We often attend Airbnb meetups and other events in order to stay connected to our customers and make sure we’re up-to-speed on everything that’s going on in the homesharing world. We love the feedback; it helps us provide the best service possible! That’s how we met Al Walker, our featured host. (We’d say guest host but that’s just confusing.)
What made you think renting out your home was a good idea?
I’ve been in hotel and restaurant management all my life, and was largely self-employed. It’s allowed me to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Now I’m retired and enjoy my garden and visiting with my guests. I like to focus on fun, and being happy. That’s my motto in life! Homesharing feels like a natural fit for me and my background and personality.
What do you like most about homesharing?
I just really enjoy people. Getting to know them, hearing about their lives. And of course, the extra income is nice. We live on a half-acre of property so we can rent out the house and still stay on the premises because in the back half, where we used to have horses, we now have a 3,000 sq. foot vegetable garden that I harvest, and also a 40-ft mobile home where we stay when we have guests. I like being able to have guests, give them their privacy, but still be nearby in case they need anything.
What is there to do around your place?
We live just outside of the city of Denver it’s very pretty with beautiful views of the mountains. When guests come they can enjoy our garden, our koi pond, our outdoor patio, there’s a huge park nearby for hiking, they can get into Denver easily, or go shopping and dining in the Belmar area just down the street. We’re also near Red Rocks, which has an outdoor concert venue and a lot of people who stay with us are here for a show.
Do you have any horror stories about guests?
No, I really don’t. We haven’t had any issues. Everyone has been just wonderful. I think it helps we have good ratings on Airbnb, and we can charge a little more, so the clientele we attract are first-class, they’re used to traveling and they’re very gracious.
How has homesharing changed since you started doing it?
We’ve been renting our property for years and years and it’s easier now, so we do it more now. Things like Slice insurance make it so easy. You can just go to the app on your phone or laptop and get your insurance coverage, and you’re only charged for the nights you used. Our homeowner’s policy wouldn’t cover any of the liabilities in renting out for short-term rentals but with Slice we don’t have to worry, if someone falls or gets hurt, we can take care of them, thanks to Slice. The whole industry is still changing, more and more people are getting into it. It’s exciting, it’s a good thing.
Do you have any tips for other hosts?
We have the title of Superhost with Airbnb because we get great guest reviews. They like how we respond immediately to their questions, both before they book, and when they’re staying here. Our place is always clean and we’re nearby if they need anything, but we also leave them alone when they want to be left alone! So I would say just be aware and responsive to what your guests want and then when you get that Superhost rating you get more bookings, and you get people who respect the home.
Thank you for your time, Al. Any more words of wisdom?
Well I would just say come stay with us! Check out our home here on Airbnb www.airbnb.com/rooms/7841207 and if you’re headed to Colorado book with us for a night or two, we’d love to meet you! I might even share some fresh vegetables from the garden if you’re lucky.