If you’re reading this, odds are you know all about the latest craze in travel accommodations that is AirBnB.
But on the off chance you found us by accident, here’s the summary: Airbnb allows everyday people like you and me to offer our homes or properties to travelers wanting something beyond your typical hotel experience. Particularly popular in heavy tourist areas like Orlando, Florida, you can also find potential renters in rural areas, college towns, areas that host craft fairs or conventions, or just folks passing through your area needing a place to crash.
Hosting a property as an Airbnb host can be a great side hustle, but like all hustles, it takes work. Renters who stay in your Airbnb leave reviews so that other renters know what to expect, and these reviews can make or break your hustle pretty quickly.
To help you get on top of the game and get a head start on generating great reviews, we’ve put together some of the top tips for hosts to follow to earn them better ratings and help keep them booked to capacity.
Don’t just open the door and walk away. This is your chance to make a great impression! Even if you can’t be there in person when your guest arrives, you can prepare the rooms ahead of time.
Turn on a few lights, set some gentle ambient music, stock the tea and coffee, perhaps set up a wax warmer (note: do not light a candle and lock up! Whatever you use for a calming scent, make sure it’s safe!). You can also anticipate your renters’ needs by reaching out about a week in advance.
Some hosts recommend your week-prior reach out consist of an email that also includes fun things to do in the area or good places to eat. Perhaps you have a personal recommendation for your guests? This is also a great opportunity to ask about any allergies so you can ensure nothing in the house is going to aggravate any health issues your guests may have. For example, some folks can’t handle strong scents, for instance, while others will break out in hives if an allergen is present. Someone who is lactose intolerant will appreciate the extra mile if you ensure your coffee creamers are dairy-free.
It’s also a good idea to leave channel lists and small instruction notes for any electronics. Let your renters know how to access the cable, what your WiFi password is, and what channel they can find news/entertainment/music. Some hosts like to stock card games and board games in the closet for guests, while others may choose to leave a bottle of wine as a friendly ‘welcome’ to their home.
An Airbnb can come in two styles: your personal style, like you would use in your home, or a themed style. Whichever you decide, make sure they work together and fit the area. For instance, if you host convention goers, you can hang up fandom art and other memorabilia, whereas if you’re in a college town, you can theme to the mascot and team colors. I once stayed in a BnB that had a nautical theme in the middle of Branson, Missouri, near the Lake of the Ozarks and the Branson marinas. Florida hosts have a slew of material to work from!
Now, there is one important distinction between your home and your Airbnb. Your home you can decorate however you like, what makes you happy. In your rental space, however, you have to keep your guests in mind try to make a good impression. Because of this, many hosts will choose a theme to decorate the entire Airbnb. All artwork, linens, towels, and decor will fit this theme. Pinterest and travel blogs can give great ideas on how to decorate well without overwhelming the space.
One thing hotels have built as an expectation, is a clean, pristine space waiting for your arrival. And let’s be real: if we’re going on a trip or a vacation, we don’t want to have to worry about cleaning a space. That’s one of your responsibilities as a host. Beds need to be made smooth, linens fresh, towels folded and ready, furniture arranged, clean dishes in the pantry, nothing left in the sink or dishwasher, floor free of debris, etc.
Now, some hosts don’t live near their Airbnb. Others are on their own trips when a new guest arrives. So how do you ensure the space is ready for each new arrival? Many hosts will hire an outside service.
Service providers like North Lake Tahoe Cleaning are granted access to the property to clean, switch lights around, make the space look occupied even when it’s not to deter robberies, etc. We’re responsible for making your Airbnb spotless and perfect for new guests.
We have a LOT of experience working with Airbnb hosts, offering a wide range of comprehensive services that keep each rental space looking like it belongs in a magazine.
Not sure what needs to be cleaned or prepared between visits? North Lake Tahoe Cleaning can help there too. After a quick consult and property evaluation, we can suggest affordable services that will have a high impact on the customer/renter experience.
Best of all, hiring a cleaning service to keep up your rental counts as a business expense for your taxes, so the dent to your profits is minimal while your chance at great reviews goes up.
With the above tips, you can relax knowing your guests have the best experiences waiting for them. Airbnb also offers a support network for hosts, new and veteran alike, to keep up with what guests like and how to make their stay as stress-free as possible— without stressing yourself out.
Keeping in contact with your guests in case there is anything you can help them out with is a great way to go above and beyond, but make sure to give them space to enjoy their stay. An open offer is best, and can easily be tacked on the end of your message the week before your guest arrives. So sit back, relax, and watch the reviews build up your hustle and help fill out your finances.
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