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Hosting through Airbnb isn’t the scary unexplored side hustle that it was a few years ago.
Many people now let out their apartment or home for the weekends that they’re out of town, and some people will host a room through Airbnb while they’re home to make extra cash.
To make sure that you’re doing everything you can to foster success,we’ve put together 13 creative Airbnb hosting tips.
Hosting Airbnb has a few unexpected expenses, namely toiletries and pantry staples. Even if you’re only hosting for a few weekends a year, toilet paper and paper towels will go missing.
With Amazon.com you can subscribe and save for these items that run out just a little more quickly than usual with extra house guests.
For anyone who hosts with Airbnb while staying home, this can save you many trips to Costco or Sam’s Club.
Among stocking up on necessities, you’ll probably see a rise in many of your other bills because there are more people in your home.
2. Label Everything A Little Differently
Labeling is one of the best Airbnb hosting tips you will need to know about.
Everything you label can begin to look the same. So, busting out the label maker for some generic labels isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Instead, go big and bold. Use colorful paper, pins or hanging wood pallet signs to help your guests.
Labeling everything in different ways can help point out some of the apparent things while also downplaying some embarrassing questions.
Use a hanging chalkboard sign above the coffee maker while use a framed printout to indicate where there’s a spare roll of toilet paper.
A banner sign propped in beer glasses indicating the liquor cabinet is a fun way to invite guests to help themselves.
Use slightly more subtle labels for the more obvious things that guests go looking for such as linens or towels.
You can purchase fun and creative labels online or make your own.
3. Make Your House Homey
First, decorate for the season. Second, create a cozy atmosphere, and third, make some noise.
Most people decorate for the holidays, but between the holidays your home might seem a little bare.
Use fresh cut flowers to decorate your home through the rest of the year. In season blooms will quickly make your guest feel at home and more appreciative of the time of year!
Then when it comes to creating a cozy atmosphere, it’s all about leaving out comfort pieces and time killers. For many people, a good blanket thrown over the couch and a stack of movies or books are the perfect combinations for comfort.
Making noise might seem like the opposite of what your guests would want, but background noise puts people at ease. Leave the radio playing or set your home assistant device to play some light classical music for when your guests arrive.
Leaving these devices on, blankets out, and putting up decorations can also invite your guests to engage with the parts of your home they may have otherwise avoided.
4. Ask for Reviews and Follow Up
Hotels do it so why shouldn’t you? Send an email after checkout that has a link to your Airbnb profile.
Ask your former guests to leave honest reviews. Good reviews will no doubt help you book more often.
But bad or merely satisfied reviews will help you too. Maybe you were jumping through hoops to impress your guest, and they felt smothered.
Bad reviews offer a lot of insight into areas that guests don’t care about and what amenities they wish were available.
Read every review for understanding and take notes on what aspects of hosting you would like to change. If you had a guest that had a particularly bad experience or left a vague review, reach out and contact them.
5. Set House Rules Your Visitors Will Respect
Everyone has house rules, and it’s essential that you lay those down for your visitors.
Do you have a pristine white carpet and only allow eating in the kitchen or dining areas? Do you ask that people don’t give the dog treats when he begs?
Set realistic house rules for your visitors, so they understand that this isn’t a free-for-all.
Some of the most common feedback from first-time hosts is that they wished they were clearer about some basic rules that they thought went without saying.
Here are some basic house rules that may, or may not, apply to you:
- No smoking
- No undisclosed visitors
- No loud music after certain hours
But past the primary issues that people have with retaining the value of their home and staying on good terms with their neighbors, there are other house rules that you can ask of Airbnb visitors too.
Many hosts ask visitors to take care of these household duties while staying for more than a few days:
- Take the trashcans down to the curb.
- Rotate which lights are on if they leave the house.
- Pick up the newspaper.
- Leave the laundry area clean.
If your guest is only staying for a day or two, feel comfortable asking them to:
- Wash their dishes before they leave, or to leave them in the dishwasher.
- Leave any used towels on the washing machine or run them.
These are basic requests and remember that many people use Airbnb because it’s so much cheaper than booking a hotel.
Asking a guest to clean up after themselves is not an inconvenience to anyone.
6. Make a Guest Area
- Clear off all flat surfaces.
- Store water bottles in the room.
- Leave towels and linens in the closet.
Leaving your flat surfaces clear is a great way to say “Leave your stuff here” without putting up a sign.
Having basic things such as water bottles, towels and spare blankets in the room too makes it less awkward for your guest to start looking through your cupboards and drawers.
Some hosts go above and beyond and create mini guest areas throughout the house.
A tray in the kitchen with all the basics for coffee or tea brewing is an upcoming trend among hosts.
If you’re hosting for more than a few days be sure to create a guest area in a shared living space too. Your living room has all the things that you need on a regular basis but what about your guest?
Make a “command center” that has the remote controls, a throw blanket for the couch, coasters, and instructions on how to use any of the devices in the room.
7. Welcome Baskets
It doesn’t matter if the guest is staying for a day or a month, treat them with a welcome basket.
You don’t need to do anything over the top, but guests appreciate a few treats and some necessities all in one space.
Put together a welcome basket that has these basics:
- Full-size water bottle
- Bagged snacks (chips/popcorn/trail mix)
- Chocolates or alternative treat
To take your welcome basket game up a notch add these items:
- Bottle of wine or local micro-brew
- Coffee mug showcasing a local attraction
Welcome baskets are easy to tailor to the experience your guest is trying to create on their vacation.
For a cabin getaway, leave a bundle of firewood and ingredients to make smores. For beach houses leave sunblock and a beach towel.
Hosting Airbnb is about bringing in the touches that hotels can’t manage with their high volumes.
8. Showcase Local Fare
Incorporate your town’s history into your home with artwork, historical postcards or letters and old photographs.
The best way to showcase local fare is to stock your pantry. Local coffee, wine, beer, and homegrown produce are great treats for any guest.
To bring a fresh vibrancy into your home, put some fresh cut flowers from your garden or your local florist in a vase. Whenever you showcase local food or flowers be sure to get the vendor’s business card.
Because many vendors happily fulfill online orders, your guests can purchase coffee or any other item they fell in love with after their vacation!
9. Be a Concierge
If you’re home while hosting an Airbnb guest this tip is easy and fun. Acting as a concierge involves helping your guests get around town, book events, and generally take advantage of local attractions.
Offer to book reservations at restaurants and fill them in on the local spots that aren’t on TripAdvisor. A concierge service relies on an in-depth knowledge of the local area.
Becoming a concierge is easy for anyone who frequents restaurants or local attractions.
When you commit to fully renting out a room to guests that come and go, it’s important to offer these services. Because you’ll likely be home the entire time that your guest is there, it’s likely that they’ll come to you with questions. Be sure that you’re available to your guest, and that means no hiding in your room! Sit at the kitchen table or in the living room so that you’re easy to come across.
If you’re not home, then pick up some brochures from around town and be sure to stock up on take-out menus too! Place these in one of your guest areas, so they’re easy for your guests to find!
You can also hook up your guests with fun incites to keep them making money while they’re on vacation too.
10. Have Take-Out/Delivery Services on Call
Connect with your restaurants nearby that offer excellent takeout food or deliver without the use of these third-party services. Keep their numbers and menus in a guest area so they can quickly flip through the options that are available.
Have numbers or magnets on your fridge with the information for food or grocery delivery.
For personal flair, make a flyer or magnet for your fridge with DoorDash recommendations.
It’s always nice to extend the offer to your guests when you’re placing an order. Splitting payments within the app is easy.
11. Reach Out Before They Arrive
Booking on Airbnb is a big deal for first-time hosts and first-time guests. Airbnb isn’t like a hotel, so a new host and a new guest don’t know what to expect.
Before you have your first guest, reach out via email and thank them for booking with you. You can take this opportunity to let them know that they’re your first guest and how excited you are to have them stay with you.
Reaching out to guests before they stay can also give you the opportunity to start asking questions that can make their stay fantastic.
When you first make contact with guests, you can take the chance to get to know them and ask a few probing questions to gain a better understanding of what they’re planning for their vacation.
If you’re leaving the house in their hands, you might ask what they plan to do with their time and feel free to make some recommendations.
Many people like to ask their guests if they drink so if they do, they can leave a bottle of wine out, and if the guests don’t, an Airbnb host can find a nice gesture that doesn’t involve alcohol.
Communication is vital with Airbnb. Airbnb hosting can be very easy if you’re willing to engage with your guests.
Talking a little right after booking can clear up many awkward questions or confusing instructions about taking care of the home before your guest arrives.
12. Ask About Food Concerns, Allergies and Preferences
For many people, allergies are a life-threatening issue that can come up in everyday situations. People with extreme allergies may reach out to you before you get the chance to, but in some cases, visitors may prefer to avoid your kitchen altogether.
Ask these questions when communicating with your guest:
- Are there any food allergies we can accommodate during your stay?
- Do you drink coffee or tea in the morning?
- Do you prefer to cook, dine-out, or order in on vacation?
- Is there anything we can stock in the bathroom or kitchen for you?
Questions about their preferences and allergies can open the door to requests and questions that can make your guests stay special.
Asking about preferences can make your guest feel more at home during their stay. A vacation can derail many good habits that people have built up, and eating habits are usually the first thing forgotten.
Stocking up with snacks that your guests would typically eat at home can help them stay on track with their regular eating habits.
13. Leave Helpful Notes Around the House
Don’t go overboard but a note acknowledging that the kitchen light is in the dining room and the light switch in the kitchen only control the garbage disposal is informative.
Use helpful notes to guide your guests through everyday tasks that can sometimes be uncomfortable in another person’s home.
Electronics are a great spot for these explainer notes. Use post-its to tag each remote with its function and any nuances such as needing to turn on the TV and the cable box.
Enjoy Your Guests
Airbnb is a great way to make money on the side. A lot of people will tell you it’s a ton of work.
There is a little bit of planning, a lot of consideration when it comes to accommodating your guest’s needs and yes, you’ll probably clean and shop more often than you do now.
But you can enjoy your guests too. Having guests’ book through Airbnb is a great excuse to rediscover your neighborhood or city and brag about which restaurants are best.
Exercising warm welcomes and keeping your house ready for guests can bring happiness into your home as well as a little extra income.