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Advice needed for house manual


I’m very interested to hear what success or failure all of you have had with doing physical and/or digital house manuals.

So, for those of you who do have them, or have tried, please can you share your experiences, learnings, best practices etc. If you could also share a link (for digital) or photos (for physical), that would be amazing.

As always, I’m very grateful to have access to the collective wisdom found in all of you. Thank you.


They don’t read them! Rather ring or text then read it. I also have a brief list on the fridge - this gets read…i know this because I find the towels in the basket and the rubbish in the bin.


I didn’t get this. Can you elaborate?


Yes. I did up a 35 page house manual and they don’t seem to read it. I even sent them check in instructions through the app, and they would reply back to ask about WiFi, parking lot number etc. But it’s useful to have one lying around just in case you have trouble explaining certain things, like how to access the Netflix etc. My house manual also includes info such as the nearest hospital, nearest clinics, how to operate the appliance s, nearest supermarkets and nearby cafes. I can’t remember every detail so if the guests ask, at least I can refer them to the manual.


35 pages is way too long! That’s why they don’t read it.


It’s neatly divided and categorised into appliances, WiFi, shopping etc. I definitely don’t expect them to read the whole thing.


I agree with this. Giving something you can refer to is definitely a good reason for a remote host to have one.


The manual is there, but the guests seem to ring or text than go to the manual to answer the questions. I think a lot of people are see show do learners rather than read and follow instructions.


Right. Yeah, I think you’re spot on. I’m wondering if the middle ground might be the following…

  1. Make the manual as visual as possible.
  2. Prioritise the contents according to importance.

When someone checks in, tell them something like “Please take a few moments to go through the manual. The most important sections for you to go through are the sections on Parking, Smoking and Checking-Out”

I’m thinking to do it as a mobile-optimised webpage as it lets me be dynamic (e.g. video, photos, re-ordering content etc.)


We have a folder with useful info for our guests. Its doesn’t have any rules or dos and don’ts in it. We have the wifi password, our mobile numbers, recommended places to eat, interesting places to visit in the local area and the best local cafes and restaurants. In the back pages we’ve included where to find an emergency doctor and pharmacy. We have the train and bus timetables and the taxi company phone number. Some guests never opened the cover and others have said how helpful / useful it was. I keep it updated as often as necessary.


You are thinking of your convenience rather than the guests.

A printed copy in the house is what is most convenient for them together with information they can access online through Airbnb’s own guest book on your listing, so the guest has everything related to their booking in one place.


On the contrary, I was thinking of their convenience. But, more than that, I am thinking about effectiveness.

Have you done a printed copy? What have you done and what has your experience been like?


Are guests prepared to pay then for the personal service of someone being on call for explaining in person or on the phone? The point of manuals and self service is to save money. Think IKEA.
One of the reasons I do meet and greet is so I can go through things likely to come up and suggest the manual then app if not. I want to reserve the phone for emergencies!


Yes I have both the Airbnb one and the printed one which guests have used and found useful. And I point out key areas when I show guests around.

It is not convenient for the guest to have to access a separate webpage when travelling, particularly when they may have limited data.


Does anyone know what the Airbnb looks like from the point-of-view of the guest?


There’s a preview function on your listing. You can also pretend to be a guest and look at your listing.


I’ve seen that for the listing as a whole. But what about the guest manual?


House manual looks the same I think.


I put it in a printed welcome kit plus it is online through the Air house manual section.


I use the Corallife guidebook. I find the site to be wonky a lot so I have a version of it saved that I include with my email to guests ahead of time as well as a printed copy in the unit. Then I have my separate guidebook with attractions, recommendations, transportation info., etc.

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