How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

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Becoming a host on Airbnb means opening up your home, vacation rental, or extra room to guests from all over the world. Whatever type of space you share, there are simple things you can do to make it even more inviting as you get ready to welcome your first guests. This 5-step guide will help you create an Airbnb-ready space, one that will help your guests enjoy a great stay and help you attract more bookings.

 

Step 1: Choose your amenities

 

Let’s talk about the must-haves first. There are five essential amenities guests tell us they expect in order to have a comfortable stay: 

 

  1. Toilet paper
  2. Soap (for hands and body)
  3. One towel for each guest
  4. One pillow for each guest
  5. Linens for each guest bed

 

Once you include these basics, you can add that detail to your listing (you’ll need to select each amenity you provide in the Amenities tab), which will help you stand out to potential guests. When looking for a place to stay, guests can see the amenities you offer and filter their search to only see listings that offer the amenities they want.

 

Beyond the basics, you may want to provide a few extras to make your space even more comfortable for guests. Here are some extras guests tell us they want: WiFi, a hair dryer, and a laptop-friendly workspace. You may also consider adding shampoo and conditioner, cozy blankets and pillows.  Some hosts even offer local chocolate and coffee. As Airbnb host Melanie puts it, think about what you’d want if you were traveling. Here are a few more tips from Melanie—who’s part of Airbnb’s Plus program that spotlights high quality homes—and interior designer Bobby Berk.

 

 

 

Step 2: Consider design details

 

A nicely designed space with thoughtful touches can help create a welcoming home. If you’re looking for design inspiration, Airbnb homes like Melanie’s are a good place to start.

 

Just as Melanie used artwork she created to decorate her Los Angeles loft, you may want to feature things that showcase your own personality in your listing: mementos from your travels, perhaps, or plants and greenery. Individual design elements can help your space feel more homey and inviting— and they don’t have to be complicated or expensive. DIY touches, such as a bouquet of flowers picked from your yard, and simple accents, such as throw pillows can go a long way. Learn more about how Pygmalion designed his space to welcome guests:

 

 

 

Airbnb Plus hosts Sam and Chad have more tips for adding personality to your home. Their suggestions include avoiding sterile or empty spaces and, instead, livening up blank walls with collections that highlight things you love, such as album-cover art, if you’re passionate about rock music. Get inspired by Sam & Chad’s ideas in the video, below.

 

 

 

Step 3: Create a cozy bedroom

 

Since this is where your guests will sleep and store their belongings, comfort and storage are key here. Let’s talk storage first. A dresser with empty drawers or closet with hangers is helpful, or you can take a cue from hosts Beverlee and Suzie and add a luggage rack to your listing. A bedside table with a lamp is key, too, since guests will want to access things like eyeglasses, their cell phone, and a book when they first wake up or right before they go to sleep. To make the space extra welcoming, you could also add some plants, a mirror, a carafe for water, an international adapter, and a multi-phone charger.

 

And of course you’ll want to pay special attention to the bed itself. Adding a few extra pillows and blankets and making a tidy bed can go a long way toward making guests comfortable. Here are Airbnb Plus host Katrina’s top tips for a well-made bed.

 

 

 

Step 4: Get the bathroom ready

 

We can’t talk about the bathroom without a quick mention of cleanliness. Of course it’s important to keep your whole home tidy, but guests have told us that they especially appreciate a clean bathroom. Different hosts have different methods for keeping their homes and bathrooms guest-ready: some do the cleaning themselves, or you could add a cleaning fee and hire a cleaning service to save yourself time.

 

Besides the essential bathroom amenities we mentioned before (toilet paper, hand and body soap, and one towel for each guest), there are some additional items you may want to think about including in this space, such as shampoo and conditioner. Get more ideas in the video, below.

 

 

 

Step 5: Add the finishing touches

 

Depending on the type of space you share, there may be additional areas beyond the bedroom and bathroom to think about. If there’s a kitchen available to guests, for instance, you’ll want to make sure it’s clean and that guests know how to operate any shared or available appliances, such as a coffee maker. (You can include those kinds of instructions in your house manual.) The same goes for a living room or outdoor area: Try to look at it with fresh eyes, as a guest who’s just arrived would. Does it feel welcoming? It can be helpful to approach your whole space this way. Hosts Beverlee and Suzie recommend staying in your listing, just as a guest would, to help figure out what’s needed or what could be changed.

 

If you’re sharing a space you live in, it can be hard to know what to keep in the space and what to put away. Airbnb Plus hosts Sam and Kirsten have a simple solution: simplify. Decluttering can help make your space feel more open and inviting—and ensure your guests have space to store their own belongings. Here are some more tips from Sam and Kirsten.

 

 

 

Recap & next steps

 

We hope these suggestions and resources gave you some good ideas as you get your listing ready for guests. To recap:

 

  • Think beyond the essential amenities and consider what guests need for a comfortable stay at your space.
  • Decorate your home with an eye toward thoughtful design details.
  • Create a comfortable bedroom with plenty of storage.
  • Prepare the bathroom with cleanliness and essentials top of mind.
  • Look at your space as a guest would and tidy it with fresh eyes.

Update your amenities now

 

Review

 

Check out the other two articles in our “How to be a successful Airbnb” host series:

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60 Replies

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
London, GB
Level 2

Thank you. This article was very helpful. I will remember to always look at my space as a guest would. Simple steps but effective. 

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
Lagos, Nigeria
Level 2

Newbie host: great tips so thanks. Presently hosting a “guest not on the listing”: my booked guest came with her fiance. She’d told me he was coming but I didn’t check the contract (so busy trying to get everything in place & perfect). So she paid for one guest & we have 2 weeks left of 30days. Only discovered the underpayment when she booked extra days! (& as a new space she’s had several discounts) I feel scammed & just want their time to end without compromising brilliant service as host (hoping for a great review). Airbnb support staff have been very very helpful. Lessons learned: check the terms very carefully.

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
East London, ZA
Level 2

Got caught like that once . Guest brought a guest ! Was not resolved , only one night ! Not sure about your listing , mine is a more person/night place price . 

    If the guest has only paid for one , that is the one that stays . 

No overnight guests ! 

    Missing something here , sorry . 

She booked for one and fiance comes too ? 

 Not with me ! 

   Pay the nominal extra for sharing in cash , upfront ! 

Ts&Cs apply ! 

   With respect , as a newbie , I think you got 'stiffed ' , while not losing , did not make value . 

   As you say lesson learned , you will learn a few more 🙂 

Stick to the rules , it works ! 

 Just got a request to pay be EFT , lost card ! 

LMNO ! 

   We open our homes for travellers . 

Sadly there are the 'chancers' out there ! 

   Do not hold your breath for a rave review , 'How I scammed this guy', your words 🙂 Is not what you want ! 

  Sorry , what part of the contract is  not clear ? 

I have just a double and single , all priced differently . 

 I get an enquiry , or instant booking , shows how many guests are being paid for ! 

   That is the contract , a deal is a deal . 

I had a guy , booked and paid for 4 days , did not even unpack , went to drink beers with an old mate ! 

   Hold on here , 'She told you he was coming' ! 

So you charge accordingly 🙂 

When I first read this , was on your side . 

Now not ! 

   She told you he was coming , so why book for one ? 

 Thing is , you get to make the contract , not the guest ! Negotiate yes . 

 Go back to your listing , it is you that accepts/declines ! 

It is a sort of scam , the contract is only for 1 , regardless of what she 'told ' you ! 

 No pay no stay ! 

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
Seattle, WA
Level 2

I find that since I have one queen bed, it doesn't matter if there are one or two.. I list the price for the room--one queen bed, up to two guests.  I had one guest ask if there could be a third guest, offered to sleep on the floor.  We'd communicated well up to that point, so I agreed and told him I would add the extra to his Airbnb bill.  Turned out they were very low impact, and quite enjoyable people and I waived the extra charge, since it really didn't create more work.  I would not allow a 2nd or 3rd guest without advance request 

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
Panama City, FL
Level 1

I also rent out one queen up to 2 people and had 3 contractors stay. They paid for the room and one slept on the floor in there. I didn't have any problems. They even extended their stay and used their own towels.

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
SF, CA
Level 2

Creating and setting up the space for a unique experience is the most fun part. Fantastic tips. Good job!

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 4

This is all valuable and creative. thanks for the tips.

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
Stanthorpe, Australia
Level 4

I always include a basket with breakfast essentials like homemade muffins , homemade jam , fruit , cereal, yogurt and eggs and people love it because they don't expect anything.

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
Seattle, WA
Level 2

I considered doing that, as I appreciate it as a guest, but I am not an early riser, and sometimes I'm not here.  I state in the listing that I don't provide breakfast, but I provide coffee and tea and explain how to make it.  I also have space in the refrigerator for guest food, water, beer, etc.  If I'm here when guests are up I always invite them to join me.  I think this is better than trying to do something I may not be good at maintaining over time..  

 

I also state a couple times that I live here and the room is their private space, but they are invited to spend time in the rest of the unit.  If they choose to cook or use laundry, they need to coordinate with me.  

 

I review the listing periodically, especially if there has been confusion or misunderstanding.  If guests' expectations are set up clearly in the listing, and the expectations are met, I find they have a good stay.

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
Hopedale, MA
Level 2

I also always have fresh muffins when they arrive and coffee for the next morning. I know for some its a long day of traveling and they don't think about breakfast the next morning.

Lisa Dubois

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
Fairbanks, AK
Level 2

I too supply some breakfast things.  English Muffins, eggs and milk.  The pantry and spice cabinet are stocked.

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
Lipa, PH
Level 2

Very helpful.  Thank you!

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

in
Tasmania, Australia
Level 2

I would love to include ALL my amenities but my Airbnb Plus listing only allows 26 amenities to display, when standard listings have at least double this amount! I can't even list my BBQ with Airbnb Plus. Why recommend we pay attention to adding amenities when we can't tell our guests about them to make ourselves stand out from standard listings? I have so many great & thoughtful amenities which I cannot list and I also cannot add them to my description because the word length is very short. I have a cocktail making set, sewing kit, shoe polish, gas flame fire pit, Bluetooth BBQ, 2 smart home assistants, complimentary grooming products like cotton tips & nail files, complimentary slippers, mosquito repellent, yoga mats, exercise equipment & much more which guests will never find out about until they get here. It also means guests can lighten their baggage. Do you think letting them know in advance would improve the experience for guests & hosts - an emphatic YES! 

Re: How to be a successful Airbnb host: Setting up your space

Level 5

All amenities that you mentioned above can be listed in your listing description. Let the guests know you have them available as an extra amenities. Or you can take a picture of them and include it in one of your photos with a description below naming each amenities. 

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