Home Decor

7 Very Useful Hosting Tips That This Airbnb Superhost Swears By

Turn your space into everyone's favorite home away from home.

November 13, 2019
Photo by Mark Weinberg

There are two kinds of rental properties: the kind that makes you feel like you’re awkwardly crashing in somebody’s spare room, with family photos on the nightstand and a stranger’s clothes in the closet, and the kind that feels like you’ve checked into a well-appointed, super-cool vacation home that’s actually better than a hotel.

Letting out a rental property is an excellent way to design and manage your own property, bring in some extra income, and meet people from all over the world, too. We asked an expert—Cindy Morrow, the host of a super-stylish loft in LA that started as her second home, and is now an elite Airbnb Plus—how to create a space that’ll get killer reviews (and lots of bookings).

Here are Cindy’s top tips and tricks for creating a next-level vacation rental.

Clear out

First and foremost, “keep it clutter free: no personal photos or belongings,” Cindy says. “No one wants to go on a holiday and be reminded of all the stuff they’re trying to get away from.”

Steer clear of weird decor

Remember, this place isn’t just for you: It’s for your guests. “Nobody likes to sleep with creepy dolls, and we all know you can’t wash that hand-crocheted blanket,” Cindy says. When it comes to design, think stylish and thoughtful but clean and crowd-pleasing.

Create a space that's stylish, yes, but feels lived in. Photo by Cindy Morrow

Pay attention to even the tiniest details

“Add some useful or fun touches that guests will appreciate: USB charging stations, a bluetooth speaker, board games, and magazines,” Cindy advises. “And don’t be cheap on the basics—especially coffee and toilet paper!”

Make important info easy to find

“Be very clear about your rules and regulations to your guests prior to reserving, and post a copy in your rental,” Cindy notes. That’s also a good place to include important information like WiFi passwords, heat or AC instructions, house rules, as well as a list of local recommendations.

Cleanliness is key

“Clean clean clean! Don’t skimp,” says Cindy. “Keep a clean place, if not for a good review, but just because it’s the right thing to do. Be a slob in your own place, but not in your listing.”

Don’t nickel and dime

“Don’t charge your guests for dumb stuff like dirty towels or a missing wine opener,” Cindy says. Account for these small costs in your pricing, or chalk them up to the cost of doing business, rather than charging your guests afterwards for minor things. They’ll appreciate it (and be more likely to recommend you).

Practice safe renting

A few bits of advice to protect your place: “Be on top of the laws forming in your state, city, and building,” Cindy says. “Invest in an outdoor camera and let your guests know you use it, even if you don’t, and make sure you disclose it in your listing. No cameras inside allowed!”

Lastly, “don’t keep anything personal in your listing. Things do go missing,” Cindy says. Translation: This is not the place for your favorite vintage crockery. Stock up on a new set that’s easily replaced, but still looks beautiful, so you can let your place out worry-free.

Have any tips on how to turn a home into an A+ vacation rental? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Annie Quigley

Written by: Annie Quigley



witloof November 19, 2019
I'm not sure the way to everyone's heart is through low key decor. My absolute favorite Airbnb experience was this past summer in Cordoba, Spain. My host was an amazing artist and had painted and decorated every single surface of his guest apartment in over the top colors, like fuchsia, and there were all kinds of paintings, frescoes, and hangings everywhere. I loved it! {Also, if you're an American traveling in Europe and staying in Airbnbs, don't expect air conditioning.}
Gammy November 16, 2019
For those thinking of dipping their toes into the Airbnb world, I recommend going to the Airbnb website and checking out their host forums. You will be amazed at the sheer number of guest issues that can arise. I am sure there are great guests out there (we all here are great, right?), but there are those who are either incredibly negligent and downright stupid (using new furnished bathroom hand towels to wipe down their car windshields) and then there are those whose demands are so over-the-top ( I demand a 65" flatscreen TV in every bedroom) or impossible to meet (Internet seems to be a biggy, not all America has wifi... some of the most remote areas are ONLY served by extremely slow satellite internet). Finally, the theft of personal household items is amazing, and as the article recommends, don't have anything of great value out, it may unexpectedly develop legs.
judye November 13, 2019
It’s a very small thing but it seems that Airbnb’s never have tissues! A fresh box is always a good idea.