When Sarah McGhie opened the door to her classic Victorian home on Masonic Avenue, the reason she’s labeled a “superhost” on Airbnb immediately became apparent. As her Australian Shepherd Boo trotted beside her, she wasted no time in offering a glass of water from her immaculately renovated kitchen, which overlooks a manicured courtyard; there, a separate entrance leads to the ground floor “garden retreat” which she rents for around $200 a night. The unit was occupied by a guest, one of the at least 404 who have remained with McGhie since 2015.
McGhie rents out her house to help pay her property taxes, but “it’s not passive income,” she said. “People in the early days of Airbnb remember it was all about feeling like a local when you travel, and they really wanted the host interaction.” These days, some customers would prefer to be left alone, but many don’t; “I don’t think it would work if you were an introvert who didn’t like people.”
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