Five Essential Tips for Airbnb Hosts
Whether you’ve been hosting for years or you’re about to have your first guest over, an Airbnb host should always be thinking of ways to improve their home. While not every home can be a luxury apartment, there are little things you can do as host to improve your guests’ stay. From providing free coffee to properly marketing your home, here are five common mistakes Airbnb hosts make.
1. Leave a Guidebook
While you may know a lot about your neighbourhood, your guests probably don’t. A custom-made guidebook provides an intimate avenue for you to share your personal knowledge of your hood, while also giving your guests something tangible to refer to in case their cellphones and laptops run out of juice.
Plus, a guidebook saves you from having to repeatedly explain in-person the same questions each time you have a new guest over. Some crucial things to have in your guidebook: the WiFi password, your favourite coffee shop, the best places for a date, and all necessary transportation options to and from your home.
2. Provide the Essentials
Whether you’re hosting a backpacker from Europe or a business executive from New York, travellers of all types tend to be forgetful. Thus, to be a top-rated host, be a pal and provide them with all of their lifestyle essentials.
We’re talking about shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, female hygiene products, towels, coffee, tea, iron, and even a phone charger if you have extras. While a little bit of coffee or tea may not seem like it much, it can mean the world to somebody in a rush in the morning.
3. Market your Home Instead of a Fantasy Home
Most guests don’t mind an average home, so why try to falsely up-sell your home? It’s always best to market your house as truthfully as possible, since that lets guests know beforehand what to expect.
While your home may not be perfect - whose is, right? - that does not mean people won’t love it. Show off your tiny bathroom, praise your unique furniture, and be upfront with any issues your guests may have, such as limited parking or loud neighbours, as this will allow only those guests who are comfortable with those issues to choose your home and they will be the happiest. Most people are fine with mild inconveniences; they just don’t like bad surprises!
4. Don't Neglect Reviews
A review is your time to shine as a host. It is where you can leave you final mark on your guest, offering them a memorable reason for why they should return to your home the next time they’re travelling.
However, you should never forget that a guest review can also be used as a promotional tool, since other hosts will be reading your guest’s reviews and may therefore be tempted to stay at your place if you make it seem cozy/cool enough. Thus, instead of saying something forgettable like, “Sandy and Bill were awesome guests. Highly recommend them,” you could say something like, “Sandy and Bill fit in perfectly in my quaint downtown Toronto loft. We especially enjoyed our early morning coffees on the outdoor balcony.” While it may seem a bit pompous, if it’s the truth, why not share it?
5. Don't Underestimate the Power of a Good Photo
In some geographies, Airbnb offers free photographic services for your listing. You can check for availability here.
Way too many hosts just provide the basic photos of their house and beds, which can be a buzzkill for guests looking to get excited about their trip. While we mentioned earlier not to falsely up-sell your home, that doesn’t mean you can’t show off some sweet spots of your home and your hood!
Instead of taking photos with your cellphone, why not invite a buddy over with a good camera, turn on all your lights, clean the clutter from the floors, and then snap some worthwhile shots! Make sure to include everything that makes your home unique - that means even your cats - as that gives a guest something to connect to culturally. Plus, don’t forget to add captions to your photos, as the subject of the photo may seem obvious to you, but the guest may have no idea what they’re staring at.