Smart Host Tips

key exchange nycWe love our community of hosts. With the recent rash of reported thefts in LA and here in NYC, um, more “x-rated” violations of trust, we want to help you be extra-careful with your hosting. We’ve pretty much seen it all. Here are a few all-too-common mistakes we’ve seen as well as tips to prevent theft, destruction, or, uh, your apartment becoming a dirty movie’s film set.

The most important tip: 

#1: Lock up your valuables.

It’s seemingly obvious, but people often forget about sentimental items. Would you be heartbroken if Grandmother’s earrings that she gave you on her deathbed were missing when you returned to your apartment? Put them in a safety deposit box or a locker only you can access.

Here are 5 other items hosts frequently overlook:

  • Perfumes/cologne. Don’t want guests using up that bottle of Chanel No. 5 you scrimped and saved to buy? Lock it away.
  • Cords. It’s quite easy to accidentally make off with a laptop or phone charger. Put them away or label them if you’re letting guests use them.
  • Clothes. Yes, a few guests have been known “borrow” something from their host’s closet, usually a scarf or sweater. Lock up the clothes you wouldn’t want to share or lose in a suitcase or drawer.
  • Fine foods and alcohol. While we recommend leaving welcome packs and snacks for guests, guests may forage your cabinets. If you’ve got a nice bottle of olive oil or bottle of Bordeaux you’re saving for a special occasion, lock them away. Anything in the kitchen is pretty much fair game unless you specify otherwise.
  • Hair straighteners. We recommend leaving hair dryers for guests, but unless you don’t mind losing the Chi, pack it away.

#2: Lock up your sensitive information.

This includes:

  • Passports
  • ID cards
  • Copies of passports or ID cards
  • Social Security cards
  • Bank statements
  • Checkbooks
  • Old credit cards
  • That handy list of all your passwords you keep taped to your desk

#3: Check in with your guest after check-in.

Send a short email or text within 24 hours after your guest arrives to touch base and make sure all is going well.

#4: Set clear rules and expectations about privacy.

It’s hard to over-communicate when it comes to hosting, especially if it’s your first time. Establish ground rules for your home, and don’t forget about privacy. If you don’t want your home’s location shared with your guest’s 4,000 Instagram followers, tell them they’re prohibited from tagging their location inside your home on social media. And if your guest needs a package delivered while they’re at your place, use our package acceptance service to avoid any missed delivery slips or logistical run-around.

Follow these rules and you and your guests will enjoy a smooth hosting process and a wonderful visit!