I have set it up so that the system includes a preparation time between guests and occasionally allow consecutive check out and in.
I used to allow this to happen always and there were times that we were in a pickle. Because you never know how the guests will leave the apartment. If they are real piggies and leave it all in a complete mess, it can take h to get it sorted again.
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Great guests even clean after themselves, bad guests leave all the rubbish and dirty dishes in the sink for all the days they were staying. Some guests barely cook, some have feasts every night needing ovens to be cleaned with their auto function you know, that one that burns everything to a temperature of 1, degrees for 2h. If you are renting entire properties, allow yourself enough time between guests, you will thank me for it. Getting started as a host on Airbnb When I published my listing there were many question marks that needed answering and plenty of fears about the risks associated with renting out my precious property to complete strangers on Airbnb.
Tips for hosting on Airbnb. Before my first guest arrived, I had all these questions and fears. Will they treat my apartment with care?
Will anyone steal my designer TV or sound system? Will I have to continuously replenish the wine glasses, smashed on a night of debauchery? These were aggravated by my fearful mother who was even more scared than me — granted her fears were built over years of real state experience and were perfectly founded. If you, too, are feeling a little cautious about opening your house to strangers, read more to find out some of the Airbnb tips for hosts that I have put together.
But first, let me give you some tips on adding your listing on Airbnb.
11 learnings and great tips for Airbnb hosts when starting out
The guidelines on the Airbnb site will give you all the details for starting out and also tell you all the important bits an pieces about your listing, but there is so much more to Airbnb hosting than that and I hope that the following tips will help you with that. Trust in the kindness of strangers. Be it because the review system works or because people feel ashamed when dealing with an individual as opposed to a face-less hotel, hosting on Airbnb has renewed my faith in humanity. While this is a valuable insight into hosting which should give you a lot of peace of mind, I also want to give some tips to make this a smooth reality and ensure that you set yourself up for success.
Here are some tips to ensure you only have positive experiences with Airbnb guests. I ask guests to sign a contract at check in which simply states basic things like the fact that they have rented for a specific length of time, check in and check out times as well as the rate they paid. This is to protect myself from legal issues of them not leaving the flat, a common problem with renting apartments in Europe where the tenant has the right to stay even without paying and eviction is hard, expensive and time-consuming.
In this contract, I also make everyone read and sign an inventory list which includes everything that they should leave behind when checking out. In my case, a list of wine bottles are included as I have a small wine cellar in the flat. This has come in handy when there have been guests who have taken things they were not supposed to, like my bottles of wine.
As it was clearly stated in the inventory, they cannot claim lack of knowledge. So when you raise an issue with Airbnb, the contract is a good way to back yourself up. Often times guests book long before they arrive and they may have forgotten about the rules they accepted when they booked. It is not hard to simply give them a nudge and remind them of noise levels, community rules, etc.
If you are good to people they are very likely to reply in the same manner. You should treat others how you want to be treated. I have always been extremely friendly, flexible and accommodating of my guests.
If nobody is checking in on their departure I let them stay longer. I give recommendations for restaurants, I offer the timetable for the airport bus, we even left a bottle of cava for a couple who were celebrating their anniversary. We have printed reservations for events they were attending, we organised flowers and chocolates for couples, we booked taxis. Anything really, like a concierge service. I once had to mail a pair of earbuds that a guest forgot, all the way to the US. For a vegan guest on a special diet, my mum and sister left their blenders in the flat for her to use during her stay.
Of course, this may cost some money and time and we never charged for any of that. But, in return, I got great reviews, appreciation and, even, a hand written thank you card and a couple of key rings from Delft from a couple who were staying for the second time and a hand stitched doll from another. Airbnb has now made it even easier for you as a host or as a guest to remain in the minds for your guests by letting you send Christmas cards via their messenger system.
In my case, this is a courtesy gesture that may pay back since a lot of my guests return to Sitges every year. Contact Airbnb immediately if you have any issues. As mentioned above, there have been very few cases where I have had to reach out to Airbnb, but if that happens, here are my recommendations for dealing with the situation. If you have an issue with a guest, immediately contact Airbnb and send a request to recoup the associated costs. Keep photos as proof of the damage and if the guest does not agree to pay you back then ask for Airbnb to intervene.
You only have 48h to do so after which Airbnb will have returned the deposit to the guest, so you need to be swift. Airbnb will always ask that you reach out to the guest and resolve the issue amicably, and you should do so asap and always bearing in mind the 48h window.
Unfortunately, Bad things also happen to good people. Beware, Airbnb will not let you make a claim for someone leaving the flat uber dirty , that is considered part of the cleaning fee, even if you need to get professional help to wash the bed sheets with disinfectant or get someone to come polish the floors.
This has happened to me. The cleaning fee is to be used to pay for that so you are unlikely to get any money from your guest if their dirtiness deems something unusable. Here, I also have a couple of additional tips to make sure your hosting on Airbnb is smooth and you do not have any unexpected issues. If you have any furniture or fabrics which are white or light coloured I would recommend you cover them. For example, my sofa is off-white so I bought a nice cover which goes well with the rest of the living room and which protects it from people sitting on it with dirty clothes or dropping something.
Sometimes, there is no malice. Guests are relaxed, they are on their holidays, but they forget they come from the beach and sit with their lotion-covered legs, on the white sofa and that stain will never come off. You may be inclined to think white will be more hotel-like and will look more elegant but I would strongly advise against it.
One thing I learned through the years is how incredibly dirty bed sheets can be. We have found all types of stains. We disinfect and wash everything thoroughly but stains may still be there. If your bedsheets are white, no matter how much you wash them, you will not be able to fully remove stains and they will look disgusting to anyone.
Alternatively, consider using professional companies to wash the bed sheets. Provide guests with detergent so they can clean and wash after themselves in case they make a mess so it saves you the trouble of doing it yourself. Provide them with rubbish bags, with a mop, with cleaning materials. Help them help you clean. Make sure your place looks good. Casual hosts can get away with taking mediocre iPhone pictures and calling it a day. Few things will have a higher return-on-investment than high quality pictures.
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If you think your cell phone pictures are good enough. Hire a pro. Think about the exact kind of person that would love to stay with you, and write to them specifically. Your copywriting should be a healthy blend of factual information, and heartfelt personality.
Part of the charm of AirBnB is that people like to stay with people, not corporate robots. Few things increase booking conversions than rapid response times.
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Ask why your guest is looking to stay with you. You have full control over who gets to book or not book your property. Decline to host anybody that makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Your guests are looking for more than just a bed to sleep in. And what their 5 star reviews will be made of Put your Anthony Bourdain hat on and show your guests how to live like a local.
Pro Tip: Use a tool like Hostfully to create and share awesome digital guestbooks. After a guest stays, make sure you get them to review your home. Having a solid track record of reviews will increase your bookability, reputation, and yes, profit. There is a giant suite of tools available that make running your AirBnB easier, profitable, and more enjoyable.