What would the perfect AirBNB listing be for digital nomads?

I’m toying with the idea of hosting on AirBNB, in a city that doesn’t have a large digital nomad presence (Calcutta, India). What would the ideal hosting ad look like for a digital nomad?

My personal preferences:

  1. Clean (as clean / organized / decluttered as I’d expect a non-backpacker-y hotel to look like), so I actually feel like working. In India, this goes double for bathrooms; I’m willing to pay a lot more for a dry, clean bathroom.
  2. Fast, reliable wifi. Everyone seems to have a different definition of “fast” or “broadband”, so some indication of actual speeds / bandwidth caps / reliability would be ideal, but I never see this in ads.
  3. Things within walking distance (mostly, I mean restaurants / bars, but sometimes department stores / malls / coffee shops are convenient).
  4. A couple of different places to work / read (hammock + desk, desk + coffee table on a balcony with a view of the mountains, standing desk + beanbag, etc).

I know that’s a pretty specific list, and most AirBNB hosts aren’t developers, so much of this isn’t likely on their radar. What would you guys ad to the list? What makes you AirBNB over a hotel, and / or what would be a must-have AirBNB feature?



You hit the main points. The things I tend to buy if I am in an apt/airbnb for 1-3 months are: decent coffee maker and a blender so it would be nice to have those. A chromecast/apple tv would also be nice (I carry my own, but many don’t) but never expected. And near a decent gym would be essential.

Yep, those seem like the main things. Also, close to transport is good.

With #4, more than anything else, I’d look for a desk and ergonomic office chair.

I’d also like to know if there are a lot of electrical outlets, or a power strip available. Also, how quiet/loud is the place. I’m working from an AirBnB now, and it’s great, but there is construction noise from outside all day, which is distracting.

It’s also useful to know if laundry can be done in the apartment or nearby.

In general, I like as many details as possible, so I know what to expect and there are no unpleasant surprises. Be sure your first few guests leave reviews. I always read reviews and it’s useful to see feedback from others who have stayed in a place.

I don’t particularly want to work where I live - it’s nice to keep work and non-work separate (I’[m sure some people do this a lot better than I do), but what does matter to me is:

  1. CHEAP
  2. furnished - complete bedding, washing machine, equipped kitchen
  3. quiet
  4. clean
  5. for me personally, a non-smoking environment is essential
  6. close to transport links - I’m going to be getting around on foot, so I don’t want to have a long walk to catch a bus somewhere
  7. WiFi (although if I am renting a desk in a co-working office, it’s less important for me to have WiFi at home)
  8. it doesn’t have to be a designer flat, but it does need some aesthetic appeal or I could end up getting depressed - bright and airy goes a long way towards providing this aesthetic comfort

Quite flexible in other ways.

Yep, power outlets are so important. I’m in an apartment atm with one outlet in each room and it’s driving me nuts even after buying a power strip!

Thanks for the responses so far! I’m building a ton of power outlets into the place downstairs (local Indian sockets, US / UK compatible sockets, and USB outlets to charge stuff, since I never seem to have enough of those), and there’ll also be power strips and USB multi-charger thingies around, just because I always have more of those around than I need personally.

Laundry’s a good point; I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll add it to the list of stuff to figure out.

The kitchen’s small, but should be fully functional once the fridge gets moved down there this week.

Chromecast might be iffy; I don’t have a TV! I might be able to lend a monitor, though, so a chromecast would be a good substitute for putting a TV down there (I’d need a ton of AirBNB traffic before I’d get an actual TV, since I’d never use it myself).

Gyms are walking distance from here, and a ton of local transport options (taxis, Uber, Ola (they’re a Lyft partner), autorickshaws, buses) are four or five buildings away from the house. It shouldn’t be too loud once the construction’s done; it’s at the rear of the property, not facing the street.

Thanks for the pointers so far! It’s good to know I’ve got most of this covered; I just need to make sure I add all of it to the description when I do a couple of AirBNB trial runs next month.

In addition to what has been mentioned already, we always look for:

  • lots of natural light i.e. windows
  • not on the ground floor
  • not facing a loud street or else

I would add a commercial-grade blender/juice extractor like Nutisystem or Vitamix. I had one when I lived in the US but can’t travel with something so heavy. Now I live mostly in Airbnb apartments in Europe and Asia - and I haven’t found one with a decent machine in 2 years. What I miss most is making fresh fruit/veggie juice, soup and smoothies “at home” using my own ingredients and creating different flavors. This might also be important for people with special dietary needs.