The Six Types of Airbnb Host

There is a lot of controversy around Airbnb these days but despite how you feel about the service, there’s no denying the massive impact it has made on the travel industry. It is, no doubt, very far from its humble beginnings as a simple room, couch, apartment share, but that growth is as much due to the hunger for different accommodations as it is to a well-executed silicon valley start-up.

We’ve stayed in a considerable amount of accommodations over the past two years around the world, the bulk of them on Airbnb. There have been some amazing apartments and some horrendous, cockroach infested dens of despair.

The Airbnb host can make all the difference in a stay. Most of the time the interactions are pretty transactional but sometimes you can make new friends who take hosting to a whole new level and sometimes you end up with the occasional creeper. Luckily we’ve never discovered hidden cameras or the like.

Through all of them, we’ve come to understand that there are no less than 6 types of Airbnb host:

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The Six Types of Airbnb Host

The Professional

This host is building an airbnb empire to rival the local hotel industry. They are extremely buttoned up and, a lot of the time, a professional host who represents multiple apartment owners. The interactions are very transactional but they understand the needs of their guests and try to accommodate like any good hospitality professional would.


The True Host

This is the best type of host to get and sadly, more and more rare. They truly care about their guests and host because they enjoy “traveling” through their diverse guests. These are the hosts who give you a welcome snack or drink and may even take you out for a beer. They’ve put love and care into their space and want you to enjoy their home as much as they do. And if you’re lucky, you’ll end up with a new friend after you check out.


The Newbie

You decide to take a chance on that amazing looking place with no reviews. It could go either way but you’re hoping for the best. Your host is just as hesitant as you are and overly helpful and descriptive. Do I really need to know how to change the water filter “just in case”? You’re both hoping for a pleasant experience and your host is hoping that you don’t burn the place down and is maybe just a little too involved in your stay. You’ll know they didn’t take well to hosting when the listing is completely gone when it’s time to write your review.


The Illegal Airbnb Host

This host isn’t going to let any silly local laws or regulations stop them from renting their place. This starts the rental in a awkward place as you’re checking in to stay with your “friend” Kiko, Kiki? Shit what is her name? Either way, your entire stay is pervaded by the hope that you’re not discovered and kicked out at the last minute.


The “Host Because They Have To” Host

This is arguably the worst host type to have. This person lists their place because of pure economic need and nothing else. They hate that there are strangers in their home, and renting their home is just a way to make extra cash. They watch over you like a hawk, making sure you don’t break any house rules or “sit too hard” on the furniture. There are no amenities to speak of besides the leftover salt from a previous guest and the world’s tiniest towel that two guests are supposed to share. They have no business hosting but do so anyway.


The Ghost Host

You check in with a key-code, everything is automated and you never see a single person. You chat with the host briefly through the app. Does this host even exist? They’re probably an AI Airbnb experiment. Can robots own property?

Thanks for reading. 

In case you’re looking for a good web host, we’d recommend Siteground. Yes, this is an affiliate link, but we wouldn’t recommend something that wasn’t great! We’ve used many different hosts with many different clients and Siteground is our current favorite as a great balance of price and performance. 


  • Jerry says:

    I’m a total Ghost Host! Automation is king!

  • Jytte R says:

    I am non of the above, but a hybrid of the The True Host. I wish I could be there because I LOVE hosting. But due to distance (over 2 hrs away) I am a “True Remote Host”. Having creatively and actively sourced some wonderful local retirees who live in the same street, and who meet & greet guests. While others clean the venue and they all care as much as we do. In the process I have gained new friends in neighbours I would otherwise never have known, who care for our place as if it was their own. And who are learning about Airbnb at the same time. I am a Professional Tour Guide, which really help with understanding guests needs. As a result I have roughly 50/50 Australian and International guests. With even the Aust. guests often travelling from the other side of the country to get to our place. The venue has always been good. With only minor tweaking, as I am always open to the feedback provided. But it took a while to get the Airbnb up and running well with plenty of bookings due to the complexity and the not so obvious algorithms etc. involved. For those of us not having grown up with technology this has been the biggest challenge, but I have read up and learned and gradually improved both listing description, costing, and some of the helpful apps and add ons, which makes live easier as a host. While our Caretaker meets them on arrival and show them the house. I am still as hands on as I can be from a distance. I send out all the msgs. And continue to communicate with guests as required, respond to questions, help with issues, provide feedback etc. etc..

  • Jytte Ranjel says:

    Here is another important type of Airbnb for you: The “True Remote Host”. A lot of thoughts and effort have been put into ensuring that although we are not there in person, a team of real people are there to assist. Working in Tourism in my day job as a Professional Tour Guide, I am acutely aware of the importance of having people around to answer your questions when you have just arrived after a long flight and drive. Luckily Phillip Island, Australia, where our holiday house Forana is located, has a large population of newly retired friendly people, with many looking for something to do. We have several people in our little street who take pride in looking after our house, It has become a shared community which I can draw on as needed. We have all met and mingled with new people, and friendships have grown from these interactions. Our wonderful Caretaker/Greeter/Fixer lives just across the road, and he absolutely LOVEs the interaction with guests from near and far. He checks the house prior to guests arrival, turns the hot water on, and ensures any spiders or cobweb are gone. While a team of lovely ladies are happy to keep the house clean and presentable, and they all keep us informed of any issues. And lastly I make sure guests are aware and equipped to contact me at all times. I am still the main contact for communication, both in advance and after, and even during guests stay, as needed. We have had a great run, and been able to positively influence peoples perception and understanding of Airbnb in their street. Simply by involving our community, we have bridged the gap and are reaping the rewards. New friendships have been made, and our guests from all over the world are feeling very Welcome, and are providing great reviews ensuring the Super Host status can be maintained.

  • David, Ong and Jordan the Poodle says:

    I Love it! I’m also none of these. Based on the categories above, I’d say I am a “True-Because-I-Have-To” Host. I host in my own home due to existential need. Without paying guests, I cannot afford to live in my own home. That’s the reality of it. But I am also “famous” for having some of the best reviews on the AirBNB platform. Why? Because I love creating an amazing experience for my guests! I love and adore my home and have invested blood, sweat and tears into it – therefore, I find nothing more satisfying than when the faces of my guests light up in surprise and amazement!!! But the truth be known that I do not like having strangers in my home. Seriously, who does?! So, my solution is to make sure that the people who I share my home with do not remain strangers. I prepare them a fully-cooked breakfast every morning – and I give them their private space, too. My reviews suggests I’ve found the happy median between familiarity and privacy. And perhaps there are also some aspects of the “Newbie” in me – even after 5 years! I say that because I certainly provide some clear “direction” to guests on how to treat my home with the same love and respect that I have invested into it. Why? Because I know too well the cost to me of the inadvertent damage that careless people can inflict on my home …. from breaking my $3000 glass cooktop, staining walls, carpet and bedding with food and drink, denting walls and doors with suitcases and so forth. But my guests love it when I ‘porter’ their bags to their room for them! LOL

    • Derek Ambrosio says:

      Thanks for sharing! Hosting is definitely a lot of work but it sounds like you have a great passion for it. A great host can really make a stay extra special.

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