Innes Park Airbnb owner shares her story
SEABREEZE Sojourn sounds like a place you want to escape to.
And owner of the Airbnb at Innes Park, Catherine, says it has helped her in more ways than one.
Here she tells her story.
Being an Airbnb host has been more delightful than I ever imagined.
It's meant meeting many lovely people, albeit briefly, and swapping snippets about our lives with people from all over Australia and the planet.
Russian, French and German guests, for example, have all adored our indoor-outdoor lifestyle and climate.
I thought the B&B would have mostly couples booking, however having two bedrooms and two bathrooms often attracts travelling work colleagues as well as a variety of combinations of family or friends.
A seasoned traveller introduced Airbnb to me a few years ago when I was still thinking I needed to be a "proper” B&B that cooked breakfast for guests. I can cook, and I did, but it is less stressful and more convenient to offer self-cater accommodation, so that's why I listed with Airbnb and Stayz.
Electronic locks, separate entry and separate kitchen make it convenient to cater for guests. Only two rooms are offered overnight because it is so much washing.
It's only hobby income but at least it is some income towards rates and repairs and hopefully will contribute to repainting the house one day. I took a long-term view of it as a type of "cottage industry investment” that gets some gradual return on my main investment (my house) and as a buffer in a high unemployment town. It cost an awful lot to build certified bathrooms, the kitchenette, get the electronic locks, the beds and linen - $35,000 was spent locally.
Why invest so much? I like my privacy, which might be an odd thing for someone who decides to share their place as a sojourn.
I didn't want to have to have my kitchen clean on a schedule ... and it's more relaxed for guests to have their own kitchen too.
I do have a basic Google website but decided not to have a Facebook page because I want a high level of privacy for myself and guests.
I have a couple of friends who offer Airbnb accommodation and none of us have had any disasters. There can be moments of quiet hilarity and of sweet serendipity. It possibly helps that I have gregarious hospitality in my genes and upbringing. It's curiously rewarding to hear guests laughing and enjoying themselves.