7 must haves in your Airbnb


For newcomers to home sharing, it can be difficult to predict what guests expect that you will have at your apartment. Here’s a list of things I wish someone told me about before I started hosting:

  1. Coffee maker (and coffee). Not being a coffee drinker had me behind the 8-ball on this one until my third guest pointed it out as a negative point in her review.
  2. Reading lights (or lamps) in bedrooms. Your guests will appreciate the ability to relax and read in bed.
  3. Washcloths. I have never personally used them on a regular basis, but apparently they are rather popular and their utility has been pointed out to me by multiple guests.
  4. Brita or H2O not out of a tap. Your drinking water may be phenomenal like ours in Boston, but your guests will always welcome (and in some cases expect) other options for hydration.
  5. Butter and basic condiments. Nobody wants to have to go out to get the basics that will likely last you a while anyway (and are okay to leave in the refrigerator after opening).
  6. Iron and ironing board. You may have noticed that poor packing leads to wrinkled clothes. What you may not know, is that those wrinkled clothes should be ironed. I’ve yet to see a guest show up with a portable iron, but have had some double check with me prior to arrival that there will be one available.
  7. Hair Dryer. Male hosts like myself may not have thought of this out of the gate, but consider it an essential piece of your Airbnb.

1000+ Reasons to rent your Boston apartment during marathon weekend

boston marathon 2015

What will you be doing this April 20th?

If you’re a savvy Airbnb/HomeAway/VRBO/FlipKey’er or even a once a year host – it’s likely that you’re headed out of town with thousands in revenue from your weekend rental. Most hosts rent out their apartment months in advance to a runner and their family, or someone coming to town for the Boston Marathon. The historic race typically sells out hotels and Airbnb’s in downtown Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and surrounding areas, as early as a year in advance.

This article is meant to inform other would-be-hosts of the opportunity that sits in front of them to simply take a vacation and get paid handsomely while doing so. There are other great things that you can do by renting your apartment during that week. In no particular order, these are:

  1. Help out a runner, their family, or friends by giving them a comfortable and affordable home (even $300/night is inexpensive right now) in or around the city, so that they won’t have to trek out to Worcester, Framingham, or Western Mass after 26.2 grueling miles.
  2. Pledge your proceeds to a worthy cause.
  3. Make a serious dent in your rent or mortgage for the month by renting your apartment for only a few nights.
  4. Check something off your bucket list with your weekend fully funded by your guests.
  5. You get the picture…

Our intelligent pricing software projects $450+ per night for 2 bedroom apartments in downtown Boston, $300+ for 1 bedrooms, and similar income for apartments within a few miles of the Marathon route (ideally T accessible) in Cambridge and Somerville. The typical Marathon guest is renting for 3-4 nights – meaning even a first time host could earn well over $1000 for the weekend. Apartments in the downtown areas, i.e. Back Bay, Fenway, North End, South End, Leather District, Chinatown, and Beacon Hill, are especially attractive to guests and there are few listings left to fill the overwhelming demand.

Want to find out what you can get for the weekend at your apartment? Contact us today and mention “Marathon pricing” in your message.

BnB’ing in the snow

bostonsnowIt has been well documented that this Winter has already been historically snowy for the city of Boston. With potentially over a month left, BnB hosts in the city are feeling the pain. Snow storms are always a problem for hotels and BnB’s, but have seemed to fall even harder this month with mass flight cancellations happening almost once per week. Room rates are bottoming out, even on sites like Airbnb.

What can you do about it?

Having a strict cancellation policy is helpful for limiting losses, but also doesn’t make for a happy customer. There is a delicate balance to strike when it comes to these policies with the goal of being strict but reasonable. For instance, a customer booked one of our North End BnB listings for their employees a week ahead of time for a two night stay last week. This time period happened to fall right in the middle of two massive storms, but was actually a rather pleasant couple of days. Regardless, the guests decided to cancel due to the weather. If their flights were cancelled or the storms were falling directly during their stay, it may have warranted a full refund, but in this case we offered them a half refund based on our moderately strict cancellation policy. The guests understood and accepted their refund.

If you do happen to have guests during a storm, it is a great time to go above and beyond for them. Leave them hot cocoa and lots of blankets. A bottle of wine and some snacks would also go a long way to making a snowstorm bearable for out-of-towners.

Have any stories about your experience hosting in snowstorms in Boston? We’d love to hear them in the comments.