Day 26 - Heart-centered Hosts

in
Heraklion, Greece
Level 3
687 Views

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Hi there everyone!

 

Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts with the rest of the Airbnb community!

 

I hope you’re all hanging on tight there and keep walking; these have been a couple of challenging and unexpected last years, but only to teach us lessons and remind us that we have to be alert and ready for adaptations at all times!

 

I started my hosting journey in the middle of the summer season of 2019; that’s when the renovation of my property finished. Given the fact that I never worked through a whole summer season since the pandemic started, I must say I’ve had three first surreal but wonderful, at the same time, years on Airbnb family!

 

Despite the blocking of tourism by all these regulations, the uncertainty and the fact that my listing was not popular with guests before all this madness started, I managed to earn a good place in this BnB field, slowly and steadily…. But I don’t believe this had ever had to do just with the property quality, amenities, facilities, or pricing….these things are easily presented in a simple description on the Airbnb platform.

 

Having studied Tourism business management some 30 years ago, and being born on the island of ‘Xenios Zeus’, the god of hospitality, I was raised with the tradition, and the environment nurtured the inner natural feeling that, to make your guests feel welcome, you need to make them feel respected, make them think they’re at the centre of pampering, and create this warm feeling that they’re at their home - away from home.


And guess what: they’ve been here for the sea and sun, for exploring the island, or for business, there was nothing better for them than the feeling of being looked after, and that everything about the place they chose to stay was focused on them!

 

Simple things you can surprise them with. Assist them with. Offer them guidance, interest, quick response, and things never mentioned or shown on the platform. This little extra mile is what will differentiate you as a host and make your property stand out and be memorable among this growing volume of BnB listings and their hosts, owners or managing companies.

 

Having to adapt my pricing, not only because of the situations the last 2 years, but also to learn how things work, I have to say that profits from my listing were not the highest - or the only reward. The most significant reward were my guests’ thankful messages, long texts or notes of appreciation that I found at the property after their departure, all expressing gratitude for what they came across or experienced while staying there - the warmth and fulfilment. The feeling of being at the centre of attention, never being left unsure, always having the sense of security!

 

In one of my very first bookings (I was such an amateur back then!), I came to the property to clean it, after the guests had departed…and found money on the kitchen bench with a thankful note about additional products that I had for them to use. Another time they had even bought things they had previously consumed to replenish them! At first, I was offended with that money (impossible I am sometimes), but then I was happy that they acknowledged and appreciated my efforts of making them feel pampered.

 

Remember, the details make all the difference, which doesn’t apply to materialistic goods. It could just be, reading a guest’s profile and trying to guess what would be interesting for them to find at the apartment while staying there!

 

Be the best host you can be. Be the best version of yourself when you welcome people who have chosen your place for their stay. Be a heart-centred host!

Everything else, all benefits of your labour, will inevitably get back to you; reward will be the outcome, the consequence, in various forms.


Be special!

 

Have you all a wonderful Christmas with your beloved ones!


I wish to Airbnb community all the best surprises for the New Year 2022!!!!

 

Let’s roll it!

Xanthi

6 Replies

Re: Day 26 - Heart-centered Hosts

Former Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Former Community Manager

Thank you for sharing @Xanthi3, lovely post 🙂 

 

All the best for the new year! 

Re: Day 26 - Heart-centered Hosts

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

It could just be, reading a guest’s profile and trying to guess what would be interesting for them to find at the apartment while staying there!

 



 

 

 

 

 


@Xanthi3 Good idea.

 

One way of doing this is to check the reviews that the guest has left for other hosts. Perhaps they have mentioned things that were useful or important to them and those are things you could also do or provide without too much trouble or expense.

 

An easier way of doing this is by using the Chrome AirReview extension. It's not perfect and a bit glitchy, but it allows you to see the reviews the guest has written on his/her profile page (and tells you when the guest didn't leave a review) so you don't have to spend ages hunting for them on each host's profile .

 

An upcoming guest leaves quite detailed reviews. In one, she mentions how she liked the host's useful local guidebook amongst many other things. Make sure to send this guest a direct link to the guidebook. Few of my guests ever use the TV, but this one mentions streaming services, so be sure to let her know she can access Netflix and Amazon Prime on the TV.

 

In another review, she mentions little touches like slippers and bath salts by the bath. I could do that. I keep hotel type slippers in the linen cupboard in case a guest asks for them, but for this guest, I would just put them out for her, now knowing that she appreciates that sort of thing.

 

In another, she mentions that the favourite part of her stay was conversing with the hosts and their useful tips and suggestions. That gives me an indication of how much interaction the guest would prefer.

 

There are many other things, but I won't list them all!

 

I am not saying that we need to cater to every whim or that all of us will have time to customise each stay (I host long term guests so it's not so difficult for me), but this takes the guess work out of deciding which extra little touches might be worth it.

Re: Day 26 - Heart-centered Hosts

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Xanthi3 

 

Sounds like you are doing an amazing job, judging by your reviews. Good responses as well to the occasional issues.

 

I think other hosts could certainly learn from you. This is only about one third of a glowing review, but the part that relates most to the topic of @Xanthi3 's thread:

 

"I can tell you that Xanthi has thought of EVERYTHING! She has everything that you could possibly need in the house. You literally don’t need to pack anything to stay at her place. She has a full cabinet of first aid stuff from razors to feminine hygiene supply to full bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Not like those little bottle travel stuff that you can only use like 3 times then you have find more. Then when you go to the kitchen, it’s a fully equipped kitchen with dishes, cups, pots and pans. She has cookies, candies, multiple specialty jams and multiple different kind of tea and coffee. Xanthi really has put her heart and soul into this place and if you spend a little time exploring the place then you will know what I mean. She has made many binders and books explaining everything you need to know. She has a binder about the history of the house, another binder about bus routes and where to go, another binder for her art work. Then if you look closely she has decorated little places that nobody would pay much attention to like that breaker box/fuse box by the door."

Re: Day 26 - Heart-centered Hosts

in
Troms og Finnmark fylke, Norway
Level 5

@Xanthi3 @Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience. Funny thing is that I read your posting just one day before I posted my own on the 27th and my firs thought was that this is very much the same as I had on my mind. We think the same way as you when it come to what we can do for our guests… the small things that obviously do a difference. The special caring that makes us different from the boring hotels..
Good luck to you in the future and happy new 2022..! 😀

Re: Day 26 - Heart-centered Hosts

in
Heraklion, Greece
Level 3

I'm glad that more and more people have this caring attitude towards the guests. I think this reflects the real meaning of hospitality! I wish you all the best for the new year and hope that I visit your beautiful country as soon as I can!

Re: Day 26 - Heart-centered Hosts

in
Huskisson, Australia
Level 10

@Xanthi3 may your 2022 be a better year for you and continue with the the best you can do as it always shines through. I have found most people when booking their accommodation is location-location,  whether it be by the sea, city or the countryside. Next is price and then comparing  what each property offers. Reviews are not always looked at but first impressions on arrival leaves a lasting impression for them. Their reveiw is always important for you and word of mouth spreads amongst their friends and contacts. 

 

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