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Featured, Member Toolkit, Rentals, THIRDHOME, Travel Tips and Trends, Vacation Home Exchange

How to be the Perfect Luxury Home Exchange or Rental Host

June 13, 2018 • By THIRDHOME

Being the perfect host for a home exchange or rental guest requires attention to detail.

It also requires thoughtful touches and plenty of communication. THIRDHOME Exchange members often receive high ratings for being thoughtful hosts. We’ve picked up on their best methods for high host ratings and are sharing them below!

Before arrival, consider compiling some of the following items:

  • A Guest Manual: A detailed description of your home’s amenities, local contacts, local attractions, etc.
  • A Welcome Package: This can be as simple as a bottle of wine or a gift basket filled with local goodies. Either way, it’s sure to leave a wonderful first impression.
  • A Guest Book: THIRDHOME is all about building community. Be sure to leave out a guest book so that your guests can share stories about their trip!

But being a perfect host doesn’t end there. Keep reading to see how each room should be prepared for guests.

Below we’ve outlined some of the most important things to consider when preparing your home for guests, room by room.


Before the hosting experience starts, reach out to your guest to confirm their arrival and departure details. Provide directions to the home and instructions for gaining entry to the property. Your guests will appreciate your tips and insider knowledge of the area.



  • Bedding should be clean, comfortable, and high quality
  • Provide extra pillows and blankets with instructions on where items are located should they be needed
  • Make sure that plenty of space is available in drawers and closets for guest use for clothing storage
  • Check drawers and closets for personal items and move them to a locked owner’s space or closet



  • Provide an adequate number of clean towels (at least 2 per guest)
  • Stock essential amenities such as hand soap, shampoo/conditioner/shower gel, toilet paper, washcloths, etc
  • Ensure that all your personal items are removed from bath/shower and vanity areas



  • Clean and organize items and small appliances on kitchen counters
  • Organize pots and pans, spice racks, storage cabinets, etc. for easy access
  • Remove any perishable food from the fridge, ensure no food or condiments are left out on countertops
  • Stock kitchen and pantry with basic spices, coffee (with creamer/sugar), and cooking ware
  • Leave instructions for any appliances that are tricky to operate


Living Room

  • Leave instructions on how to operate TV’s, sound systems, and other electronics made available to guests
  • Put away any personal items


Outdoor Area

  • Provide instructions on how to operate hot tub, pool, outdoor sound system, grill, etc
  • Make sure all outdoor areas are tidy and clear of any clutter or trash
  • Leave clear instructions regarding trash handling, HOA trash policies, and recycling

The above tips will have you receiving high host ratings on your next home exchange or rental hosting opportunity!

What have THIRDHOME Exchange members said about their hosts?

“David and Pennie were wonderful hosts, Pennie met us on arrival to show us around and ensure we had everything we needed. The apartment itself is in a great location near Battersea Park and walking distance to many areas like Kings Road and Sloane Square, as well as transport links to other areas. We had a great stay and Pennie was very responsive to any inquiries we had. Thank you!” – THIRDHOME member Claire

“We really enjoyed our week at this condo in San Francisco. Kathryn was a great host. She met us upon arrival and gave us a tour of the building. She also provided us with some great advice about the sights in the bay area. She was a quick e-mail away if we had any questions. The condo unit was immaculate and well maintained. Great host, great condo, great location, a very safe area, surprisingly quiet, and everything you’d want within a short walking distance. This place couldn’t have been more perfect.” – THIRDHOME member Linda

Want to host other like-minded travelers in your luxury second home by exchanging unused time? Don’t let your vacation home sit empty, click here to learn more about joining THIRDHOME.

Current THIRDHOME members, now that you know how to be the perfect host, it’s time to start hosting! Log in and click here to deposit stays and put your hosting skills to work!

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