Do you use any sort of Desktop Publishing for your airbnb?

Hi Guys!

As a Desktop Publishing Specialist I was curious is there any of you guys that use any sort of desktop publishing in your airbnbs? This includes brochures, checklists, advertisements, guidebooks, and anything else that is printed. I would also ask would you think this would add a extra piece to your airbnb, to be able to have a brochure that is filled with information about your area and have fun activities in the area?

image something like this do you mean?


Sorry no, Desktop Publishing is the art of organization of information for print media, so like flyers, brochures, signs, books, and alot of other printed media. So the question is have you ever had brochures or any other printed media designed to streamline your rental process or an added extra to help your guests.


Background: I helped invent DTP back in the late 80s/early 90s. I was the Tech Writer for the UofUtah, one of the original 27 Apple Consortium Schools. Among other things I as asked by Apple to give a presentation at the first MacWorld on the DTP things I had been doing around our campus and area. I also beta tested several years worth of DTP software for Aldus, Manhattan Graphics, etc. In 1991 I authored the first college textbook on DTP – An Introduction To Desktop Publishing – published by boyd&fraser publishers.

Honestly? I don’t see a need for desktop publishing in this arena, or a market that a Desktop Publishing Specialist can exploit (otherwise I’d have been doing it :grin:). We don’t really create brochures, flyers, etc. because virtually all of our advertising is through the Airbnb website, and design of our listings is constrained by the site. We don’t advertise locally except in rare instances.

Many of us create a “House Book”, but that’s simply a few pages in a ringbinder of simple word processed lists of restaurants, rules, and such. Most of the House Book contents are flyers from businesses – restaurant menues, sightseeing flyers, theatre offerings, local newspaper clippings and that sort of thing.

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I used that map application a vendor gave us a freebie on in a prior post, and some sort if brochure format from word to make my laminated placemats. I’m sure they would look more professional with better software but they’ll do.

Amazing Background you have Ken! I was curious if anyone had as it would give more of a hotelish feeling but I guess that is also part of the magic of airbnb, it is not a hotel. I will definitely have to take a look at your textbook on DTP as I do find the subject enjoyable and love to learn more about it! Thanks for the In-site!

This is a forum for just hosts. I do not believe you are a host. I believe you have just joined this forum to try to sell your services. Even if your services were relevant, it’s not a great start, is it?

Was honestly just curious as to if anyone used services like this, I do plan to be purchasing a rental property soon and wondered if anyone used desktop publishing. Granted this website is dedicated to Airbnb post but does not require it in the t.o.s, sorry if that upsets you.

Hi @Burgundyfox, welcome to the forum.

For our BnB I have created, what I call, an information newspaper. It has the looks of a small newspaper (1 A3 size paper folded to A4, with an extra A4 inside) and it contains all information that I consider important for guests.

It contains the following:

  • A welcome text where we put the guest’s names in handwriting.
  • Places to visit and activities to do in our city.
  • Tips for other places in the country.
  • Restaurant recommendations.
  • Practical stuff (laundry, money exchange, safety on the streets, what do do in case of an earthquake, public transport, taxis …)
  • A map of the neighborhood
  • Rules of the house
  • A guide to AirBnB’s star rating
  • Asking people to leave us a rating and/or provide us some word-of-mouth in the rest of their travels

People are generally very excited about my “newspaper”, because of how professional it looks and of course all the good information it contains. However I don’t know what professionals would think about it.

Since I am not a graphic designer, desktop publisher, copywriter or translator, it took me quite some time to get it done in two languages, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process. I made it in the free SCRIBUS software and it looks waaaaayyyy better than something made in WORD. I do not agree that a ring binder does the same thing, since it’s too hotel like for me and in my case would probably go untouched.

I think it does add to the guest’s experience if they see a professional layer to a very personal service.
Would I pay someone else for making the newspaper? Hmmmm, to be honest I doubt it. The biggest work was getting all the information and writing the texts in two languages. I don’t think you would be offering that service. Also, you would probably just have a few ‘templates’ to choose from, while I want to offer something original. Also, it would probably cost a lot for something that doesn’t directly make me any more money, at least short term: People only get to see it when they have already arrived to my place, unless they have a flexible itinerary it doesn’t make them stay more nights and it doesn’t allow me to ask more money per night. Guests can take the newspaper home as a souvenir, so long term we could get some extra guests because of it.

I also designed our own business cards (logo, layout,…).


pics please!

(and don’t forget, posts must be a minimum of 20 characters)

I sent you a private message :blush: like the ones that are just between the two of us :wink:.

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As a graphic designer/ web person I create our own collateral material using Photoshop and In Design.

(Note to people who don’t want to buy Photoshop - sometimes I use a free and pretty good online image editor at - it’s good for basic stuff and if you’re in a hurry.)

I agree that material produced should be personal. I recommend restaurants and coffee houses that I really like. (When talking to guests I have anecdotes about several of them). For stores, sights to see, local tours, and various services, in 98% of cases I’ve either used them myself or friends have recommended them. (I still haven’t got around to paddle boarding personally for example but I know of a great company that I highly recommend).

Like @GutHend, we say that we’re happy for guests to take the booklet we produce home with them in order to encourage repeat guests and referrals ( it does work). The booklet is created by an online service and it’s also available online as a PDF which some guests prefer to refer to.

I have plenty of leaflets in the rentals about local places (museums, historic homes, etc.) and also menus from a) local restaurants that I genuinely recommend and b) local takeout places that are near enough to deliver to the rental - often used by guests who don’t want to cook. I keep them loose rather than in a binder. They are arranged in drawers and the takeout leaflets are on a shelf in the kitchen.

This is the premise I work with - I believe that guests really prefer genuine recommendations from their local host. It’s just one of the reasons they use Airbnb, I think.


Such a sweet idea! I love it! Do you have pics of your creation? We are remote hosts so i don’t think I could pull this off but I would love to see it!

I could send you in private, but apparently your private messaging hasn’t been enabled yet.

Thank you! I’m not sure how to do that or if that is something I’ll be granted someday? But thank you for letting me know! :wink:

Hello, GutHend, I would love to see your “creation” if you don’t mind sharing. I am trying to create a welcome guide that is more robust than what Airbnb offers. My home is in Georgia, 400 miles away, so everything that i do is on-line. Cheers! Catherine

I agree with you. I don’t respond well to a sales pitch on this forum. This is sacred Host land!

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Hello! Would you mind sharing your guide idea? I’ve gotten other messages so I think that should be working now. Thanks!

I have created a guide/manual for my listing with info on contacting me, on how to operate certain appliances, directions to and from the listing to Manhattan and to the grocery and such. It’s basically a booklet