Setting up a property for an exceptional guest experience is the first step of every host. But how do you make sure that you have considered every nuance before welcoming your first guests? The good news is that you don’t need to look for a secret formula yourself, as it has been tried and tested by other successful hosts already. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a comprehensive Airbnb host checklist, so you can get your accommodation ready for delivering a great stay.
From stocking up your Airbnb property with all the essential amenities and supplies to ideas on how to streamline your daily operations, use this checklist to start your short-term rental business on the right foot.
It comes as no surprise that travelers prefer well-equipped rentals, especially if they plan an extended stay. According to a survey conducted by Airbnb, amenities are one of the most crucial factors contributing to a great guest experience.
The rule of thumb is to provide all creature comforts sprinkled with extras. But there is more to this if you strive to deliver a truly memorable stay. Here is a brief list of what your guests expect hosts to provide:
Each room in your house should be equipped to perform its function. For example, your living room should offer a relaxing environment with a comfy couch, coffee table, TV, etc. Your bedroom should be designed for ensuring a perfect night’s sleep — don’t skimp on a high-quality mattress, bed linen, and thick curtains or blinds.
Adding a “wow” factor is key to receiving more positive reviews. Go the extra mile by offering free access to streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu, leaving a welcome gift, or providing luxury toiletries and bathrobes with slippers to create a more hotel-like experience.
Being able to attend to guest requests on time is a must. Thus, to ensure prompt replies, it’s good practice to automate guest communication by employing vacation rental software such as iGMS.
The condition of your property can make or break your guest experience. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised the bar for cleanliness, and just dusting off the surfaces and sweeping the floors won’t cut it anymore. Make sure to follow enhanced cleaning procedures and add protective equipment such as masks and hand sanitizers to your checklist.
To make your guests feel at home, it’s wise to start with the basic supplies and amenities. Guests need to be confident that your property provides all the essentials as bath towels, toilet paper, hand soap, etc., and they don’t need to pack their whole house in their suitcase to spend a weekend at your place.
Here’s a complete list of basic amenities and supplies to turn your accommodation into a real home away from home and provide an enjoyable stay:
If you want to get positive reviews after each guest turnover, it’s in your best interest to add finer details to your Airbnb host checklist. On top of essential furniture and basic amenities, you should provide items that will delight your Airbnb guests and take their stay from good to great.
Here’s a list of extras that you can offer at your rental:
If your vacation rental attracts certain types of guests, make sure it’s well-equipped to cater to their specific needs. For example, to arrange a comfortable stay for families with kids, you need to go beyond a standard checklist and include amenities and supplies necessary for creating a kid-friendly space.
Here’s a list of items that you need to offer depending on the audience your property attracts.
When aiming to draw in a certain type of guest, mention in your listing title and description that your vacation rental is “kid-friendly” or “pet-friendly,” so it will be featured in search results, helping you capture the relevant audience.
Once you’ve purchased all the nitty-gritty furniture and supplies and added the extra bells and whistles, it’s time for your property to shine on the Airbnb platform and land its first bookings. Here’s a checklist to help you create an outstanding listing and secure your first 5-star review.
Let’s face it: when it comes to choosing an Airbnb to spend a vacation in, we all judge a book (or read your rental) by its cover, namely by its cover photo in the listing. Beautiful photos in combination with excellent reviews can work like a charm for your listing, ensuring high occupancy levels all year round.
Therefore, it’s highly recommended to hire a professional photographer to snap appealing photos of your property. However, to save money, you can also go the DIY route and take photos yourself. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
The next step is to craft an eye-catching title for your listing. Follow these tips to nail your listing title:
Snapping visually attractive photos and composing an enticing title is just a job half done. The next step for every host who wants to make money with Airbnb is to create an exceptional listing.
Though with 5.6+ million Airbnb listings worldwide, it’s hard to stand out, but you still can win the hearts of your potential guests by carrying out this step with due diligence.
Here are a few practical guidelines to keep in mind while working on your Airbnb listing:
Experienced Airbnb hosts know that to create a wow effect and turn an ordinary guest into a returning one, they need to think out of the box. Compiling a welcome package can be a great avenue to put your creative skills to good use and amaze your guests.
If you struggle to create a welcome package, here are a few ideas to ponder:
It goes without saying that your property should be spotless every time a new guest checks in. Even a stray hair in the bathroom can ruin the overall positive impression, so avoid this by ensuring your guests find your rental in tip-top condition when they arrive.
Not to overlook any hidden corners or hard-to-reach crevices, follow a detailed cleaning checklist. Working from a checklist will help you tackle cleanings more thoroughly.
As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in one day.” Success in the short-term rental industry doesn’t happen overnight either. However, you can take a big leap towards becoming a prosperous host by enhancing your business efficiency and streamlining your multiple hosting tasks.
Follow this Airbnb host checklist to maximize your business efficiency and save time on day-to-day operations.
When you manage your rental, you need to handle many processes simultaneously. As an Airbnb host, your daily list of to-dos includes replying to guest messages, updating a property calendar and availability (or calendars if you manage listings across several platforms), organizing cleanings, meeting your guests, writing reviews, etc.
To help you take control of your numerous routine operations in our age and time, you can take advantage of automation tools. Vacation rental software such as iGMS can automate a big chunk of your daily tasks by:
One of the main concerns of every host is whether their rental is adequately priced. You don’t want to price your rental too high, as this can drive away potential bookings. At the same time, pricing it too low means that you leave money on the table.
Researching your market and comparing your competitors’ prices and offerings may seem like a brilliant idea to make an informed decision regarding the best nightly rate. However, it might take too long to collect and analyze all the data in order to shape a well-thought-out pricing strategy.
Again, automation can be a game-changer in setting the appropriate pricing. Dynamic pricing tools such as Wheelhouse, Pricelabs, or DPGO are designed specifically to help hosts maximize revenue by optimizing their nightly rates in response to market fluctuations. iGMS has integrations with all three tools so that you can utilize dynamic pricing in combination with iGMS’ advanced features.
In the battle between a regular in-person check-in and self-check-in, the latter seems to be getting the upper hand. More and more hosts and property managers are opting for self-check-in, as it saves time and hassle for both sides.
There are several options to set up a self-check-in. You are free to choose between lockboxes, electronic and smart locks, and key exchange services. With a smart lock, you don’t even need to have physical keys, as the lock will be controlled via your smartphone.
Also, you can opt for a keyless entry service like Lynx. Lynx allows you to control your door remotely and get notified every time the door is accessed.
Key exchange services like Keycafe also come in handy to set up a smooth self-check-in. KeyCafe enables you to leave your keys in one of the SmartBoxes for guests to collect whenever it’s convenient for them.
Cleaning is one of the most challenging and time-consuming chores for every host. You can save a tremendous amount of time if you start outsourcing it. Depending on your budget, you can either hire a subcontractor or a professional cleaning service.
The same goes for the maintenance of your rental. It would be ideal for you to build a network of reliable subcontractors to help you with any issue that may arise at your property.
To automate communication with your cleaning and maintenance teams, you can use vacation rental software such as iGMS. The software allows you to auto-assign tasks and track them to completion so you can rest assured all the cleanings and repairs are carried out on time.
Finally, to propel your business to even greater heights, you should always keep abreast of the latest trends in the industry and tendencies in the market. This knowledge will help you make the right business decisions and set goals more proactively.
Business intelligence tools such as Alltherooms, Transparent, and AirDNA will allow you to dive deeper into vacation rental data and analytics, monitor your competitors, and track industry benchmarks to ensure you’re on the right track to hitting your goals and becoming a thriving host.
About the Author
Olga Vasylieva is the Content and Social Media Team Lead at iGMS. Olga is on a mission to help hosts and property managers grow their businesses and deliver an excellent guest experience. She is a travel enthusiast and is inspired by life in all its aspects.