Is Airbnb Safe for Hosts?
Are you thinking about becoming an Airbnb host? Homeowners across the globe are offering space to travelers and vacationers as an alternative to traditional hotels. While Airbnb provides a way to connect with others and exchange payment, being smart and safe is a responsibility that rests largely on the host’s shoulders.
It may sound obvious, but ensuring the security of all property and possessions is essential for house hosting. Here are six ways you can practice Airbnb host safety.
Get to know your guests.
Before guests can book a room in your home, they get access to a private messaging feature which allows them to ask you questions. As host, it’s wise to take advantage of these conversations—for example, you might want to ask your guest why they’re traveling. Forming this personal connection is important for establishing respect and trust, and it can also help you determine if a guest isn’t a good fit for your home.
Get a safe.
Before welcoming newcomers into your house, invest in a safe for possessions such as birth certificates, passports, heirlooms, jewelry, cash and credit cards. These items, as well as others that are expensive or difficult to replace, should reside out of sight in a locked safe.
For more ideas about what to keep in your safe, read Things to Keep in a Safe at Home.
Protect your mail.
Your personal mail contains a wealth of private information. Make sure your mail isn’t tempting to potential identity thieves by locking it in a drawer or safe. If you’re concerned about the security of your mailbox, get a PO box at your post office where only you can access your items.
While you can opt into Airbnb’s insurance option for damage and theft, you should still arrange for appropriate home insurance coverage through your local insurance agent. Find out how you should adjust your insurance policy so you’re covered on all fronts.
Use a VPN router to protect against hackers and cyber thieves.
VPNs protect people who don’t want to be traced or hacked. An unsecured router means you and your internet connection are vulnerable. However, with a VPN router, guests who connect to your Wi-Fi will receive an anonymous IP address—meaning that any illegal or malicious activity cannot be traced back to you or your home. With the rise of security breaches and privacy concerns, a VPN can add an additional layer of safety when house guests are accessing your Wi-Fi.
Lay out house rules and expectations.
Talk to your house guests and create ground rules for how you expect them to contribute or behave during their stay. Guests who come and go in the middle of the night can mistakenly forget to lock the door, leaving your home vulnerable to break-ins. Set out a timeline for arrivals and departures. In addition, find a way to inform your guests of emergency plans. A backup plan—in case of fire, flood, or natural disaster—reassures guests and means everyone knows what to do in a moment of chaos.
Home sharing not only generates dollars for your wallet but also helps you meet new people without having to step foot outside. Before you can begin reaping the benefits of home hosting sites like Airbnb, make sure you’ve protected yourself—and your possessions.