there was not a party going on up there just a few friends hanging out.  At this point we have no idea how many people are up there, but it was the oddest thing because there was no noise coming from upstairs and no music that we could hear.  The blinds were pulled closed for and all we could see were flashing LED type lights changing colors from blue to purple to red.

When we went to bed, a little after midnight, the lights were still going in the window and all of the cars were still on the street. I was so nervous to see what the space was going to look like when they checked out in the morning. Check out comes and we tip toe our way upstairs…but to my surprise it was completely clean, almost too clean though…trash had been taken out, a couple cups were in the sink, and one towel had been used, but that’s about it.

I am so curious to know what was going on up there – it could have been anything from a silent DJ party to really just a group of friends hanging out (with their own lighting) or something more illicit. But our place survived and this weekend we’ll be hosting a middle-aged couple for a few nights on their way cross country.  What a different experience this will be, they may get that bottle of wine.

Anywho, in case you’re interested here are some pictures of what the space looks like furnished. I still need to add a few things, and remove the white shelves but overall I am really happy with how it has turned out!




2 thoughts on “My first Experience as an Airbnb Host

  1. Loved this blog! I use AirBnB all the time when I travel. I must be a really good guest if this is the norm! I think it is so disrespectful to park all those cars in your driveway!!!! The Carriage house looks AMAZING!!!!

    1. Thanks Larissa!!! We’ve now hosted a handful of people and have had normal experiences, so I think it was just a fluke that this was our first experience. It’s hard to put into words how odd it all was.

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