Airbnb checkout instructions have the power to create a lasting impression on your guests and end their stay on a positive note. If done right, it can even convince them to make a repeat booking and turn them into loyal customers.
When it comes time for your guests to leave, both you and your guests have a role to play. As the host, you will need to make sure guests leave in one piece. In return, they will need to make sure to leave your home in one piece too.
Let’s take a closer look at what detailed instructions to include for a successful check-out.
Airbnb checkout instructions are sent to your guests to provide them with all the information they need to safely depart from your Airbnb. This information typically includes:
Airbnb hosts are encouraged to supply guests with the most necessary instructions to make the checkout process as smooth as possible.
Some vacation rental hosts may be skeptical about the need for Airbnb checkout instructions, but preparing this information for guests come with many benefits.
By clearly communicating important information like when guests should check out and where they should leave the keys, it allows for a smooth transition from one guest to the other.
For example, if guests do not know when their checkout time is and leave too late, your Airbnb may not be ready in time for your next guest.
Guests will also feel like their vacation rental hosts have carefully thought about every step of the experience, including making sure they have a smooth checkout. This ensures that guests get a memorable send-off that will leave lasting positive impressions about their stay.
By tailoring your guest experience right up until checkout, guests will be encouraged to leave positive reviews on your listing. Positive reviews are the backbone of a successful listing, And any way to build up your good reputation is a smart idea.
Clear checkout instructions ensure that guests know exactly what is expected of them. It will define what is the guest’s responsibility and what is the host’s. This will avoid any confusion or misunderstandings, leading to a better guest experience.
As an Airbnb host, you have a few options for when you can send your guests their checkout instructions. For best results, it’s recommended that you repeat the instructions multiple different times, just to prevent them from going unnoticed.
The first opportunity to notify your guests of the most important checkout information is before your guests arrive. You could include the checkout time in your Airbnb listing, and more detailed information in your welcome letter or welcome book at the beginning of their stay.
Then, it’s also a smart idea to set up an automated message to remind your guests of the checkout instructions closer to the end of their stay.
In fact, with the help of vacation rental software, all your communication regarding guest check-in and check-out instructions can be automated. iGMS, for example, allows hosts to set up triggered automated messaging so that hosts can set it and forget it while the software takes care of the hard work.
With iGMS you can:
Not only is it best practice to send your guests their checkout instructions at multiple different times, but it’s also recommended that you send the information in both a digital and printed format.
For example, you could include a printed and laminated copy of the instructions in your guest’s welcome book that stays on the house’s premises, and then send a digital version via email before guests depart.
Now that we know “when” and “how” of sending checkout instructions for your Airbnb rental, let’s take a closer look at some helpful hints about what to include.
The checkout date and time are the most crucial information to communicate to guests. Not communicating it effectively will almost guarantee that your previous guests check out too late for you to prepare for your next guests.
It is also a good idea to include a time span of 1-2 hours. This communicates to guests the latest time they should be leaving your house.
The cleaning instructions you choose to include in your check-out information will vary depending on whether you charge cleaning fees, and whether you market your Airbnb rental as a luxury accommodation option.
If you charge a high cleaning fee, asking your guests to clean the whole house will be in bad taste. You may get away with asking your guests to move furniture back to where it originally was, gathering used bed linens and towels, or asking them to dispose of the trash in the large trash can outside, but that’s as far as you should take it. After all, charging a hefty cleaning fee and then asking guests to clean up afterward is a surefire way to seem greedy.
If no cleaning fee is charged, guests are more open to doing a few extra tasks like putting the used towels and bed linens in the laundry basket and gathering the dirty dishes. Although, it’s still not a good idea to request that guests wash all the dishes.
Guests washing dishes is tricky for more than one reason. First of all, to provide a memorable experience that inspires positive reviews, your guests should feel like they’re being pampered — this includes giving them a break from doing all the dishes when it’s time to leave.
Also, there’s no guarantee that each guest will wash their dirty dishes properly. So, asking them to do the dishes for your next guest runs the risk of them not being properly cleaned. This is something that your next visitors can easily complain about. Thus, the better option would be to get professional cleaning staff to do this task.
Whether you charge a separate cleaning fee or not, if your accommodation is marketed as a luxury stay, it is implied that you will take care of all the cleaning tasks. Charging a premium nightly price means that you need to provide a luxury experience, and cleaning duties do not form part of that.
Before your guests lock up your house, you will need to instruct them as to which appliances and electronics need to be switched off. For starters, all the lights (perhaps except for one) will need to be switched off. You’ll probably also want them to turn off the air conditioner as they leave, given that air conditioning uses a lot of electricity.
Then, many hosts also ask guests to switch off the fridge/freezer when they leave, so that it can defrost and be wiped clean by cleaning staff. However, this may not be your preference and is up to you to decide.
Forgotten items are more difficult to return once your guests have left your vacation house, so including a quick reminder in your checkout instructions is a smart idea.
Remind guests to close all windows and lock the door when they leave to make sure your house is secure while nobody is home. This instruction may be relaxed or skipped if you or your staff are always present at the property.
Since your guests will have the keys to the vacation house during their stay, they will need instructions on how to return them when they leave. This could mean instructing guests to return the keys to lock boxes, or giving them to neighbors, a property manager, or key exchange services like Keycafe.
Alternatively, if you opt for automated smart locks like EveryDoor to give guests instant access, you can simply inform your guests that they just need to ensure the door is closed and locked when they leave.
Since the main benefit of checkout instructions is to get guests to leave on a positive note, it’s a great opportunity to also ask or remind them to leave a review for your Airbnb.
Lastly, include your contact details so that guests can reach you. You could also include your website address so that they can make a direct booking if they would like to return.
No need to hire a freelance writer. Use this email template to nail your Airbnb checkout instructions without needing to start from scratch. Feel free to copy, paste, and edit it to your own needs.
Subject: Checkout Information
Dear [Guest Name]
As the end of your stay is approaching, we wanted to say thank you for choosing our Airbnb for your getaway. We hope your time here has been enjoyable!
Here is some key information that you’ll need for your departure:
A friendly reminder that checkout is between [time] and [time]. If this is not enough time for you, please contact us on [contact details] so that we can accommodate you.
No need to worry about cleaning up, we’ll do that for you. However, we would greatly appreciate it if you could strip the bed of used linens and move the trash bin outside the property when you leave.
Before you leave, don’t forget to double-check that you have all your belongings!
Then, we kindly ask you to switch off the air conditioning and the lights in each room, except the front living room. You can leave the fridge switched on.
We also ask that you make sure all the windows are closed and that you don’t forget to lock the door at the back, as well as the front door. You can once again leave your keys [in the lock box/ with the neighbor].
It was truly a pleasure hosting you. If you have any feedback for us, we would love it if you can leave a review on Airbnb. Every review means the world to us!
The last thing: have a safe trip home, and we hope to see you again very soon!
[Your Name and Signature]
About the Author
Callan Riddles is the Content and Social Media Specialist at iGMS. Callan has a passion for finding new ways to help vacation rental businesses thrive. In her free time, she loves to travel, read, and experience all the new things that life has to offer.
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