Whilst almost anyone can apply to be a TheatreDigsBooker Host, there are some basic requirements to meet to provide the type of accommodation required by most theatre professionals.
The basic requirements:
- A spare room, apartment or house - At the very least, Guests need their own room. Some prefer self-contained properties, so we ask Hosts to state what type of digs they offer clearly.
- Comfortable bed – 20-year-old mattresses may be fine for friends and family but not for paying Guests. Beds should be reasonably new and supportive - especially as most theatre jobs are quite physical.
- Privacy - Most Guests expect the room they rent to be their private space for the duration of their stay. Hosts are within their rights to enter the room to empty waste bins etc, but are asked to respect the privacy of their Guests as much as possible.
- Storage – We ask Hosts to provide a drawer or two and somewhere to hang clothes in their bedroom. If the use of the kitchen is also provided, then we ask for the provision of space in the fridge and cupboards to store food.
- Cleanliness – Whilst Guests know not to expect Hilton levels of service, we do require all Hosts to provide clean sheets and bedding, a freshly dusted and vacuumed room and clean bathroom and kitchen areas (where applicable).
- Access - Since the nature of Theatre often involves working unsociable hours, we kindly ask Hosts to provide Guests with a set of keys (or equivalent) to let themselves in and out of the property at will. Some Hosts request a security deposit for this and this should be mentioned in the digs' description if required.
- Code of conduct - All Hosts and Guests are required to adhere to our 'Code of Conduct'.
- Great value - We ask Hosts to look at similar digs in their area and price their rooms accordingly. Many rooms are listed for under £100 per week - giving Guests money left from their touring allowance buy food, etc.
- Proximity to a Theatre - Digs within walking distance to a theatre tend to receive the most bookings.
- Great Wifi - Fast, unlimited wireless broadband is invaluable to the touring professional.
- Private bathrooms or ensuites - Being able to offer Guests that little bit more private space can make the difference between a good and a great stay.
- Blackout blinds/curtains - Working unsociable hours in the theatre is common, a little extra sleep in the morning isn't lazy but simply good preparation for the following night's performance. Blackout blinds and curtains help especially in the summer months.
- Calm and quiet - Can you ensure piece and quiet for your Guests to get a good nights sleep and allow them a lie in after a late night?
- Winter Warmth - Guests who work in theatre maybe around a lot during the day and out most of the evenings, some flexibility with the heating especially during the winter months can make all the difference between a comfortable and uncomfortable experience.
- Understanding Hosts (and Guests) - Some Guests love to stay up all night 'chatting theatre' over a bottle of wine and some prefer to keep themselves to themselves. Being sensitive to the needs of each other makes for the best Hosting experiences.
- Good communication - Hosts who quickly respond to booking requests and communicate clearly with their Hosts seem to achieve the best results.
- Accurate listings - Hosts who have an up-to-date calendar, good quality photos and accurate descriptions are letting their Guests know what to expect.
- Top tip, try out your digs - Spend a night sleeping in the digs you offer. Did you get a good nights sleep? It's a good way to ascertain whether or not your digs are Guest worthy.
Before accepting your first booking, here are our 5 Top Tips for being a TheatreDigsBooker Host:
- Check you have the right insurance cover in place - chat to your insurance company first or check out our list of insurance providers.
- Speak to your mortgage company – Again, make sure you have their permission before renting out your room
- Keep records of what you earn - You can earn up to £7500 – tax-free from renting out a spare room in your main home (halved if you share the income with your partner or someone else.) So no need to complete any paperwork if you earn this amount or under. Anything over this amount needs to be declared on a self-assessment tax form and you will need to pay tax
- Take good photographs – the site allows ten good photographs which helps people to see what your home is like. Be sure to take photographs of the best features of your digs and use the landscape format as they work best on the website!
- Request reviews – People will read other theatre professionals’ reviews to see what others think – so make sure you remind people to add their reviews!
Attached below is a very handy checklist to make sure you are getting the most out of your accommodation listing. Just click on the PDF link and either save or print the checklist for your convenience.
Our support team are available to help via telephone or email 9-5, Mon-Fri.