The question of what Airbnb hosts should provide (must-haves and nice-to-haves) is one we see a lot. As a host, the guest experience and comfort should be the top priority. Sure, you can choose to do the basics really well, and this will probably be enough. But why not go one step further and provide guests with some items they are not expecting? Perhaps a few reminders of home, some local treats, or something they can make use of throughout their stay.
Just a small gesture here and there, beyond the basics, will help your guest feel more comfortable. In turn, you’ll likely build a loyal base of repeat customers and 5-star reviews! In this article, we will take a look at some basics, or ‘must-haves’ as an Airbnb host, as well as some luxuries, or ‘nice-to-haves’, which don’t come with the price tag usually associated with the word ‘luxury’!
First on the list of what Airbnb hosts should provide, are basic amenities, which you are encouraged to provide by Airbnb. They represent the bare minimum that hosts should offer to guests:
Providing these items is not technically required but you are strongly encouraged to, and generally expected to, by guests. If you provide all of these “essential” amenities, you can also note it on your listing.
Cleanliness is an essential Airbnb hosting requirement. An unclean property may result in a suspension or removal of that listing in particular. If time allows, leave a day, or at least a few hours between check-ins, so you can thoroughly clean the space. It also gives you some leeway in case you have other tasks to do that day.
Charging guests a cleaning fee could also be a viable option, and in fact, most hosts already do. Sure, it’s a little extra for the guest, but you can use this money for cleaning products and cleaning support in case you are unable to clean it yourself. Hiring a professional cleaner can make your place sparkling clean, which can make or break your short-term rental business.
For cleaning on-the-go, especially if you provide cookware (highly recommended), leave some basic clean-up equipment to help make turn-overs a breeze. Consider leaving a mop, cloths, disinfecting cleaner, a broom and dustpan and paper towels. Let the guest know that, should they require any clean-up equipment, these items are in the cupboard. Some guests may even do a quick clean before they check out (if you’re lucky)!
An information booklet, or House Manual, with your contact details, as well as emergency contact details, and important things your guest needs to know about your property is vital. Furthermore, a first aid kit and fire extinguisher should be readily available should they be needed.
Regardless of whether your listing caters to leisure or business guests, there are a number of “extra” items that will certainly be appreciated. These can help differentiate your listing and make a guest’s stay exceptional.
Although this point is more for business guests, leisure guests can also benefit from laundry items. Items such as ironing boards, and laundry baskets can be a great idea, as they don’t take up much room, and could be convenient for guests. Not to mention, it is an excellent selling point. In addition, having some washing liquid or detergent at the ready, even if your listing does not have a washing machine, will allow your guests to feel more at ease about heading to the nearby laundromat if need be.
Some other small items you can provide are a few extra phone chargers. Don’t forget to cater to most possible charging ports. Apple’s Lightning Bolt port, and Android’s new USB-C, and old Micro-USB ports are common across platforms. You can pick up some inexpensive charging ports to have around your listing in convenient areas.
You may also choose to add some pages to the information booklet mentioned above, with personal recommendations for nearby pubs, cafes, restaurants, and activities, as well as some other essential services which are only a short walk or drive away. Don’t forget the closest laundromat, transport in and around the city, pharmacies, and supermarkets.
Consider leaving a few snacks such as chips, nuts, or fruit in a drawer or on the kitchen counter. This could come in handy if the guest doesn’t have their bearings yet, is arriving late at night, or if they are in need of some emergency snacks for any reason.
Other amenities that guests can actually use to save money will be welcomed as well. If you have a property in New York or Amsterdam, for example, consider providing a bike for your guests to get around in. This is a great touch that will be a unique feature compared to the other listings in your area.
If your property mainly caters to business people, be sure it is up to scratch and equipped with the necessary amenities to be certified as such. These amenities include:
If nothing else, you may choose to enhance the basics, taking them to a whole new level, adding high-end toiletries, premium towels, and bed linen that takes your guests to cloud nine. Further enhancements could be chic, boutique furniture, complimentary movie streaming, and even a welcome basket, if you’re feeling fancy!
Sufficient communication is a basic requirement of becoming an Airbnb host. However, you can up your game and make it a self-stated requirement to answer guests within an hour or two. That is when you aren’t sleeping, of course! Decrease your response time and be more proactive in the advice you give. This will allow guests to feel reassured that you will be there for them when they need it. While it’s not a ‘must-have’, it certainly improves the guest experience and it doesn’t cost you anything!
Of course, guests will appreciate that you have gone above and beyond for them. But what they will really remember is the personalized service they encountered. Just by using their name, providing personalized recommendations, and meeting any special requirements on a guest-by-guest basis, these little niceties will make them smile and feel appreciated, regardless of the luxurious linen or lightning-fast Wi-Fi you just had installed.
Even if you provide the basic amenities, if you treat your guests like human beings and not just extra bookings, you will find both parties are much happier and more satisfied with the experience. If you wish to add a few luxuries here and there, that is great, and please go right ahead. But always remember the interactions between you and the guest will stick with them for a long time after check out.
Jake Leavy has worked in the content industry for 8+ years. Travel writing has been his main focus, however, he also has luxury hotel management experience under his belt. He has traveled to over 50 countries and loves immersing himself into different cultures. Jake combines his passion for travel and hospitality experience to offer hosts tips and tricks to improve their business.
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