After purchasing my first home in late 2016 knowing I wanted to invite travelers in on a regular basis, I was able to open my doors to guests in May of 2017 after lots of renovation projects, large (new kitchen) and small (painting, installing a new doorway, and so many more).
Why would a single female want to open her home to complete strangers? The most obvious answer to that would likely be that I am a millennial... I wanted in on the sharing economy! I saw it as an opportunity to help me put more toward my retirement, more toward my mortgage, more toward fun, all the while meeting great people. As someone who has used Airbnb in Thailand, Malaysia, Iceland, Costa Rica, Canada, and various cities around the United States, I felt I had enough experience as a guest to know how to host, and do it well. So, after much thought about the smallest of details, I threw on my best Lorelei Gilmore pants, and opened up my own version of the Dragonfly Inn!
I knew I had to set myself apart. As a guest, I knew that 3 things mattered the most, and if I could master them, I would be on my way to SuperHost status in no time. They were: 1. Cleanliness, 2. Attention to Detail, 3. Communication & Hospitality.
Cleanliness is huge. People don't want to use a dirty bathroom or sleep on stained sheets. Doing this one right is easy.
Attention to detail is important, and it's not always expected. Little things like providing a night light, plug adapter, neighborhood and city guide, cold beverage upon arrival, snacks for people who are vegan/gluten-free, milk AND dark chocolates, fresh flowers, clear safety information, and little instructions around the house for things people might struggle with (like the finicky doorknob in my bathroom) are things that guests have told me they appreciated. Before opening my doors to guests, I put myself in their shoes. How would I navigate the house upon arrival, what do I need to see first, what might I be wondering or worried about? I tried to answer all of those questions either through communication or by placing items in the right sequence/spot.
Lastly, communication and hospitality, which are by far the most crucial part of being a host, in my opinion. I went ahead and set up automated messages to be sent out 24 hours before a guest arrived, another upon arrival, and the last message 24 hours before check-out. Taking hospitality into account, I did my best to stay out of their hair and tried not to overwhelm them with too many messages, or dense essays of messages. But, we were sharing a living space, and a bathroom, so it was important for us to all be on the same page…