The ART of hosting

airbnb, airbnb host, art, austin host, Hosting, travel, traveling nurses, wyoming

Providing a bed and a clean place is the goal of a host, but if you want to really have fun with being a guest, it’s fun to go big!

Think about creating an experience for your guests.  It feels so good to have our guests say how fun it was to have their own cool house for a weekend.  That is the point of hosting for us.  Create a cool fun place and then let them enjoy it like their own.

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The little things that make your place special:

  • Have newer towels that all match and are folded perfectly.
  • Sheets and beds should be made tight and minimal wrinkles.
  • Fresh soap and shampoo bottles or containers that are clean and full.
  • Have art and mirrors on the walls
  • Create a welcome letter or book
  • Have local visitor information available
  • Make sure the house is spotless!  Not 1 hair in the bathroom, Not 1 crumb on the kitchen floor.  You get it.  It matters!

Want to do more?  Do it!

  • Provide quality coffee, tea and basic breakfast items
  • Provide a bottle of wine
  • Provide a gift certificate to your favorite hangout or coffee shop ($5-$10 isn’t much but it means alot to the guests and brings them to your local favorite business owners)
  • Have fresh flowers available
  • Grow a garden (small herbs or flowers) to add a personal touch
  • Make sure the grill and outdoor furniture is clean and add a tiki torch or outdoor lighting.

 

We are adding a mural to the backyard this week and creating bike sculptures in front of one of our houses.  It makes the neighborhood look nice and makes it easier for our guests to locate us.  We will share them when all finished!

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Austin place for traveling nurses and business… ready for guests!

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It is ready to book!

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saracen gh

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Check it out.

We prefer 3 weeks to 3 months.  Let us know what you need.

Just a mile from the lake and 10 minutes to downtown Austin.  A home away from home.

Details below.  Book on Airbnb or contact us directly.

Bluebonnet Villa

Hints for new Airbnb hosts

airbnb, art, Hosting, travel, wyoming

After helping many friends get their Airbnb/short term rental businesses going, there are some clear traits of the hosts that can relax and get into the vibe of hosting.

  • Let go of your emotional attachment to your property.   This is the biggest hurdle.  If you can’t get past this one, then the rest of what I’m suggesting won’t even matter!    Fix up your place and then be ready to give it up for someone else to enjoy.  If you can’t stand the thought of someone leaving a towel on the floor or eating on the couch,  hosting may be stressful for you.   As long as they leave the house in good shape when they leave that is what matters.  Worrying about the house when you have guests is no fun.

My strategy:

a. Have clear rules (not too many, but pick some important ones like no smoking, no pets, shoes off in the house etc)

b. Be selective about who you approve.  It’s your house.  This is the best way to keep the rest on track.

c. Charge a deposit that helps you feel comfortable so if a rule is broken you have some recourse (I’ve never had to charge a deposit)

  • Trust your guests.  Once you’ve selected your guests carefully, then trust them and let them have a nice time.  Check on them after they have settled in and make sure they are OK and reassure them that you are available for any questions and then let them have a good time.  Nagging hosts are the worst!
  • Find the right platform for marketing your place.  The main reason I like to use Airbnb for my places is the screening done by Airbnb. They verify each person’s identity while other sites like VRBO/Home Away you need to be super careful about scammers.  Set up instant book with high security options or choose to manually approve each guest request.   Also think about who your audience is that you want to market to.  Our audience are Airbnb regulars and they have all been excellent!
  • Have house cleaner or manager ready.  I like to clean my places myself because I want them to be perfect but have also found some amazing people that have taken the places under their wings and have been life savers!  We always let our cleaners and maintenance people know we appreciate them with bonuses and lots of compliments.  Having a clean place for your guest is #1 in my book.  Guests want super clean and they should have super clean! 
  • Get a professional to take photos.  Lighting and clean rooms will attract bookings.  Clean and organized in the photos and when they arrive!
  • Keep the place maintained and perky.  We are adding a mural and new artwork to one of our places.  It is important not to let your place get dingy and worn down.  Keep an eye open at garage sales and consignment places for cool furniture or artwork.  I love staging the houses with cool furniture and fun artwork that creates a living space that is inviting and more than just a regular house.

Let me know if you have questions or comments about hosting.  It is a full time job much of the time but very rewarding but you need to be the right kind of person for this to work out.  Hope this helps!

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big room windowaroom 3 broom 2 c

My first guest

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Yesterday I was preparing a place for some musicians stopping by on their way west from Nashville and I was thinking about how much I’ve learned about guests and hosting.

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We decided to turn a house we remodeled into an Airbnb in 2012 when there wasn’t anyone else on Airbnb at the time.

I modified furniture, found some fun artwork at thrift stores, dug out extra dishes and cooking supplies that I wasn’t using and starting staging the house for guests.

OK so I had everything ready for our first guest and we welcomed them in and everything seemed great, until they left and I went to check on the house.  I couldn’t believe what I found.  The house was a mess and they had taken all of the supplies I had stocked at the house.  I couldn’t believe it.

Being on Airbnb gave me some great options for recourse, but because they were my first guests, I was too worried about my first review being a bad one so I bit the bullet and didn’t give them a review at all.

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Since then not only have I learned about hosting and communication but guests are much more experienced and considerate when using someones home.

We’ve hosted over 300 guests at our Laramie homes and our Steamboat condo and just a handful of guests have been difficult.  Most are amazing people and super considerate and appreciative.   We have guests coming back again and again and we are so happy to have them!

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We continue to update the properties and look forward to painting murals at the Art House this summer!

 

Travel and experiences

art, travel, wyoming
rene and david japan

Hanging out on a rooftop in Osaka, Japan

Travel is great because you can enjoy a different culture, food, weather, neighborhoods and people.  The world is so big and full of awesome experiences waiting for us!

We love Wyoming and want to share more of our passion with visitors to Laramie.  This year we are offering art experiences to our guests.

 

www.ReneWilliamsArt.com

www.ScienceLovesArt.org