This post is for regular and newer Airbnb Hosts, check out these winning tips, on how you can provide a pleasantly memorable experience for your guests. Let me tell you how, from my perspective as an Airbnb guest.
Z and I booked a belated Valentine’s getaway to Boerne, TX – A small (rich) town just outside of San Antonio, TX. We surely needed some quiet, relaxation to de-stress and get some rest, after long weeks of work. That’s the thing about Airbnb, if the right photo catches my eye, I’ll click on the posting immediately, in hopes of being effortlessly captivated to book it. I’m not one for purposely giving myself many options, I just want to book it and be done with – Otherwise I will search relentlessly for days, and end up settling for a place I truly do not desire to stay. You guys really have no idea what goes on in a woman’s head, we really are hopeless. Well, this being my second time booking a lodge through Airbnb, a lucky little coupon come swimmin’ through my emails…”40% off a two-night stay or longer”…Um, Yes! I’ll take it! That’s the coupon that inspired this whole ‘Valentine’s Trip’ anyway, we would have just loaded up on Champagne and Redbox, and called it a weekend otherwise! Any-who, pictures say a thousand words, right? Follow the photos below, to unlock the secrets of how your guests enjoy their stay better, by you being a grand Host!
1. Make your guests feel like they are welcome to your home. Be available, and happy to communicate with your guests upon their arrival. Although some may not want the Grand Tour, they’ll appreciate it later when they remember where you had told them to find an iron or how to operate the specifics of your cooling system. With both of my destinations through Airbnb, the Hosts left information on things we might need to know about our temporary home, and of course, leaving wishes that we truly enjoy our stay – My Boerne Host, left us with a welcome snack to enjoy, Thanks!
2. Pay attention to detail. Did you thoroughly clean the dwelling? Is your theme of decor your own, but also suiting for any walk of person? Is your decor too plain? Does everything work properly, i.e outlets, electronics, lighting, cooling system, water, etc.? Does the place smell good? Did you leave a helpful welcome note to educate your guests about how they should treat your rental? Details, they’ll save you or sink you! I loved all of the details at this little studio style apartment! Original hardwood floors, antique furniture, a mixture of bright and soft colors, comfortable bedding, kitchen and bathroom to really make us feel like we’re at home, yet still a World away. If you’re into country living, with a touch of modern, this is the perfect place.
3. A little Feng Shui never hurt anybody. While you want to make your place appealing, it must be comfortable too. Keeping your home balanced, is a plus for people who might be booking your place as a getaway. Creating a living space that allows a positive flow of energy, could definitely earn you some brownie points when your guest reviews their experience on your site. This little Hideaway in the Hill Country was so darn adorable, I was inspired to write this post because of it, and hopefully to return one day!
4. Is there entertainment for your guest? You never know what someone’s purpose is for their visit, you can always ask. Feel the vibe they’re trying to send you, “I want you to know.” or “I’m a private person, please don’t talk anymore.” No hard feelings, you’re not their friend, you’re running a business! I’ve also read about hosts taking their guests out to dinner or drinks, to provide a more ‘local’ experience. I guess that’s the beauty of Hosting through Airbnb – They have guidelines and recommendations, but you can customize how you run your dwelling for the most part. Me, personally? I love people, but I don’t go on vacations to meet anyone. I want to get my money’s worth, indulge in not having to work, eat delicious food, and spend half of my time enjoying my dwelling. In other words, you don’t have to include a flat-screen cable TV, but lots of books to read and some pen and paper would make me happy.
5. Leave supplies. Does your rental have a kitchen? A Bathroom? A Porch? Stock your kitchen with some supplies: Oil, spices, pots & pans, cups, utensils, napkins, etc. Leave extra toilet paper and clean towels, better they clean up after themselves, than you! Leave some potted plants or patio chairs for your guest to enjoy the outdoor space provided. Just imagine how you would want your stay to be like. If you’re renting your place out for income, you have to put something in the pot, to get something out of it! Our Host had the basics we could use, but we went to the grocery store to get our main items – It sure did help, to not have to spend money on little things like salt and pepper!
6. Be knowledgeable of the area. We know, that you know, where you live…but we don’t know! See how easy it is to get confused? Number one inquiry that I always hear as a travel sales person, “What’s there to do in the area?”. With that one question, you can become a full time travel agent with the next 100 questions to come. Whether you’re leaving a list of your own personal suggestions, or picking up a local community map for tourists, give your guests an idea of how or where they should at least get started. I didn’t do too much research on activities or places to dine before our trip, and ended up having the best time just wingin’ it. It helped tremendously that Z knows his sense of directions, and how to navigate maps. Our host left us brochures of shops and regular happenings in the town, and it all proved to give us delightful adventures, our entire stay.
7. Don’t be an annoying Host. Like I said, let your guests know that you can be reached if needed – they’ll contact you if they want to hang out. Clarify the guidelines you want your guests to follow: No loud partying, no pets, no smoking, welcome to eat what’s in the pantry, leave lights on when you leave, kitchen can be used for breakfast snacks only, etc. This way, you each have an understanding of what to expect from each other, ahead of time, and you can still feel comfortable while renting your place out. Communication is key! Please, be careful how you approach your guests about any missing or misused items. It might be best to require a walk-through, while your guest waits outside, so you can inspect the unit to make sure everything is still in place.
Lastly, enjoy the ride. You’re in it for a reason, and there’s going to be a balance of good and bad. You took your business into your own hands, and are now making money off of it. Through time and trial, you will find what works best with renting out your living spaces. And best of all, you’re helping people create memorable experiences to remember for life, with your own unique space. Despite the minimal hiccups we experienced with our first two destinations booked with Airbnb, we appreciate these Hosts graciously opening their private homes to us. You all really opened up little pieces of our soul for the love of travel, and we look forward to returning for another visit in the future. This stay in Boerne, TX, was literally one of the best times we’ve ever had together, thanks to this humble hillcountry hideaway designed, just for us (we wish). Special thanks to Airbnb, and our Hosts, for providing such a peaceful transaction of business! We don’t plan on returning to corporate hotels any time soon!
Check out more Eye candy from our Hillcountry Hideaway, in Boerne, TX! You’ll have to come back for my next post, on places we explored in this charming little town! If you’re interested in staying here, send me an email, which you can find in my “How You Can Reach Me” menu, and I’ll set you up with the details!