The room I was going to turn into my airbnb room was a mess! It wasn’t fit for anyone, let alone a stranger who was going to rate their experience out of 5 stars. I bought a sander, some sandpaper, stain, varnish, paint and paintbrushes and spent an entire week renovating the room. First I painted the room a bluish/green/grey. A color that would hopefully make men and women of various ages feel at home in. After that I sanded down my floors and stained them a dark color. I varnished them and the house stunk for weeks. While the smell was going away, I went on craigslist in hunt for a small desk, bed, and side table. I found each on easily and after a quick trip to Target for some sheets and a comforter the room started to look like a great place to stay. I even threw up three mirrors to make the tiny room look larger.
Safety was my main concern! I can’t tell you how many nights I stayed awake thinking about the worst possible situation. Even today I get nervous whenever I book someone. I hide my computer, watch, and iPad. Then after I meet them I immediately grow comfortable and often just leave those things around the house without much thought. I invested quite a bit of money in order to make myself and my guests feel safe. The first and best thing I did was replace my doorknobs with keypad entries. It cost about $100 a keypad/doorknob combo at Menards but it was fairly easy to install myself and figure out how to code. I can easily change the code in between airbnbers now. In fact, before they arrive at my home I will ask them what they want the 4 digit code to be to my home. Then after they leave I change it to the next guests code. I of course have the main code which I do not tell anyone.
The second thing I did was find a lock and key for their door. I also installed chain locks on the inside of their doors for their added security. I also have a key and lock for my room as well. My room is where I generally keep my computer and other expensive things when I am gone. Along with cleaning up the dishes immediately when I am done with them, it has been a habit to lock my bedroom door behind me.
There aren’t nearly as many horror stories from airbnb as there are from sites like uber but they exist! Here they are:
If you want you can go on the complaint and comments section of airbnb and read the things that people are complaining and making allegations about. Most of them aren’t a big deal but they can be sometimes! Tread cautiously and don’t be afraid to turn someone down if you do not feel comfortable, or if they do not have any positive ratings of their own. I am always a little cautious of bnbers who have no reviews (even though I often let them stay anyway).
Finalizing my listing:
After as many safety measures were taken as possible, I took pictures of the rest of my home, and set up an airbnb account. And as the final smells of stain and varnish were leaving the air, I posted my listing on airbnb. Within a week I had my first client. A traveling doctor from India.