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A Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Blog!

8 Things to Do Before Listing Your Home on Airbnb

If you own a home you don’t occupy full-time and are seeking to make extra money, consider joining the legions of people who are listing their properties on the ever-growing global marketplace, Airbnb. Founded in 2008, San Francisco-based Airbnb connects leisure and business travelers to short-term apartment, house and room rentals in more than 190 countries.

If you’re seriously considering listing your property on Airbnb, here are seven tips to consider.

  1. Check your city’s policy for Airbnb: City ordinances vary. Check here (scroll down to ‘Your City Regulations’) or check with your city government to see what the rules are in your area.
  2. Good photos: First impressions definitely matter, so before you’ve hosted your first guest, you’ll need good photos to make your property stand out. If you’re not experienced at photographing home interiors, Airbnb will connect you with professional photographers in your area and take care of uploading the photos to your listing.
  1. Set an appropriate price: Airbnb provides a suggested price based on the details of your listing and local rental pricing. For first-timers, Airbnb recommends starting below the suggested rate so you can attract guests and build up positive reviews.
  1. Getting started: Create a binder with the house rules, Wi-Fi password, local restaurants and attractions and other pertinent information. Buy extra sheets, towels, blankets, toilet paper and trash bags, and make sure you provide such items as a coffee maker, microwave, an iron and ironing board, hair dryer, dishes, silverware, pots and pans.
  1. Hire a professional cleaner: Unless you are prepared to stay on top of this task yourself, it’s best to hire someone to thoroughly clean your home between guests. If your bathroom and kitchen aren’t spotless and linens aren’t freshly laundered, your guests will notice and give you bad reviews.
  1. Get the proper insurance coverage: It’s imperative to know what your home insurance policy covers before you list your home. Talk to your insurance adviser to ensure you have the proper coverage, or check out Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance program.
  1. Screen guests: Learn about the people who will be staying in your home by reading reviews of guests and messaging them on Airbnb’s platform. Although there have been stories in the news about renters damaging apartments or homes, most guests don’t cause problems.
  1. Provide extras for your guests: Always try to anticipate your guests’ needs. If you live near the beach, consider buying beach chairs, boogie boards and a cooler. For a lakeside home, offer comfortable outdoor seating, lighting and a fire pit. And don’t forget to provide a corkscrew and wine glasses for your guests. Another nice touch: Leave a bottle of wine on the counter as a welcome gift.

Before listing your property, keep these tips in mind and you’ll be better prepared to make your new venture a success.


A Special Space for Kyleigh

I’m very excited to announce that the Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation has teamed up once again with Special Spaces Northern Illinois Chapter to create a bedroom makeover for Kyleigh, a 4-year-old Arlington Heights girl who lives with chromosomal abnormalities.

Because of her condition, Kyleigh suffers from heart, kidney and chronic lung issues, seizures, developmental delays and is gastrostomy tube dependent. Despite it all, she is a happy child who radiates positivity and brings joy to those around her. After a long hospital stay, Kyleigh came home to find a big surprise – a new dream bedroom!

Kyleigh’s bedroom makeover décor incorporated her favorite things: princesses, Minnie Mouse and vibrant colors. New furniture filled the room and provided ample storage for Kyleigh’s belongings and medical supplies. Lumber Liquidators donated beautiful new flooring. And, Kyleigh’s brothers, Kevin and Aidan, got room makeovers too!

I am thrilled with the amount of support we received from our sales associates and employees to create this dream bedroom for Kyleigh and her family. The funds for Kyleigh’s room were raised by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Northwest, Libertyville and The Groves offices. It is truly remarkable what we can do when we all come together to make a difference in the life of a child.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation. I hope you take a moment to watch this heartwarming room reveal video. Click here to donate to the Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation.

Our Favorite Chicago, Milwaukee & Harbor Country Breweries

If you’re a beer fan, give props to the monks from the Middle Ages, who became the predominant brewers of their time when nearly every monastery was equipped with a brewery. Their love of all things malty led them to the innovation of lagering – or cold storing – to enhance the beverage’s flavor and secure beer’s standing as one of the world’s most popular beverages.

Here are a few of our favorite local breweries to celebrate your love of this frothy favorite.


Chicagoland has had an explosion of breweries in the last 15 years. Here are just a few of my favorites from all over the city and the suburbs.

Old Irving Brewing Company – 4419 W Montrose, Chicago, IL – This is a relatively new brewpub that focuses on house-brewed craft beer and elevated bar food in a fun atmosphere. I have two words for you “indoor bags”.

Half Acre Beer – 4257 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL – Half Acre’s first brewery opened in 2008 and has since changed the scene for Chicago microbrews. Their Daisy Cutter Pale Ale is now a standard in most Chicago bars and they’ve since opened another brewery and a restaurant. You can also take brewery tours on most Saturdays if, but be prepared to wait in line.

Temperance Beer Company – 2000 West Dempster Street, Evanston, IL – Just when you think you are officially lost, you find this not-so-hidden gem behind a produce store in this northern suburb. You can visit the taproom or book a tour — either way, you won’t be disappointed with the beer selection.

5 Rabbit Brewery – 6398 W 74th St, Bedford Park, IL – Their tagline is ‘Latin American, Made in Xicago.’ 5 Rabbit is tucked away southwest of the city and mixes the best ingredients to create uniquely delicious beers. Visit their tap room Wednesday – Saturday, but hours change – so check their website/Facebook page.


Miller Brewery – 4251 West State Street, Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee would not be Milwaukee without the Miller Brewery. You have to take the tour at least once.

Lakefront Brewery – 1872 N. Commerce St., Milwaukee, WI  – There is everything from a mini-tour to a technical tour available to this brewery that sits on the Milwaukee River. They even offer organic and gluten-free beer selections and some pretty hilarious tour guides.

MKE Milwaukee Brewing – 613 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI – MKE combines the best local ingredients with sustainable practices to create unique beers. You can book a tour online or even book private tours.

Harbor Country/NW Indiana

Greenbush Brewing Co. – 5885 Sawyer Rd., Sawyer, MI –  Beginning as just a taproom in 2011, this brewery now has some pretty legendary brew and eats. So come hungry and thirsty!

Three Floyds Brewing Co. – 9750 Indiana Parkway, Munster, IN – One of the originals, this brewery opened in 1996 and now their beers can be found in IL, IN, KY, OH and WI. Tours are offered on Saturdays on a first come first serve basis.

“Beer, if drunk in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirits and promotes health.” Heed the words of Thomas Jefferson, and in the hearty spirit of International Beer Day, go enjoy a cold one! And as always, drink responsibly.

Ginny Leamy
& The Leamy Team
121 N Addison Ave
Elmhurst, IL 60126
Phone: 708-205-9541

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