Your first job as a host

I’m a member of a lot of groups for hosts on Facebook. Many of them are very helpful, offering lots of great tips and strategies for more successful hosting. However, there’s also a common thread among them that is not as helpful: complaining.

Oh my word. Some of these hosts complain like you wouldn’t believe.

Their guests had the nerve to use the provided kitchen. Guests didn’t strip the beds. Brought a friend over without telling them. Had kids who scribbled in the guest book.

Seriously, some of these complaints are so trivial.

When I see hosts talking like this I want to shake them and ask them why they got into this business in the first place.

This is first a foremost a hospitality industry. Your job is to make your guests happy.

This means that your job is also to be understanding of guests’ needs and mentality while on vacation.

People on vacation aren’t going to want to strip the beds. That’s why they pay a cleaning fee. Many people book short-term rentals instead of hotels specifically for the express purpose of having a kitchen available to save on food costs…how can you expect them to not use it? And anyone who’s ever been around kids knows that even the best-behaved of them will get into the crayon box and write on something they shouldn’t at some point in their lives.

Webster’s defines hospitality as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.”

Working in the hospitality industry, while perhaps slightly different because there is still an end goal of profit, should have more or less the same vision.

That means no charging people for extra electricity usage or other stupid charges like that.

It means graciously providing if someone wants extra towels.

Writing off small damages such as stained face towels as a cost of doing business.

Being proactive about inquiring towards and providing for the guests’ needs.

Tools like TurnoverBNB, Your Porter, August Locks, Wheelhouse, and more are all geared towards making managing short-term rentals easier and more streamlined. These sorts of apps have made a business out of making hosts’ lives easier.

But have we as hosts forgotten that our jobs are essentially to make our guests’ lives easier?

Don’t forget that. It’s the heart of this business. And without it, you’re going to get frustrated and burned out in a hurry.