Hosting Tips & Tricks

April Host Shop Wrap Up: Rating Changes & Profitable STR cities

April Host Shop Wrap Up: Rating Changes & Profitable STR cities

Howdy to all you happy hosts and rental rock stars! I hope your April was full of booked nights and 5-star reviews. As we move into the spring and summer, we begin the season of music festivals. As hosts and rental rock stars you need to know when these are happening. Not just because they might need you to sub in on the drums, but music festivals almost always mean you can charge higher rents. I know I have two festivals that happen within driving distance of my rentals and during those weekends, I can easily get three to five times the normal rent. Make your money when you can my fellow rockers. Now, on to the March Host Wrap-Up!  

10 most profitable Cities for STR's

We all know how profitable being an Airbnb host can be or else why would you be doing it. I mean it can be fun, but not so much fun that we would do it for free. So as you expand and automate your rental business, it becomes easier and smarter to consider locations further away from you. Spreading your rentals out allows you to not have to compete with yourself. But to me, the biggest advantage is that it gives you protection from losing your entire rental income from one event. If your rentals are spread out over several cities, you can't lose them all by a sudden local law change. Or have visitors stop coming because of a single event that kills tourism to an area. When you have enough properties, diversification of location will help keep your empire going strong. Which is why when I found this article from about the 10 best cities to Airbnb, it instantly got bookmarked. 

Airbnb Rating System Update

OK, they are going to do it again.  In a recent blog posts Airbnb has said they are working on 2 major changes to the rating system. That is right, yet more changes are coming to the Airbnb rating system. Fun times I know, but if they do actually do what they say they are going to do this could actually be very great for hosts. The first change is they are working on a way to help eliminate outlier reviews. Primarily focused on those fun ratings where guests give you 5 stars on every category than only 3 stars for the overall review. The second change involves the location rating, to which they say "We also committed to exploring ways to help guests better understand that the location category rating is meant to be objective. The location category rating doesn’t impact your overall rating (or Superhost status)."  Does not impact your overall rating! That is a huge change and I completely agree with it.  Location is so subjective, and it is impossible to fairly rate on a 1-5 system.

Listing Spotlight

This month's listing spotlight comes to us from the older but less famous brother of Airbnb, VRBO. But the real headline is this is a Frank Llyod Wright house that you can rent in Hawaii. Apparently, it is the only one Frank Llyod Wright house built in Hawaii. If you have never been in a house designed by Frank, then you are missing out.  I mean I would prefer larger bedrooms, but his attention to detail is second to none. I could tell you how the listing pictures are perfect or how the write up does a wonderful of explaining the history and the house amenities, but who cares. This thing would be booked even without all that. This listing is just fun to check out, (and for once we will let it slide that the bedding is not all white, even though it would be better if it was.) 

Got a listing you want us to feature? Send it our way at

Airbnb Listing Spotlight

Hosting Tip: Best Amenities

In this day and age when guests are expecting more and more from rentals, not offering basic amenities like soap and shampoo is going to kill your ratings. So bite the bullet and do it right. And by doing it right we mean soap, shampoo and conditioner that is a fragrance-free formula in a refillable pump bottle made from a cloudy plastic. With major bonus points if it is made from an organic sustainable source. Now I know that is a very specific set of requirements, but it will make your hosting life much easier. To fully understand why, you can check out this recent write up that will break it all down for you. Or you can just go with these amenities and skip some reading. 

Question of the Month

Rental hosts rarely receive the opportunity to see how other hosts operate. Which makes it hard to learn and improve. The solution? Every month I ask a question so we can all learn from each other. Let's take a look at last month's question:

Which Bathroom Amenities do you consider to be the bare minimum must-haves for your rental?

  • 18% - Hand Soap
  • 0% - Hand Soap & Shampoo
  • 35%- Hand Soap, Shampoo, & Body Wash
  • 47% - Hand Soap, Shampoo, Body Wash, & Conditioner
  • 0% - They get nothing and they will like it.

It looks like the absolute bare minimum you should be offering is hand soap. But with over 80% of our hosts believing that significantly more that is the bare minimum, you need to seriously consider offering the full package of amenities to be equal with most of today's short term rental world. That is good to know! 

This month, I want to look at security cameras used to monitor guests activity:

bike tracks