How To Host Your First AirBNB Guest Like A Pro
Over half a million people around the world host guests on AirBNB. And it isn’t hard to see why. AirBNB hosts can make a great chunk of extra cash and meet some cool new people. Some even make a decent living, hosting guests at multiple properties year-round.
Have you ever thought about getting in on the action? You should! But beware: there are millions of properties on Airbnb. From igloos to treehouses to geodesic domes, it is safe to say you aren’t likely to win on originality alone. Fortunately, we scoured the web to find the features that make listings stand out from the crowd and tips to make you beloved by your guests.
Here are just a few pro-tips for creating a great listing.
Always offer WiFi
The internet might as well be a human right at this point, and pretty much everyone expects access wherever they go. If you have internet access set up already, that’s great! You’ll want to consider providing a guest network for greater security, but otherwise you’re pretty much good to go. If you don’t sometimes live in the space you’re renting, internet access may seem like a hefty expense each month. In this case you might want to consider a cellular data hotspot. While not nearly as fast as most hardwired internet providers, LTE offers decent speeds that will satisfy most people. You can often add on an inexpensive hotspot to your cellular plan and use that. CLEAR offers reasonably-priced 4G plans designed for the home and many Airbnb hosts take advantage of their services. If you really want to save money, you can get a completely free hotspot from FreedomPop, but you’ll probably need to cough up some cash in order to get a reasonable data allotment for your guests. Still, this option could be the cheapest depending on how much data your guests use.
Get your listing verified by as many guests as possible
You’ll have to work your way up to this, but always provide positive feedback for great guests so that they’ll want to do the same for you. The more guests that positively review your stay not only make your listing more appealing, but it also helps you show up higher in Airbnb’s search results. Well-liked spaces get priority, so strive to make yours one of those by encouraging guests to leave positive feedback if they enjoyed their experience.
Keep your calendar up to date
Scheduling issues can really hurt you. You don’t want to have to cancel guest bookings because you left reservations open on unavailable dates. You also don’t want to forget to remove blackout dates if they do become available. You probably only need to review your calendar monthly to make sure everything is the way you want it, but choose a time interval that suits you and set a reminder to update it so that you don’t run into annoying scheduling problems.
Keep an inquiry and problem resolution journal
to keep track of common issues that you might be able to prevent in the future. No matter how great of a host you are, you’ll wind up with problems from time to time. Sometimes you’ll just get a bad guest and you can’t do anything about that, but sometimes a guest will have a concern, question, or issue that you’ll need to solve during their stay. Keep notes of everything that comes up so when you see issues repeat, you can figure out how to preemptively solve them and save yourself the headache during your guest’s stay.
Share A Key
One of the biggest problems Airbnb users have is key sharing. The last thing you want to do is wait around by your place for your guests to show up. If their flight is delayed, you could be waiting all night! And if you have multiple properties, the conundrum gets even worse.
Some hosts prefer to use a service like KeyMe to share a key with their guests. You can scan your key at a local kiosk and your guests can print out a copy at the same kiosk. There is likely one right around the corner from your place.
Want even less effort? You can use our key duplicator app and scan your keys from your smartphone. Simply request your guest download the app, scan and send a key to their phone and have them visit any kiosk to print. Easy peasy!
Wanna find your nearest kiosk? Click here, type in your Zip Code and you are good to go. Make sure to let your guests know that they can get this info from our website or the app.
Be clear, honest, and detailed
While this may seem obvious, your space isn’t perfect and moments will arise where you might think it’s wise to hide the flaws. For example, you might have air conditioning in your unit but only in the window of one room. You don’t want to leave out these details in case someone expects central air. Some wall units work well at reasonable temperatures but might not suffice in a heat wave. You don’t want a guest staying with you and feeling lied to because an amenity you provided didn’t live up to their expectations. Most of the time you can avoid these kinds of problems with clear, honest details. And pictures. Make sure to add as many pictures as possible. This puts searchers at ease that they are seeing all of your space, and not just the parts you are excited to show off.
Save a few surprises
You want to put enough in your listing to attract renters, but their stay will seem extra special if they encounter a few amenities they didn’t know about when they arrive. Perhaps you have a welcome basket with some snacks or keep fresh cut flowers in a vase on the kitchen table. Maybe you include a guest book or even a camera guests can use to take their own photos for themselves or for a collection made by everyone who stays in your space. You can get creative here and think of inexpensive ways to add some surprise value. This way you stand a better chance of over-delivering on your promise of a great experience.
Make use of your personality, even if you’re a little weird
If your guest wants to stay in a hotel, they’ll stay in a hotel. While Airbnb might provide some cost savings in some parts of the world, in many major cities it costs about the same as a comparable hotel room. People book to have the conveniences of home when they travel, but also for a fun and unique environment. Your personality will exist in your home through its design and layout, so don’t leave it out of your listing, handbook, and interaction with your guests. While you probably don’t want to take things too far, some hosts go all out with strange artwork and humor in their materials. If you’re weird and your goal is just to pick up some extra cash while hosting cool people you like, you may want to make your listing fully resemble your unique personality. If you want a more broad appeal, it still helps to include yourself in your materials but you can dial it back a bit so that more types of people can appreciate your charm.
While all these things can help you be a better host, just remember that clear and honest communication trumps all. If you and your guest stay on the same page, you’ll avoid many common problems that can arise. Don’t forget to have fun, too! While it’s not a requirement, you can meet a lot of cool people through Airbnb even if it’s just over email. Hosting definitely requires a decent amount of work, but if you have fun with it and enjoy your guests it won’t feel like much work at all.