Though we’re probably sick of hearing it now, things have changed due to the pandemic and hospitality has definitely felt a big impact. Today we are talking about your listings guidebook or welcome booklet, whether physical or digital. This is a great opportunity to remind guests of your house rules as well as share some local sights, attractions and eateries should you fancy it.
Have you updated your house guide and what do you include in yours?
I think there’s some learnings to be shared here for anyone that hasn't created one or is thinking about tweaking theirs as they get back into hosting in the coming weeks.
@Stephanie My guidebook (the digital one created in my Airbnb account) has more than 100 entries, organized by type and each reviewed by me. Most of my guests mention how helpful it is. The only physical thing in the listing is a copy of the house manual. I also send every guest the house manual, the driving directions, and a link to the guidebook about 10 days before their trip. I get almost zero questions about how things work or where things are.
The only guest-facing changes I've made are, 1) to suggest that they call ahead to restaurants and shops to find out if they're open and what their Covid policy is, and 2) to suggest they have a Plan B when heading out hiking - i.e., to choose another trail if there are too many people or cars at their first choice.
FYI I just tried to edit my guidebook and got multiple different error messages - 429 too many requests, Airbnb is down right now, we're working on it, etc. See below. And note that they recommend checking their Twitter account for updates. I clicked through and found the Twitter feed hasn't been updated since OCTOBER!
I break mine into 3 parts:
One page tips on how to operate things in the apartment.
Several pages things to do, getting around and parking options. Also includes instructions on transit options, bike and kayak rentals, etc.
About four or five pages on places to eat in the area.
I have a separate instructions on using a parking pass for the beach.
Guest love the guest guide. I keep updating it, and will start including check out instructions as I get some messages from guest about what its expected. Right now I just tell them tidy up however you want, and you can leave sheets in front of the WD if you want. I don't include any house rules, and take a minimaist approach and only add things when needed.
Also some brochures. Its funny guest often find creative ways to arrange them on little coffee tables or add ones to it.
If guest are asking a lot of quesetions about planning I send them a link to a blog where I uploaded the guest guide. It was too big to fit on the ABB home guide portion. The digital version is more helpful because it has links to all parking, transit options, places to eat, maps etc.
I must say @Stephanie that’s a pretty impressive book in your image! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
I use a much less permanent option, a display folder with plastic sleeve inserts. Much easier for removing information and cleaning with hospitable grade disinfectant as well as replacing handouts, local maps etc.
I'm just trying to think....
Generally speaking, I leave restaurant and sightseeing information to the pamphlets drawer ( now Covid19 max. of one per place.) or my electronic guidebook.
I have created a Top End Tips booklet that welcomes them to Larrakia nations land. It tells our story, a bit about the house. Then house rules.
It includes emergency services, hospital phone numbers, website and link addresses for all kinds of market hours, taxi services, parks and wildlife tourist parks, emergency etc.
Basic information wifi, our details, appliances how to use manufacturers instructions etc.
But I have a big emphasis on safety:
Storm safety (during our big electrical storms for themselves and electrical appliance)
BBQ safe working instruction
I even include the NT Government’s yearly insect calendars. Midges and Salt Marsh mosquito. When they are in high peak season (not often) and how to protect themselves.
There is probably too much information within the little printed booklet at the beginning of the sleeve inserts, to mention here... But it’s pretty extensive.
The main Parks and wildlife information sheets for our heritage listed national parks are in it as well. Eg Kakadu, Litchfield.
Guests who ask for cafes or restaurants information, I am forthcoming, and send through via the message board, usually with the web or Facebook link. I wait till I know a bit of the guest before I recommend a higher end restaurant, when in fact they may be wanting a basic good food experience: of which there are so many....
Our stuff is in a white 3 ring binder, old school I guess, but we found that people don't focus on such details until they are in the house.
1) welcome note
2) house basics: wifi, TV, where various items are in the apartment..games/pot lids, trash/recycling procedures
3) transportation info. subway, buses, local routes
4) check out procedure
5) local menus
6) brochures on NYC major attractions
7) contact cell numbers
😎 Things you can walk to section...grocery, liquor, shops, etc.
*post covid we added a 2 pager that gives what used to be our greeting/orientation house tour details.
Sounds good @Mark116 ! I keep restaurant brochures for takeaway in a little basket near the fridge.
But I’m still doing checking, but I’m liking the idea of adding some of my newer Covid info, that is on the website, into the folder. Thanks for the reminder! 🌻
I use both the digital Guidebook and printed House Manual.
When a guest books, I send a Thank you message, offer to give recommendations and refer them to Guidebook on the listing. Printed, it would be 68 pages, covering outdoor activities, restaurants, attractions, etc.
For the printed House Manual, I include a whole host of local websites, emergency information including phone #, address, website. Emergency information covers local hospitals, police, pharmacies and vets. We're pet friendly. At the end of the House Manual, I have included a half dozen "Campfire Recipes". When I meet with guests, I always point out the House Manual and tease them by telling them about the recipes. Their eyes always light up at "Campfire Nachos"
So far no one has mentioned that they have a turtle identification page in their welcome books. Or a species-at-risk mussels' page? Don't tell me no one has a list of endangered fish.
It's not just me, right?
Thanks for the turtle identification comment. It just reminded that I have an identification page from Ministry of Natural Resources. I think that I will add that for information purposes. We do have a few occasional snakes in the area.