Small Business Advice

14 Airbnb hosting tips to become a Superhost

Running an Airbnb business is a great way to earn extra income. If you want to up your game and become a Superhost, read on for our 14 best tips.

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With the travel industry expected to regain momentum following the COVID-19 pandemic, eager travelers have begun preparing for their next vacation. And, if you've ever used Airbnb before, you'll know that it can be more convenient than staying in a hotel. Still, they can also be more affordable and provide amenities typically not offered. On the other hand, starting a small business with Airbnb can be a great way to earn extra income from a small business point of view. 

Now, you may be wondering, where do I start? Is my Airbnb worthy of being a listing? If this is you, there is no need to worry. We're going to be going over 14 Airbnb hosting tips that will increase your rating and enhance the experience of your potential guests. Therefore, keep reading to learn more information. 

14 Airbnb hosting tips 

When working and succeeding in the Airbnb rental industry, business owners and property managers must go above and beyond for their guests. As Airbnb works on a review basis, and with the power of the internet, positive reviews are everything. And anything short of positive could be damaging to your reputation on the Airbnb website. However, with the help of these Airbnb hosting tips, you can optimize your vacation rental to be the best Airbnb in your area. Let's look at these hosting tips in more detail below. 

  1. Be truthful with your property listing. 

One of the first and most essential tips in the Airbnb business is being truthful throughout your listing to prospective guests. Therefore, while the goal of your online listing should work in your favor to optimize the amenities and experience your rental property offers, avoid going overboard with your promises. For example, if your rental property has a balcony but not a break-taking view, don't promise future guests a "balcony with spectacular views" in your Airbnb listing. 

On the other hand, if you have a hot tub or any other notable amenity that may persuade potential guests to book your vacation rental over another area that will be out of order during guests' stay, let your guests know right away. Imagine you are a guest who booked a specific property because of something that ended up not being true. You would most likely not appreciate the dishonesty and lack of communication from your host. Thus, by putting yourself in your guests' shoes, you'll be able to start off on the right foot with all potential guests. Additionally, you'll more likely get good reviews from Airbnb guests rather than negative ones.

  1. Make check-in and check-out times convenient for the guest. 

Further, another tip for making the guest experience more favorable is setting check-in and check-out times convenient for your guests. After a long day of travel, the last thing travelers will want to do is wait to check into their Airbnb. The same goes for guests who have later travel times when they are scheduled to leave. Therefore, consider ways you can automate your check-in and check-out process so guests can come and go as they please, without you having to be on the property at all times. 

For example, you may want to opt for keyless entry features that allow the guest to enter a code for self-check-in access into their Airbnb rather than using a key. That way, you can ensure your property stays secure while making your responsibilities as a host easier. In addition, by not feeling pressured to leave in a rush on the day of their check-out, you're offering a personalized experience that many other properties may not provide. Thus, looking admirable on your end as a property manager. 

  1. Offer small welcome gifts to Airbnb guests. 

Moreover, next on our list of Airbnb hosting tips is offering a small welcome gift to your guests upon their arrival. If your guests are on vacation, they may be celebrating something special. Therefore, perhaps you may opt to leave them a bottle of wine, some snacks, or other gifts that play into their vacation experience. While this is not mandatory, little things like this will have guests feeling special the moment they arrive. 

In addition, small welcome gifts are also a talk-worthy note that guests are more likely to write about when they leave their Airbnb rental reviews online. As a result, when other guests are looking at booking your property, you can expect them to see these reviews from previous renters on the guest experience you provided. Thus, by going out of your way to enhance the guest experience in little ways, you're doing yourself a favor, leading to more bookings throughout the year. 

  1. Stock your Airbnb with enough toiletries 

Another way to create a positive experience for your prospective guests is to ensure your real estate property is adequately stocked with enough toiletries. This can include: 

  • Toilet paper
  • Clean, extra linens 
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash
  • Feminine products 
  • Any other essential products you think your guest may appreciate. 

There is a chance your renters may forget items during their travels. Therefore, if you want your guests to have an enhanced experience with your Airbnb, make sure your property comes prepared with the items they may need. Again, the little things like this will make your guest admire you as a thoughtful Airbnb host. Thus, increasing your chance of receiving positive reviews online. 

  1. Set clear house rules 

Moreover, setting straightforward, easy-to-follow house rules helps you as a property manager and ensures your guests respect your home during their stay. Before guests can complete their booking on the Airbnb website, they will be prompted to agree to the house rules outlined on your listing. Therefore, all your rules and expectations must be made clear beforehand, so there is little opportunity for miscommunication to happen. 

For example, if you have an apartment building that has a no noise policy after 11pm, you will want to make sure your guests are aware of this so you can avoid getting a noise complaint. Additionally, house rules such as no big parties, no animals, and no children under a certain age are also rules you will want to communicate to your guests. Furthermore, you should also have a printed copy of the house rules posted in an area throughout your Airbnb rental that is easily seen and accessible to guests, such as the living room. This essentially serves as an extra insurance measure for protecting your home. 

  1. Make your property open for instant booking online. 

Typically, once a guest has decided on which property to book on the Airbnb website, they will choose their dates and enter their information. This information is then sent to the host to review and confirm. However, this can sometimes, and the confirmation process can take a while. Although this may not be a big deal on your end as a host, it can be stressful having to wait as a potential guest. 

Therefore, it is suggested that you allow instant bookings online as it will save you time and enhance the guest experience. On the other hand, if you are worried about having bad guests, Airbnb does allow you to have a grace period where the host can cancel the booking if they do not feel comfortable with the renter. For example, if you have an apartment on the 10th floor of a building with no elevator and the guest has small children, you may opt to cancel the booking as you cannot provide them with easy access to your unit. 

  1. Provide guests with important information upon their arrival 

Next on our list of host tips is providing guests with essential passwords, instructions, and contact information. Simply put, your guests shouldn't have to contact you during their stay at your vacation property unless it is an emergency. Not only for your sake but for theirs as well. Therefore, upon arrival, you will want to ensure that all critical information they may need is accessible to them to avoid any hassle. For example, this information can include: 

  • An outline of local attractions that your property is near, including directions and travel times so they can enjoy the city as much as possible during their stay 
  • Any local transportation information such as bus schedules, taxi services, or rideshare 
  • Your direct phone number in case of emergencies 
  • The Wi-Fi password 
  • Cleaning instructions 
  • Any instructions on how to use appliances 
  • Passwords to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services you may have 

We suggest making a guest booklet with templates that you can find online where you can record all vital information and store it. Make sure to put the brochure somewhere where your guests will be able to find it easily, such as in your living room. 

  1. Ensure you understand your cancellation policy well 

Furthermore, another thing you will want to ensure as an Airbnb host is the details of your cancellation policy. As a host, Airbnb allows you to choose between three cancellation policies. Each of these policies will provide you with a different level of flexibility you wish to provide guests. While it is unfortunate that guests may need to cancel last minute, you must keep in mind that this is your business. Therefore, if a guest were to cancel two days before they are scheduled to stay at your listing, it is unlikely that you will be able to fill their vacancy in that short amount of time. As a result, you are most likely to lose income because of this. Thus, it is up to you to choose a cancellation policy you feel comfortable with. However, it may be worth picking a stricter policy with first-time hosts until you gain superhost status to prevent you from losing money. 

  1. Price your Airbnb competitively relative to the local market 

There is no denying that the Airbnb industry is massive. Therefore, depending on where you choose to purchase real estate, you may have to deal with fierce competition in your area. So, to counteract this competition, it is up to you to choose a competitive Airbnb pricing for your local area. Remember to keep in mind that location, amenities, and extra features are key factors you will need to factor into your pricing. 

Furthermore, unless your property is a real piece of art, you may wish to price your listing lower than other properties in your area in the first couple of months of becoming a host. This provides more of an incentive for potential guests to book your property over others. In addition, it offers you the opportunity to gain more positive reviews on your listing over time. Once you have achieved a fair number of good reviews, you can then choose to increase your listing price to compare to the other properties in your area. 

  1. Leave cleaning instructions 

Airbnb hosts should put a cleaning checklist for guests, as mentioned briefly above. You should also include access to soap, detergent, garbage bags, and a broom so they can participate in helping you clean. Not only will this save you money on cleaning services after the fact, but it also makes guests responsible for their mess. You can add cleaning instructions into your house rules to ensure your renters follow through on this. 

Generally speaking, Airbnb guests will be respectful to your property. However, there is still a possibility that you will get a guest who leaves a mess. If this should occur, it is your responsibility as a host to contact Airbnb for support. In addition, you should also get help for any items that you find stolen, damaged, or broken to ensure your assets and interests as an Airbnb business remain protected. Further, if your home is left damaged, you should also document any photos of the damage before sending them to management. 

You should also keep in mind that you will only have 48 hours to contact support to ensure a resolution is found. If you are unable to come to an agreement with your guests, Airbnb will then intervene and provide you with the deposit amount to cover any damage to your property. With that said, Airbnb will not allow you to make a claim if something is left dirty, as this is technically considered a part of the cleaning fee that you will set on your listing. 

  1.  Don't get too upset over bad reviews. 

Moreover, once your guests have checked out of your property, they are then provided with the opportunity to write a review on their experience. Unless your Airbnb is absolutely terrible, it is unlikely that you will get a bad review. With that said, don’t get too wrapped up in bad reviews. While they are visible to other users on the website, Airbnb allows you to respond to reviews. Therefore, you can provide context to the situation if needed.

On the other hand, as a host, you are also able to write a review on your guests. These reviews are also visible to other users. Therefore, keep in mind that you should first contact your guests if you discover a problem before taking to the internet. While there are benefits to being transparent, it can also look bad on your part if you mention problems online for others to see rather than attempting to settle the matter privately. 

  1.  Always record bookings through the Airbnb website. 

Furthermore, another host tip we suggest following is keeping bookings strictly through the website. As your property becomes more popular in your area, you may have guests reach out and ask for a discount on booking fees. They may also ask you to book your property off of the websites. However, any and all books that are not recorded through the Airbnb platform can put your home at risk as it offers no protection against damages, theft, or other disputes. Therefore, while it may be tempting to offer this to guests who have stayed with you multiple times, it is truly in your best interests to keep all payments online where there is a record. 

  1. Strive to be a super host 

Having a superhost badge on Airbnb can transform your bookings and increase your income as a property manager, as you will receive more visibility online with your listing. However, it is not going to be easy. Accordingly, to gain superhost status, you will need to: 

  • Have a minimum of 10 booked nights or three long term reservations with a minimum total of 100 nights 
  • Maintain a 50% review rate or more 
  • Have a 90% response rate or more 
  • Have no cancellations that fall outside of a specific Airbnb policy
  • Maintain an overall property rating of 4.8/5  

Although these requirements may appear daunting, they are possible to achieve. However, if you own a seasonal property that is only available for a couple weeks out of the year, it may be difficult for you to achieve this status. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean you should not strive for this status. So, if you want to become an Airbnb super host, here are some further tips that will make satisfying these requirements easier: 

  • To avoid cancellation, make sure you are on top of your calendar by updating booking availability often. This includes blocking off days when you don't want people staying in your home for at least six months. 
  • Keep the Airbnb app on your phone with notifications set. That way, you can stay on top of your response time and never be unavailable to potential guests when they need to contact you. 
  • Follow the tips we’ve listed above to maintain a high property rating of at least 4.8/5
  • Leave a gentle reminder or request renters to review their experience with you if they enjoyed their visit. In contrast, you can also commit to reviewing your guests immediately after their stay, so they get a reminder to review you. Further, you can also take this opportunity to thank your guests for their visit and request a review if you feel comfortable doing so. 
  1. Get a co-host to help you manage your property. 

Last on our list of Airbnb hosting tips is hiring a co-host to help you manage your property. Whether you have more than one Airbnb property or want to play a more passive role in the business, hiring a co-host is a great way to share the responsibilities. Although this will cause you to lose some of your income, it can also help you enhance the guest experience while making you more money in the long run. 

The Airbnb website is a great place to start looking for more information on co-hosting, your Airbnb property, and other helpful resources. Not only do they have forums you can use, but there are also related articles to any questions you may have that can provide you with quick answers to your questions. 

Final thoughts 

As you can see, owning an Airbnb business is not easy. However, by taking note of and following the tips listed above, you can start your business confidently. Remember, like all new ventures, there is always a learning curve. With that said, you can find resources and more information online through forums, on the Airbnb website, and by asking other hosts if they have any tips they want to share. That way, you can craft an exceptional experience for your guests and achieve your super host status in no time. If you want to check out other ideas to earn extra money, check out our other article on passive income ideas.

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