biggest mistake as a host

An insider look at some of our members’ Airbnb

I reached out to my communities a few weeks ago wanting to promote their Airbnb. It was the right thing to do, I thought, in times of COVID-19 when the whole “travel” industry got crumpled.

Some good news is that the stock market seems to be on the rebound and I’m hoping that we’ll have a speedy recovery, a rebound in the travel industry.

When I reached out, I knew I would get a few submissions and I’ve received a few dozens of emails. Some of our members even forwarded my email to other hosts that would benefit from this.

We get close to 30,000 readers per month, which is a sizeable amount of active readers, and this is my way to give back to the community. I’m promoting their Airbnb pro-bono.

It was hard to select just one, so I decided to include a few in this blog post to provide the maximum benefit to as many as possible. And sharing some of the lessons learned by our hosts so that you can avoid making their mistakes in your journey (beginner or expert).

Here are my selections, a mix of geographical locations. And each Airbnb is unique and has a personal story behind it.

I hope you’ll get a chance to enjoy reading it.

Andrew from Singapore, Malaysia

Airbnb link:

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you first get into Airbnb?

A: “I’m a part-time Airbnb host from Malaysia, I’m a Video Editor who works and lives in Singapore. The apartment is my own property, I came across Airbnb because of higher return potential that could be a passive income.”

Q: What was your biggest mistake as a host? The one you still remember today. 

“Treat the guest too nice that they’re taking it for granted, the guest requested rice cooker and some other small requests which I fulfilled all of them. After they checked-out and left the place a real mess!”

Q: Did Passive Airbnb help you become a better host?

“I learn a lot from your blog content, especially marketing and strategy tips.”

Sam’s note: Well done, Andrew! I see that you hired a professional photographer which is the most important thing in having a higher click-through rate.

Miranda from Houston, Texas

Airbnb link:

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you first get into Airbnb? 

A: “My home is a 1930 Victorian cottage and I purchased the house in December 2010 from the original owner’s granddaughter. Through her, I found out that the house had an extensive history in the neighborhood.

She told me how many family members had lived in the house over the years; and how many were actually born in the house. She told me about her family hosting tenants in the front bedroom and that the bathroom used to be an outhouse! She told me about her grandmother saving the lives of 2 little boys that lived next door when their house caught on fire.
I later met that “little boy” (now in his 60’s) who confirmed her story. His family still lives next door too!

The family had preserved everything original in the home; down to the window transoms and crown molding. You just didn’t find homes like this often, and it truly was a gem of a building. I didn’t know it at the time but found out during closing that all the other bids on the house were from developers, who were planning to tear it down. I was appalled to hear that such a beautiful home could be demolished so easily, so I made her a promise that I would do everything in my power to protect the home.

Shortly after purchasing the home, my husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. We had not moved into the home yet, so we decided to stay in our current house (which he owned) and rent out the cottage until we got through cancer treatments. Unfortunately, My husband  passed away in 2012. We never moved into the cottage. After he passed, I kept the house as a rental property and was fortunate to have very good tenants from the years 2012 – 2018.  I rented the house for as much as I could, and due to yearly tax increases, I only just covered the expenses on it every month. But, I had promised I wouldn’t let it get torn down, and that’s what I was fighting to do; no matter how I had to do it. In Feb. 2018, I received notice that the City of Houston was raising taxes (again) on the house (to nearly $6500 a year).

This meant that I would have to raise rent to a price again, and it would be higher than I knew I could get for a year lease on the property. It is an older 2bed, 1 bath and I was competing with brand new townhomes in the same area. I couldn’t ask $2000 a month for an older home when the brand new townhomes were renting for $1500. It seemed that developers were winning in our neighborhood. I knew if I didn’t figure something out fast, I would have to sell…and most likely to a developer. That broke my heart. 

I decided at that moment to convert the home to an Airbnb and also host mini-events at the space to help cover expenses. It was a gamble, and I took out a lot of credit to get the home furnished and ready, but to this day, I do not regret my decision. Airbnb literally SAVED this home from demolition. I am grateful every day for the guests I receive from this platform.”

Sam’s note: Sorry to hear about your Husband. I’m glad Airbnb is able to help you through those hard times financially. keep up the good work!

Q: What was your biggest mistake as a host? The one you still remember today. 

A: “I am still learning how to become a better host every day.

One of my biggest lessons was to set up the home to bring comfort to all ages; including elderly, mid-aged, teens and children. I have added safety items in my bath and kitchen for the elderly. I have added lots of modern amenities to appeal to mid-younger age adults, and I have added tons of extras for children and teens. If you include items for the whole family, then it makes the place feel like a “home” and not a “rental”.”

Sam’s note: great photos and lots of great reviews!

biggest mistake as a host

Mandy from Lisbon, Portugal

Airbnb link:

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you first get into Airbnb? 

A: “I am a rental property manager but fell into it by accident, a lot happened to me in 2012 I lost my job, my father died, my dog died, my mother was almost paralyzed and I was kind of lost.
I already took care of a friend’s tiny village house as she lives in another country, so I threw my energies into that, then someone else asks me if I would do the same for them and then it just grew… Airbnb was really the only platform that was offering a pay per booking and rooms as well as whole properties. It seemed like a perfect match.”

Q: What was your biggest mistake as a host? The one you still remember today.

A: The biggest mistake was thinking I had to take care of everything myself!! 2015 nearly killed me! I ended up putting the wrong clients in the wrong villa……  now I delegate more and trust my team, we are only small but between 4 of us, we look after 15 properties.

Q: Did Passive Airbnb help you become a better host?

 A: I have you to thank for helping me see what I needed to let go of and that I don’t have to micro-manage everything.

Sam’s note: I’m so happy for your success. To have a successful Airbnb empire takes a good team!

Last mention goes to…

Mark Friend. He purchased my ecourse back in May of 2019. So glad to see the success that he’s having now!

Side note: I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 years since I first released my course. And in the last 2 years, my course has helped many 5-figure, 6-figure, and even 7-figure Airbnb operators.

Airbnb link:

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you first get into Airbnb? 

A: “33 years old, striving to be Financially Independent by 40. Full time job in Financial Services, want to buy an Airbnb rental every year until I own at least 10. I first got into Airbnb when I left the corporate world to help start a company in which I didn’t have any income for the first year and a half so I rented out my place to help pay the bills along with 3-4 other side hustles (CrossFit coach, Uber, Food Delivery, etc.) until we got the company up and running and eventually sold out.”

Q: What was your biggest mistake as a host? The one you still remember today.

A: “Before I owned my homes, I rented out my place on Airbnb without getting property manager approval and eventually got evicted over it.”

Sam’s note: I’ve seen this happen more often than not. Glad it’s working out for the better this time around! And Boise, Idaho is definitely on an upward trend in terms of popular travel destinations. I’d love to come to visit when the opportunity comes.

Want more Airbnb advice and tips? You can click here to learn more about successful hosting. Then, you’ll find out how you can leverage other people’s properties to build a 6-figure business on Airbnb.

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