Custom Emergency Contact Card for our AirBnB

I wanted unique signs for our AirBnB so I used Photoshop to create these.  They are very simple but look great on the fridge at our place.  Here they are.  There is an emergency contact card, quick reference to where to find the fire extinguisher and first aid kit, wifi login, and lastly our house rules.

 

A blur of excitement and preparation

The first few days on Airbnb have been a blur.  We listed on Sunday evening and are already booked through the end of October.  The next real challenge will be on Sunday when we have our first guests checking out at noon and our next guests checking in at 3.  On Monday we got our first booking, Thursday through Sunday and our first “Verification Pending” booking for the next couple weeks.  That booking fell through and we got a second booking on Tuesday almost as soon as the pending one went away for Sunday through Friday.  Then we got a couple of booking inquiries for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The one for thanksgiving found a larger place that’d work better for their family.  They wanted some place with multiple bathrooms as that made it easier “traveling with girls”.  The one for Christmas asked if we would be ok with two well trained rotties and I responded saying that rotties are awesome and they are welcome to book the place.  When I do that it starts a 24 hour counter.  After 24 hours they had not booked it and the pre-approval expired.  They messaged saying that they are trying to coordinate with 4 people and will give us an answer by the end of the week.  In response I sent them a special offer to book the place at the rate in the first pre-approval.  I did this because we increased our cleaning fee form $40 to $75 realizing that resetting the place after people stay there with pets and children is going to be a lot of work.  Then we got a booking for 25 days starting on Friday.  This time with a picture and a verified account.  I believe it is the same person as before as the first name for both accounts is the same.   In short this week has been crazy already and we are super excited.

The crazyness hasn’t just been the booking though, we’ve been doing a bunch of work up to the last minute to prepare for the first guest.  Beth took Tuesday off work and did an amazing job cleaning up the yard.  I came over after work and we spent a couple hours cleaning and then while we doing a home depot run for some mulch for the planters we realized that our guests that are staying for a while will probably want to use the washer and dryer.  And while we lived there for the last 4 years and used that set to do laundry we realized guests probably wouldn’t appreciate how poorly the dryer works.  For one it just doesn’t work that well at drying clothes so you have to run it for a very long time and be careful to not overfill it.  The second thing is that it causes a ton of humidity in the house when it is running resulting in that humidity condensing on the walls in the bathroom and hallway and causing those walls to become grimy.  As a result we hopped on craigslist and looked for a new set.  We found a couple we liked and sent out emails asking if we could buy them either that night or the next day.  One that we really liked responded saying we could get it that night so we went and bought it.  It took till 1:30 am before we finally got home, but now the house has a new washer and dryer that the guests won’t have to fight.  Also, we are super stoked about the fact that this dryer uses a condenser to remove moisture and has a drain output.  On the next day Wednesday we finished up cleaning and setting the house up for the first guests after we got off work.  This morning I sent our guest a message letting them know the house is ready and they can check in when ever they want today.  Now we just have to sit back and wait for any messages from our guests and new booking requests.

Here is a picture of the new (to us) washer and dryer we installed:

Once again, here is a link to the listing for all the details on it: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/19534111

Here we go!

Last night we listed our first property on AirBnB.  This was really exciting and we were holding our expectations in check.  For pricing we are using wheelhouse and it recommended a base price of $155.  We thought this sounded high as we are just getting started and have no reviews so we set it at $124.  When we woke up this morning we had couple real surprises.  The first day we set to be available was Thursday and  someone had booked our place for Thursday through Sunday.  For messaging we are using smartbnb.io and in less than a minute of them booking the place it had sent them a message thanking them for booking the place.  They responded thanking us for responding so quickly.  So far we are off to a great start.  We decided that maybe we should block off Monday as this is our first booking and we want to make sure we can clean the place before anyone else books it.  I log onto airbnb to do this and discover that someone has booked Sunday Oct 1st through Oct 15th.  However instead the status shows Pending Verification.  Looking this up it means that they have about a day to finish their reservation and confirm their info.  We are really excited about this whole process and the fact that we’ve seen such immediate success at getting a couple bookings.  After that I blocked off Monday Oct 16th to make sure we can clean the place before anyone else shows up.  There are still a few small things we need to button up here before we are ready for Thursday.

How to connect a data API to your react app

This is something that seems like it should be obvious and it probably is to those who create websites regularly, however I struggled with it for a bit.  This tutorial from Fullstack React is awesome and helped me figure this out.  The TL;DR version is below.

Use two nodejs servers, one to serve the client application (that can then be bundled by webpack) and one to serve the api in development.  To run these at the same time use the tool concurrently.  Then when you are ready for deployment you can pack the client app (that you built into a static asset with webpack) and then serve it by the api server with this code:

Then you just copy the code to run the api server and client/build folder to your server and run it how you would normally there.  As to a example of how you serve data to your react app here is an example.

Server:

Client:

React Component:

For a more detailed example refer to the article listed above.  This is something I learned recently while improving rallyscores.com.  You can find the source of that site on GitHub.