A few years ago Misten Langenfeld’s family stayed in an Airbnb, and they’ve never gone back to hotels since.
“We loved the concept and getting to all be together in a place that easily fit all of us. Now it’s the only way we travel,” said Langenfeld.
She started thinking about the idea of being an Airbnb host shortly after, and now has two homes in the heart of Sioux Falls: a Bohemian Brick Bungalow and a Mi Casa Su Casa Spanish Home (she is currently working on a third).
On Airbnb, Langenfeld has earned the title of “Superhost,” so 605 asked her for tips on how to become a shining example for other Airbnb hopefuls.
DECIDE ON THE EXPERIENCE
From deal-seeking guests to family reunions to quiet weekend getaways, there’s a plethora of needs you can keep in mind for your Airbnb experience.
In Langenfeld’s bungalow home, every detail creates an inviting place for up to five guests. Her ideal visitors are “people who want to truly experience unique charm.”
Original hardwood floors, a teal painted fireplace, and subway tiles add to its vintage style with modern touches.
ADD EXTRA TOUCHES
Hanging on the wall in the kitchen of the bungalow is a guide to Langenfeld’s favorite restaurants and places in the area. Her Netflix is signed in, there’s a stocked Keurig, and there is also a collection of board games.
“Ask yourself, ‘What would I like to see,’ and then make the space your own,” said Langenfeld.
“searching in antique stores for furnishings adds to the character – it’s not all new, but instead is a collaboration between new and old.”
After staying in an Airbnb without internet, she realized the personal touches are the deal breakers when it comes to making an Airbnb feel like a second home.
MORE WAYS TO MAKE GUESTS FEEL WELCOME
» DECORATE YOUR SPACE WITH INTERESTING ART, FURNITURE, AND BEDDING.
» KEEP IT SIMPLE. A CLEAN, COZY SPACE GOES A LONG WAY.
» BRING LIFE TO THE SPACE BY ADDING REAL OR FAKE PLANTS. BONUS IF YOU HAVE FRESH FLOWERS WAITING FOR THEM.
» MAKE SURE THERE ARE BLANKETS BY THE COUCH, BOOKS TO READ, AND FUN GAMES AVAILABLE.
»LEAVE GUESTS WITH ALL THE SUPPLIES THEY NEED (I.E. BAND-AIDS, A FLASHLIGHT, AND BABY SUPPLIES).
» ALONG WITH TIPS ON WHAT TO DO IN THE AREA, LEAVE ANY QUICK INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLIANCES, ETC.
CREATE A PROCESS
Within 24 hours of guests booking or sending her a message on Airbnb, Langenfeld confirms details and then coordinates with a cleaner to get each house ready, creating a seamless process.
From April to August, both homes were completely booked with 172 guests this past year. Her messiest visitors are families with small children, but neither of her homes have been let in total disarray, she says.
Airbnb is set up so only guests with positive reviews can book automatically, filtering out any guests with “untidy pasts.”
Airbnbs don’t have to be separate homes like Langenfeld’s (you can use a spare bedroom or an upstairs), but if you decide to go the route of purchasing a property, work within your budget and be thrifty.
After Langenfeld purchased her homes, she says she completely renovated them along with the help of her husband, which was key to staying within her budget.
“It makes a huge difference if you do the remodeling work yourself – it could have cost $30,000 to re-do the bungalow,” she said. “Instead, we were the labor and had freelancers do the tiling and the jobs that needed expertise.”
HAVE FUN WITH IT
Owning Airbnb homes also gives Langenfeld an outlet for interior design. Each furnishing is handpicked from second-hand stores or from sales.
While the bungalow has a quaint ambiance, her Mi Casa Su Casa home is decorated with a Spanish flair from cacti to baskets framing the dining room wall to bright decorative pillows.
Regardless of your budget, Langenfeld says if you have a place and would like to become an Airbnb host, use what you have. For the rest, look for good deals and have fun with your theme.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT AIRBNB.COM.