How to Survive Being an Airbnb Host

Illustration by Graham Roumieu

Excerpt from this article:

At least at first, you will grow a thin skin.  …even if you’re used to people throwing darts at you in your professional life, it’s something else to have strangers judging your home and your way of living. And doing it publicly. I’d told the Oregon women they were my first guests and to let me know how I could improve, but they never mentioned any problems and seemed happy enough. Being called out online is like asking someone if you have food in your teeth and having that person proceed to announce that yes, in fact you do, over a loud speaker…

A special kind of paranoia will set in. Once you’ve gotten a less-than-rave review, you start looking at every possible defect as a potential online skewer…

You will not be above bribery. When I bemoaned my bad review to a friend, she mentioned that she always gives wine to her guests. Aha, I thought. That’s what I was missing. So in addition to a basket of muffins, I began leaving a nice bottle of sauvignon blanc. “How much are you spending on each guest?” my husband asked when he saw me carting the check-in swag to the apartment. To be honest, I didn’t really care. My pride was at stake and anyway, it seems to have worked. All my reviews were glowing after the addition of alcohol.

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