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Join this discussion to learn about what it takes to be a Superhost. Superhosts go above and beyond for every guest and often share valuable tips for creating great stays. From thoughtful gestures like leaving chocolates on pillows to welcoming guests with a handwritten note, there are many ways to be an outstanding host.
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Well in my case I think it was more what I did not do, cancel any reservations.
As I have a lot of short stays I also have the advantage that no one review makes much difference, I find most people are fine and of course there is always the odd one but they have no impact on me so I do not let it worry me.
I do sympathise with those who have fewer longer stays, and a weird one.
I have a very simple rule. I treat all of my guests the way I would want to be treated if I stayed in their home. Hospitality and communication are key. Also, I only host a few days a month, not everyday. As I am sharing my home with my guests I realized that I needed downtime for myself and my family. That makes hosting fun. I have met amazing people with amazing stories. I love being an Airbnb superhost......
I think I am the same as you. I have many short stays- have been known to have had 10 people over 4 days, so if there is a negative review it gets buried quite quickly. Have had only one and that was very early on. It was the middle of winter and I'd given them warm sheets. They complained that they were cheap and nasty. Actually they weren't but now I ask.
So far I have yet to cancel a reservation and do have instant book, so am careful to block days I don't want booked.
It has all to do with cashing in those necessary 5* reviews I suppose. How to manage that would vary greatly from host to host and what they offer.
My approach has been that every property has it's pros and cons, so it may be necessary to overcompensate in some areas to make the pros outnumber the cons.
I am not even an on-site host most of the time, so in my case it has more to do with what is on offer than about personal presence. My daughter is my co-host and is making a very good job of it. I believe my guests have most appreciated:
The value for money aspect.
Attention to details.
A home rather than a bone rental.
Being in a prime location, in a modern and sound-proofed building has of course helped a lot in the positive direction.
These relate to sharing your home - more so than entire homes I guess:
Remember that guests can be as nervous as you on arrival.
It’s a strange environment for them so concentrate only on a few key things that are important to you - for example physically walk them through how to lock the door - it sticks in their mind.
Sounds obvious but be friendly and approachable and tell them you are around if they have any questions
In advance send them a few links to local info: like places to eat, bus tours, transport passes - but don’t over do it
Always try to be there when leaving to say thank you very much for staying with us and come back again sometime
@Lizzie Thanks for asking me to participate!
My primary Airbnb is an apartment in my home: it's a completely seperate unit from my living space. I live on site with my husband and two dogs, but generally don't have a lot of interaction with guests.
I think that for me, it's a combination of things, and it seems to work:
1) As I've mentioned before, I try and do at least one special thing for every guest. Sometimes it's dictated by what they've told me; sometimes it's something spontaneous. Some examples have included:
- Leaving champagne and a personal card for an anniversary or recent wedding;
- Leaving flowers just because;
- Leaving small food gifts and cards over Christmas, as well as putting up some decorations to make people feel more at home;
- Cleaning off a guests' cars so they don't have to brush off all the snow on a cold day;
- Free early check-in and late check out;
- Free winery tasting passes;
- Letting a guest's dogs out so they could stay later at a wedding;
- Leaving dog treats and waste bags for guests with dogs;
- Providing a couple of cold, local craft brewed beers for people who get in late;
- Providing recommendations on everything, from where to go for dinner or where to find an outdoor skaing rink to where to get a wedding cake at the last minute;
- Always having cold bottled water and a selection of coffee and tea with all supplies to make it on hand.
2) I do market research often to make sure I'm offering good value. I look at other Airbnbs in the area, as well as regular bed and breakfasts, hotels and motels to see what they're offering and at what price, and make changes accordingly. I also look at the listings of other hosts I admire, regardless of location, to see what they're doing.
3) The design and the way I run my Airbnb has always followed a simple principle: what would I want if I was staying somewhere? I know that my place is the kind of place I would book if I needed somewhere to stay in our area: the price is reasonable, the amenities are good, and I offer checkin anytime with no need to arrage it prior to arrival. It also has no wine country kitch; it's simple, clean and modern. It also allows dogs, and my dogs mean more to me than pretty much anything, so I know that's something I would appreciate! A major plus on that one is that I also get to meet other people's great dogs.
4) The importance of making a good first impression can't be overstated. If people get a bad impression from the off, even if it's a small issue, it tends to carry over into the rest of the experience. I always make sure I thank people for their booking as soon as they book and offer assistance and recommendations if needed. I also always have the unit ready to go at the agreed check-in time: I've never forgotten to set up a door code (knock on wood!).
I'd say those are my top tips, and as I said, I've been successful so far with it.
Very well said! I only wish I could allow for dogs but I have chemo patients who are often forbidden from beginning exposed to animals. I really appreciate this feedback.
I rent a room in the house where I live and use instant book. Almost all guests stay for one night.
There's an auto instant book message but I also send a personalised one straight away when they book, mentioning them by name, responding to any questions or comments in their message and giving parking info.
A message again a few days before arrival asking how they are and to confirm arrival time almost always gets a response and a back & forth exchange of a message or two.
As the room is, let's say, not overly decorated, I use ironed sheets with the cover pulled back to help create an immediate impression of neatness and preparedness.
In winter, if they're to arrive after dark turning on a table lamp in the room helps to give a warm look to the room .
I welcome them on arrival, show them the house, explain how things operate and tell them about the breakfast of cereal, toast tea/coffee and then ask if they would like a cup of coffee or tea.
Most say yes so it's a chance to chat and ask them about driving on the left etc. and give info on attractions / bars / restaurants.
I then give them the keys and, as some find my front door tricky to operate, say "in the best possible meaning of the words, can I show you the door?". When they've stopped laughing I show them how to open/close it.
Divining how much interaction guests want is something that I've definitely had to learn. Let them make the running there as some want a lot, some none and most like to chat for 15 to 20 minutes or so.
Being there when they leave seems to leave people with a good feeling and allows you do do a quick check just after they've left to make sure they haven't left anything behind.
Some of the tips are already mentioned above, but I think these are the things that make a difference for me:
WELCOME: I consistently get 5 stars for this one, so it must be helping with the Superhost status! I am here for each guest's arrival and offer them a drink on arrival and to help carry their bags. I give them a proper tour of the house, which I never rush unless they are in a hurry/too tired. I check if there's anything else they need and let them know I am available to them.
DECOR: It might not be the case for every Airbnb, but I believe it's one of the main reasons guests book my place. The guest rooms are decorated and furnished with as much care, if not more, than I would my own bedroom. I make the beds up as nicely as I can and have extra thick mattress toppers to make them super comfy. The rooms are practical, but everything in them is also pretty!
CLEANING: I'm particuarly fussy re keeping the guest bedrooms spotless and I will offer to clean them again for longer-term guests. Obviously the house should be clean when they arrive, especially kitchen and bathrooms, but I've found that I often get 5 star ratings for cleanliness if the guests have seen me cleaning again during their stay. I don't just mean keeping the place clean, but them actually SEEING me in the process of doing some cleaning. It has some sort of positive effect on them subconciously!
INFORMATION: I have spent time building my guidebook and send a link to all guests (as well as directions to the house) a few days before arrival. I will send other information that might be useful, but play it by ear as some guests like a lot of help, whilst others don't. However, most like money saving tips! I'm happy to help with recommendations and if a guest asks me something I don't know the answer to, I'm straight on the computer to find out.
KITCHEN. Guests have unlimited access to a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, which most appreciate because eating out in London isn't cheap. I make sure each guest has a shelf in the fridge. Although I don't provide breakfast, there is coffee, sugar and a selection of different teas for them.
COMMUNICATION: This is mostly covered in the points above, but I also try to be honest and accurate about my listing so as to manage expectations. Yes, I will highlight the selling points, e.g. how close we are to the tube station, but I'll also mention that a particular bedroom faces the road and can be a bit noisy. I let guests have privacy, but if I sense they want to socialise, then I'll happily sit and chat with them. I make sure to follow up with guests during their stay to see if they need anything and send a thank you message after they leave (and sometimes a gentle reminder to leave a review).
THE EXTRAS: Most popular is the customised chalk board with the guests' names on them. I'd say 99% love this! As well as books, there are leaftlets on stuff to do in London and if I can, I also leave them local magazines with listings and recently I started collecting magazines in different languages too. As well as travel toiletries in the rooms and useful things like sewing kits, hairdryer, travel adaptors, there are full sized bottles of toiletries in the bathrooms labelled for guest use. At Christmas I leave cards and for birthdays and anniversaries. I tried leaving bowls of fruit, but these mostly went to waste. Sometimes I leave fresh flowers. I'm thinking of adding little pots of Spring bulbs when they come into bloom and maybe a sweet jar.
I struggle with the kitchen.
After a couple years- I’ve quit allowing meal preparation. Guests can still use the refrigerator, microwave and kitchen, but I ask them to limit time to 15 minutes. I feel a bit bad, but I felt that I wasn’t able to use the kitchen myself. Guests would prepare large meals late in the evening- or very early (0430) if they caught international flights.
It wasn’t consistent but it was often enough that I put a kettle in the room and changed to no meal preparation, kitchen use between 0700-2100.
I offer a large room, with use of my beautiful living room to relax in. My bedroom is off the kitchen so that had an effect on my sleep and privacy as well.
We’ll see how it goes- even super hosts get to have boundaries
@Bernie Dee wrote:
I struggle with the kitchen.......
I feel a bit bad, but I felt that I wasn’t able to use the kitchen myself. .......... My bedroom is off the kitchen so that had an effect on my sleep and privacy as well.
We’ll see how it goes- even super hosts get to have boundaries
Sorry it won't let me tag Bernie but yeah i agree with this.
Kitchen off limits, yet you can still be a superhost.
It's sometimes better to give yourself a bit of space so you don't start feeling like your guest is an imposition on your 'space' all the time.
Guest ready clenliness is not the same as what I keep my kitchen like for me to use, not having to worry about having my post out on the kitchen table, having my washing around (or more likely bed sheets for the airbnb!), leaving crumbs after making toast. leaving the towel drying i use to rub the dog down after he's been out in the rain.... i coule go on!
But yeah when it's a shared house, i don't want to be 'on edge' just in case a guest wants to come in and use.
There's a fridge in the room, plus a kettle and supplies . It's much easier and guests are completly fine as long as they know in advance. If i didn't make it clear and then blocked them it might be fustrating it's never been an issue!