What your Airbnb hosts wish they could tell you

  • An Airbnb can be a cheaper alternative to a hotel, while giving you the chance to live like a local.
  • But dealing with an Airbnb host, as opposed to a hotel concierge, can be tricky.
  • We’ve spoken to Airbnb hosts across the US — here are 12 things they wish they could tell all guests.

Since Airbnb launched in 2008, more than 1 billion guests rented his properties.

Hosts use the app or website to rent out their apartments, houses, or even individual rooms in their homes to travelers as an alternative to hotels. According to the site, there were over one million active listings as of March 2022.

But, as with everything in the service industry, there are still a few issues that can still be resolved. Insider spoke to several Airbnb hosts and asked them what they wish they could tell their guests.

Here is what they told us.

First things first: don’t use Airbnb or similar services, like VRBO, if you don’t have to.

Several Airbnb hosts told Insider that they would actually prefer to leave Airbnb completely out of the process. Some homes have a property manager, and booking directly with them will save the tenant money.

Jorge Zarate, among Colorado’s best mountain getaways, said the “first thing” he wishes he could tell guests is to “find us on our website and book direct to save on Airbnb booking fees.”

Likewise, Phillip Foxall, which hosts a property in Rockport, Texas, said he would rather customers stop booking through online travel agencies (OTAs) and instead book directly with owners.

“Direct booking generally provides more revenue for the host while saving the customer money by eliminating fees,” he said. “If you find something you like on Airbnb, write down the name and google it. If they have a direct booking site, it should show up.”

Foxall added that checking out different platforms is always the best decision, as “pricing can vary widely between platforms.”

Erika Hall, a host in Connecticut, Okay. “Commission taken by Airbnb is either paid by the guest or by the property. In either case, this significantly increases the cost of bookings. It also puts more pressure on hosts, as guests judge the value of their stay based on total cost, not just what the property is paid for.”

Be sure to read the property carefully, including all instructions

Like Adam Smith, who runs two Airbnbs (one in south carolina and one in colorado), told Insider, “Read property details. All.”

In the same way, Airbnb Superhost Niko Fonseca said“Read the full listing and house rules. Every property is unique and our house rules are designed to ensure everyone enjoys their stay.”

We always know if you’re trying to sneak extra people in, so don’t even try.

“It’s 2023, we have cameras outside and we can see you,” Heather Bull, an Airbnb host and interior designerInsider said.

mobile sofa

Moving furniture is unnecessary.

Syda Productions/Shutterstock

We also notice when you move furniture, and we’d rather you didn’t.

Bull also told Insider, “We notice when you do weird things, like move furniture to different floors or bring fabric beanbags outside for a smoke.”

Please do not disturb the neighbors

“We don’t care if you have a good time and rage at our house (we do that too!) — as long as you don’t damage anything/disturb the neighbors, go ahead and party! on vacation” , said Bull.

If you think there is no cleaning fee, it just means it has already been included in the price.

“The client pays for the cleanup one way or another,” Foxall said. “No host, whether they own one or 100 rentals, pays for the cleaning service [themselves]. Even though the cleaning fee is set at $0, it is rolled into the daily rate.”

full refrigerator inside the refrigerator

Leaving a full refrigerator is not useful.


Please respect the cleaning staff. They are not there to pick up your trash or clean the fridge.

While, according to some customers, some hosts might charge a little also a lot of their tenants at the end of their stay – in addition to charging a cleaning fee – it’s also not fair to treat cleaners as if they were your maid.

“[Cleaners] laundry, dusting, cleaning bathrooms and kitchen, and sweeping and mopping,” Lauren Keen, who manages several properties in Tarpon Springs, Florida, said Insider. “They’re not there to take out your trash, clean your food from the fridge, or pick up trash everywhere.”

Many other hosts echoed this sentiment: Taking after yourself is a common courtesy at all Airbnbs, and you shouldn’t leave the place like a total disaster. The cleaning package What is exist, but that’s no excuse to be a slob.

But don’t do extra work. If we don’t ask you to clean something, don’t touch it.

You may think it’s obvious, but you’d be wrong. Skye Sherman, a host in West Palm Beach, Florida, told Insider a bizarre story about over-eager guests. Their hearts were in the right place, but it just caused a big problem.

“We recently had a guest remove all the blackout curtains from our Airbnb and put them in the washing machine. When the housekeepers arrived they found a wet load in the washing machine and put it in the washing machine. moved to the dryer. It ended in disaster when the vinyl-backed curtains (which should NOT have been washed or dried) ended up melting and being destroyed,” Sherman said.

“While we appreciate the gesture, it was the opposite of being helpful and turned into a major headache requiring replacement of curtains and guest charges. I have no idea what went wrong. pushed the guests to pull back all the curtains and do it, but I really wish they didn’t.”

the airbnb app

Ratings are basically life or death for hosts.

Daniel Krason/Shutterstock

Unless something really terrible has gone wrong, please give us 5 stars

Even a four star rating can be devastating to a property listing.

“I wish I could explain that four star reviews are BAD. Only give someone four stars if things went wrong, like the cleaner missed the cleaning and the host didn’t do it right “Keen said.

Foxall echoed his words, “Star ratings on OTAs aren’t like your usual rating. A three or four star rating for a host can be devastating to their business. If you had a good time and that the property was clean and as described, leave the host a five star review, then private message them to correct any issues, then private message them to correct any issues.”

“When guests leave a four out of five star review, Airbnb is letting a host know that while guests enjoyed their stay, the host needs to do better. Too many four star reviews and the host risks losing status from Superhost.” Airbnb California superhost Nathan Waldon told Insider.

“I encourage customers to be honest, please don’t give the overall review four stars because of something unrelated, like if it’s raining and you want to be on the beach, or whatever. which is completely out of the host’s control. Most hosts work very hard to make sure your stay is perfect, so things like weather shouldn’t be a factor,” Waldon continued.

Some hosts just shouldn’t be hosts – don’t be put off by Airbnb

“The number one reason people should get into this business is to provide exceptional customer service. If you’re averse to all your guests and forget you’re in the hospitality business, you shouldn’t be a host,” Foxall said. “The reason we started this business is because we love to travel and see new places and meet new people. We want to share our vacation experiences with everyone.”

Writing in the guestbook is always appreciated

Many hosts we spoke to said they love it when a guest takes a little extra time to show their appreciation, whether it’s tipping or writing a note.

“I’ve read all of your handwritten guestbook messages and sometimes they bring me to tears in a good way,” Keen said.

fixer upper house shotgun signed guest book

Guestbooks and guides are there to be used.

Erin McDowell/Insider

Please use all the resources available to you

“I try to be extremely proactive with my guests,” Colorado host Jake Cohen told Insider. “We send out our guide with recommendations and have information on how to use everything in our property in the guide. Very few people read [either the] online or paper guides.”

Cohen continued, “We often get the same questions from our guests. If your host provides a guide, use it. You’ll be amazed at all the insider information, recommendations, and ways to improve your stay just by flipping through the few pages. of info.”

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