My husband and I bought our first flat together three years ago… a small but characterful home on the outskirts of Peckham. We were pleased to find a two-bed we could just afford in a unique white art-deco block of flats. At the time the second bedroom felt like an added bonus, perfect for additional storage, or to be used as a small office perhaps.
We both travel a lot and use Airbnb often when we are staying in a city abroad. After so many positive experiences as a guest in other people’s homes, we considered the role of hosting for our second bedroom. I was pessimistic about the set-up process but it couldn’t have been simpler, uploading a few nice photos and adding in essential details. It is easy to add in preferences dependant on your needs… strict or lenient cancellation policy, instant booking or not, singles or couples… it is totally up to you so you only get guests that suit your property and your lifestyle.
We set the availability dates and within hours we had our first enquiry! A chef from Ireland was coming to work at one of London’s top restaurants for a month and needed a place to stay. We checked his previous reviews and had a brief conversation about his trip to London. He seemed very similar to us in age, interests and living style. We pressed accept, tidied the spare bedroom and awaited his arrival.
Before our Airbnb guest arrived I ensured everything was ready to go and clean in the bedroom – fresh sheets, new towels, plenty of hangers in the cupboard for clothes. To make his stay more comfortable I placed a small vase of flowers on the bedside table and offered a small travel set of toiletries that I had picked up on my travels. A few days later our guest arrived. After showing him around the flat we chatted a bit about our favourite places to eat in London… me being a food writer and him a chef, we had a lot in common! The next few weeks passed in a flash, he was a conscientious and quiet guest. Very hard-working and sociable, he was rarely in the flat and was exceptionally quiet the rest of the time. It was a very easy pot of money to make!
I have now hosted several guests from all over the world in my spare bedroom and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It is very fulfilling to use an empty room that would otherwise be left unused and to give likeminded people an affordable place to stay in London. Best of all it gives my husband and I a bit of extra cash over the summer period. We have set-up a new account for our airbnb earnings and have agreed to use the money we collect on home improvements… starting with new tiles in the bathroom and velvet curtains for our bedroom!
If you are considering becoming an airbnb host I urge you to take the plunge and give it a go… anything you are worried about can be answered on the website. Most importantly you will always be in control of choosing who your guests are… so you only have guests staying you feel happy with.
More information on becoming an Airbnb host here.
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Airbnb.