Hosting an experience on Airbnb can be a lot of fun as you share your passion with guests from around the world. As you design your experience and plan for how to reach your hosting goals, though, it’s also important to consider what kind of mindset and habits you may need to practice in order to achieve those goals.
Thinking like an entrepreneur
Many hosts tell us that what motivates them to continue to provide a unique experience is the opportunity to grow a business. From responding to inquiries to welcoming new guests, hosting is a way to not only share your passion, but also to learn new business skills, and with time, become a successful entrepreneur.
Here are a few habits that help to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset:
- Stay positive. Embrace the challenges that come with starting something new.
- Be patient. Building a successful business can take some time and extra effort in the beginning.
- Experiment. Test different things to see what works best for attracting more guests and earning stellar reviews.
- Be open to learning. Welcome new ideas and ways to improve.
- Look for creative solutions. Approach a problem or a challenge creatively by improvising and staying flexible.
- Expect the unexpected. Take the time to think through your experience and identify any potential risks you or your guests might encounter. Planning ahead can help you respond quickly and effectively when the unexpected occurs.
Doing photo shoots on a regular basis has helped me become more creative while keeping the experience fresh for me, since I do not repeat the exact same locations. It’s also allowed me to become a better entrepreneur and problem solver as I grow my business and brand.
— Raul, host of Street Cinema in Miami
Be available. Hosts with the most successful experiences are committed to hosting regularly.
Update your calendar. Once your experience is live, guests can instantly book any dates you’ve made available on your calendar. So it’s important that you keep your calendar updated and honor the bookings guests make. If a guest searches for dates that you haven’t made available, your experience won’t appear in their search results. To ensure that guests see your experience’s true availability, update your calendar frequently.
Seasonal travel. Something to keep in mind is the seasonal nature of travel. Some months there might be a high demand as tourists flock to the city, while other months are quieter because less people are traveling there. Plan your business anticipating when busy times might be.
Avoid cancellations. Canceling or altering a booked experience can be disruptive to guests and the plans they’ve made. For cancelling, there may be a fine up to $500 and your account could be suspended. Our Help Center has articles on the host cancellation policy, and what happens if a guest cancels.
I offer two different experiences and quickly found which was the most popular, so skewed my calendar to having the most popular experience available five days a week and the other experiences for the other two days. I saw a good uptake over [peak] season and was able to get frequent bookings from November to March.
— Paris, host of Sunset Biking Under Table Mountain in Cape Town
Hosting has a lot of benefits, but it requires a certain level of commitment. We encourage hosts to think carefully about their responsibilities. Here are some ways you can be a responsible host:
Verify your ID. Verifying information about hosts on Airbnb helps make our community a safer place for everyone. Verify your ID now!
Review the local regulations for your city. Our Responsible Hosting center offers information for market-specific topics like safety, food, alcohol, transportation, business licenses, and more here.
Think about risk. Some types of experiences include activities that may require you to confirm that you have the requisite licenses or insurance. For example, activities that include hot air balloons or motorcycles. We’ll contact you if your experience falls within this category.