For software developer Alex, first and foremost, being an Airbnb host is a way to pay it forward—to extend the same hospitality to others that he has enjoyed. “I relied upon my own experience of traveling, recalling how the generosity and kindness of locals in countless countries enriched my life and personal growth,” he explains. “I was let into their homes, dined with them, traveled with them, and learned so much from them.”

Since 2010, the longtime San Franciscan has called home a two-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse in Noe Valley. Guests can book one bedroom and one bathroom in the unit, or the entire place. Either way, they are treated to luxury amenities, such as 1200-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, and spectacular panoramic views, courtesy of the residence’s 22 windows.

During his four years of hosting, Alex has cultivated both personal and professional connections. And there has been another upside: “Airbnb helped offset my parents’ substantial long-term care costs through sharing my unique property with discerning families and business travelers,” he says.

His advice to others considering listing with Airbnb? “They need to really be excited to meet cool new people and treat each guest with sincere kindness and care,” he notes. To that end, his efforts get underway before his guests’ arrival. “I learn why they are here, what they like, and I make personal recommendations—much like I would appreciate in other cities.”

Alex’s five-star rating is proof that he’s doing something right. “I have been blessed to host people from 15 different countries,” he says. “I have become pretty good friends with many of the guests.” One of them, a pilot from New Zealand, invited Alex to visit him and his family, including flying as his guest on the airline that he works for. “It has always been a dream of mine to travel to New Zealand,” Alex continues, “and this is made possible because of Airbnb’s community of hosts and guests.”

Inspired to open your doors to a world of travelers? Great! Learn more about hosting here or sign up to list your space here.

Traveling to San Francisco? Stay with Shevi … or one of our many other inspiring local SF hosts!