Shampoo & Booze 27: How to Hire Someone to Run Your Airbnb When You Travel

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After being on the road (and staying in Airbnbs) for about a month, we're finally home. Today we talk about what it's like handing off our rental to a hired friend. Sometimes it's cake, sometimes it's not- for all parties. But for the most part, it's been wonderful. Airbnb announced the ability for third parties, ie travel agents or managers, to book on behalf of clients. Check out their Business Travel Program. We also recently got an email about Smart Pricing, which might not work for us, but it could very well work for you.

Thinking of becoming an Airbnb host or guest? Use our referral code and get $20 off your next stay or $80 credit if you become a host!


  1. Hey everyone! I enjoy the podcast, and I follow ScavengerLife as well.
    Advice needed...
    I am considering putting my current home on AirBnB but I have hesitation because it is one-half of a duplex.
    For some time I have been looking to move to Philadelphia, and initially sought to sell my home. While there has been a lot of viewings in my house, it has not received any offers for a variety of understandable reasons...people think the bedrooms (3 of them) are too small (all easily fit a queen sized bed, a dresser, and all have closets), people do not like the house being on Main Street, and they has do not like that the only bathroom is accessed through the one bedroom. OK, I get it...this is not someone's dream home! BUT the house is very nice, it has a beautiful kitchen, and a rather large lawn for an in-town home.
    Location is everything, and my house is about 5 miles from HersheyPark and all that Hershey has to I think there would definitely be a year round appeal to renting my property on AirBnB. There are few other 3 BR places in the area on the site, and even the smallest 1 BR rentals garner decent nightly rents. I stated earlier, the house is on Main Street. I do not see this as an issue for myself, as the house receives little street noise. Also, originally the structure was one big house built in 1890, but at some point it was converted into a duplex. With that said, the walls are thin in some areas and sometimes neighbors can be heard (sometimes more than others). Is this a big downside?
    With everything I have put out there, would anyone recommend or not recommend me to give AirBnB a try? This is not something I would do tomorrow, as there are some little finishes I would change to the house to make it more suitable. Maybe even insulate some thin areas to drown out the noise from the attached home.
    Any advice would be appreciated...thanks!

    1. You mentioned the pros & cons for potential buyer & renters. You didn't really spell out the pros & cons for you.

    2. Mostly pros for me...only con I can really think of is the risk as to whether people would be interested in renting house.

    3. The easy answer is to just do a search on Airbnb and see if there are other rentals in your area. This will give you a good idea of the market. How popular and at what price.

      But even if you're on of the first renters in the area, just imagine why someone would visit. Is there a university nearby? Or a convention center? or a large employer? or a tourist attraction?

      When we were in Bellingham, Washington, we stayed in the basement of a generic suburban home. He said he was almost always booked because so few people were renting on Airbnb. There were two colleges nearby and parents wanted a bigger place to rent than a hotel room.

    4. There are only a few small places available currently on AirBnB, but I guess the biggest fear I have is if my above stated reasons would keep people away. Ultimately, since I am already the owner I suppose there is little risk and the potential for high reward.

    5. so would you be renting the whole 3 bedrooms? or you are just renting one? are you going to rent the whole place and move to philly? i'm confused.

    6. ajk233, all you can do is try. It might take some work and investment to fix your place up so it's presentable, but the bar is pretty low. Just having a place that is clean and neat is better than many rentals.

      As far as noise, it all depends. Is it noisy at 3am? Is it loud obnoxious music or just normal daily life?

      We recently stayed in a duplex in New Orleans. We could hear neighbors moving around sometimes, but the price was so good that we didn't care. The neighbors were just living their lives and not being disrespectful.

    7. If there is potential cons for the renters but little cons for you then it seems completely worth trying. I would rephrase the cons in your mind and find less judgmental words.

      Instead of thinking you have "downsides" think "quirks" or something that makes it feel unique and exclusive. Character is good!

    8. i agree, i think if you are in an area that people want to stay, your house will be so much nicer than a motel/hotel, even if you are in a duplex. just set expectations. that's what we always want when renting. just tell us we will hear you at 7am getting the kids ready for school, so we know what to expect (this happened at one of our recent stays, it was no biggie).

    9. Ryanne, I would rent the whole place and move to Philly. I have family/associates who could manage the day to day. It would also give me the chance to have a place to stay when I come back to visit.

    10. Do it! Sounds like an epic lifestyle adventure. With it being a short term rentals you can easily back track if it's not a good fit.

      I love Philly! I moved there to work at a raw vegan cafe 12 years ago... I didn't last more than 6 moths before I moved back home. I had my 21st birthday working a 10 hour shift in Northern Liberties. I dream of spending 6 week blocks there since I'm awful at moving.

      If you follow through then you'll have to share how it all unfolds.

  2. For the sound issue, you could screw another sheet of drywall to the walls that are having the issues. Locate the studs, hang another sheet of drywall, mud it, sand it and paint it. Another option is to install 1x2 furring strips against the wall and hang a sheet of drywall that way. Either way I might consider that for selling or renting.