My life as an Airbnb Host What I've learned from hosting and how I make money using Airbnb

How to do your first Airbnb listing and How do you decide if being an Airbnb host is right for you?


A friend of mine has just become an Airbnb host for the first time. His first guest had just finished her stay with him and had left a nice review. The listing is a private room in his London flat near Shoreditch High Street and he charges £35 a night. Being an experienced Airbnb host myself my first question was “did you use the airbnb photographer for your listing?” He said “No need, I did the photo’s myself.” This is a big mistake.

You need to make your Airbnb listing as professional as possible

I did a search for my friends Airbnb listing and it was full of classic mistakes. He was not using the free airbnb photographer and consequently his photos were a disaster. The bedroom looked like a hostel room. The bed was badly made and looked like someone had just slept in it (the dull grey sheets didn’t help), no other furniture was visible expect for a mirror (not hung on the wall just left on the floor). No flowers or any pleasant decor. The bathroom continued the hostel vibe being clean but otherwise uninviting and the toilet being centre of the picture – with the seat up!

Using the Airbnb phtographer is important for two reasons: 1 – the pictures will look better and 2 – the photos will be verified which means your listing will get a boost in the airbnb search rankings. I read through the description of my friends first Airbnb listing carefully and it had several grammatical errors and used some texting type like PPL instead of people, which to me looked unprofessional. The profile picture for himself also looked dark and with a serious face instead of a big smile.


Your profile picture should be nice and welcoming
Your profile picture should be nice and welcoming

How to decide if you should be an Airbnb Host?

Being an airbnb host is not for everyone. Its much more demanding that being a traditional landlord and guests can be difficult and unpredictable. Although the amount you can charge is greater than with traditional lodgers and renters there are additional cleaning costs and more importantly the personal time it can take off your hands is high. A handy guide to help you decide if being a host is right for you has been written by website and can be found here:


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About the author


Airbnb host and I live in London.


  • Hello Rich,
    I have just found your website, and am finding it very interesting.
    I have just bought a house with the idea of using airbnb. As I am on my own, I find the feedback on each of the host and user really helpful.
    However, people have been warning me off, by saying that councils and traditional bed and breakfast owners are complaining and saying that this is a back door way of making a business, and that insurance and fire regs, and health and safety are issues that are not addressed by hosts on airbnb.
    Have you any thoughts?
    I am now a bit scared, whereas I was very excited about doing it.

    • The sharing economy is the future and it’s not going away. Bed and Breakfast owners have lost a lot of business from Airbnb and will say anything to protect themselves. Local councils have been slow to adapt to Airbnb and most have woken up to the issue too late. The Government is very keen to allow house sharing even without permission of the owner of the property so local councils may find their rules overturned. I strongly recommend obeying the local fire safety laws. It may cost you a few pounds but it’s for the safety of everyone. Don’t give the council or anyone a good excuse to cause you trouble and you will be fine. Be a great host and show the world how good Airbnb can be for everyone.

  • Hi Richard, first of all interesting blog and info, thank you for sharing it. I am new to Airbnb and my new listing attracted lots of attention (I am in London N1 zone 2) and a few bookings on week one. I did everything by the book, responded immediately, accepted some but not all etc. After that it has been complete silence for now ten days, not one single enquire. I know Airbnb deactivate one listing I started but no longer wanted and wonder if that affected my ranking as I cannot find any other reason. If you have any advice it would be great! Cris

    • It’s not unusual to get a lot of enquires when you first list as new listings get pushed up the rankings. You might be right that airbnb has given you a negative rating because of a deactivated listing which if thats true could hurt your future chances but not overly so. To get started you really need to offer very low prices – much cheaper than everyone in your area. When you have a least 10 successful trips under your belt then you can start charging full price. I sometimes charge rock bottom prices even now just to keep the customers coming in. About half of the enquires I get turn into bookings so if your getting 5 enquires and one booking you need to ask yourself why. Good luck

By richsaint18
My life as an Airbnb Host What I've learned from hosting and how I make money using Airbnb

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