My experience as a hotelier

So an interesting period of my life has come to an end.In late 2019 I put a room in my house on Airbnb to bring in some ‘beer money’. I was expecting one or two nights a week at AUD65 a night. In the end, it was six or seven nights a week at AUD100 a night.

Two things changed: I also put the place on booking dot com, and then there was CC19, forcing people to travel within the state. So I became king of room cleaning, linen washing, liaising with guests and working with booking dot com and Airbnb.All in all, it was a good experience. I reckon over the 21 months I had around 300 bookings ranging from one night to one week.

Everyone was lovely. I had no trouble, no dickheads or no disrespectful people. Everyone treated the room like their own. I met people from all over the world and from all walks of life. The only downside was the constant washing of sheets and towels and the 45-minute room changeover after each visit. The bathroom and toilet were shared with me, and this posed no problems. Most guests were fine. For some potential bookers, the shared bathroom was a deal-breaker.

All of the room ratings were great:

  • Booking dot com: 8.5 (/10) (Link)
  • Airbnb (4.7/5) (Link)

As for who came:

  • 50% were people travelling Sydney to Brisbane (or around the other way or generally north/south)
  • 30% were touring the state/area
  • 20% were in Bello for a reason (wedding, funeral, work, VFR)

And as for interaction

  • 1/3 – didn’t want to engage
  • 1/3 – engaged and were happy to say hello if I bumped into them
  • 1/3 wanted to meet the owner, and the rock-dog Boss as interacting with the owner was part of the experience.

The upsides for me personally were that it made me keep things in common areas and the room clean, clean and clean. There wasn’t much lost and found: a few ear-rings, chains and phone chargers. However, the second last guest left a really weird pair of foot, ankle and calf warmers (pictured).

But I decided to get out and put the room out permanently to a housemate. The daily cleaning was getting to me and making a long day already longer. I had my last guest last night. Overall, it was a fun and worthwhile experience. And the extra money each week helped (as did the tax deductions).

So, if you are thinking about doing it yourself and have questions, please get in touch with me.

The funniest story is me swiping right on Tinder on a woman who was in my town. It came up as a ‘match’, but I heard nothing more. It was only then I realised she was in the bedroom below me with someone. When I saw her the next morning while departing with her companion, we exchanged awkward but mischievous grins.

The weirdest negative review I got was from a woman who claimed the distance from the bedroom to the bathroom was too far: I timed it 4.5 seconds. Some people…