Yesterday brought the welcome while tomorrow brings the farewell, and somewhere in between, guests feel a distinct sense of place at their new home away from home. Unadvertised, signature “surprise and delight” Airbnb features not only integrate guests into your home by surpassing their stated and unshared expectations, but they also offset any unexpected challenges and distinguish you from your competition. To accomplish these essentials as an Airbnb host, and score five-star reviews in the undertaking, be savvy in these five Airbnb guest principles.
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1. Genuine: Strangers Are Just Friends Waiting to Meet
The welcome warmly begins with the very first encounter. By design, it is a shared moment because you have already reviewed your guest’s profile upon receipt of his/her initial communication. In your prompt reply, briefly preface it with any authentic commonalities, complimentary observations or noted stay occasions. Don’t be afraid to lean in by casually asking if it’s their first time there or if they are coming for business or pleasure to better prepare for their stay. Let guests feel that they are in good hands for their chosen home. Notably, as may be the common case with some business travelers, remember, through their
vibe, that they might wish to dispense with matters in shorter shrift.
PRO TIP: Being communication-ready and relationship-flexible will help ensure each guest is
hosted in their desired manner.
2. Understanding: Bespoke Communication
Communication, or the art of prompt, satisfying conversation, unlocks felt appreciation from your guest. If done well, this is the single sense that most ably translates into five-star Airbnb reviews. However, as a finer art, it could also be lost without proper touch points. Always address messaged queries and concerns with clear, brief yet complete responses instantly. Generate urgency during their initial inquiry by underscoring that the home is being requested from others. Create and regularly update your digital guidebook which can be linked in your exchanged Airbnb thread four days before check-in. Remember to furnish a visible, home copy. Include your useful contact numbers, clear, explicit, how-to-get-here-from-there instructions, lay-of-the-land maps for home, neighborhood and city use, common FAQs, and recommendations for authentic restaurants, shopping, services and various insider venues and attractions. Finally, if you have a keypad, program the front lock on the morning of their arrival
to the final four digits of their number for quick, secure entry.
PRO TIP: User-friendly scaling tools for automating communication tasks and creating a simplified, digital guidebook include Smartbnb and Hostfully, respectively. For those who might benefit from more hands-on solutions, consider Belo, a five-star Airbnb property management boutique firm.
3. Exceptional: Delight All the Homely Feels
Like a sunrise surprise, delight your guest’s impressions by pleasantly overwhelming their senses upon arrival! These personal touches will also help ensure that the guest is well-integrated during their stay. To create best first-blush impressions, in your final spot check, confirm that your Airbnb is just as neat as your advertised photos and that it is clean as well as
fragrance and odor neutral. (A home ozone air purifying machine can help offset prior odors).
To set the mood, turn on some easy listening. And for that quality touch, provide plush, high-threading-count, imported linen and welcome guests with fresh, deluxe towels atop such bedding. Also, place drinks and snacks a-plenty in the kitchen, a savory chocolate square upon each pillow and, if they are celebrating an occasion, a chilling, local bubbly amenity. To further
enliven their taste buds, present local, signature confections (Ghiradelli assortments near San Francisco) or popcorn (Garrett’s, in bulk, in Las Vegas) and invite your guests to indulge in with a penned welcome letter awaiting their arrival!
PRO TIP: Décor and freshly-batched holiday sweets help guests feel especially warm during the season; calm your own concerns that they might bring the festivities home with rental insurance such as Proper Insure and a party-sensing tool like Noise Aware. (For a 20%-off coupon for the latter in chapter 6 of a thorough, practical resource, get acclaimed insider, Daniel Rusteen’s Optimize Your BnB: The Definitive Guide, with an exciting upcoming 2020 revision!)
4. Superhost: A Sixth Sense
Remember, as their host, you are a guest’s first go-to resource. Create a Superhost sixth sense, through casual curiosity and timely follow-up, to proactively anticipate their unshared wishes, squarely addressing their expectations, and managing concerns as they may arise. Rest assured, Superhosts leverage their hospitality intuition to avert any possible hospitality-gone-awry, including determining the rare-sub-optimal guest. Tools you can use to create a five-star masterpiece include can-do communication and “Johnny-on-the-spot” responsiveness. (In need of direct, Superhost support? Call the Airbnb Superhost Priority Hotline: 1-888-326-5753).
PRO TIP: When possible, try your utmost to affirm guest requests. Having a “never-say-no” ethic does not render you defenseless, but rather it mobilizes your resources to define the “how.” Do this by welcoming their queries by building on them with a creative “yes and” attitude. Superhosts possess that awesome mindset that they and their team are curating each stay like a five-star, dedicated concierge daily!
5. Thankful: Discovering the Goodness in Goodbye
Transform your “goodbye” into gratitude. If a timely, in-person checkout is possible, share a coffee, story or moment you can both appreciate! Otherwise, let your guest depart with a three-feeling, fond-farewell note: appreciate their kind stay, wish them safe travels and welcome them back to your home anytime. Finally, it is how you ask for a five-star review that makes the difference. After having programmed your guest wifi’s passcode as “Thanks4A5*Review!”, mention something like “If we could kindly request you give us a five- star review on Airbnb if you felt you enjoyed our hospitality and home as this would help promote us. We would also be happy to encourage your booking with future hosts by doing the same. Many thanks!”
Conclusion: “Surprise and Delight” Airbnb Features
By implementing these strategies with authentic replication to optimize your hosted Airbnb stays, you’ll romance guests with ease. Discover the joy in hosting by transforming your place into a home with each guest delight! Every. Single. Time.
Also published on Medium.