A Beginner’s Guide to Hosting on Airbnb

By The Guesty For Hosts Team | December 27, 2021
A Beginner's Guide to Hosting on Airbnb

Short-term rentals continue to emerge as the one of the top accommodation choices for travelers around the world, and Airbnb has contributed to much of the industry’s rise in popularity. As the top channel for prospective guests to seek out rental properties of all kinds, Airbnb is certainly the place to start if you are looking to rent out one or more rentals – and being a good host will make or break your success. If you’re just getting started, here’s everything you need to know about being a great host on Airbnb.

Communication Is Key

One of the things that makes Airbnb so desirable for guests is the relationship that’s encouraged between hosts and guests, which is one that’s much more personal than they might get in a hotel, for example. When potential guests become interested in an Airbnb listing, they are invited to open up a line of communication with the hosts to inquire or gather more information about location, price, and more. While this is a refreshingly personable way of scheduling bookings, it also comes with a series of expectations that are important to meet. To start, potential guests expect prompt responses, especially since many of them have strict timelines restricting their travel planning. It’s easy to fall short of guest expectations on this front, with time zone differences, career distractions, and any number of other external factors.

Although unavoidable at times, delayed response times can pose a huge threat to you as an Airbnb host. A quick reply rate is not only important for each guest’s experience in your rental, but also for your overall ranking on Airbnb. The site rewards attentive and available hosts by ranking their listings higher in the Airbnb search results, and including their response rates and times in their profiles as well. This means your overall responsiveness plays a huge role in your ability to receive bookings.

To maintain a good reputation on Airbnb as a responsive host, there are tools you can rely on to simplify messaging for you. On Guesty For Hosts, you can use our automated messages to create responses for the inquiries you send the most, and we’ll automatically send the reply as soon as you receive a message. 

Provide A Memorable Experience

In the same way you are opening up your home or property to guests as a source of income, guests are likely seeking out your property as a source of adventure, cultural immersion, relaxation, or anything of the sort. This means you need to provide more than just a place for your visitors to sleep — you need to provide a 360° experience that leaves your guest feeling fulfilled and taken care of. 

Think of what you can do to amplify the experience in your properties, within reason of course. Whether you implement a keyless check-in tool, add a workout room, or provide bicycles for guests to use, there are tons of routes you can take here. These are the details that guests will remember most about staying in your rentals, which means it’s what they will consider when they go to write you a review, too!

Honesty First

I can’t stress it enough – full disclosure is the easiest way to get on the right track with Airbnb. 

This one is important, so make sure you read carefully! The easiest way to maintain a good reputation with Airbnb and your guests is to provide full disclosure in all scenarios. You are always better off answering questions honestly and risking losing a booking versus dancing around the truth and having your guests figure it out when they’re already in your rental. 

This honesty should also go beyond just written communication, extending to all the various touch points between host and guest. Your calendar, for example, must always be accurately updated. This will limit the risk of double bookings or other booking mishaps, which can easily end up ruining someone’s entire trip. 

You’re In Charge 

Although much of what you do as a host is to serve your guests and provide the best possible experience, don’t forget this is still your property and you have the right to set boundaries as needed. For full transparency, start on the property’s listing description on Airbnb and be as explicit as possible. Here’s where you can mention any house rules you may have and set the standard for what you expect from your guests. Better to skim out unqualified guests at this stage of the process than deal with the damage later on. 

While listing out any rules or requirements for guests in your rentals, try to answer questions before you even receive them. For example, mentioning “No Smoking” or “Pets Allowed” within your listing description can answer common inquiries that hosts tend to receive.

Keep Things Clean

It’s important to check your rentals before every guest arrival to make sure everything is clean and ready, and to take note of any details that could cause potential disputes in the future. For example, if there’s a scratch on a table or a faulty door knob, you’ll want to know before your next guest as to not end up accusing them of causing said damage after they leave.

Most importantly, make sure everything is clean, tidy, and ready for the guests. This means all the kitchen essentials are washed, linens are cleaned and readily available, beds are made, floors are sweeped, and so on. If anywhere, this is where you want to be most detail-oriented and ensure you are thoroughly cleansing every inch of your rental in between guests.

Remember, you can and probably should hire a cleaning service to come in between each of your bookings. Charging your guests a cleaning fee via Airbnb is very common, as long as you indicate this upfront or include the cleaning in the price of your listing.

Be Prepared

Let’s dive deeper into preparing your rentals for guests’ arrivals. First and foremost, it’s best to remove any valuables or personal items from being out in the open. Airbnb will cover up to $1,000,000 in theft or damages if anything were to happen during an Airbnb guest’s stay, however for safety measures, it’s recommended to prevent what you can ahead of time.

In addition to cleaning your rentals in between guests, as we mentioned, there are other little efforts you can make to show guests you are prepared (which, in turn, will result in less inquiries throughout their stays). From adding a few extra rolls of toilet paper in each bathroom to leaving a welcome note with a map of the area, think of how you can go the extra mile to show your guests you went above & beyond in preparing for their arrival. 

Respect Their Privacy

Whether you’re renting out a room or your entire place, it’s super important to respect the privacy and space of all your Airbnb guests. Try to find a healthy medium between being available for anything they need, but also respecting boundaries. You can make guests feel welcome and tended to without invading their privacy or personal space! 

Let The Hosting Begin!

Hosting on Airbnb can be both a lucrative and fun experience – when it’s done right. By following the guidelines highlighted here, you can trust that things will be more enjoyable for both you and your guests. And best of all: the better you do as a host, the better your reviews will be, which will mean the higher your listings rank in Airbnb’s search results- resulting in more bookings and helping to grow your business.
To simplify your hosting experience in all areas, try the Guesty For Hosts platform! Click here to begin your free 14-day trial now.

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