In the Airbnb hosting business, there are as many kinds of guests as there are properties—some more desirable than others. Every Airbnb host dreams of having swarms of “perfect” guests booking their property on a regular basis while simultaneously avoiding the “nightmare guests” they’ve heard stories about.
Luckily, one of the best ways to attract the best Airbnb guests is to simply provide, well, the best Airbnb experience. You don’t need to have the biggest, most expensive property—you just have to have the best—the best (comfort, location) property and the best service (hospitality). This comes down to those little details so critical to the comfort and satisfaction of your guests: cleanliness, quality furnishings and linens, user experience, and those little details (like a fully-stocked coffee bar) that make a world of difference.
Treat Your Airbnb Guests as You Would Treat a Personal Guest
Make sure your property is hotel-quality clean (high-end hotel quality clean!) Put out soft, clean (and matching) towels that compliment the decor of the bathroom. Use soft, good-quality sheets. Makes sure your mattress is comfortable and the pillows are less than a year old. Use pleasant, attractive decor and avoid cluttered spaces. Leave a bottle of wine, some water and snacks as a welcoming gift. Leave your phone number in an obvious place so they can get ahold of you if needed. Leave a location guide of the local area for them and a list of your favorite restaurants. Treating your guests well will make them feel welcome, relaxed, and satisfied. Happy, satisfied guests leave great reviews and come back again and again.
Be the Gold-Standard for Service and Hospitality
Going above-and-beyond to serve your guest will make a huge impression, and therefore impact your ratings and reviews. Respond to inquiries as urgently as possible, within one hour is optimal. Message your guests 48 hours prior to check in and make sure they have (and understand) the check-in directions and instructions. Then message your guests within 24 hours after check-in to make sure everything is going well with their stay so far. Ask if they have any questions. Provide property information (like how to use the television) in an obvious place like a sign holder on the kitchen counter. Leave a welcome gift, set out coffee service, and provide a personal note if possible, welcoming them and encouraging them to contact you if they have any trouble. Being an Airbnb host is like running a hotel. YOU are at your guest’s service. If the guest has an issue, you must fix it. It is not the guest’s responsibility to deal with it. You have to be responsive, respectful, and understanding. Even if it’s not your fault, you have to make the guest feel like it is and that you’ll take care of it. Excellent service is one of the best ways you can ensure guest satisfaction and glowing reviews.
Go the Extra Mile to Put a Less-than-Satisfied Guest at Ease
Especially with Airbnb, reviews drive revenue and profits. If you have to refund a guest a little money because you ran out of coffee or the washing machine broke during their stay and they complained, do it. The review you’ll get will be worth it in the long run. Sometimes, all an unhappy guest really wants is to feel heard and understood. If you demonstrate compassion, understanding, humility, and hospitality, it will make a huge difference to them and they will go out of their way to mention this in a review.
Invest in Good Photography for the Listing
Use good quality photos that present your listing in the best light. Make sure they’re up to date and reflect the property as it looks now. Use as much natural light as possible, and make sure the listing is clean and clutter-free in the photos. High-quality photos are one of the biggest factors in getting great guests to book your property. The most beautiful properties can sit untouched for months because of dark, poorly shot and composed pictures (who really cares about a shot of knickknacks on a shelf?). Airbnb offers a professional photography service, so get a quote from them and see if it fits your budget. If you want to do the photography yourself, here are some great tips from real-estate listing photographers.
Be Direct About Your Expectations on Your Listing
Be specific about your expectations when you write the House Rules. If your property was designed for adults-only, say so in your listing. Don’t want more than two people staying there? Put it firmly in the listing. Don’t want 20-something’s having a party in your property? Set an age restriction and make sure you indicate “no parties” in the House Rules. Telling potential guests exactly who the property is, and is not, for will help put the right people in front of you, and keep the ones you don’t want away.
If you prioritize your guest’s comfort and needs, provide amazing service, present your listing in the best light, and clearly state who your property is for, you will be well on your way to attracting and retaining the right guests for you and ensuring their satisfied reviews.
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