Help & Advice

How it Works

I just added my homestay to the directory. Now what?

Your homestay is now visible to international students across the world. When a student is interested in your listing, he or she will contact you and ask questions or request a booking.

Watch your email inbox for a notification from HomestayBay when a student contacts you.

Also, rest assured that your privacy is safe on HomestayBay. Your email address and home address are not published online. HomestayBay proxies correspondence from students so that your email address is not disclosed.

I received an email from an international student interested in my homestay. What do I do?

That's great news! Just reply to the email to correspond directly with the student.

Try to answer any questions students have. If they have never been to your country before, they may be apprehensive and are looking for assurances.

There is a good chance that you will experience a language barrier, so we suggest you use simple words when possible and be patient. You can also speak to the student over the phone, but in our experience, it's often easier to communicate in writing instead of over the phone. We suggest that you follow up any verbal correspondence with an email containing the details of your conversation.

If you find you are often receiving the same questions, please contact us and let us know. We'll explore the possibility of creating a way for you to put this information on your homestay listing.

I just booked a student to stay in my home for a few months. What do I do next?

Now that you have a student in your home, you will need to mark your bedroom as unavailable. To do this, select My Account at the top of the screen. Sign in, and you can change the availability for each bedroom in your home.

If you know when your student will leave, you can enter this date and your homestay will continue to appear in the search results for new students arriving after your student leaves. If you are not sure when your student will leave, you can mark the bedroom as available on an unknown future date. This prevents the bedroom from appearing in students' search results. When your student moves out, don't forget to update your listing so that the bedroom becomes visible in the search results. If you don't, no one will contact you!

Managing more than one student in your homestay.

HomestayBay allows you to manage each bedroom available to your students separately. You can define a unique price for each room and list unique amenities available in each room (for example, one room might have a desk and TV and another room might not). You can also manage the availability dates for each room separately.

When you first list your homestay, you will be asked for information about each bedroom. If you need to make changes after you create your homestay listing, select My Account at the top of the screen.

I am not getting enough responses to my homestay listing. What can I do?

We suggest you look at some comparable homestays to see what amenities they offer and their asking prices. Students may be passing over your homestay for various reasons, such as the price being too high or a key amenity being missing. Since students can limit the price in a homestay search, your homestay may not even appear in the search results if it is above their budgets.

You might consider making the following changes to increase interest:

  • reduce your monthly fee
  • offer wireless high-speed Internet
  • provide three meals per day
  • offer a television or desk in the bedroom