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Meet The First Time Hosts: Sally & Jonathan

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Last updated on
July 11, 2018

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 Every day we meet new, inspirational hosts who are looking for a hassle-free solution to hosting their property on sites like Airbnb. But we’re also proud to offer a service that makes it easy for anyone to share their home, whether they’re an experienced Super Host or a complete beginner.

So we spoke to retired couple Sally & Jonathan, who came to Houst looking for help listing their very first property on Airbnb.

‘We’ve had our house in Cambridge for about ten years or so,’ Sally explains. ‘Our daughter actually lived there for a while she was doing her PhD at the university there. She moved out roughly 3 or 4 years ago and when she left we were stuck on what to do with the house. We wanted to keep it so we could stay there occasionally and see our grandchildren. So we thought, what can we do with it for the rest of the time? That’s when we thought of Airbnb.’

Thankfully, Houst’s easy and straightforward approach to property management meant they could get things started straight away.

‘We didn’t realise there were things like Houst out there at the time. But a friend told us there are companies that can take care of all the hassle for you, so we did a bit of research and came across Houst.

Houst wasn’t the only company we looked into. We also looked at Pass the keys and one other company whose website was so awful we couldn’t continue. It was pretty close between you and Pass the Keys but what help decide it for us was Elliot, the person we spoke to. He was very reassuring and convincing. He told us about the local team you have here and that there were always people closeby to help. That really made a difference.’

Since they settled on Houst, we had to ask how their experience with us so far had been.

‘We can’t fault it, everything's been very quick. Louis from the local team came round to the house quickly, took some lovely photos and within the next day it was up and running. He was great. We couldn’t be more pleased.’

Jonathan adds, ‘Along with the swiftness of communication (we’ve never had to wait for you to reply) we’ve been really pleased with the way the emails have gone between the guests and yourselves. It’s not too professional or informal. They’re warm and inviting emails and I think that’s working really well.’

As relative newcomers to hosting, we asked Sally & Jonathan what they were hoping for by listing their property with Houst.

‘The reason for going with Airbnb was to maximise our income. Because our home isn’t in Cambridge, we’re actually based in Guilford, we needed an agency that could change the sheets and towels when we couldn’t. So you guys were heaven sent for us. We’d not put it on Airbnb before and it would have been too complicated for us to do it living in Guilford. Obviously we’re retired as well, and we spent a lot of money doing up the house so it helps pay for that as well as boost our pension.’

As proud homeowners, they were more than happy to share with us what made their property so special. ‘The location of the property is it’s best feature. It’s 10 minutes walk from the city centre, where you pass all the colleges and historical buildings. The shopping district is also pretty close, with plenty of independent shops.'

Sally & Jonathan’s top Cambridge picks:

'One of our favourite spots is the Old Norfolk Street Bakery. They do lovely artisan breads and cakes and serve delicious coffee. Another one is The Geldart Pub, it’s just 2 minutes from the house. It has exceptional food and live music, it’s quite the artsy place. The menus are written on old vinyl and they have a great outdoor area for when Summer comes round.'

Ever thought about becoming a host? Take that first step and find out how much your home could earn by checking out our property calculator below!