10 Dos and Don’ts for Airbnb Hosts

Since its launch in 2008, Airbnb has grown from a promising startup to a key player in the travel industry. Earlier this year, the shared accommodation platform announced that it now offers six million listings globally. If you’re planning on hosting guests, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd, and being an exceptional host (with lots of great reviews to back it up) can go a long way in helping you do just that. We spoke to some Superhosts for the dos and don’ts for Airbnb hosts.

Show off the best side of your property © Hoxton/Tom Merton/Getty Images

Don’t slack off on the list

Good images will do most of the work for you. Think about lighting, angles, and composition, and lay the toilet seat, clear the clutter, and make the bed neatly. Many smartphones offer sufficiently sharp resolution, although a professional camera can give you an extra boost. Post lots of photos, but only accurate photos. Don’t go wild with fresh flowers or bowls of fruit if they aren’t there for every guest. Accuracy is equally crucial in the listing description: don’t overstate the amenities, but don’t assume anything is obvious either. If you don’t have air conditioning or a TV, say so, and likewise if you have a good selection of spices in the kitchen, say so. Finally, give guests an idea of ​​the area: how far is your property from popular attractions? How is the neighborhood? Is there a local bistro two blocks away that they can’t miss?

Trust your guests

You might be tempted to go overboard by toasting potential guests unsettled by horror stories about loud parties. Judy Benson, an Airbnb Superhost who rents the Sunday school, a converted church hall near her home in North Hobart, Tasmania, urges caution. “It may sound strange, but I wish I had more confidence,” she says. “At first I asked my first guests for ID, photocopied it, etc. I quickly learned to trust people more and trust the Airbnb verification process so that my guests really become guests, not customers.” You should always exercise your own judgment and get to know your guest before their stay, but make sure it’s a dialogue rather than an interrogation. Treat guests as you would like to be treated.

A log cabin surrounded by evergreen trees on the rocky shore of a peaceful lake.
Try not to have too many rules © Coryz / Getty Images

Don’t overdo it with the rules

House rules are common on Airbnb, no smoking at specified quiet times, but a thick manual won’t contribute to a cozy atmosphere. Judy recommends streamlining your periods and using common sense. “I want my guests to relax and enjoy the space, so I never put a lot of ‘don’t do this’, ‘don’t do that’ notes around the house – it has to feel like it’s their home,” she says. “Of course the guest manual needs some guidelines on how to run the heater etc, but not the behavior manifesto!”

Respect the privacy of your guests

If you’re renting out a room but not the whole space, installing a lock on the door can help give guests a sense of more privacy. And don’t enter the waltz without their permission – always knock or give a warning with a quick message through the app. Appointment, or a replacement if you can’t be there, available in case something goes wrong, but don’t bother them during their stay. “If I can be there to welcome them, that’s great, but it’s not essential and not always possible,” explains Judy. “Some even prefer to be alone and I respect that. It’s fine to let them know you’re close but not to interfere with their private time.

A bottle of champagne in a silver ice container sits next to two champagne glasses;  in the background, a crackling fire.
Unless it’s a special occasion, gifts aren’t necessary © Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

Don’t bother buying gifts

Some hosts like to give their guests a welcome gift, although Judy says there’s no need to shell out for a box of truffles or a bottle of wine. “I don’t buy presents and I don’t think it’s necessary. If I know it’s a party or a wedding night, I can put an ice bucket in there with champagne and glasses, but nothing on a regular basis. I provide breakfast supplies and basic cooking needs and often guests are surprised by this. If you want to go the extra mile, Dana McMahan – a Superhost who rents Vertigo Louisvillethe third floor of his house in Kentucky, and the Small carriage house on the driveway, a studio space above her garage — suggests getting creative with homemade gifts that won’t be too hard on your wallet. “I recently provided festival care kits to guests coming to an outdoor music festival in the summer. It only cost a few dollars, but it had a huge impact on how they felt about their stay,” she recalls. “They knew I was thinking about their comfort and cared about their comfort, and that made all the difference.”

Spring for the little extras

You’ll need to provide basic amenities including towels, toilet paper, and bedding, but it might be worth packing a few non-essentials to ensure a more comfortable stay. “Guests often say they’re amazed at how so many little extras help, whether it’s the picnic basket, a shoe cleaning kit or a few toiletries,” Judy explains. A hair dryer, iron and hangers will also do the trick. When it comes to the bed and bath, Dana recommends spending a bit more. “Too often I see cheap toilet paper in insufficient quantities. Nobody wants to go shopping TP, especially in another country, on vacation. Give them good toilet paper, and more than enough. And be prepared also Kleenex, so people don’t have to wipe their noses with this TP sandpaper,” she says. “People spend the majority of their hours in an Airbnb in bed, so that’s the last place to skimp on quality. Yes, some will be ruined, so it can be a pain to get the most expensive things, but that’s one facet of this business. Get good sheets, good pillows, and yes, you absolutely must wash the duvet cover or duvet, or whatever your top layer is, between each guest.

A set of keys and a pen lie on a notepad with a form on it;  behind the desk are three people standing in an apartment.
Communication is key © Caiaimage / Tom Merton / Getty Images

Don’t overlook the small details

If your Airbnb isn’t your primary residence, be sure to spend time there to get a feel for the guest experience: Is there enough closet space? Is the kitchen equipped with enough equipment to prepare a meal? “A smart host will stay in their own space for at least one night, preferably longer – we stayed over a week in both of ours – in order to learn what those details are,” says Dana. One of the main points she picked up on was the lighting: “Is there enough light to read while sitting on the couch at night? » Does each person have a light near the bed that they can reach? Do you have extra bulbs readily available? »

Prepare for potential problems

As mentioned above, you (or someone close to you) must be available in the event of a problem with the property. “Best of all, though, try to anticipate potential problems and avoid them, setting very clear expectations and addressing any possible concerns ahead of time, whether it’s with a white noise machine for noise, through example, or extra blankets if it’s cold,” says Dana, who adds that it’s important to set proper expectations. “It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver than to seemingly guarantee an amazing place. , but not to mention small issues that could negatively impact someone’s stay.” Identify potential hazards, such as exposed wires or steps guests might trip on, and address or mark them. clearly Restock the first aid kit regularly and provide emergency instructions, including a list of contacts for local services and the nearest hospital. s is not already shown, provide a map to the guests.

A sign indicating
Dealing with complaints quickly © Gregory Adams / Getty Images

Don’t lose your temper over a complaint

If a guest is unhappy with their stay, stay calm. Dana advises, “The host should try to determine exactly what the problem is and offer options to resolve it. Be sure to document the conversation on Airbnb’s platform so that if there is a discrepancy by suite, the thread of communication is there. If you end up getting angry, rude, or sarcastic, Airbnb may not be able to support you. And don’t let a single bad experience put you off. “It’s important to not trying to learn too much from an incident,” Judy explains. “It’s a rarity and it’s not fair to suspect all future guests because of a single issue.

Communicate often

The easiest way to avoid problems is to manage expectations. Be aware that many travelers won’t read your full description, so try to keep the crucial points at the top of your listing and remind them of important details before their stay. “I write to clients when they first book, then as they approach their arrival,” says Judy. “For example, I check that they have read the information and realize that it is a very large, fairly open space; the bathroom is private but all the beds are under one ceiling so there is no sound privacy. I check if they want me to close the door in case they don’t like dogs. People will only be upset if the property doesn’t meet their expectations, so it’s very important to be open, honest and not oversell your property.

Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive deals straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletter. Make sure you’re ready for anything with travel insurance from our trusted partners.

Comments are closed.