Who exactly am I renting from? | 9flats blog – inside the world of social travel

9flats host tips

Who exactly am I renting from?

There are many good reasons to let your guests know who you are before you meet them. Updating your profile with a picture gives your listing a personal touch, and may lead to more bookings. And getting in touch with your guests, telling them a bit about yourself, can help them feel more comfortable, even if you don’t want to live, eat and play guitar with them.

man with carrot, misunderstood

Hosts vary widely in their aspirations and needs…

One of our hosts is Juan, an actor employed by a successful theatre company in sunny Spain that has a couple of places normally reserved for visiting actors in town for shows. He manages the apartments to keep the otherwise empty apartments filled. He enjoys showing guests around the apartment and chatting with them about their travel plans in the city, but wouldn’t list his own home, as that is his personal space.

Mr and Mrs Ostrovsky are an elderly retired couple who speak no English, and depend on their son to manage bookings for their spare apartment in Germany. The spare apartment is directly across the corridor from their home, and has recently been furnished to accommodate 2. Everything from the wood flooring to the kitchen’s water heater has the scent of newness about it. The furnishing is basic, and the television set is their spare from the 80’s. Internet access is a USB dongle they bought for guests. When I met them, we communicated in a combination of hand signals, and broken English.

The perfect 9flats trip

One of our most fascinating hosts is Sally, a successful property agent in Singapore. One is tempted to think that she would be extremely exploitative and cold. Happily though, the opposite is true. Sally is warm and chatty. She recently outfitted her mansion-esque home to accomomdate up to 10 guests. One of these is a jumbo room that can accommodate a family of 6. She enthuses that people need to have a comfortable place to come home to after a long day, and is mulling over the installation of a small lift in her home to the 3rd level for family guests in the jumbo room. She freely admits that she is in it for the money, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t do the best she can for guests who are counting on her for a comfortable place to live in, even for a few days.

These stories are told to show that our hosts have a kaleidoscope of backgrounds that one just can’t put a stereotype to.

(Note: The names of the hosts above were changed to protect their privacy)

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Written by , March 16, 2012