Showing Airbnb etiquette is a common courtesy that ensures everyone on the Airbnb platform has a positive experience. Good etiquette can also create a smoother booking process. It can also help to improve your rating on the platform.
Read on to discover what makes good Airbnb etiquette and how you can use it to your own and others’ benefit.
Etiquette is a set of rules and habits commonly accepted within a group, culture, or society. Airbnb etiquette is the set of common trends and practices that most users on the platform abide by. These etiquette trends help to reduce problems and frustrations.
Airbnb etiquette improves users’ experience on the platform and can limit problems. This happens because all users follow the same protocol and standards. For example, if a guest wants to bring a pet to a non-pet-friendly vacation rental, they should ask the host first. That way, the host will be able to say yes or no, which can prevent any arguments from happening later.
Here at iGMS, we help thousands of hosts manage their listings, and we stay in close communication with our customers. We asked our Superhost customers to share their tips and tricks for perfect Airbnb etiquette to ensure a successful vacation rental business:
The best step to take in encouraging good etiquette is to be clear and upfront about your rules. You should include a copy of your house rules in your Airbnb listing and Airbnb welcome book. You should send any special requests to your guest in an Airbnb message. Check to confirm that your guests did read them too. Be sure to also include clear instructions for how to use any appliances on your property.
If you make your rules clear, then misunderstandings will be less likely to happen.
Staying in contact with your guests is an essential part of good Airbnb etiquette. This means staying in contact with them through the booking process until they check out. By showing that you’re available to answer questions, guests will be able to enjoy their stay more. Just make sure you don’t end up pestering them with too many messages.
A good messaging strategy is to contact your guests after they have checked in to ensure it was an easy process. Then let them know you can respond any time to their messages. From there, only make contact in response to their messages until checkout day. On checkout day, you can send a friendly reminder of check-out times. Staying in contact with your guests will encourage them to leave a positive review.
Although it’s good to have rules for your vacation rental, you should also try to accommodate guests if they have a special request. Going that extra mile for a guest, when possible, can make their stay memorable. You will need to weigh up each request before accepting, though. In some cases, a guest request might not be practical or even possible. Be willing to help guests when you can, but also don’t hesitate to decline a request that could be troublesome.
Having a clean vacation rental for your guests is non-negotiable Airbnb etiquette. It’s simply unacceptable for guests to arrive at a messy rental and is a fast way to earn bad Airbnb reviews. Your rental must be spotless, and all rooms should be tidy and ready for use. You can either oversee your own cleaning or you can hire an Airbnb cleaning service.
Either way, remember that first impressions count. How your guests see your rental when they arrive will stay in their memory when they write their reviews. It could also affect whether they recommend your property to other guests. What’s more, cleaning your rental before guests arrive demonstrates that you care about their health.
Remember that your guests are on holiday. Unless they have booked a shared accommodation, they are paying for privacy and will expect it. It’s not a good practice to show up at the property unannounced for any reason. This may bother your guests, and they will not appreciate it. As a rule, you should try to avoid coming to the property unless you have to.
If you do need to come to the property for any reason, first call your guests and ask what time would suit them. Confirm a time and be sure not to show up early or late, as this could further inconvenience your guests’ plans. If your guests contact you and ask you to come to the property to help or for another reason, then it’s acceptable to go. Again, try to stick to a time that works for them.
As a guest, it’s also a good idea to be courteous when interacting with your host. It helps to make their job easier and can improve your guest experience. By employing a few simple etiquette hacks, you can be a perfect guest and improve your guest rating:
Your host should ideally remain in contact with you from booking to checkout to ensure that you have everything you need. Good communication is a two-way street, and you should also stay in contact with your host. Respond to the messages they send, and message or call them if you have any questions.
If your plans change, try to let your host know as soon as possible. If you let them know sooner than later, they can do their best to accommodate any new requests you might have. If you are running late or can’t make the scheduled check-in day, let your host know.
You can show good manners to your host by always being honest with them. Don’t try to slip things past your host hoping they won’t notice. For example, if you have extra guests beyond the rental’s guest limit, ask your host if they could be included. The same goes for if you’d like to host friends at the rental.
If you’re unhappy with something, don’t be afraid to let your host know! They aim to provide a perfect vacation for you. If something is less than perfect, they would rather be able to correct it. Remember, honesty is always the best policy!
Your host might have made special arrangements for your check-in procedure, so try to be punctual as a courtesy to them. If you’re delayed or can’t check in on the scheduled day, let your host know as soon as possible, so they can make alternate arrangements. If you don’t do this, you might end up in a situation where you’re unable to access the property, frantically trying to call your host.
This should be a given, but remember to treat your host’s home as if it were your own. Mistreating household amenities or appliances goes against Airbnb etiquette. If you’re unsure how something works, check the vacation rental welcome book or welcome letter that your host has shared with you. There should be instructions inside. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to call or message your host.
Generally speaking, a cleaning team will come in after you have checked out to clean the property, but you should try to clean up where you can. Don’t leave used wrappers or papers lying all over the floor, and wash any dirty dishes before you leave. Doing this will show your host that you respect their property, and can also improve your guest rating.
Always follow the house rules set out by your host, and be mindful of any special requests that they make for the duration of your stay. Remember that their rules are in place for a reason (keeping the property clean and safe, minimizing noise, etc.).
If there is a rule you would like to query, always message your host and ask before finalizing your booking. Your host might be willing to make an exception for you, but rather check this before booking. They’ll be less likely to do this after you’ve already accepted their terms.
As a guest, you book your hosts’ rental from the check-in time on your first day to the checkout time on your last day. Anytime you spend further in the rental is not part of your Airbnb booking and can cut into your hosts’ time and cleaning plans. It’s principled Airbnb etiquette to check out at the specified time set by your hosts. Doing this will allow your host to do cleaning and maintenance work so that the rental is ready for the next round of guests.
If, for any reason, you’re running late or cannot check out at the specified time, try to let your host know as soon as possible and explain the circumstances.
Good reviews are essential for any Airbnb business to succeed. If you enjoyed your stay, don’t forget to leave one for your host! Leaving a review for your host can also encourage them to leave a guest review back for you.
If you didn’t enjoy your stay or found that something was wrong, you are entitled to leave a negative review. But, try to leave constructive criticism in your feedback to help the host improve their service to future guests. Using your reviews to just complain can potentially make you look like a “fussy” or “difficult” guest. Hosts who see this might feel uncertain about accepting any bookings you make.
A general rule of Airbnb etiquette is that hosts clean their properties after guests check out. To cover the costs of cleaning, hosts generally charge an Airbnb cleaning fee to guests as part of their booking fee. This pays for the time and equipment needed for cleaning, or to hire an external cleaning company.
Not all hosts outsource cleaning, though. In some instances, hosts may ask guests to clean the rental before they check out. This is less common, but it can happen with smaller properties, such as rooms or bachelor apartments. Hosts will not charge guests a cleaning fee, but guests may be expected to wash any dishes, sweep the floors and put all trash in the trash can. In some instances, they may be asked to place used towels in the washing machine. Hosts will usually make their cleaning preferences known in their Airbnb listing or house rules.
Hosts usually supply linen, towels, and toilet paper to the guests who book their property. Guests are not generally expected to bring their own bedding and towels unless requested to do so by their host. Again, these are often exceptions in the cases of budget or smaller Airbnb accommodations. If a host would like their Airbnb guest to bring their own supplies, they should clearly state it either in the listing or in a direct message to the guest.
Depending on the size and style of the rental property, hosts and guests may end up sharing living spaces. The shared spaces could be a kitchen, bathroom, living room, or outside area. There could be some confusion surrounding the social aspect of Airbnb etiquette if this situation arises. Are hosts and guests supposed to hang out if they share a living space?
The short answer is no, there’s no obligation to do this. If the host provides an Airbnb Experience or is a registered tour guide, then it’s considered acceptable to do so. Hosts and guests otherwise usually don’t spend time together unless both parties decide to.
Tipping your Airbnb host is not common practice for guests. Hosts provide a service and are free to calculate their pricing to cover their business costs and turn a profit. Tipping is thus unnecessary and is usually considered a “no-no” in guest do’s and don’ts. Tipping could create a negative effect if some guests tip and others don’t because they can’t afford to. Rather show your appreciation by writing a thank you note or leaving a small gift for your host.
Booking cancellations can sometimes be made by both hosts or guests. No matter who cancels, Airbnb etiquette dictates that they should let the other party know as soon as possible. This minimizes any inconvenience and reduces the chance of them receiving a bad review. Depending on the cancellation policy, guests may still have to pay part of the booking cost if they cancel after check-in.
Perfecting your etiquette with guests can prove tricky without automation processes. Vacation rental software can automate and streamline the activities essential for good Airbnb etiquette. Vacation rental software, such as iGMS, can help you perfect your etiquette by:
Phoebe Gunning is a content writer in the Marketing Department at iGMS. She is passionate about the vacation rental industry, notably helping hosts make the most out of their vacation rental businesses. Some of her hobbies include reading, traveling and drinking a good cup of coffee.