As more and more countries start to open up, hosting is making a comeback. It might be slow, hesitant and cautious, and it may be imposed with new restrictions and regulations, but there’s fantastic hope on the horizon.
I know that for many parts of the world the situation hasn't improved and, it goes without saying that the most important thing is for people to be well and stay safe. But no matter where they are, we have seen posts in the CC and received DMs from people who state that they miss the human aspect of hosting.
Having this in mind, I'd like to ask you to think on how you imagine you'll approach the return to hosting when it is allowed again in your area.
Will you do something extra for your guests in those first weeks or months?
It can range from a welcoming basket (maybe full of sanitisers?), or custom made guides of the city with your recommendations, to you giving a tour of the neighbourhood while following social distancing rules. Anything goes. I believe it is a great opportunity to reflect, exchange ideas and points of view and get inspired by one another to have the best possible result when the time comes.
Looking forward to your suggestions.
In terms of doing anything different, I think hygiene will be the main factor, e.g. perhaps providing sanitising products that I wouldn't have previously.
I was also thinking today about my guidebook, not in terms of social distancing, as this should be pretty clear already, but more in terms of is it at all up to date considering a lot of the places listed might not be operating right now? I don't think I will edit it only to have to keep changing it as things hopefully return to 'normal' eventually, but maybe creating a new, separate guidebook that takes into account the current situation might be useful. It would involve a lot of research though and I don't have enough bookings yet to make that worthwhile. Plus, things are changing every day!
Great suggestion @Huma0 I have a guide in place for things to do while out and about. To be fair is next to useless nowadays. I agree with you on the update. I would choose things that are out in the open, instead of being inside a building with others. Certain walks around the city, squares, parks, where to get the best views for their photos etc.
We are thankful to be back in the Airbnb business in Campton, New Hampshire in the USA this summer, even though the pools and Community Center are closed due to the virus. We always include what we call a "breakfast surprise" in the check-in info: a tube of refrigerated cinnamon rolls to bake. We also leave 6 cans of soda in the refrigerator, an assortment of coffee pods for the Keurig, tea, hot chocolate in the winter, and a package of microwaveable popcorn. When we know someone is celebrating a birthday we include a package of Birthday Cake Oreos--always a big hit. People don't always use these goodies (except for the coffee--that tends to go fast) but I think they appreciate the touches. A couple of families have sent us photos of them enjoying the cinnamon rolls! Thankfully there are so many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in New Hampshire, people aren't missing the pools too much. M.E.
@Scott-and-Mary-Ellen0 Remind me to book you on my birthday 🙂
Those little touches speak volumes! I know that as a guest I would appreciate things like these. It makes you have a better attitude and reaction towards the host even when something goes wrong, as you have in mind that they truly care. But also as a host I know it's the small things that can make someone forget something negative and concentrate on the positives when writing those reviews. Another thing that has worked for me in the past is providing them with a taxi from the airport to the house. They are the ones paying for it, of course, but I have arranged a better deal with a cab driver than the one they would pay if they had ride one themselves from the airport.
BnB guests already get enough. They will not be getting anything other than the free snacks, netflix, free wifi, coffee, tea and a much cheaper price than a hotel setting. In many ways, I feel they should thank us for all the complimentary items they receive on this platform yet believe it to be a fundamental right with AirBnB.
Agree with previous comments.
The UK government guidelines encourage us to leave less items out for guests and to reduce contact to a minimum so the suggestions seem contradictory to this advice.
HI @Tony-And-Una0 and thanks for the comment. It goes without saying you should follow guidelines in each country/area, but, as an example, a guide of the neighbourhood or city can be in electronic form and sent to the guests mobile. Doesn't necessarily have to be a physical thing 🙂
We will continue with what we have always welcomed guests with - A big smile.
That said will they see it behind a facemask?!?
I've always welcomed guests with the offer of a cup of tea. (Or coffee.) Couples usually refuse, & do their own thing, workers refuse, single holidaymakers tend to welcome. - And we sit round the table & chat.
NOW, I welcome guests with a "I used to offer a cup of tea, but am mindful of social distancing!"
Guest 1 post lockdown thoroughly agreed, & couldn't get up the stairs fast enough!
Guest 2 post lockdown politely made his excuses.
Guest 3 (last night) said he hadn't been in contact with anyone so wouldn't have 'it', accepted a cup of something decaf, followed me into the kitchen & stood at TOO close a distance... He then spied an almost empty bottle of Cognac, & said "Ooh, I'll have a brandy!" - I was SHOCKED! - NOT ON for a £20 room! I muttered something dismissive & continued to make the fruit tea. After I'd made my point, I gave him a brandy anyway, as a gesture, & we sat & chatted. He asked to borrow my Ordnance Survey map of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, (& take it with him on the walk), then asked me to show him the best route... I suddenly realised I'd been coerced into standing WAY to close! Time was, when pouring over maps with guests was part of my normal welcome, but I'm going to have to tell myself not to do it again! Mr Brandy's back for a second & final night tonight.... Shall I hide the brandy bottle?
..... Oh, and last night, 15th July, I gave the guest a special welcome, by putting the CENTRAL HEATING ON for a hour in his room & the bathroom! (Only in the UK.......)