My First Week as an Airbnb Host: Learning the Ropes

In the whirlwind of Airbnb hosting, I learned that hospitality extends beyond clean linens. I had only been hosting for a little over a week and was already dealing with guests who didn't want to leave.

My First Week as an Airbnb Host: Learning the Ropes
My first week as an Airbnb host (for more photos on this listing, check out

Amid a busy day, I stood at the door, knocking gently, then more urgently. There was no answer. Only on my third attempt did a woman in her 50s finally open the door.

With an apologetic smile, I explained that I needed to clean my Airbnb space for the next guest.

I was hosting a mother and her daughter - the one who had booked the space. The daughter was in the middle of an important exam, and her mother had placed a candle on one of my ceramic dishes. Seeing the candle on my dish made me think I need a special place for religious or spiritual items in my space.

The mother shared that she was praying fervently for her daughter's success, and her prayer was nearly finished.

I had only been hosting for a little over a week and was already dealing with guests who didn't want to leave.

While I pensively washed the dishes, the mother spoke with me. She asked about my rental space, and gradually, my mood began to improve.

Last night, the daughter asked me if they could extend their stay, although I had already allowed them an extra night. Unfortunately, I had to decline because another guest had already booked the space.

We began discussing her children, one of whom was now happily working in the medical field in the US. The other, my guest, was working toward a medical license and was in the middle of a significant exam.

As soon as the candle burned out, the mother started packing up to leave. I couldn't help but notice the amount of cleaning that awaited me.

I looked at the mess with dread. Overflowing trash bins and a bathroom strewn with hair made me wonder how I'd ever get everything done in time for the next guest, whom I allowed to check in early—a big mistake.

"No luck for me," I thought to myself.

As I tackled the cleanup, I couldn't help but think about the life choices I'd made. Why had I decided to get into this hosting business? There were other paths I could have taken, yet this one felt like my true calling.

What was this experience teaching me?

I never expected that Airbnb hosting would involve so much work, especially in the beginning when I was still learning the ropes.

Housekeeping was becoming a meticulous task, and it wasn't a skill that came naturally to me.

Airbnb has recommended a set of cleaning practices to every host, outlining a 5-step cleaning and sanitizing process. I follow this guideline to the dot, using a strict checklist to make sure that no hair or dust is overlooked and to guarantee that the listing is spotless and ready for the next guest.

There was no turning back, though. Another guest was coming in about an hour and I had to make sure it was ready, or my hosting business would end before it even got started.

I just had to remind myself of the why: it's no longer an option to live in the condo (because our family is growing—well, Cyd mostly) or rent it out long-term (because another Typhoon Odette might come again), so only short-term rental could work for us.

As I finished cleaning the rest of the unit, I stepped back and looked at my work. I was pleased with myself for getting mostly done. I was starting to feel proud of myself for sticking with it, even when it was tough, when I heard a knock.

Shocks! The bed!

The guest, a solo traveler who needed to log on at 1 pm for her online interview, came. I apologized profusely as I wasn't done putting the new bedding.

She didn't mind. Oh, my luck!

And I quickly put the bedding on the mattress and refilled the almond bowl. Telling her to feel at home and enjoy her stay, I swiftly went out of the condo. Relief washed over me.

Then I smiled that big smile. I messed up a little, but the guest happened to be so gracious. It was also nice to meet her.

That night, there was a change in her flight, so the guest had to extend her stay - gladly I blocked the next day so I was able to accommodate her. Best of all, she left me a nice review. The third on my profile - finally, my listing would show a rating! Yey!

Small wins could keep you going in this business.

So, I celebrated.

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