5 Must-Haves For Any Airbnb Host

Congratulations! You've worked hard for that passive income property, and now the time has come to set up your Airbnb business. But how do you make sure that your property stands out among the rest? For one, you need to capitalize on the space and make it feel as spacious and well-designed as possible. But once all of the furnishings are in order, customer service and quality amenities will go a long way — and a potential customer's first impression of your property is from the photos you put online.

Make sure the marketing is well-done but not misleading as to what the residence looks like. KeyNest says that the biggest letdown for Airbnb guests is when the listing does not look the way that they expect it to look. But upon arrival is where the real review begins. And we want to equip you to get as many five-star ratings as possible! So with that, let's dive in.

A seamless check-in process

A seamless check-in is a critical first step in a successful Airbnb stay. Host Tools recommends sending the check-in message, with key instructions, the day before your guests arrive. These instructions should include the earliest time the guests are allowed to check in, what time they are expected to depart, the exact address of the property (if it is a multiunit property, provide walking directions to the exact unit), front door entry code, parking availability, wifi password, and general property rules.

When communicating check-in instructions, remember that your visitor has never seen your property in person and is likely unfamiliar with the area. Everything should be laid out step-by-step clearly, and not feel like information overload. Most importantly, it is ideal for this to be a self-check-in process and for your responses to guests' questions to be answered within ten minutes or less. Regardless of how helpful a host you are, visitors usually prefer not to deal with an owner face-to-face.

Snacks and refreshments

This is a touch many hosts forget, but it goes a long way. After a long day of travel, a snack and beverage can be an incredibly welcoming gesture for guests checking in. People often neglect their own needs while traveling and want to get to their destination as soon as possible. Guesty recommends simple pastries, coffees or teas, or crackers as great ideas that are simple and appeal to many palettes.

Just leaving them out on a coffee table or by the door when guests walk in is perfect. Ideally, an option that will taste good if left for a few minutes or an hour by the preparation team and isn't temperature dependent is easiest for you and less complicated for the guests. If an alcoholic beverage is offered, it is best not to be pre-poured but, rather, with the ingredients lined up next to a clean glass.

A signature scent

Vacations are a sensory experience, and smell is absolutely part of the equation when creating a serene and relaxing environment for your guests. When picking scents, an oil diffuser with reeds is the lowest maintenance option with the least risk to your property. Candles involve human error, and oil diffuser machines are dependent on electricity. But reed diffusers will always work, should be factored into your staging, and require no upkeep other than replacing the reeds every few months. To avoid giving your guests headaches or overwhelming them, pick one signature scent that is present throughout the home.

It should be noticeable but not too strong and induce a sense of relaxation. This is a fine line, but Our Oily House reports that lavender, lemon, sandalwood, and eucalyptus are among the most popular essential oils for homeowners. These all bring a fresh and relaxing quality to a space, so take the time to decide what makes the most sense with your Airbnb. For example, a wintery peppermint might not pair naturally with a beach house in Turks & Caicos. And a summery wild orange could seem a bit out of place at an Arctic cottage in Norway.

Pet-friendly care

If you want your Airbnb to stand out in your local market and make your guests even more excited about the prospect of staying with you, being pet-friendly is the way to go. Yes, guests are traveling with pets more than ever. While this might seem like a bit of a hassle on your end, it is also an opportunity to show off to your guests and demonstrate how accommodating you are in predicting their every need.

Airbnb notes that there are a few key features worth highlighting in your instructions to show that you not only allow pets but are there to accommodate pet owners. This would include items such as special cleaning equipment, a vacuum, couch covers, food and water bowls, and baby wipes for cleaning paws at the door. Pet owners know how much work goes into maintaining their homes with pets, so this will go a long way when it comes time to leave a review for your place.

A knowledge of the local area

Whether it be at a hotel or Airbnb, travelers are always looking for locals' suggestions for dining, activities, and nightlife. Some Airbnb guests will wisely send this message a few hours after the guests have confirmed check-in and settled in. This can be a communication opportunity to show that you are thinking about the enjoyment of your guest's stay and have insight into what could make their stay even more fun. Remember, you are a host, not a property manager.

A welcome book is an excellent way to convey this information. The check-in message should include key details like the entry code, wifi password, and kitchen amenities, but the welcome book should offer something different. Bright Nomad points out that special details like this can save a lot of time and confusion for visitors who have never visited your city or town before. The best Mexican restaurant, the gas station with the best deal, the hidden dive bar — these are the inside scoops that guests want!