Airbnb is becoming more and more popular as time goes by. And hosting on Airbnb is not as hard as you may think it is.
You can also gain many benefits from being an Airbnb host. For example, you will qualify for travel coupons, get invited to exclusive events where new products are being launched and receive priority support.
But the main benefit you’ll get is positive reviews from guests if you play your hosting role right. These will translate into more income over time.
Airbnb refers to experienced hosts who provide a shining example for other hosts, and an extraordinary experience for their guests, as superhosts.
So how do you become a superhost? We’ve listed seven ways to become the greatest host you can possibly be below.
1. Communicate with your guests before their stay
One of the quickest and easiest ways to be a superhost is to cultivate a relationship between you and your guest(s) before their stay.
When Airbnb members show an interest in your listing, open up a line of communication so that you can both get to know each other.
Being slow to respond to requests can present a major issue in building trust between you and the Airbnb community.
Part of being a successful Airbnb host is recognising that you’re in the hospitality business and that you need to use your strong written and verbal communication skills to create an online relationship with potential guests.
If you start building credibility and trust before you actually meet guests, you’ll be one step closer to exceeding their expectations and getting a rave review.
Also, Airbnb rewards hosts that respond expediently to members’ enquiries. So ensure that you are readily available to answer questions and assure guests that they’ve found a great place to stay!
2. Greet your guests on arrival
No matter how late your guests arrive, always greet them at the door with a smile. Make sure you look presentable – just wear your fanciest pyjamas if it’s the middle of the night!
Be flexible with check-in and check-out time so that they know they can rely on you even if they encounter flight delays or heavy traffic.
After you give them a set of keys, arrange when you’re going to get them back. Give them a quick tour of the house and tell them where all the essential items are, including towels, toiletries, stationery etc.
Be sensitive to their needs when they first arrive – they might be stressed and hungry, so offer a small snack or a cup of tea. You might even want to leave a bottle of wine in their room with a handwritten note.
Some will have a lot of questions while others will just want to be left alone. Try to read their body language and always ask them if there’s anything they need before you leave them to their own devices.
Leave small explainer notes around all of the electronics, and consider compiling a complete portable series of travel books, brochures and menus for local attractions and restaurants. Oh, and remember to write down wi-fi details somewhere obvious!
Point them to specific places, too, that might be of interest based on online conversations you’ve had – it’s a good way to show you’ve paid attention.
3. Offer your guests free goodies
Obviously, you’re not required to give your guests free stuff, but a few considerate freebies can go a long way towards making you a likeable host.
For instance, soap and shampoo in the bathroom never go astray, and household gadgets such as a phone charger can be incredibly handy.
Bottled water is cheap and usually appreciated and a free language guide can be a lifesaver for international guests.
Keep an eye out for local discount coupons that can save your guests some money during their stay, and email your guests right after they book to ask them how they take their coffee and if they have any dietary restrictions.
This type of attention to detail and consideration cannot be underestimated – we also suggest keeping this information in your files so that if they return, you already know what their preferences are!
4. Decorate your space with interesting art, furniture and bedding
If your guests wanted to stay in a characterless hotel, they would. Make sure your place has a memorable, homey feel, particularly their quarters.
Invest in good ambient lighting to make the space warm and welcoming even when you are not there. Put some blankets by the couch, provide a small stash of books to read and leave a couple of board games in a cupboard.
Pop a little CD player or stereo in their room – you won’t believe how much it’s appreciated! Go the extra mile and have some soft ambient music playing when they first walk in. It’s a great way to set the personality of your home.
If you don’t have either the time, money or inclination to collect eclectic furniture, keep things simple and place some fresh flowers in the bedroom or bathroom.
Small and pleasant details go a long way in delighting guests.
Also, if it’s a festive time of year or local holiday when they visit, literally deck your halls with a cheerful decor!
Similarly, if you know your guests are in a relationship and recently got engaged, or that they’re celebrating a particular milestone such as a birthday, consider getting them a small gift.
5. Keep your property spick ‘n span
It goes without saying that nothing in your home should be in bad condition or broken when you rent it out to guests.
It’s a good idea to bring a cleaning crew over to your house prior to their arrival to ensure that it’s spotless – plus, it will save you a bit of time and backache!
Ensure that all the bedding, linen, kitchen items and toiletries are clean. There is no better way to make a good impression than by presenting each guest with meticulously clean accommodation.
What’s more, charging your guest a cleaning fee is actually quite common. Just make sure you indicate it upfront or incorporate it into the overall pricing of your listing.
Get used to looking for those small and inexpensive improvements that can make a big impact on the guest experience.
And stock your house with snacks – the investment will pay off tenfold in your reviews, plus you may be able to list it as a tax deduction.
6. Write positive reviews for your guests
A cornerstone of any successful relationship is the ‘give to receive’ principal.
Rather than wait around for your positive reviews to roll in, remember that your guests are in a similar position of wanting to put their best foot forward in the Airbnb community, and write them a nice appraisal.
Your review should be honest, positive and well-written. Take time to write it engagingly as it can serve as a great way for you to boost your host ratings as well as a timely reminder for former guests to provide a review for you.
Because of the way Airbnb works, host and traveller reviews are only published after both parties have submitted their copies. They are limited to 500 words and must follow Airbnb’s review guidelines.
Guests only have 14 days after checkout to write a review for an accommodation experience so make sure you remind them upon departure to complete one. Better yet, send them a follow-up email saying how lovely it was to host them, asking them to share their thoughts on your hosting and letting them know you’ll provide a positive review in return.
The Airbnb community relies on honest, transparent reviews so this is a great way to become a superhost.
7. Ensure your neighbours know about your guests
In far too many cases, people who rent out their homes do not bother to tell their neighbours.
This is a rookie error. When your neighbours see strangers wandering in and out of your home and they’re not expecting to, it can lead to an uncomfortable experience for both parties.
To avoid any problems, just let your neighbours know you’re having guests at your home and how long they’re staying for. Ask them to greet your guests with a smile and a wave and let them know their names.
This will truly help your guests feel like they’re having an ‘at home’ experience, which will, in turn, lead them to view you as a superhost.
You might even consider inviting your neighbours over for a drink with your guests if you all get on well enough!
Most of us are aware of the huge spike in popularity of home-hosting networks such as Airbnb.
The road to Airbnb superhostdom doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming if you follow the above tips. It’s all about giving people a great experience and being considerate.
Remember, the more friendly and open you are, the more you will get out of your hosting journey. Even if your property is not super luxe, that doesn’t mean you can’t win fans with your welcoming Airbnb persona.
As they say, as long as you keep your guests happy, you’re doing a good job.