The time is finally here! You have spent time, money, and energy creating and decorating your Airbnb. Maybe you are hosting one bedroom or even an entire house. Whatever your situation may be, your space is ready, are you? When you welcome your first Airbnb guest it is exciting and a little strange (in a good way)! I remember clicking the “List Your Space” button on Airbnb and the sense of accomplishment that came along with it. Only three days passed before our first guest was booked. My wife and I were so relived to know that all the hard work we put into creating our Airbnb was not wasted!
Having no guests yet means having no reviews. This can be somewhat of a catch-22 because you need guests to leave reviews but having just listed your space you won’t have reviews. So to remedy this little problem Airbnb added References. This is a great way for new hosts to get references from family and friends prior to hosting your first guest. I wanted to have at least three personal references on my profile before “officially” going live. I ended up with five and it helped tremendously getting those first few bookings.
Back to our first guest. Our listing is live and the guest has been confirmed. We had three days to prepare ourselves! Since my Airbnb is in my personal residence things are handled a little differently than if I were at a another location. Even though the space is separate and not shared with myself or my family we want to make sure every guest gets a sense of privacy and comfort. When the first guest booked and I received the notification from Airbnb I was thrilled. I read over the guest information and everything looked great. Newlyweds wanted to spend two nights of their honeymoon in my Airbnb. A tall order for any host, especially for a brand new one!
My wife and I were ready for the “challenge” so to speak. We double checked everything. Lots of little questions popped in my head before our first guests arrived. Are the bed sheets soft enough? Do we have enough toilet paper, paper towels, and trash bags? Is my welcome folder clear and concise enough? Are there enough bowls, plates, and glasses? Looking back after a full year of being a host, these questions are important, but there is no truly right answer. Each guest brings a different experience and as a host you learn to adapt and accommodate each guest in their own right.
The day was finally here. The first day with our first Airbnb guests. It was now check in time and they arrived promptly. My Airbnb is set up that each guest receives access to the August Smart Lock so there is no physical key and I do not need to be present when they come and go from the space. I got a notification that the Airbnb door had been unlocked by our guest! Phew, glad to know that part worked.
My family and I were headed out for an early dinner. As we packed the kids in the car seats, our guests were walking up the path to the driveway. When I saw them I stepped out of the car and greeted them. It was a wonderful experience to say the least. These people chose to stay with us on part of their honeymoon and were so excited to be here. They absolutely loved the look and feel of the Airbnb and were honored to be our first guests. We chatted for a few minutes about their wedding and where all they were going on the honeymoon. After officially welcoming them to our home my family headed to dinner.
I will probably never forget that experience. I still remember feeling anxious and excited when they arrived. Not knowing how this whole process would play out. Many questions that seemed important at the time but could be handled down the road with a little bit of experience. They left a very sweet note for us that calmed a lot of the doubt and fear my wife and I had about this adventure. One thing I have come to cherish about Airbnb is that these are ordinary people. Some people may be in your city and others come from different countries. What is wonderful is that it brings people from all walks of life together. These people may arrive as guests but they leave as friends.
Don’t just Host, Superhost! And Superhost like a Boss!