In this post, I’ll be giving you a little insight on how we started our first Airbnb apartment, nerve wrecking but such an exciting opportunity. The decision came about over a Sunday lunch where we decided that we should downscale to accommodate our big dreams, we were so content and comfortable in our three bedroom abode but knew that we needed to sacrifice something. It was our first home, first massive responsibility none the less it was our first dream of much more to come which made it easier to let go.
Our apartment is situated in an estate in Fourways, a semi-central suburb close to pretty much everything you need when visiting Johannesburg. We literally decided on that Sunday and the next day we had our place listed to start hosting guests in the following few weeks to come, by a few weeks I mean TWO WHOLE WEEKS!
Planning is essential when starting your own guest house, begin jotting down previous experiences that you thoroughly enjoyed at guest houses or hotels you’ve been to. This will help create a list to follow to use in your own place. We loved the little details hosts provided such as a start-up breakfasts, essential toiletries (hand sanitizer, shampoo, body wash, and lotion) even if we didn’t use what was provided, it sure gave a lasting impression. We used the same concept to make our guests feel a little more at home. Once you’ve planned all the essentials needed in your home to make it comfortable start putting a budget in place so that you don’t go too overboard.
We obviously didn’t have a big budget to recreate our home into the guest house so we did a little homework comparing prices and bought all of our linen necessities at our local MrP Home. We bought white linen and bedroom basics for all the rooms, bathroom towels and a few little decor pieces to complete the bedrooms as well as kitchen storage pieces to store our tea, coffee and sugar. We then visited Adams discount center to purchase single crockery and serveware, note when buying crockery, try to find a place where you can purchase basic singles so that if anything breaks it’s easy to replace.
Simple tweaks to create that wow factor
Our home needed to be practical, we transformed our study into a bedroom with two single beds to host extra guests, I used simple floating shelves from MrP Home and a hanging glass pendant light that I transformed into a bedside pendant to separate the space between the two single beds. We framed the wifi password and added it to the floating shelves above the TV to make it easy and accessible for guests to use. We also created a welcome book that has all the details of nearby restaurants, estate rules, contact details and a list of everything available in the house to use during their stay, this will also assist to keep track of everything you have bought for reference.
A few little things to remember when hosting
I fell in love with hosting after our first guest. Making sure that your guest is comfortable is your number one priority. Remember that your rendering a service not doing anyone a favor so take pride in making sure that your place is left the way you would like to arrive at your accommodation. It’s the little things that will make your guests want to return. Send a message every now and then to ensure that your guests are well looked after in your home. It will become your own little business, so don’t take reviews personally, learn and apply criticism to make it better for the next guest, this will help increase your rating and grow your Airbnb to flourish!