Most hosts are pros at multitasking. You have to be to navigate this arena and thrive. If you’re at all like me, hosting isn’t your only job. You’ve got a 9-5 and an inkling to invite strangers from around the globe into your private space (kudos to us weirdoes out there). Luckily, hosting is rarely ever a 9-5 gig. There’s always an 11 PM “sorry, I locked myself out!” or “how do I turn on the hot water?” call just around the corner. Here’s where the value of multitasking comes in. We shakers and movers get everything done without anyone knowing how we’ve done it. The easier part is that you don’t have to be the best host to give guests a great experience. Sometimes though, you’ve got to put your pride aside to do it.

The Interview Nightmare

I had a job interview a few months ago. I went all out and bought new slacks, a pair of shiny black shoes and a bow tie. According planned the day so that I could make it to the interview on time. Of course, in being a host, this meant that I had to make sure my listing was in order, too. On the day of my interview, I had a same-day guest checkout and arrival. This put my cleaning window at about 3 ½ hours; a bit less than usual, but still doable. This is another reason why platforms like TurnoverBnB come in handy. They make the business of coordinating the cleaning work much easier. Anyway, I arrived at my interview about 15 minutes early. It was scheduled for 1:45 PM. I sat waiting at ease because I knew that everything was in order. My cleaner was all set up to complete the day’s turnover, which was well in advance of my guests’ 3:30 PM arrival. I was feeling confident, capable, and in control. Everything was perfect.

As I’m beginning to learn, its usually in the perfect moments where the quirks of hosting bubble right up to the surface.

Before walking into the interview room, I looked down at my phone to put it into silent mode. That’s when I saw it; the thing that would instantaneously take all of my interview swag away. The single worst nightmare that every host will undoubtedly experience at least once in their hosting career.

I got a notification that my cleaner had cancelled my turnover.

If you haven’t experienced a cancelled turnover, let me tell you, it sucks! Sometimes they can be easy to resolve if you can find a back-up cleaner or get the job done yourself. On my interview day however, I didn’t have a chance to find a backup – much less anytime to do the cleaning myself.

So, there I was fresh out of an interview in my Sunday’s best with about 1 hour before my next guests were checking in. Realizing that I didn’t even have time to change, I did what any multitasking ninja host would have done. I raced to my listing and went to work. My plans for that day did not involve any sort of mopping, bed-making or dusting, but there I was on the cold tile floor wiping baseboards in slacks and shiny black shoes. Let my experience be a reminder always to keep a fresh set of cleaning clothes near you. Trust me, you’ll need them. I cleaned that house faster than I had ever cleaned it. Thankfully, the previous guests were tidy, so I was able to get everything restored and in order. With the last wipe of the floor, I heard a knock at the door. It was my arriving guests. I remember wiping the sweat from my forehead before opening the door to greet them. “Nice bow tie!” one of them said. I chuckled, thanked them for the compliment and showed them around before heading out.

That day and many like it have taught me that any day can become a cleaning one. In this business and in life, something unexpected will always happen. The trick is to be ready and take every speed bump in stride. You’ve got to be willing to do whatever you need to do to make your guests and their experience a priority. In the best circumstances, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll at least have enough time to loosen your bow tie.