With over 1,600 names in her guestbook, former location manager Tessa prides herself in helping visitors get more out of the city. She began letting out a spare room in her home in Camden during the Olympics, and hasn’t looked back since. ‘I've been a super-host for years,’ she told us. ‘But I'm still learning and I still love doing it.’
What do people get when they stay in your home?
‘It's not Ikea and it's certainly not minimal. Every part of the house is packed full of stuff from my travels, and from my career as a location manager in theatre, films and TV.’
What are the main benefits for you of being a host on Airbnb?
‘I have ME, and with such a devastating condition, sometimes you can hardly think, let alone interact with people. With Airbnb I'm part of a global community, and part of a host community in London. It’s been a way for me to get back into the world.’
Can you set your own house rules?
‘I have complete control. The difference with Airbnb is that it's your home, so you set the rules, and say what you offer and what you don't. I personally have no rules, other than no shoes!’
What tips do you have for people new to hosting?
‘The main thing is to be relaxed. Get good linen and towels and keep your home squeaky clean – guests want a clean home and they want to feel that they matter. For support, I would suggest that new hosts use the Airbnb Host Community Centre. You can connect with other hosts, share stories, ask for advice, and get updates from the Airbnb team. You can also plan or join meetups.’
Tessa’s local picks
‘Mario's Café is great for breakfast. It’s a tiny little place, but it’s a good local café, and it’s an art gallery, too.’
6 Kelly St, NW1 8PH
‘I love Hampstead Heath. It's unusual in Europe to have a wild grassland on the edge of the city, and it hosts some incredible events.’
‘Sir John Soane's Museum is very unusual and absolutely fantastic. It looks a bit like my place in that there's stuff everywhere!’
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP