When Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia blew up an air mattress in their living room and turned their property into the first Airbnb, they had no idea they were starting a phenomenon. Things have changed since 2008; guests now expect a lot more than an air mattress on the floor.
A mediocre Airbnb will meet guests’ expectations; however, a top-rated Airbnb will surpass them. Let’s look at ten things top-rated Airbnb stays have in common.
Some guests will be delighted to stay in your house’s spare room. However, guests give the best ratings to entire properties, such as renting an entire home or apartment for themselves. Your tenants will value independence and privacy.
You may have an excellent property that meets all the points listed here, but you will still not get a top rating if your property is in an inconvenient location. These earn reviews such as: “The apartment was fantastic, and Maria was a great host but
Cons such as these will negatively affect your rating, deterring future customers from renting your property.
Your Airbnb profile is your guest’s first impression. It would be best to be truthful and honest in your publicity, so photographs of your property should be sharp and undoctored. Consider using a professional photographer to capture stunning images that will set your listing apart from all the rest in your area.
When you, or someone acting for you, greets a new guest, you should be open and friendly. Be ready to answer questions and make recommendations. Ensure guests know that they can contact you for help; they will be more likely to rate you positively for your service.
You might like to offer your visitors a welcome pack, such as some snacks and drinks that they can have while unpacking and making themselves at home. Ensure that you have local information available, such as brochures of the area and a list of nearby restaurants. A custom House Manual with important information about your listing and local area will be a welcome sight for your guests as they settle in for their stay.
When new guests arrive at your property, they will expect it to appear spotless. There should be no trace of any previous guests; everything should be in perfect condition.
Of course, you can clean your property yourself. This option will save you money, but it will also take time. You might find that you could spend this time concentrating on your business rather than scouring a bathtub. You might prefer to hire a cleaning service to do this job. Cleaning services may offer three options:
Your property should contain everything that a guest would expect to find. Make a checklist of these items and ensure that all equipment works and everything is still in place after a guest leaves. You may discover that your set of six wine glasses is down to five. Either get more or amend your checklist. Don’t forget to have items like card games and extra blankets on standby.
A good host will anticipate a guest’s needs. For example, a family has booked your apartment near the beach. If the weather is terrible, you might call them with some ideas about indoor places to take the kids. You will get a feel for your guests as soon as you meet them. Some will want to be left alone; others might welcome some extra help.
Don’t clutter your property with too much of your personal materials. It’s not good to have photos of your family or friends in your apartment. Guests might feel that they are imposing on your personal space. The key is to offer a welcoming, comfortable space that is neutral.
There are always problems. If someone calls you at three in the morning to tell you that the toilet is blocked, you may need to deal with the problem immediately. It is essential to deal with even minor requests as soon as possible. If someone asks you to provide fresh towels, they don’t want to wait two days.
In the unlikely event that a guest has a complaint, help them immediately. Even if you think the criticism is unreasonable, you should still resolve it quickly. Quick service will ensure you receive positive ratings and will remain in business.
People expect to be connected; as a result, your property should have good WiFi. Having a speedy Internet connection will not just help your guests check their Instagram accounts; they can also have the opportunity to work from home. One of your guests may intend to work while the others enjoy themselves.
You could set up a small workstation in a quiet corner if you have the space. You shouldn’t need to provide a computer (although it might be a good idea to have a spare laptop handy), but an internet connection is essential. If you equip your workstation with pens and notepads, charging options, and an ergonomic chair, guests will have what they need to work or play comfortably.
A top-rated Airbnb doesn’t run itself; a successful business requires good management. Good managerial skills will include control, anticipation, and dealing with people. However, if you want others to help, some companies will look after your Airbnb for you. You can outsource your entire operation; this may be ideal if you live far from your second home. Naturally, this will cost you money, but it is certainly an option if you can pass the cost to your guests.
Your business depends on consistently receiving excellent reviews. Positive feedback can motivate you to try even harder as an Airbnb host. It is good to ask your guests to give you suggestions and honest feedback, good and bad, to help you create the best experience possible for all guests. Then, act on their feedback to improve future stays and your ratings.
Rachel Jones is an award-winning writer and editor from Oklahoma City, OK. Her work has been published on influential sites, including Entrepreneur and International Business Times. She spent several years in property management and leasing, handling short-term rentals, student housing, and community rentals. Rachel is also experienced in staging and real estate photography. With a B.A. in English in her back pocket, Rachel combines her passion for property management with her storytelling ability to offer Airbnb hosts helpful advice as they monetize their homes.
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