Airbnb is now closing in on a valuation of $20 billion. Founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb lets users rent out anything from bedrooms to houses to igloos to airplanes, and it operates in 34,000 cities in 190 countries.
And yet, the information market for helping Airbnb hosts is relatively slim.
There are only a handful of forums (often thinly populated) and websites (often thin on quality content) dedicated to showing people best practices for hosting that are heart-driven and focus on providing high-quality, intentional experiences.
Here, I’ve compiled a list of sites that meet five requirements:
- they showcase original writing and advice that can’t be found elsewhere
- they are inspirational, authentic or connection-based
- they offer incredible value in their free resources/posts (whether or not they also sell a product)
- they are sites dedicated exclusively to helping hosts, not one-off pieces on big websites
- they aren’t the blog of a paid tool or app intended merely to drive traffic toward the product
Of course, this isn’t all there is. The sharing economy is a huge market; Rachel Botsman, author of “What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption,” says the consumer peer-to-peer rental market alone is worth $26 billion. And websites like Airbnb are only growing and proliferating.
As such, there are a handful of other sites for hosts out there that boast lots of short posts and filler content. Do a quick search and I’m sure you can find these.
If you’re looking for quality advice, these five resources merit your coffee-shop browsing time and meticulous note-taking.
The Abundant Host
If Elizabeth Gilbert started a blog about Airbnb hosting, The Abundant Host would be it. Written anonymously by a “creative, mindful, location-independent entrepreneur living an international lifestyle,” The Abundant Host offers actionable and heartfelt advice, including in-depth interviews with fellow bloggers and product-makers in the industry.
Rooted in the perspective that real human connection is what Airbnb is about, themes like attracting your ideal high-paying guests, putting personality into your listing to increase bookings, and simple strategies to get five-star reviews are her most common topics.
(Note: If you haven’t realized what website you’re on, I must disclose that I’m bit biased toward this one. ;))
1 Chic Retreat
Mercedes Brennan shows Airbnb hosts (and vacation rental owners) how to use interior design strategies to make their listings stand out from the crowd. She’s got exquisite taste, her blog is beautiful, and her content is hefty; she interviews people in the industry at length and writes powerful essays to help people increase their bookings.
Mercedes has a masters degree in Interior Architecture from UCLA/Cal Poly, where she focused on both residential and hospitality design. She offers interior design consulting as well as regular free tips and advice on her blog.
Get Paid for Your Pad
Jasper Ribbers and Huzefa Kapadia started their site in 2014. Where they really stand out is their free podcast, on which they interview everyone under the sun about Airbnb: superhosts, lawyers and founders of companies and tools (often paid) that help hosts fine-tune their experience.
Jasper also travels full-time while managing online businesses, and is better known in the blogging community as The Traveling Dutchman.
You can read the first chapter of their book “Get Paid for Your Pad” for free, and their blog is full of tips on hosting as well as showcasing interesting and unique listings all over the world.
Vacation Rental Marketing Blog
Matt Landau is a vacation rental expert. While he doesn’t focus exclusively on Airbnb, his information to help vacation rental owners is solid, proven and well-researched.
As a writer and online marketer, Matt teaches owners and managers how to generate more bookings. He has offered vacation rentals in the historic district of Panama City for six years.
Matt offers a paid insider Vacation Rental community, but provides plenty of free tips on his blog. Particularly if you’re looking to start a website for your listing, his Makeover Session series is for you.
Letting People In
Rochelle Short wrote this definitive narrative nonfiction book on Airbnb hosting with soul in July 2014.
After she started hosting on Airbnb after a terrible breakup, Airbnb gave her “a financial lifeline while her new freelance career got off the ground – and was the perfect distraction from her romantic woes.”
She forged a life for herself fluffing pillows and sharing stories with people from all corners of the world – and, as she puts it, “as the economy and her finances recovered, so did her heart.”
“Letting People In” is one of the only book-length tales of how Airbnb can shape a host’s life for the better and highlights Airbnb’s emphasis on community and making people feel at home anywhere.
If you’re a new host, I highly recommend curling up with this book and especially checking out the more recent, free writing on her blog.
Other links that don’t fit the above criteria but come straight from the horse’s mouth:
Thanks for reading! Have a question that wasn't answered here? If you'd like more specific help, I'd love to work one-on-one with you. Or, if you want to work collaboratively in a group with fellow motivated hosts, find out if the next Abundant Hosting Mastermind group is open. I also wrote a book, Cleaning Up, where I give you the nuts and bolts (and so much more) of finding your perfect turnover assistant, thereby upleveling your profit and success on Airbnb. Have a beautiful day!