Johny Nguyen and his fiancee, Anne, are Airbnb Superhosts from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Together they have three properties for rent on Airbnb. They plan on adding more properties to their portfolio in the near future. The couple set up their Airbnb hosting account in April of 2015 after spending quite a bit of time researching the hosting process and requirements.
The two are veteran globetrotters, having visited more than 20 different countries together. Their love of travel and meeting new people is part of why they decided to give Airbnb hosting a try.
After traveling for a while, Anne and I relocated back to our home country. We missed the feeling of crossing country borders and being immersed in different foods and cultures. We acquired an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City and one of our friends told us a story about how he had been hosting on Airbnb for almost 4 years. We thought we would try it out. Airbnb would give us an opportunity to meet other people who loved traveling like we do.
Johny and Anne have now been hosting for almost 6 months–acquiring multiple Airbnb properties in the process. Their listings are all located in a unique area named Phu My Hung. The small area, Johny says, is a popular destination for expats due to its close proximity to multi-lingual shops, modern shopping malls, good restaurants, local coffee shops, and other attractions. For the time being Johny and Anne are the only Airbnb hosts in the Phu My Hung area of Ho Chi Minh City.
Communication is a key part of being successful on Airbnb, Johny says:
Anne and I are both fluent in English, French, and Vietnamese. It’s extremely important to help guests feel welcome, connected, immersed, and safe in their new environment. We are able to direct guests to local attractions, restaurants, and other sightseeing areas. We have also helped guests avoid hassles when traveling by taxi or negotiating fares. We just want our guests to have an enjoyable time.
In the past 6 months Johny and Anne have had 36 separate booking reservations. They make use of dynamic pricing that is based on seasonal demands. This helps them stay booked even during low travel times. Their average rental night costs $79 for a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom and $69 for a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom. These prices are below the average for the area.
Even though Johny and Anne have had a great time using Airbnb as hosts, they want to remind potential hosts that it’s not always easy. Managing expectations, Johny says, is a huge task that Airbnb hosts have to fulfill if they want to receive a 5-star rating.
Hosting is tricky. You are going to meet different people with different expectations, and learning how to manage their expectations is key to being successful. Even though I enjoy meeting new people from around the world, there have been some unexpected events occur while hosting that we have had to overcome. Guests making huge messes, allowing friends to stay without notifying us, breaking things, etc. These are all instances that you may face as a host. You just have to be prepared to deal with the situation–a cost of doing business.
The couple advises new hosts to be aware of their cancellation policy and possibly require a security deposit. Other tips to being successful as an Airbnb host include lowering your listing price in order to get some initial booking reservations and reviews. Capitalize on your surrounding area as a way to market your listing as unique. Add personal touches to stand out from other listings. Always go the extra mile.
Going the extra mile with gifts will add a surprise to your guest’s stay. Don’t get caught up thinking that it has to be expensive–just leave your guests with something small and unique to the area. It will help when they write reviews about you and your listing. There was a time that my air conditioner leaked and soaked up an entire bed. I quickly fixed the problem and gave my guests a present before they checked out. The gift was not a bribe, just a sincere apology for the unexpected event. We were both happy and they left me a 5-star review.
You can view Johny and Anne’s Airbnb listings by clicking the links below: