My first month with Airbnb and What is a “par”?


Monday, May 22nd marked the 31st available rental day of my Airbnb room.  Time wise, it has been longer than just a month because I blocked the room out for a week while I traveled and had a friend who stayed with me for a bit as well.  Things have been going well though.  So far, I have been paid $720 for those 31 days.

In those 31 days, there have been 6 vacant nights and I have had 7 reservations.  Which puts the average stay at 3.5 nights, but it tends to be either a 1-2 night or 5-7 night stay.  Which is actually nice.  The cleaning/change-over on the room obviously makes me more money with the cleaning fee, but I prefer to not have to deal with it every day either.  It take about 15 minutes to replace the sheets, dust, vacuum, and straighten up the room, then another 5-10 minutes of my day to tend to the washer and dryer and fold those sheets.

In the hotel world, it is all about managing your stock of linens, the quantity being measured in “pars”.  Basically, a par is an entire set of sheets and linens needed to have a room rentable.  For instance, say you have a hotel with 100 queen beds, you might consider 1 par might be 100 queen fitted sheets + 100 queen flat sheets, 200 pillow cases (assuming 2 pillows per bed), 200 shower towels, 200 wash cloths, and 200 hand towels.  It seems to be that a par level of 3 is viewed as the minimum and perhaps the most ideal balance of cost of goods vs not over working your hotel staff and not making your sheets take too much abuse from use.  Just to also note, I am oversimplifying this, because the par is actually what is needed to sustain normal operations, with hotels no longer changing sheets every night of your stay, the average stay being multiple nights, and typically not having a 100% occupation rate, a par might actually only be 80 sets or something like that.  I am still studying hotelier-ing (if that’s a word), so I do not know what most places actually consider their par.

For a one bedroom Airbnb rental though, things are simplified.  I went ahead and assumed I am outfitting the room for 2 people on a queen bed.  So, 1 fitted & 1 flat sheet, 2 pillow cases, 2 towels, 2 hand towels and 2 washcloths is 1 par for me.  I started off taking the recommendation of 3 pars, which has worked out nicely for me.  While one set of sheets (A) are in the room on the bed ready for the guests, there is another set of sheets (B) on my shelf ready to be used.  If a guest were to spill something or have an issue with anything, I can immediately swap  them out with the fresh set on the shelf (B) and make sure the guests are happy.  In the mean time the 3rd set (C) just came out of the room from the previous guests and need to be washed.  If I did not have the set on the shelf (B) then I would always be rushing to get the 3rd set (C) clean just in case something happened.  Since I also work a 9-5 job and try to have a social life, I do not want to be mandated to do laundry immediately when a guest checks out and I strip the room.

When I finish the downstairs into a 1 bedroom efficiency and then require double to have 1 par, I will not likely stay with 3 pars, I might back it down to 2.5 pars instead.  Meaning I do not have to buy 3 more sets of everything, but instead only 2 more sets for a total of 5 fitted sheets, etc.  So, if both rooms check out the same day, I can change over both rooms, but will only have one set on the shelves if someone spilled something… so hopefully both guests do not spill something on their sheets that first night.

Overall things are going well.  I am on track for obtaining “Super Host” designation from Airbnb.  In the mean time, as I acquire more reviews, I am increasing the per night price.  One thing I did was use AirDna ( to conduct some basic market research as well.  The paid for report is well worth it if you are considering renting your place as an actual means of income.  If you are just “trying it out” or half@$$ing it, then you might want to reconsider Airbnb in general.  Treat it as a business and it will treat you well too.

I also recently invested in a twin airmattress and two sets of sheets for it.  I do not expect to get a lot of use from it, but one booking already has 3 people registered and I offered to set one up for them.  So their multi night stay will pay for the bed/linens and then any future 3 person reservations will be well accommodated and prepared.




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