Setting out a winning Airbnb house manual template may seem like a daunting task when you’re only starting out as a vacation rental host. Although it may take some time to perfect this step, it will reap benefits for your Airbnb business with every booking along the way.
A house manual steps in as a tool to welcome guests to your Airbnb accommodation. It is essential for any professional host because it checks off so many boxes. Not only does it communicate important information to guests about your home and the surrounding area, but it can make them feel special too and, as a result, secure more 5-star reviews.
Here’s how to create and perfect your Airbnb house manual template.
An Airbnb house manual acts as an indirect conversation between you and your guests. It tells them all they need to know about your home as if you were giving them an in-depth tour yourself.
There are many different features an Airbnb house manual template includes. It is often mistaken for only the house rules, welcome letter, or check-in instructions, but a worthwhile house manual will contain all these and more.
It should contain all the necessary information to get your guests settled, comfortable with the features of your accommodation, and familiar with their surroundings.
Read on to make sure your Airbnb house manual template doesn’t miss a thing.
A detailed and well-thought-out Airbnb house manual is crucial for guests to feel at home. It will eliminate any confusion or uncertainty that comes with settling into an unfamiliar space and can give guests some insider advice for making the most of their visit.
Your house manual template should cover:
All the relevant information for getting your guests through the door will be found here. The welcoming section forms part of the first impression you will make with your guests. It is important to ensure this information is clear and concise to eliminate any miscommunication.
Every Airbnb house manual should start off with a warm welcome letter. This is a letter you will write to your guests welcoming them to your Airbnb property and expressing that you hope that they have a fantastic stay. You can keep it quite simple, or you can add other elements, like essential check-in instructions or house rules.
A welcome letter is an excellent way to create a more personal connection with your guests, especially if you are opting for guests to self-check-in. Fostering good relationships with your guests will make them more likely to give you 5-star reviews.
Even if you have already sent your guests’ check-in times and instructions before their arrival, it is still useful to add them to your house manual.
By making this information easily accessible wherever guests choose to look for it, you will eliminate the risk of them overlooking key information that they will need to get settled.
When it comes to home security, each Airbnb property is different. It is up to the host to ensure that guests understand what they need to do to unlock all gates, doors, and lockboxes.
Including these instructions in your house manual allows guests to refer to them quickly and easily whenever they need to enter or leave the house.
It is possible that guests will travel in their own car. Including simple parking directions for once they arrive will come in handy.
These parking instructions do not have to be complicated. Making sure they know where to park their car and how to unlock the garage door is all you need to include.
Possibly one of the main reasons guests will open the house manual in the first place is to find out what the Wifi login details are. So you have to make it the easiest information to find.
Using a large, bold font, or even placing it on the manual’s front cover page makes it easy to spot and will eliminate most of those “what’s the Wifi password?” queries.
Wifi in an Airbnb rental has graduated from being just a perk to a full-on necessity, and most guests will want to connect as soon as they arrive. If the password is on the first page, they will appreciate not having to look very far for it.
Whether an emergency or not, guests may need to contact you during their stay. For this reason, including multiple ways to contact you is a no-brainer.
Your first point of contact with guests should be through the Airbnb app. However, your phone number and email address should be readily available too, in case they cannot reach you via the app.
It may be helpful to include other ways of contacting you too — like via Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. However, you will also need to make sure you commit to staying on top of the different communication channels. There is no point in adding your Facebook Messenger details to your manual but then do not respond to your guest’s messages in time.
If you list your property on more than one platform, communication may get complicated. To stay on top of your messages from the different short-term rental platforms, iGMS offers communication automation tools to help you do just that.
It is also important to include other emergency contact details in your house manual, should your guests need them during their stay. These contact details should include the nearest police station, fire department, ambulance or hospital, and a general national emergency number.
Because this information may be needed in an emergency, it should also be on the first or second page of your house manual. It may be a good idea to write it on a separate page too, to be stuck up somewhere in your Airbnb.
After spending time fully equipping your rental property it’s important to make sure your guests know how everything works.
House rules are not meant to damper the fun. They set clear boundaries that protect both your guests and yourself against loss, damage, and injury.
Some of the things your house rules should be clear on is:
Read our full guide on setting out your house rules here:
The various appliances in your home can be tricky to figure out when using them for the first time. Leaving clear instructions for how to use them will go a long way with guests.
These instructions do not have to list every feature each machine is capable of, rather just its quickest and easiest settings to get the job done.
Some of the appliances that will need instructions include:
💡 Pro tip: If you buy new appliances for your Airbnb property, add the user guides to your house manual.
A room-by-room guide is not essential for Airbnb rentals that are kept simple and straightforward. However, if there are certain rooms around your house that have specific quirks – like a window that opens in a funny way or a stovetop with a hotter than usual heating plate – this would be a good place to point it out and advise the best way to work around it.
In this section, you can showcase each room and highlight any unique pet or family-friendly features your accommodation may have. You can also list where everything is kept, should a guest look for something specific.
More than likely, the travelers who stay in your Airbnb may not have visited the area before. Including recommendations in your template for what they can do in the area will add to the guest experience, leading to more glowing reviews and repeat bookings.
Here are some of the recommendations you can include in your house manual:
For the guests who will prefer to move about town using the local transport options during their stay, it will be useful to incorporate this section.
The most relevant details to add would be the contact information for local taxi companies, the location and schedules of the local train or shuttle services, and the details of any private transport companies, like Uber.
Including a detailed section on the different places to eat around town is a fantastic addition to any house manual. It takes the guesswork out of what options are available should guests want to go out for a meal, or even order in.
Be sure to feature a variety of cuisines offered in the area to suit the different preferences of your guests. It will also be a good idea to add where restaurants cater to certain dietary requirements, like vegetarian and vegan diets.
A simple internet search will most likely lead you to a website that highlights all the local events happening in and around the area of your Airbnb for a particular month or year. A quick and handy addition to your house manual would be a calendar printout of these events for your guests to browse and decide if they would like to join in.
These events could be concerts, art festivals, fundraisers, or town celebrations that may bring a unique experience to a guest’s visit.
While it is not necessary to include every single place to shop, including the main shopping malls and grocery stores is a must-have for your template.
To make things interesting, add some unique stores too, such as book stores, boutique clothing stores, antique and vintage stores, or souvenir shops.
While your guests are on holiday, they will most likely want to experience the local tourist attractions and entertainment. Listing these attractions provides an easy point of reference for them to browse as they please.
Make sure to feature a variety of places to visit to appeal to every type of traveler, for example, museums, historical landmarks, theaters, cinemas, theme parks, art exhibitions, and children’s playparks.
For the guests who enjoy pampering themselves while on holiday, including local salons and spas will be a real treat.
These are also usually the businesses that can use all the support they can get, especially in the current climate, and will appreciate the promotion. You may even be able to negotiate a discount for your guests.
While some guests may want to forget about working out while on holiday, others may not want to disrupt their exercise routine.
Add the details of a few local fitness centers or fresh air hiking trails to your house manual to accommodate those exercise fans.
When it comes time to leave, adding crucial check-out information to your house manual will ensure each guest will enjoy a pleasant farewell as they leave your home.
Your house manual is the perfect opportunity to guide your guests through the check-out process. It will ensure that your Airbnb is left in the state you prefer.
Remind your guests to double-check that they have not left anything behind. Make sure to communicate clear instructions on where to leave the keys, which light and appliance switches to leave on and off, and which windows and doors should be closed.
Similar to your welcome letter, you could write a farewell note where you can thank your guests for visiting your Airbnb and write that you hope that they enjoyed their stay and will want to come again soon.
Here you can also encourage them to post a review for your rental. iGMS also offers a guest review management feature to help you automate this process online.
We recommend you make your Airbnb house manual available to your guests in a few different ways and both before and during their stay. Hosts opt to do this because different information may be relevant to guests at different times.
Adding your house manual to your Airbnb listing is quite straightforward. You also do not have to add your full manual here if you do not want to. Perhaps you would just want to add the most important sections, like the rules and check-in information.
To add your manual to your Airbnb listing, follow these steps:
Sending the manual ahead of your guests’ stay gives them a professional impression of you and shows that you have planned ahead. It is an advantage to you and your guests to send a digital version in the form of a pdf document that guests are able to download.
It can be sent via email, or this process can also be automated using iGMS software.
iGMS is a Preferred Partner of Airbnb and offers hosts a range of short-term rental automation tools, including:
There is definitely value in having both print and digital pdf versions of your house manual available to guests.
The pdf version can be sent to guests to download and read on their smartphone or laptop. Meanwhile, the print version can be present at the property for guests to refer to during their stay.
It may cost a bit more, but it is well worth it to pay extra to make sure your printed version is of good quality too, and laminated and bound for durability.
An informative and engaging manual can impress guests and make them feel like they are receiving premium service. It will also encourage them to read the document in full, making them less likely to miss important information.
Here are some tips to make your template stand out:
Making the manual (especially its cover page) visually pleasing and eye-catching, and including lots of images, will result in a much more engaging design. Try to keep the word count concise by opting for image illustrations as often as you can.
To take your design to the next level, there are many paid or free design software apps available. Some free apps include Canva or Crello where you can customize existing templates and download the pdf document, while Adobe Creative Cloud offers a quality paid service if you want to create your own design. You can use Pinterest to draw inspiration from and source ideas for your house manual design.
The digital version of your house manual can be taken to a whole new level to impress your guests.
Not only is the pdf document easy to update and share, but you also have the ability to add hyperlinks to the website of each of the restaurants and entertainment activities you recommend.
You are also able to link to video instructions for your home appliances if it’s available online.
Adding a personal touch is always a great idea and can make a guest feel extra special. This could include a coffee voucher for each guest or a ‘host recommendations’ section with some of your own favorite hidden gems to visit, or the best dishes to order at the restaurants you feature in your house manual.
If you can, give your guests the inside scoop on any regular specials and discounts that may be running at restaurants or tourist attractions. You could even try to reach out to a few local establishments to see if they would be willing to give you an exclusive discount in exchange for referring your guests to them.
If you want to provide a professional hosting service to guests, a house manual is an integral aspect of that. It can help to keep guests coming back and spreading the word to their friends.
So, while this may take some initial care, the benefits it will provide for your business will make you glad you put in the effort now.
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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