How Dorothee hosts

Dorothee hosts in London to share her home with others

What was your motivation to start hosting?

Ever since we bought our house about 11 years ago, we've always had lodgers. This is part of our lifestyle, especially as we have a spare bedroom we rarely use. So far we’ve had such good experience. It's all about bringing the world to our place. And it's also a good way to maximize what we have as an asset—our house.

How do you welcome guests to your home?

If I’m still working when the guests arrive, usually my daughter does the check in. She loves it and feels it's kind of a job for her. It’s a nice introduction for our guests, because they fully realize it's a family home.

Do your children engage with guests as well?

The kids actually mention “Oh, you should go to that restaurant. You should go to that coffee shop. You should definitely try that burger.” Most of the guests really appreciate that. They feel welcome, and they feel like they have a taste of the South London life.

How has hosting changed how you treat your home?

I make sure our kitchen is spotless (not easy when you have two children!) and I make sure the front garden is tidy and welcoming.

What has the extra income from hosting allowed you to do?

We buy local, we buy from farmers markets, and we eat good, fresh organic products, which we might not be able to afford if we didn’t host on Airbnb.

Is the flexibility of the Airbnb platform important to you, the fact that you can set your own ground rules?

It’s very important, as you would expect having two children. We have activities, we're busy, and sometimes we want the space just for ourselves. It’s great to have the flexibility to decide when we want to host.

One of your rules is that guests are part of the family during their stay. Can you say more?

Most of the time guests appreciate and understand that—when they book with us, the description says it’s a family place. And if they're willing to interact with children, even better. Usually that means sometimes we all have a cup of tea in the kitchen together. Talk about our day, and then everyone gets on with what they’re doing. It’s quite a nice touch point.

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