Advice on Running an Airbnb Inside Your Home after Our Year of Hosting

You may have read via our social medial posts, but if you missed it, our season of acting as Airbnb hosts has come to a close. If you're new here, maybe you didn't even know we were hosts! A quick catchup for the newbies—last May we launched The Loft on Madison, an Airbnb inside our Grand Rapids home, set up mainly in our third story loft.

You can see photos of the space here. Up until this March, when everything shut down due to Corona virus, we had a healthy string of guests staying with us several times a week.

Once we were able to re-launch this past June, we decided it just didn't make sense for this season of our lives. It's bittersweet, for sure, and who knows, maybe we'll do it again someday in a different way, BUT, I learned a lot in our short time hosting, and if you've ever considered having your own Airbnb, whether in your home or in another location, I think I probably have some good tips for you!

Like any good entrepreneur, my favorite part of hosting was figuring out how to systemize and streamline our Airbnb so that it truly was it's own little business. Everything from key code entry, to message templates, to building a brand and website, to hiring out the management and cleaning of the space so that we could essentially "set it and forget it".

This post will focus specifically on hosting an Airbnb location within your main residence since that is my own experience, but many of these concepts can be applied to a separate location as well.

Let's dive in!

Guest Access & Traffic Patterns

First up is to think about which areas you'll rent out and how people will access them. Remember, more beds = more dollars in your pocket, BUT, more beds also means more people in the space and more wear and tear.

At first, we were open to hosting as many people as our guests wanted to squeeze into the space, but we quickly learned that—because the space was within our home where we needed to live and work AND SLEEP (very important)—that was not going to work. Too much noise and too much movement!