I’ve been an Airbnb host for numerous properties since 2013 and want to share the top reasons why I love being one.
1. It’s fun!
I simply love sharing my space with others. I enjoy traveling the world and staying in the homes of locals. Providing this to others is a pleasure!
2. Support for Families
Being an Airbnb host feels great because I can provide a family-friendly space for people visiting Portland. We’ve hosted dozens of families, many of whom have small children. They enjoy the benefits of a space to stay in that has been set up with children in mind.
3. Income Stream!
Let’s face it, paying the mortgage from is well worth it! We take Airbnb hosting to an extreme and maximize the three months of short term rentals that allowed by current codes in Portland. (Next year, by converting a garage into an ADU, we hope to make this a more full-time arrangement.)
4. Lessons in Light Living
Because we rent our whole house at a time, for the duration of our guests’ stay, we have to be somewhere else. This has taught us to be better at packing, and to be resourceful in where we stay. Being an Airbnb Host provides a wonderful excuse to go camping or hiking in the summer, and is made easier by our new van, and a Silverfire stove that lets us cook (or make an espresso) on twigs, anywhere (tell Todd that Adam sent you).
5. Better Family Relationships (especially for Clark)
Making way for visiting families often leads to us visiting ours. Clark has a great relationship with both of my parents and with his cousins because he sees them more often. While part of that is freedom comes from my own lifestyle and employment decisions, Airbnb provides the reason to visit “Nema’s house!” and “Auntie Darcy!”
6. Cleanliness is Goddessness
Being an Airbnb Host means never knowing when a same-day inquiry will come in. So, you have to be flexible…and clean! We keep the house clean–saves on time when we suddenly have only a few hours before a guest is due. It’s also motivated me to find small ways to make the house more welcoming. I’ve become a much bigger fan of Young Living Essential Oils, and a diffuser in the bedroom makes the whole house smell more inviting.
We’ve just started the process of setting up our guest room as a stand-alone rental (instead of renting the whole house). The need to decorate this room has caused me to look more critically at what the space conveys to guests about Portland. Rather than settle for an embroidered pillow with the city’s name on it ($39 at the local kitschery) I decided to find and feature local artists. This led me to discover a wonderful artist named Dan Ray Everett. It also gave me a chance to visit one of my favorite places: Frame Central. Their super-helpful staff Ian, Dennis, and Becky clearly love what they do, and they do it well. Ian recognized Dan’s work on the spot. I like that our home can be a micro-gallery displaying local artists’ work and giving visitors a taste of Portland art culture.
Well, local artists and Klimt.
8. Travel & Connecting
Right now (November 17th) I’m at the AirBNB Open 2016, an international gathering in LA of over 100 speakers: AirBNB staff, hosts, musicians, entrepreneurs, and others from all over the world. It is wonderful that AirBNB brings the world to my door (literally) and gives me a chance to connect with a welcoming, world-wide community who share a lot of values.
9. Local Connections with my Community
Last month, AirBNB’s Portland Office hosted a disaster preparedness forum led by Portland NET that helped us to connect with the preparedness community. This is important because Oregon is overdue for a major seismic incident, and we should all be preparing. For AirBNB hosts, this means making our houses fool-proof and prepared in a disaster. What happens if the big one hits while we have guests? But, this is also an opportunity for me in the work I do with my nonprofit, InStove.org, to help make Oregon communities more resilient through deploying renewable energy cookstoves. It connects the professional, personal, and passion!
10. Manifesting my dream home
AirBNB has helped me envision the future of our home. Creating more functional, livable space not only increases the amount of income the house generates, it’s a peek into the future. While designing our first ADU, I envision all of us sleeping there in years to come (including kids that have not come yet). A second ADU is not just an additional bedroom and living room: it’s a place where parents or extended family may one day come to live with us. AirBNB factors into all of our decisions for redesigning the yard. Things like where the E-Bike and Tandem will be safely stored for guests, how we can integrate an InStove, an Almost Heaven Barrel Sauna, a Soft Tub (hot tub) and fire pit into a functional party space for dozens of people, and whether or not to remodel the attic with dormers…all of this is part of a conscious, ongoing, manifestation for a home that I have always dreamed of.