Are you contemplating renting out a room in your house on Airbnb? Perhaps you own a rental property and are considering transitioning it from a traditional long-term lease to a vacation rental? Or maybe you’re already an Airbnb host and are looking for a comprehensive “Airbnb Hosting Checklist” to ensure you’re doing everything correctly. Whichever scenario fits you best, this article is tailor-made for you!
In it, we’ll go over the basics of what you need to do to prepare your home to receive guests. Following these simple tips will help you maximize your income, while ensuring your guests have a wonderful experience in your vacation rental!
Airbnb Hosting Checklist: Tips for Preparing Your Home for Guests
Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been at it a while, below are some tips for improving the guest experience:
-Clean your Airbnb from top to bottom before your guests arrive. This includes sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming all floors, cleaning bathrooms and kitchens, and making sure all surfaces are dusted and wiped down. Nothing plays a more important role in the guest experience than cleanliness. While it may seem counterintuitive, to make your guests feel at home, you have to make your home better than theirs. For those who are never satisfied, provide cleaning supplies so they can correct whatever flaws they may perceive.
-Fix any broken appliances or fixtures. Guests expect everything to be in working order. So, fix anything that doesn’t work properly.
-Check the locks on all doors and windows to make sure they work properly. If your guests feel unsafe, they won’t leave you a good review.
-Ensure that all bedding and towels are clean and freshly laundered. If you don’t, this will show up in the reviews guests leave.
-Make sure there are enough toiletries (shampoo, soap, a disposable toothbrush, disposable razors, etc.) for each guest.
-Stock up on basics like toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, trash bags, etc. You should consider these basic amenities. You don’t want to run out of these things in the middle of a guest’s stay!
Airbnb Hosting Checklist: Setting Rates and Amenities
One of the most important aspects of being a host is setting the right rates and offering the right amenities. Here are some tips on how to do that:
-Be realistic about what you’re charging. Don’t set your rates too high or too low. Instead, find a price that’s reasonable for both you and your guests and that’s consistent with the market. Most Airbnb hosts set consistent rates that don’t take into consideration fluctuations in the market from day to day. If you want your Airbnb business to be successful, you have to know your market.
-Make sure you’re including all applicable taxes and fees in your rates. If you’re renting through Airbnb only, Airbnb will add taxes automatically, but other sites might not.
-You can offer breakfast or other amenities if you want to charge a per-night premium. However, guests do expect some basic amenities for no extra cost. For example, plan to provide free Wi-Fi and—in most markets—parking. If you don’t offer them, you should clearly state so in your listing and discount your Airbnb property accordingly.
Being Proactive: How to Ensure Guests Have a Great Stay with Your Airbnb Hosting Checklist
Finally, one of the most important things you can do is be available to your guests. Guest communication is essential. You must do everything you can to make your guests feel like you genuinely care about the quality of their stay. Being responsive will go a long way to accomplishing this goal.
This means being available to answer any questions they may have. You must also be quick to respond to any problems that may come up. It’s also a good idea to provide a welcome book or other information about your home and the area. This way, your guests will know what to expect and where to find things they need. This helps guests feel at home, which prompts them to leave great reviews, which will then attract guests.
The Ultimate Airbnb Hosting Checklist
The thought of opening your home to complete strangers can be a little daunting. By following these simple tips, however, you can make the process much easier.
Airbnb Hosting Checklist: Securing the Right Insurance
Before you start operating short-term rentals, it’s important to secure the right kind of insurance. This will protect you from any potential liabilities that may come up while hosting guests in your home or on one of your properties.
For example, if a guest is injured while staying in your home, your insurance policy will help to cover the costs associated with that injury. Likewise, if something happens to your home while it’s being used as an Airbnb, your insurance policy will help to cover the costs of repairing or replacing your home.
It’s important to note that most homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover short-term rentals. Even many landlord policies won’t. You must therefore make absolutely sure that your policy covers this. Talk to your agent to verify, or find a company, such as Proper Insurance, that specializes in writing policies for the vacation rental market.
Choose a Property Management Software
No matter how many properties you anticipate operating, you should consider using property management software (PMS). When it comes to choosing a PMS, Airbnb operators have a lot of options. This can make the process of choosing one difficult, especially for those who are new to hosting. However, it is important to choose the right PMS in order to make the most of your Airbnb hosting experience.
There are a few factors that you should consider when choosing a PMS to help you manage your vacation rental business.
The first is the price. Some software can be expensive, so it is important to find one that fits within your budget. The guest experience is important but not at the cost of profitability. If you can’t afford the best software program for your Airbnb listing, you can always adjust down the road as you grow.
The second factor is the features offered by the software. Make sure the software has all of the features that you need in order to run your Airbnb business efficiently. The most essential feature is a unified calendar, so you don’t double book your property if you have it listed on multiple channels (e.g., Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, etc.). However, finding a PMS that includes other vital features like guest messaging automation, a unified inbox, and analytic tools should also be part of your Airbnb hosting checklist.
Operating a vacation rental can be complicated, so it’s important to have the right tools to keep you organized.
Ease Of Use
The third factor is ease of use. The last thing you want is software that is difficult to use and causes more stress than it’s worth. Running a short-term rental is already stressful enough. So, make sure to try out the software before you buy it in order to ensure that it is user-friendly.
Finally, when choosing a PMS, it is important to consider the company’s customer service. If you have any questions or problems with the software, you want to be sure that there will be someone available to help you solve them.
You’ll have to cater to many different kinds of guests. From business travelers with their particular needs to a diverse range of leisure travelers with a wide variety of requests and desires. A PMS with great customer service will help you provide great customer service as well. Extraordinary customer service will really make your rental stand out, so it’s important to get this right.
There are a few major players in this space. Hostfully is a popular choice. We’ve tried a few different products and eventually settled on Guesty. We have found it to be the best product on the market, though mileage may vary depending on your particular needs.
Get A Smart Lock
While not absolutely essential, smart locks will make operating your Airbnb much easier. They will allow you to set a unique code for each guest that expires at the end of the stay, thus increasing security. If you integrate it into your PMS, you can also automate this whole process. It makes offering a self-check-in option at your Airbnb much easier.
It will also allow you to help guests who may lock themselves out of the home in the middle of the night or are simply too technologically illiterate to figure out how to punch in the right numbers. This can make their Airbnb experience much better, thus improving your reviews.
Finally, it will spare you from having to keep up with keys, sparing you all the expense, hassle, and security concerns that come with that.
Stock Your Vacation Rental with Amenities
There are some items that are considered absolute Airbnb essentials. Such essential amenities include a Smart TV of some kind, a well-stocked kitchen, a coffee maker, and bed linens.
Certain other basic amenities that, while not required, can significantly increase guest satisfaction include streaming services, a laptop-friendly workspace, a first aid kit, cleaning supplies, shampoo, and body lotion.
Finally, if you really want to make a point to provide extra amenities in your Airbnb, a hot tub can go a long way to secure more bookings for your property—though it may be impractical and unaffordable in many situations.
The amenities you offer can make or break your Airbnb. We’ve written elsewhere on what we consider the Airbnb essentials. See this other article to explore this issue further.
Finding a Good Airbnb Host Checklist: Tips for Success
There are a lot of moving parts in this business. So, as in flying an airplane, working off a checklist can be invaluable. Here are a few tips for finding the right Airbnb host checklist:
Do Your Research
Not every Airbnb host checklist is created equal, and it’s important to do your research before selecting one. Make sure to read reviews and compare different checklists to see which one is the best fit for you. Find a source that you trust, one that has demonstrated expert knowledge in the world of Airbnb, to get started.
Tailor the Checklist to Fit Your Needs
As you gain experience, you will need to make revisions to your checklist to fit the needs of your individual business. This becomes particularly important as you scale and need to bring on help. Having a checklist to give to a new hire can go a long way to avoiding issues during the initial training process. A little extra effort on the front end can save you a lot of trouble down the road.
Follow the Steps Outlined in the Checklist
Once you’ve selected a good Airbnb host checklist and made it your own, be sure to follow the steps outlined and have your team do the same. This will help you achieve consistent success with your vacation rental. This will also help ensure that everything goes smoothly and you don’t miss any important steps in the day-to-day operation of your Airbnb.
So, you’re about to become an Airbnb host? Congratulations! It’s a great way to make some extra money and meet new people. By following the tips outlined in this article, you and your Airbnb property should be off to a good start.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Weekender Management can help you get started in real estate, schedule a call with us today!