Tips For Becoming a 5-Star Airbnb Host
As an Airbnb host, receiving 5-star reviews won’t just boost your self-esteem – it will also boost your profits. Reviews are essential because the hosting community is based on a foundation of trust, both for guests – to have confidence in booking your home, and for you – to be comfortable opening your home to complete strangers. This feedback provides a way for both sides to feel secure and an incentive to be on their best behavior. And when it comes to bookings, a guest will be much more likely to book with a host that has a history of great reviews.
High ratings will also enable more visitors to see your listing. Airbnb wants to reward their top hosts because they can trust that they are providing guests with a top rate experience. Therefore, the more five star reviews you get, the higher Airbnb will rank your listing and the more bookings you will rake in.
So what’s the secret to a 5-star review? Creating a complete guest experience. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes and think about what you’d need and want for a phenomenal experience. (If you are looking for an excuse for a vacation, becoming a guest at some other 5-star listings for research purposes is a great one!)
There are countless ways you can accommodate your guests and let them know that their satisfaction is your top priority, but let’s start with these seven simple and effective steps you can take to become a host worth recommending.
1. Great Communication is Key
Guests will start forming an opinion of you from the first moment of contact and your communication with them will continue to be important every step of the way. You want your guests to know that you are available to them, especially if there is a question, problem or an emergency. Even if you can’t provide a solution or answer immediately, a quick response letting them know you are there is the best thing you can do for guest satisfaction.
Be a rapid responder. It’s important to respond immediately to questions and check in throughout your guests’ stay. In addition to keeping them happy, responsiveness is one of the criteria to become an Airbnb Superhost which is another stamp of approval that will boost your reputation as a host and bring in more bookings.
It can be easy to fall behind in guest communication but you can easily improve your response rate and ensure you never miss an inquiry through an automated messaging feature like Guesty For Hosts’ Automated Messages. Our platform streamlines communication with guests making it quicker and easier to boost your response rate and be on the ball each and every time.
2. Set Accurate Expectations
You don’t need a perfect property, but you do need to be upfront and honest about what your guests should expect from their experience. Misrepresenting your property or leaving out the little details (which can of course be spun into charming quirks) can lead to disappointment and unsatisfied guests – which can result in bad reviews.
Be clear about any possible issues your property may have. If your guest knows in advance that the neighborhood isn’t so safe at night, the internet is spotty or that your house is old and a bit drafty, they can decide in advance if these are deal breakers for their potential stay. Let them be the one to decide if your listing is a good fit for their needs by providing clear and essential details.
3. Put on Your Tour Guide Cap
There’s a good chance your guests have never visited your city before so helping them navigate their surroundings will be much appreciated. One basic touch is to provide a city map for them upon arrival, with a useful ‘You are here’ sign pointing to their current location. Include info about public transportation systems that will take them to central locations as well. You can simply leave a brochure showing the city’s mobility options as well as taxi or ride-sharing services.
Help guests to experience the area by directing them to attractions and services in the city such as tourist sites, supermarkets, entertainment and a few highly recommended restaurants at different price points. Scatter some local tourism books around for guests to peruse during their down time.
Add a local flair to your rental by stocking some local products such as soaps, lotions, art or food items for guests to sample. Giving them a taste of the local culture is a nice touch that is sure to impress.
4. Be Your Own Guest
Live in your space for a day or two to make sure it’s welcoming, set up functionally and stocked with everything your guests will need – try to be preemptive and don’t wait for your guests to complain. Do you have all of the necessary kitchen and bathroom equipment and are they accessible? Are there enough hangers in the closet and trash cans and power outlets where needed? Is there adequate lighting and do windows, shades and doors open and close easily?
Test that heat and air conditioning work and that there are no leaks in the plumbing. If you have an outdoor area, what would your guests need to enjoy it?
As an Airbnb host, this is where you have the opportunity to make a special impression. The difference between a good and a great experience is in the little things, the extra touches that make your guests feel well taken care of and a little pampered. Start by providing some welcome food or snacks, games, like a complimentary deck of cards, books for rainy days, a bottle of wine. You can get really creative and make a big impression even by spending a small amount of money to enhance their experience.
5. Make Them Feel at Home
You don’t want your guests to feel like they are staying in someone else’s space. Make them feel at home and welcome. Always make sure the space is clean and in good repair. Be generous with supplies and leave extra pillows, blankets, towels, toilet paper, etc.. Clear out your personal items such as photos and open food items so they feel like the space was prepared just for them.
6. Stock Modern Amenities
Investing in a few extra amenities can really enhance your guests’ experience and be well worth the extra dollars in great reviews. For example, adding a streaming subscription such as Netflix or Apple TV will be really appreciated during a rainy day or cozy night in. If that $15 subscription can land you 1 or 2 great reviews, it was well worth it.
Ever had a late night and needed a caffeine pick-me-up the next morning? Your guests may too! A coffee or espresso machine or premium tea box can also go a long way to win your guests over.
If you find that your guests are coming on business, it’s a good idea to have a comfortable workstation and high speed internet. If you cater to families, stock up on some toys and games. Make sure to provide the amenities that your guests will find high utility and high value.
7. Know Your Guests
Guests receive reviews too, so check out what other hosts are saying about your prospective guests.
Also check out the reviews they are leaving on other properties to find out…
- How often do they travel with Airbnb?
- Do they leave reviews?
- If so, how critical are they?
- In the reviews, what seemed most important to them at other places they rented from?
By identifying these key pieces of information, you can make sure to customize their experience and focus on what matters most to those specific guests.
It’s also a good idea to know the purpose of their trip (business or pleasure, family vacation or romantic getaway) so you can cater your suggestions to their specific needs.
Reviews are a critical factor in the success of your listing so it’s important to always be looking for ways to improve your guest experience. Using these tips and being aware of what other top hosts are doing will put you on the path to 5-stars. If you do get a critical review, don’t fret, use it as valuable feedback to improve your hosting style and create more happy guests in the future.
Interested to see how Guesty For Hosts can save you time and help you earn more positive reviews for your Airbnb listings? Click here to begin your free 14-day trial now.