I’ve been hosting guests for a little over 5 months now, and have learned a lot about the process. From the initial communication, to the day you say goodbye, here are a few takeaways from my hostings, that can help you be a better Airbnb host. Happy hosting!
1 The Quick Response
First, if you have yet to download the Airbnb App, please do so now. Downloaded? Great. Now, activate push notifications so you know the second someone reaches out to stay at your spot. Responding in a timely manor sets the stage for the entire stay. A guest knows you mean business and are very upfront about everything. Communication will be a consistant theme in this post, and this is the start.
Having a good response rate also shows on your profile, and if it’s a good one, then it’s another plus towards you as a host. Every metric you have control over, you need to make it look good. This is your response rate and how often you update your calendar. If these are recent, it shows you are an avid user, and on top of things.
2 The Welcome Email
Do you have Google docs? If not, start using them, and draft a “welcome email”. Have all the details of your spot written out in a nice, easy to read/follow layout. Your contact info, address, house rules, internet username / password, and any other details you can think of. And don’t forget to welcome your guest!
Having a well thought out welcome email reinforces the trust between you and your guest. It shows you know what you are doing, and relieves any stress the guest might have about staying at your spot. When it comes down to it, the way to be a kick-ass host is to create an amazing, effortless experience for your guest. Think of the last time you were blown away with an experience, learn from it, and replicate with your place.
3 The First In-Person
Get it? The first impression. I know, i’m great with puns. Anyway. The first impression when you actually greet your guest is huge. It sets the tone. What I like to do is help them with their bags if they need it, and give them a tour of the place.
OBVIOUS POINT: Make sure your spot is spic and span. Cannot stress enough to clean it up!
During the tour i’ll get to know them a bit more, answer any questions they might have, and introduce them to the city / suggest things for them to do. Most guests on Airbnb will be outgoing and fun. These people are renting a random room from a stranger, they will be cool people. Continue with the small talk and be genuinely interested in the their story. Always work towards making there stay a memorable and frictionless one.
Feel free to go above and beyond by offering a welcome gift. Find something that is a local favorite and set it on the bed or your night stand. Being a host in Chicago, I am going to start having small bags of Garrets Popcorn, or a $10 gift card for some deep dish pizza. Sure, these things will cost some extra cash, but the experience you are providing for your guest is well worth it.
4 Constant Communication
Throughout your guests stay it is important to be responsive and checking in with them. You do not need to be attached to the hip, or asking them every 5 minutes if they are doing okay, but every now and again ask if there is anything they might need to make their stay more enjoyable. Think hotel bell-boy style, without asking for a tip.
5 It’s All About the Details
Fresh towels on the bed, decoration accents around the home, being an ambassador to your city, you have to own every detail of a guests stay. You wont get it all right the first, second, or even third time, but as you start hosting more you will learn how to improve the experience of your guests.
Take notes from your stays at other Airbnb spots, or even hotels. The hospitality industry is not a new phenomenon, it has just reached the sharing age. Own your role as a host, and take pride in it. But most importantly, have fun, and create an amazing experience for your guest!
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