Secrets from a seasoned Superhost

Stephanie
Community Manager
Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Secrets from a seasoned Superhost

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Superhosts are experienced hosts who work towards delivering top notch experiences for guests. They are experienced in hospitality and communication who know how to meet the expectations of numerous guests. 

 

Some of the most popular ways to upgrade your hosting practice is to take great photos of your listing with a detailed description, setting the expectation of guests at the same time. Many members in the community like to share how they built their listing from scratch to superhost. Take a look at these topics to get informed: 

 

@Alexis140  says “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.” in How to be a Superhost 

 

@Clara116 started a topic on [Festival] 7 things that seem to be 5 star makers which gives you a great overview of things that you as a host can prepare to create a 5 star experience. 

 

As a superhost, what kind of tips can you give to hosts who have just started hosting? What do you think is the most important thing that you did to maintain the status?

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32 Replies 32
Mark996
Level 2
Rochester, United Kingdom

Unfortunately, for me at least, Airbnb’s algorithm means I don’t get a lot of booking as I appear outside the search result. So unless you know our location or expand the map outwards you won’t see us. If you search a town or city on Airbnb it’s search result will start at the centre of the map, whereas booking.com take other factors into account such as your reviews etc. as a result 90% of our booking are through other platform as we are in the top 2 in the search results and yet we struggle l to make superhost status on Airbnb though no fault of our own. As a result Airbnb are  missing out on a great deal of revenue due to their algorithm. 

Hey, just started today and lookin forward into the future of income for my youth. I think this is an amazing platform. I am just a bit lost if anyone could tell me how do I host someone’s property?

Bel6965
Level 2
Tirana, Albania

Before I wanted to become a host, I knew nothing of Airbnb, so I decided I could first use it as a guest so I could see how it works, check-in/out, what is provided from the host, communication and everything... 

I must say, some experiences teach us what to do and some others teach us what not to do. As in the case I learned that my place should never ever be uncleaned, and that communication is the very basic for building good and satisfying relationships, be them long or short term. 

In short, it is our duty as hosts to provide a sparkling clean place, this is not a bonus, this is our duty, if we are into hosting. 

Greetings to all, 

May the community grow bigger! 

So I have a newly remodeled beautiful condo in HI.  
6 Guests so far.  5 stars.  4.9 rating.  Now a guest came.

Said there were 4 guest.  6 if you include the babies. (which were not mentioned).  Love babies so not sure that would have mattered to me except I may have asked if I could do more for them.  Babies are people and they should be mentioned shouldn't they?  

 

THE PLACE WAS TRASHED. They were so disrespectful.  0 communication except to get internet code.   In 6 days I filled 2 outdoor garbage bags filled w/ diapers that had sat there (stunk up the place) for 6 days.  My cleaner ended up making an add'l 60$ for her extra time.  Next guests came in later thank God but what a chore to get it together in 6 hrs.  Their was food and trash every where.  The counters were full of open containers and food stuck everywhere.  The vacuum was taken apart and damaged.  Why?  The furniture was turned over, rolled up and all the linens were in a giant ball including a King comforter.  There was a complaint about noise.  I clean my place top to bottom.   I inspect and open things up hours before the guests come and leave a $100-150 gift basket filled w/ tea, and cookies and souvenirs, cutting board et al.  She has 8 excellent reviews...so I'm the new guy and I don't trust this "review" process.  She has not left a review. 

 

IF I leave a bad review and they haven't left a review yet -what is stopping them from lying about the care of my home?  They lied about the # of guest, so that "trust" has been broken.  I tried to communicate (as I do for all my guests) I make recommendations.  I feel a bit violated and I don't know what to do?  Super sad.  

Mark996
Level 2
Rochester, United Kingdom

You take photos and make a complaint. This is why you take a deposit so you can deduct for extra cleaning etc. 

Geraldine147
Level 2
Trumbull, CT

WHAT TOPICS DO YOU INCLUDE IN THE WELCOME FOLDER?

Kelley3
Level 2
Long Beach, CA

Directions regarding parking and checkin. If there is any days their car needs to be moved for street sweeping. WiFi sign on info., access instructions to any bikes, paddle boards, etc. info for extra towels and blankets.  Suggestions for dining and excursions,.  
I feel people want the info but also want their private so having the info in their check in works best

Kelley Hartwyk
Irma260
Level 1
Irving, TX

I am new at Airbnb and I have a question. We currently don't have a table bc it's very hard to get a nice table in the country of El Salvador. It's currently being made and wanted to know if there would be a problem not having a table and having people in our home?

Irma C Portillo
Kelley3
Level 2
Long Beach, CA

Is there a counter the guests can eat at? Most people will be expecting a table to eat at or a counter with stools to sit on

Kelley Hartwyk
Sybe
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
Terneuzen, Netherlands

Hey @Irma260 welcome to Airbnb and the community!

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Hi everyone.  I am new at hosting as well and looking for some support.  I have tried to follow clear guidelines to ensure the condo is spotless, I have all amenities including a little gift, have reasonable rates, communicate immediately with everyone but I seem to not be getting many bookings.  Can anyone help?  I don't know what I am doing wrong.  Thank you and look forward to some thoughts and ideas. Kim

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Kim2971  Your place looks quite nice and I really couldn't say why you aren't getting bookings, but one thing that jumps out at me is that your max guest count seems to be at odds with the space you have. You list for 4 guests, but there is only one bedroom and one queen size bed. And a small dining table suitable for 2. So why are you listing for 4 guests? It should be listed for 2.

 

Also, you haven't described the space itself in the listing description. Go back to Edit listing, and fill out all the sections.

HI Sarah, 

 

Thank you so much for your feedback and comments.  I have found the listing description and added to it!  

 

We have used the sofa in the living room as a bed (two twin sides) and have been told that it is more comfortable than a sofa bed so thought perhaps I could count that.   I have a sofa bed on order but deliveries are taking 4 months here so it will only arrive in about 1.5 months.

 

Dining room table accommodates 3-4 but photos may not show that.  The kitchen bar has only 2 bar stools.  I was hesitant to promote only 2 guests but will consider that based upon your feedback. 

 

Thank you so much and please let me know if there is anything else!

 

Kim

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Kim2971  Well, I couldn't find anywhere that you mentioned a sofa bed for 2 more guests. And the photo I was looking at with the table said "dining room" and I saw what looked like a small bistro table with 2 chairs, not what someone would consider ample dining space for 4 adults.

 

Just because you could sleep 4 by using a sofa bed in the living room doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea. It's up to you, but sometimes it's less stressful to just host a couple than 4 people. Sofa beds aren't normally all that comfortable. And it relegates the living room to no longer being a common space if people are sleeping there. You will likely get guests inquiring as to whether they could bring a friend anyway, so if you listed for 2, you could always then say that yes, there's a sofa bed that could be used and charge an extra guest fee. 

 

As you say you aren't getting bookings, you could try changing it to 2, and see if maybe that would attract more bookings. You can always change it back again.

 

 

Thank you so much Sarah.... you are so kind and I appreciate your time and your willingness to help.  Thanks again! Kim

Natalie725
Level 10
Dublin, Ireland

Hello!

 

1.5 years hosting and this is what I've found gets a positive response... ->

 

 

1. Make guests feel secure and confident about their upcoming stay - 

From the first point of contact, I make sure guests know that I understand everything about their booking. I spell it out to them, by repeating all the specifics of the booking back to them. I also use this first message to answer any potential questions before they come up. So, my first booking message includes an FAQ section and looks like this:

 

Hi XXX,

Lovely to hear from you and thanks for choosing our place! I can confirm your stay from  XX to XX. Also no problem for a XX pm arrival time. To further help plan for your stay, I've put together a list of FAQs. Here they are below:

....(this info details: how to check in, transport options, parking, Airbnb guidebook, general tips and advice).....

Kind regards,

Natalie. 

 

To avoid information overload, I present everything in short paragraphs with individual headings. 3 days before arrival, I'll then reach out again with the check-in guide. I ask them to look over it and let me know if there's any issues (this message reassures them that I'm still prepared and gearing up for their stay). I find these two pre-arrival messages really help guests feel at ease before they arrive (so you are already starting off with a good impression).  

 

 

2. Personal touches - once they arrive, the see a welcome board with their names on it, a homemade jar with a list of things to do in the area. Before they arrive, sometimes I'll ask longer stays (or difficult seeming guests) what specific fruits/snacks they'd like on arrival.

 

3. For seasonal events, go the extra mile: like NYE (put in sparklers and prosecco), Valentines Day (heart shaped chocolates, roses), Christmas (christmas stockings with their snacks inside). 

 

3. Amenities - guests like to feel like they're getting a bargain - so I try to include lots of amenities and basically bulk buy on Amazon for half the price. So herbal teas/ breakfast teas/ ground coffee/ pot noodle/ crisps/ pocket tissues/ umbrellas (we're in Ireland)/ cookies/ water jug/ granola bars/ OTC medications for travel related illnesses/ deodorants/ toothpaste/ face wipes/ dry shampoo, etc etc etc.... 

 

4. Clean clean clean - hunting out pubes, hairs, any fuzzies left over from last stay! Getting dust off skirting boards - the small things.. 

 

5. Quick responses - trying to answer questions at the same quick pace as if it was a business email in the office. As its your business! 

 

6. Making guests feel at home and welcome - being warm and confident on arrival. Letting them know you're there for them, but also showing them that this isn't a free-for-all - so essentially acting like a receptionist on arrival.  Always trying to meet guests in person, as they'll look on you more favourably if they have seen your face and talked to you (therefore not just a number they can critique harshly).

 

Hope this can help someone! 

Hi everyone.  I am new at hosting as well and looking for some support.  I have been following almost all of the practices listed above (except to greet guests at door) to ensure the condo is spotless, I have all amenities including a little gift, have reasonable rates, communicate immediately with everyone but I seem to not be getting many bookings.  Can anyone help?  I don't know what I am doing wrong.  Thank you and look forward to some thoughts and ideas. Kim

Ava557
Level 2
Amherst, MA

I'm fairly new at hosting, and have been wondering this:  Once the reservation is confirmed, guest are given access to the house rules, address etc.  But I also send them the house rules in a message a few days prior to their stay.  Is that the right thing to do?  

thanks -

Ava

Dean173
Level 2
Crete, IL

Hello Ava (Ava557),   

 

Yes sending them the house rules is a good idea. 

 

I have an old circa 1906 two flat home and rent out both apartments on Airbnb.

They are completely remodeled and are very clean and modern.  It is only 4 miles from my home.  I also have a separate office (shop) at the location and have a business there.   When I get a reservation, I ask them to call me on the check in date when they are 1/2 hour away so I can check them in.   Upon arrival I have sign the house rules and give them a copy.  Included in the house rules are my penalties (i.e. $25 per night if they have a pet in the house).   That way they know up front what are the expectations.

 

Dean

 

Peter2547
Level 1
San Pedro Sula, HN

In my short experience, i have found out it is key to be able to provide:

1- A sparking clean place, since a dirty or disorganized place will never we welcomed regarless of price.

2- Outstanding hospitality will always be important,  since people want to feel that, welcomed and appreciated to visit a place is not theirs.

3- A stylish place will also make feel the visitor at ease, reflecting the level of detail the host has gone to provide something else besides a bed.

There are more things to look after such as ammenities and a good bed are also important, but the 3 items just listed will certainly get the ball rollin'!