Airbnb.com: Setting up Shop
When you're setting up your home as an Airbnb.com rental, you gotta keep in mind that people want to stay in an ideal version of your space.
First, declutter! We got rid of all our extra furniture, most of our artwork, and every knick knack that was in sight. Part of this was because we have a busy little toddler who likes to get into things, part because we felt that people coming to stay in our home would want to be able to relax and not worry about breaking things, but mostly because a simple house is easier to clean. You might find you have a different philosophy on hosting, but I think that the more you can "stage" your home to look like an idea real estate listing, the more bookings you'll get.
Next, what about supplies? What do people need to feel comfortable in your house?
Here's my supplies list:
- Beds: we have three queen mattresses and one full. These beds are covered in those amazing waterproof/everything proof covers. You NEVER know what might happen, so it's best to prepare for the worst ;)
- Sheets: we keep three sets of sheets per bed on hand just in case.
- Towels: we keep two large bath towels, two hand towels, and two wash clothes per guest on hand. All from IKEA.
- Shampoo/Conditioner/Soap: I bought a few sets of shampoo/conditioner and a baby wash. Also, to avoid waste, no bar soap here! We bought several containers of bodywash instead. That way, people don't feel gross using someone else's soap.
- Fist aid/Other: I keep hydrogen peroxide, neosporin, band-aids, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, some razors, and toothpaste in the medicide cabinet.
- Dishes/Glassware: since we can accomodate up to 8 people, we bought a service for 12 at IKEA. Same goes for glasses and coffee mugs.
- Kitchen items: we left our toaster, rice-cooker, slow-cooker, blender, and then our can-opener, a whisk or two, slotted spoon, a set of knives, and the all-important bottle opener!
- Television: cable isn't necessary, but how about a Chromecast and Netflix account?
- Washing machine: It's really nice to be able to wash your clothes at a home if you're staying more than a few days. Our dryer broke, but we intend to replace that soon.
- Internet: a must have! Try Verizon FIOS for the best rates in Philly.
- One side table and lamp per bed.
Cleaning and House Management supplies:
- Cleaning Supplies: Lysol all purpose cleaner and bleach are vital. You not only need to clean, sometimes you need to disinfect. Bathrooms always need the full treatment, sheets and towels need to be bleached every few guests.
- Toilet paper and paper towels: get LOTS.
- Tissues: boxed tissues are one of those niceties that people appreciate. I got a box per room.
- Vacuum cleaner: a simple stick vac does the job.
- Lockboxes: I bought two standard lockboxes with a set of keys in each: one for the front door and one as a backup. I also provide a back-up back-up emergency key, but that comes at a cost.
- Glass cleaner and a squeegee: I read somewhere that the single best thing you can do to stage your house is to clean the windows - more light comes in and the place looks cleaner.
I hope that helps all you potential hosts out there to get started. We've found through trial and error what we NEED and what doesn't really work.