This is one of those lessons that you don’t necessarily have to learn the hard way, but you can also learn from others. We did a bit of both. We have comprised a list of 21 things you can do to make sure that you get the best, most well-informed guests. This will help to ensure that you get great people living in your home, that they have an incredible experience, and that you get an awesome review to boot!
Here are a few things we’ve realized and want to share with you:
- Getting Verified isn’t just for show. You could do this with a headline or slogan (such as VW’s “Drivers Wanted” campaign), color or layout (Target’s new colorful, simple ads are a testimony to this) or illustration (such as the Red Bull characters or Zoloft’s depressed ball and his ladybug friend). All good advertising copy is comprised of the same basic elements.
- Always Vet the Guest’s Profile. Make sure they have a photo and that they appear to have used Airbnb before. First-time users aren’t always a “no”, it just means you should be extra cautious. If they don’t have their own verifications, it’s a definite red flag. Also, if they live in the same city that they are requesting your Airbnb for, make sure you ask them a lot of questions. It can be a bit suspicious.
- Guest Verified by Airbnb. It’s not enough for you to vet them, make sure Airbnb has also vetted them. Things like their credit card should be verified for sure, you don’t want to end up paying out of pocket in case someone ends up trying to pay with a stolen credit card.
- Be Wary of Last Minute Bookings. There are many reasons to have to book a place last minute so it isn’t right to make a judgment, however, don’t be afraid to ask questions. They usually will volunteer this information up front, but in case they don’t you have every right to ask.
- Check Their Reviews. A great way to tell if the person is showing any immediate red flags is to check their reviews. If they have bad reviews, you’ll know right away what you’ll be getting. If they don’t have any reviews, again, don’t be afraid to ask any questions that will make you feel more comfortable.
- Know Your Clientele. This one people tend to forget about. You need to know what kind of guests your home is ideal for. If it has many stairs, and maybe pets around, you need to make sure to disclose that, it may not be suitable for someone who is disabled, or low mobility. In the same way not every place is perfect for families, they may not accommodate a family or kids.
- Know Your Neighbours. Remember that they live there too and the last thing you will want is them to make complaints about you. If the neighbors tend to complain, it may be best not to allow students, or guests under the age of 25, as they tend to make more noise.
- Have nice pictures. We have written whole segments on this and cannot stress it enough. People are incredibly visual. Clean, clear, and well-lit photos will be your best friends. Always consider hiring a photographer or put in a request for the Airbnb photographer, they will deduct the price from future payouts. It’s definitely worth the splurge.
- Add picture titles. Since we're on the topic of pictures, make sure that you update the picture titles as well. Since guests spend most of their time on the photos anyway, you can provide them with some extra information.
- Be honest. Make sure your listing is 100% complete. There are no benefits to trying to embellish or mislead the guests, it will only hurt you and get you a bad review for being dishonest.
- Start out low. In the beginning, it’s good to go a little under the average price. You can drop the price slightly on the cleaning fee, loose house rules, a more guest-friendly cancellation policy, etc.
- All the amenities. Make sure you get as many ‘tickable’ amenities as you can. They are worth the splurge and your competition will definitely be trying to provide as many as they can as well.
- Don’t cancel. This is a good habit to have anyway. If you have committed to a guest, unless it is incredibly dire circumstances, make sure you never have to cancel on them. It really does hurt your host rating.
- Quick replies. The best guests are usually quite experienced with Airbnb. They are on it when they are looking to book, not just browsing. Make sure you have at least an instant response ready for them so that you can help them immediately. Or else your competition will.
- Become a Superhost. It’s totally worth the status. It is supposed to help push your listing to the top, plus it gives you a cool little badge on your picture. Guests have an option to search Superhosts only so make sure you’re on that list! You can check on your profile to see how close you are to becoming a Superhost.
- Update your Calendar. Everyone seems to be talking about it. Keeping your calendar updated daily, or making small changes to your listings seem to be getting them pushed to the top. They, apparently, make the Airbnb algorithm believe that you are an active user and updating every day. Which means you’re interacting with the site daily and making modifications and improvements. It is rumored to be true, and honestly, it only takes a few minutes of your day, so we will keep doing it.
- Fill in your own profile. Make sure that your profile is complete and that it has a nice, friendly photo. A lot of people choose photos with their significant other, they may believe it makes them look more approachable. Whatever works for you!
- Superstar title. Make sure your title sticks out… for all the right reasons. Get straight to the point, and as best as you can make sure you use all 50 characters.
- Basic amenities. Back to the amenities. Makes sure that you are offering even just the most basic amenities. You will be happy that you bought that blow dryer and small shampoo and conditioner. Throw in an iron and ironing board as well. Guests will appreciate it.
- Get Instant booking. Make sure all your calendars are synced up, that’s the only fear, is that dreaded double booking. Other than that, the ease of instant booking is definitely worth it.
- Don’t communicate outside of Airbnb. Be wary of any guest that wants to take the conversation off Airbnb. It is never a good sign. You want to make sure that the entire interaction is recorded.
There is definitely a common pattern seen here. In order to get the best guests, it’s sometimes quite simple. Be the best host! In the beginning, it is a little bit harder to be picky with your guests. But the more positive reviews you get, the more in demand you will be, which will mean that you can be a little pickier, and maybe even up your price a little. People are more willing to pay a little bit of a premium if they know for a fact that they will be getting their money’s worth. It is mostly about the experience for you, and for the guest.
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