Best Airbnb Hosting Checklist & Course

Article may have affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Big thanks for supporting my small business.

You are in for a treat today my friends! I am sharing our Airbnb hosting checklist and our journey to over $93,000 in under 15 months while achieving and maintaining Airbnb Superhost status.

Just over two years ago, Jim and I started our Airbnb adventure that would change our lives. We purchased a small lake house in New Hampshire (this was not planned by the way), over 2 hours from our house, with zero experience in the vacation rental niche.

best lake house Airbnb in New Hampshire Lakes region with airbnb hosting checklist
best Airbnb hosting checklist

We set a goal to transform the home into a desirable Airbnb destination. This was not a happy go-lucky endeavor in the beginning (keep reading, I’ll share why at the end) as Jim was “all in” and I was not.

Once the house was purchased, we were on a tight deadline to renovate, stage and decorate the house in time for the peak summer rental season.

As first-time hosts, the worries were endless. Setting up the listing, competitive pricing and the thought of strangers staying in our home stressed me out!

Jess and Jim share their Airbnb hosting checklist that helped them earn over 93,000 in under 15 months

Despite the challenges, we made it through and today, I’m excited to share the expertise and strategies that led us to earn over $93,000 in under 15 months, all while hosting our home just 27% of the time.

What Do You Need as an Airbnb Host?

Starting your journey as an Airbnb host involves more than just having a spare room or a second home. It requires understanding the nuances of short-term rentals and guest expectations.

The first step is comprehending local Airbnb regulations to ensure compliance as well as additional insurance steps you should take to protect yourself from possible liability. 

best airbnb hosting checklist

Next, preparing your space for guests is the weirdest part of all. Strangers in your house? It’s a strange concept at first but I promise you, it gets easier!

This includes everything from safety measures like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers to ensuring a well-stocked kitchen. It’s overwhelming to say the least in the beginning.

airbnb hosting checklist smart home safety tips

Creating a well optimized Airbnb listing is also crucial.

A designer looking space and stunning photography can make your space stand out but clear instructions and a detailed description are equally important.

If you haven’t downloaded our free guide below, do it now! It’s worth the read.

Jim will tell you I am over the top with house rules and expectations but seriously, communication is one of the biggest keys to success. I truly feel if a guest knows what the expectations are before even the booking the house, the chances for issues are less. Don’t get me wrong, issues happen and some guests can be unreasonable but taking proactive steps to squash issues before they happen is key.

What Should Every Airbnb Have?

Every successful Airbnb provides essential amenities that contribute to a comfortable stay and a great experience for guests. 

A well-furnished living room, comfortable bed linens and a fully equipped kitchen are just the basic amenities.

best airbnb hosting checklist to start with

It’s the small details, like having ample toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, and a coffee maker that can elevate a guest’s experience from good to memorable. 

Smart locks for easy access and a smart TV for entertainment are also great additions. 

best airbnb hosting checklist with strategies around remote access

But what really sets a rental apart is the personal touch – a welcome basket, local attraction guides or a simple welcome gift can go a long way in helping secure good reviews. 

A well designed and clutter free environment is something that will also set your vacation rental apart from the rest.

Airbnb Superhost Checklist

Achieving and maintaining Superhost status is a testament to providing exceptional guest experiences. I honestly thought Superhost status would be impossible.

When we first started, the thought of obtaining so many near perfect guest reviews seemed impossible so I decided to not focus on it.

best airbnb hosting checklist that helped newbie hosts earn over $93,000 in under 15 months

I mean, we focused on providing a positive experience with excellent communication but we would do that regardless of a review system because let’s face it, guests will refer your home to their friends and family if they love it and referrals are part of the secret sauce. 

One of the first things you need to wrap your head around is communication. 

Communication is everything! If you are traditionally not great at communication, then find someone to help you who is.

From pre-booking confirmations, obtaining signed short term lease agreements and initialed house rules, arrival times to offering guest text messaging for any inquiries and being accessible are all part of the secret sauce. 

It’s also crucial to have a reliable cleaning service, ensuring your space is always guest-ready. I will say this part of the Airbnb business stresses me out and our cleaning person will attest to my narrodic and over the top communication during guest change overs from one to another.

Our peak season is hectic from June – end of August and we tend to have back to back checkin/checkouts every Saturday for 8 consecutive weeks.

best airbnb lake house new hampshire 25 strategies to making money with a hosting checklist

This is a good thing, but stressful! I’ve got several tips on this, including an Airbnb checklist, of things that I have learned along the way so stay tuned, we have fun announcement at the end of the post!

Another important feature to go the extra mile, is to consider a welcome package or a local attractions guide for an enjoyable experience. 

AND always listen to your guests feedback for continuous improvement. I remember the first time we got a comment that I viewed as “critical” and at first I was taken back but then reminded myself that these little tidbits from airbnb guests are what will make the next guest experience that much better. So don’t worry if you get constructive critiszm. Just embrace it! 

Our Personal Journey

When Jim told me he wanted to buy a fixer upper over 2 hours from our house and Airbnb it, I was originally not on board.

NH lake house rental A frame on water before we renovated
the deck was falling off the house when we purchased so that was the first reno project!

I can remember being so overwhelmed not only financially because he had just purchased a large chunk of land and another fixer upper and I was like, where is the money coming from for all this but he was determined to make it work so as time went by and the closing date got a little closer, I started to embrace the insanity. 

lake house rental log cabin stained plank walls living room kitchen
the living room and kitchen before we started renovations

We originally planned to just do cosmetic type updates to the home and planned on spending 20,000.

The bathroom needed to be updated and we needed to address the old wooden deck that was falling off the house. I wrapped my head around 20,000 in updates and then the more we visited the house, the more we realized we needed to make some decisions about further renovations. 

removing kitchen cabinets lake house cabin was a strategic Airbnb renovation
strategic house renovations for the best ROI start in the kitchen

Let’s just say our $20,000 budget quickly turned into $100,000 and I almost had a heart attack. I’ll share more on this in another post!

In our journey (and still do sometimes) I had every concern, from the cleaner not showing up to living two hours away and the fear of the unknown is real! 

I often wished for personalized professional advice or a mentor who had walked this path before. 

I remember scouring the internet for ideas, tips or even a course about how to handle certain situations. Most offerings were generic checklists or property management services, not the hands-on guidance I craved. 

That’s why I put together a free comprehensive checklist of 25 winning Airbnb strategies, which not only helped us earn significant income but also consistently achieve Superhost status. If you are in my shoes from 2 years ago, download this checklist! It’s a great starting point. 

Airbnb Course Academy

The biggest news though is a course that I have been working on for the last 2 months that will teach you every single thing we have learned over the last two years during our Airbnb journey.

best airbnb hosting checklist and digital course academy on how to earn over $93,000 with a short term rental as a newbie
Best digital online course to learn about how to start and scale an Airbnb business

Taking Jim’s General Contractor experience, my years working for Home Goods as a prop stylist designing rooms from scratch for their Marketing campaigns and most importantly, our real-life experience running a successful Airbnb that has earned us over $93,000 in under 15 months with minimal hosting!

I am taking everything we know and literally dumping it into video format where I will teach you how to get your Airbnb up and running.

If you already have an Airbnb but want to scale your earnings but are lost with the algorithm nuances, confused about how to stage and take magazine worthy pictures or want to renovate but not sure where to start, I’ve got you covered! 

Get on the WAITLIST below by filling in your name and email address and be the first to hear all the details. I’m only opening up the course to a handful of you at a time so if you have been thinking about or already have an Airbnb, this course is for you!

The course will teach you which renovations will earn you the biggest return, how to stage and decorate like a pro, how to write and create a listing that will be optimized for google and Airbnb, how to market your home for direct bookings on social media, how to research your competition and stay one step ahead plus so much more. 

Haven’t downloaded our 25 Winning Strategies? What are you waiting for, they are free! 

If you want to get on the waitlist for our course and be the first to know about updates, then sign up here.


Crafting a listing that’s both guest-friendly and algorithm-approved is key. Pricing is an art and a bit time consuming but necessary stay on top without underselling ourselves.

Renovations are all about what guests love and what gets the bookings rolling in. We went for cozy and chic vibes in our spaces, like something out of a home decor magazine. 

On the practical side, we found budget-friendly, plush bedding and supplies that give the look and feel of luxury without breaking the bank.

coastal farmhouse lush bedding at Airbnb NH lake house
Airbnb hosting checklist includes bedding and staging strategies

Setting up a cleaning crew and scheduling everything from lawn care to snow removal is. Plus, ensuring top-notch security was a priority for guest peace of mind.

Communication with guests? We nailed it with a clear framework. Playing with minimum stays helped us maximize earnings, and staying ahead of the market trends kept us competitive. Our listing photos? Absolutely stunning – they did all the talking.

Managing remotely means we needed to embrace smart home tech and made check-ins simple. Remote access is key!

Our STR contract and check-in/check-out process are clear-cut and personal touches like welcome gifts and a local guide added that extra bit of sparkle.

Social media is one of your biggest assets and if you have followed me for a while, you know I have targeted marketing strategies. 

Above all, our place was the epitome of hospitality – clean, well-maintained, and stocked up. Guests will find a relaxing retreat that rejuvenates their energy and inspires a fresh, positive outlook on life. We created and designed a home that we would book for ourselves. 

Our Airbnb House Tour

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *