Tip of the week 9: Top 4 tips for new Hosts!

Paula
Community Manager
Community Manager
Port Moody, Canada

Tip of the week 9: Top 4 tips for new Hosts!

As we approach Week 9 of the 'Tip of the Week' series, I'm excited to share these Top 4 tips for new Airbnb Hosts! Starting the hosting journey brings its challenges and emotions 🌟

 

This week’s tip comes from our wonderful Superhost @Christine615 in New to Airbnb hosting:


  1. Change your settings so only guests with prior good reviews can instant book you.
  2. Make sure your house rules indicate that only guests on the reservation are allowed. 
  3. Cameras on the exterior door are key. 
  4. Enjoy! The guests that are chatty and tell you why they are coming to visit are often a joy! 

In this thread, we invite you to share your top tips for new Airbnb Hosts. So please go ahead and share your experience and wisdom with our wonderful Host Community.

 

We're excited to learn from all of you. Let's gather the best advice for new Airbnb hosts, and don't forget to give a thumbs-up👍 to the most helpful tips shared. 😊

 

👉 TOTW series

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18 Replies 18
Laurelle3
Level 10
Huskisson, Australia

@Paula yes I agree the advise or tipsthat have been given. With guests having a good review in the settings.

But I am open for the first timers  using Airbnb and receive Accept or Decline after they have given the reason as to why they are staying and the names of guests. 

 

I have no camera on our cottage because I feel we have an inbuilt observation when guests pick up the key and introduction, showing guests through cottage, explaining certain equipment, answering questions they ask, a shared yard between main residence and cottage. We also don't take bookings if we are not here.

 

We take the vibe/ feeling of our guests when we first meet and exchange the key. We only chat if we are outside and see them coming and going and ask a general question. Often there is more conversation when children are staying.

We try to respect our guests and their space but we have more of a chat when they are leaving trying to leave a lasting impression.

Paula
Community Manager
Community Manager
Port Moody, Canada

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, @Laurelle3 😊. Do you have any suggestions on how to welcome the first guests? Perhaps some welcome snacks?

 

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Laurelle3
Level 10
Huskisson, Australia

@Paula we always meet and greet our guests with a  warm welcome even if they are late as  their estimate time is often out because of traffic delays.

After key exchange and instruction for going down side path we meet them and take them into cottage.

 

At night we have the lights and air-conditioning on to warm or cool as to weather conditions. 

 

We supply a hamper for guests to get them started with breakfast needs and some snacks. If guests arrive in the afternoon I make fresh scones jam and cream and if guests arrive in the evening a cheese platter is supplied. I have made a vegetarian slice twice when they had informed me and left almond milk.  I don't ask if they have dietary needs and ty to keep everything simple and easy for me. 

 

My rationale for providing a hamper is because when we started Airbnbing in 2014 breakfast was supplied and I thought it was a nice gesture. Also before we started Airbnbing I had researched what to do and what not to do helped.

 

Without giving it much thought and going right off the cuff here, I recommend considering the following. 

 

 * Clearly stated house rules 

 

 * Requiring previous stays with high ratings for instant bookings. Everyone else must request

 

 * Those without any history on the Airbnb platform to be considered, I will reach out to them to see if some communication gets established and if we can get comfortable with the reservation. I will begin the conversation by saying, "You must be new to Airbnb, as you have no previous trips or reviews." - "Could you tell me a little about yourself and what brings you to our city?" If they are unwilling to communicate or are very short, sarcastic, or unwilling to be sensitive to the fact that I am considering opening my home up to strangers, then I decline the request. 

 

 * We gave several first-time Airbnb guests a break because they were willing to communicate. They were sensitive and understanding to the fact they are unknown to the community, and we always tell them that we look forward to the opportunity to provide their first 5-star review 

 

 * Avoid 3rd party reservations. The few problematic reservations we experienced were with first-time guests and people reserving under their name but having someone different show up. We give our guests lots of privacy but take measures to ensure some minimal level of relationship is established through good communication so we know who is coming in and what to expect. Often, this is solely accomplished through messaging on the Airbnb platform. Sometimes, I feel the need to be onsite during or briefly after the check-in process to ensure everything is legit and that my guests are aware of my presence to some degree. Most people are very respectful towards other's homes. Still, there are those few who will take too many liberties, being loud, partying, taking food and drink all over the house, staining carpets, sheets, bedspreads, bringing other people through all night hours, etc. I have had two groups check out two hours after checking in once they realized I was onto them and not tolerating a party scene. No refund was issued because they tied up our calendar with misleading or incomplete information about how they desired to use the home. 

 

 * Lastly, do 100% of communicating on the Airbnb platform. Never go off onto personal cell phones. There will be times when records of your interactions with the guests will need to be reviewed by the Airbnb Resolution Teams, and your professionalism in keeping good records will expedite matters being resolved. When someone wants to extend their stay, never accept an under-the-table cash offer, always require your guests to make a new reservation on the Airbnb platform, or send a Reservation Alteration Request. Keeping everything on the Airbnb platform will protect you in many ways. 

 

 Again, this was all off the cuff. No doubt I could come up with about 100 more things to consider and think about, but I hope you find all this helpful for now.

 All the Best with Your New Airbnb Endeavor, and Welcome to the Community! 

Michele1845
Level 2
Malahide, Ireland

Thanks so much for this tip about getting some info as to why the guests are staying . 
I’ve felt a bit invasive asking this but hearing the way you ask helps me to keep  myself comfortable in my own home . Many thanks 

Paula
Community Manager
Community Manager
Port Moody, Canada

Hi @Michele1845, We're thrilled to see that @Terry-and-Jody0's tips helped you. This is an excellent strategy that will undoubtedly foster a trusting relationship with the guest.

 

Is there any other tip you'd consider important to share within our Community, @Michele1845 ? 🙂

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William2185
Level 2
Centerville, OH

The best advice I can give a new host is to express the communication part of being a host is the most important part right from the beginning when you get a booking request if you choose not to do automatic bookings.  I do not do automatic bookings simply because I do like communicating with the booking parties prior to get a feel of why they are coming to my area and to hopefully give them a sense of being WELCOMED when they book with me. 

 

At the beginning I will admit i was a bit nervous however when I started receiving messages the communication part just fell into place naturally.  Treat it as you are talking to a new friend and have a sense of "do unto others as you would want done to you" is a good statement to express with communicating with your booking parties.  I find the booking parties can be just as nervous wondering if the property is a fit for them.  Remember they are spending money so respect their money and I have found that when communicating prior to a booking inquiry is best by offering a Welcoming atmosphere in your communication and don't come off intrusive.  

 

I made a Welcome Manual in Power Point which simply describes house rules, giving them local restaurants or you recommended favorite places to eat in your area, local police and fire department numbers, your contact information if they need you directly, and then check out rules like suggesting stripping the beds to make it easier for my cleaner, recommended thermostat settings, trash collecting and putting used dishes in the dishwasher. 

Paula
Community Manager
Community Manager
Port Moody, Canada

Hello @William2185 Thank you so much for sharing these tips 😊 I'm sure they will help many new Hosts who might be nervous about their first guests. As for the manual, how and when do you send it to your guests?

 

Thanks again for sharing

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William2185
Level 2
Centerville, OH

i printed it out and its on the welcome desk when they get there, i thought about putting in the add but it identifies to much personal stuff about me and the property address

Patricia4203
Level 2
Prairieville, LA

Great idea!

Bettye6
Level 10
McHenry, IL

I completely agree with the book. 
I have it more personal though & have updated it 5 times since I’ve started in Feb. to fit the questions asked. I use Pages (Word) so adjusting or adding is a quick change, save & print. 

My house rules on the platform ask guests to read the more elaborate House Rules in a Silver glitter binder that I leave right in front of the TV so they can’t say they couldn’t find it. 
I also have it tabbed, initial house rules, check out house rules, and then owners manuals for the Roku, Keurig, etc.  As my apartment is over 120 years old I even have pictures on how to open windows, etc. 

IMG_6862.jpeg


The feedbacks for my ‘book’ I received have been amazing

i also leave a guest book for them to sign. They review me through the AirBnB platform & what they personally write is priceless. I have made so many long standing friends through AirBnB. 

Mike-And-Jane0
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Paula So I wouldn't agree that items 1-3 should be in the top 4. I really think people get overly worried about guests, the vast majority of whom are great.

item 1 stops all those great first time Airbnb guests that we have had

item 2 precludes visits by family which does no harm at all

item 3 is not needed if the host lives nearby

item 4 is very true though

Paula
Community Manager
Community Manager
Port Moody, Canada

Thanks for sharing this, @Mike-And-Jane0. Would you like to share your top 3 tips for new Hosts? I would love to learn from your perspective 🙂

 

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Andrew3183
Level 1
Ffestiniog, United Kingdom

Not sure about 1-3 but 4 is spot on, I’ve had some lovely guests from all over the world and it’s good to talk, keeps me smiling anyway 

Ali18861
Level 2
Misterton, United Kingdom

Will give these points consideration. 

Alessandro422
Level 4
Casalguidi, Italy

The tip n. 1 is not correct. There is no setting like that. You should have written:

  1. Change your settings so only guests with prior NO BAD REVIEWS can instant book you.This way someone with previous trips but NO REVIEWS can instant book you.
    For Airbnb No reviews = No bad reviews
    We hope that other hosts will immediately write a bad review for a bad guest.
    Actually, in 6 years of hosting, I wrote recently the first bad review for a woman who didn't respect house rule of not eating in the room, didn't answer to messages, didn't separate waste;
  2. For me this one is a basic rule, I rent rooms in my home and need to know who's in;
  3. I have a camera in the entrance;
  4. I find it's true.
    Thanks
    Alessandro
Le Stanze Toscane

I’m so glad this post generated so many responses. That’s amazing.

 

I just wanted to clarify why I made the comments I did in previous threads. I am a longtime guest and also host. I am not an investor host. I am actually renting my second home which my family uses and my friends use periodically. I’m also in a city that regulates. I am required to have 55% of the adjacent neighbor signatures because I don’t live there full-time. I got 100%. Because I’m really picky about who rents my space. My neighbors give me a lot of praise about the guests who stay because I they are friendly. But also my co-host lives on the premises in the other unit. She’s my daughter and safety is a priority for us. 

1. Change your settings so only guests with prior good reviews can instant book you.

 

Answer: there are a lot of people who think of Airbnb as a cheap hotel alternative. That got worse as distant absentee investors started buying up homes in my neighborhood and we had parties and shootings. Bad actors know we don’t have the same security as a hotel would have. And over the years, I found that people who did not have good reviews, were my most inconsiderate guests.

 

But I also know what it’s like to be a new user with no prior history . I want new users  to feel welcome. So if new users are willing to communicate, and read the house rules that simply say, “tell us why you’re coming”, they are most likely to be really good guests. One user booked for six weeks but had only signed up that day. We found a way to share info that wasn’t filtered, talked on the phone for 30 hilarious minutes, she stayed with her family and we’re now friends. 

People who don’t want to share info have other places they can book and I’m happy to let someone else host them.

 

2. Change your settings so only guests with prior good reviews can instant book you.

 

i’ve had guests who booked for one person, and then 10 show up even though my max is five, and the city limit is eight no matter how big your house is.

 

Again, some people don’t read the rules, but some people are planning a party. I learned this strategy when I was a guest at other host homes,. They had it in their house rules  with fines for each additional body that were not on the original reservation. That helps me keep my daughter safe, it helps me keep my neighbors, safe. No hotel lets you book a space for one and then show up with 20.

 

So part of this is about respect. But part of this is going back to the old days of Airbnb before a lot of investors swooped in and changed the dynamics of where being a Guest and a host was about building trust, and a relationship not an anonymous transaction.

 

. So my advice is for people who are renting their own homes are their second homes. My advice is not telling absentee corporate investors what to do with investment properties. But I would note that absentee corporate investors is why Kansas City just changed the law to kick out 75% of the Airbnb‘s.

3. Cameras on the exterior door are key


The front door  is a public space and there is no expectation of privacy. But it has been hilarious to see people who booked for one or two then show up with a crowd get that look in there I when the camera light goes on. If they’re under the maximum headcount, I just send them a revised reservation that accounts for the extra people with the additional fees. No one has complained about paying it. If they’re over the headcount I explain they have to remove people or risk cancellation.


4. Enjoy! The guests that are chatty and tell you why they are coming to visit are often a joy! 

 

The people who tell us they’re coming in for a Taylor, Swift, concert, or Beyoncé concert, or to see their kid at the local college, or to visitfriends, have been amazing guests. Because then we’re talking about Kansas City and  places to eat or visit and/or things we might have in common. I’m a hands-on host. So again, nothing about this is telling people what they must do. But I’ve been on these community boards for a really long time, and Airbnb has heard me or other hosts comment or turn in complaints about situations that arose because of the rules Airbnb put in that created a firewall between us and our guests. 

 

Airbnb started out being a place that was about building relationships not creating a convenient cheap places for someone to stay with no contact with a host. I recognize it’s grown, but when I firstbooked my first Airbnb, it was in Paris and the host asked if I could friend her on Facebook. We had conversations before I rented her whole apartment while she stayed with a friend. She was comfortable with us coming. I was comfortable with a place I was staying because I got to know the host.

 

Airbnb has gotten really far away from its original roots, and that’s a shame. 

Vakhtang4
Level 2
Batumi, Georgia

а где их изменить в каком разделе