You’ve set up your Airbnb listing on the site, furnished it so it looks homey and welcoming, and you’ve booked your first guest. Now what?
To be a great host and to make your guests’ experience as smooth and worry free as possible, you should have a welcome email that includes all the information your guests will need to know about check-in, your listing and the neighborhood.
You may be thinking “but this information is all already on my listing!” Well sorry to be the bearer of bad news but most guests don’t read listings fully and they usually forget most of what they have read, especially if they are checking-in in the future. That’s why we want to make sure that you are the best host possible by anticipating questions, concerns and issues that may arise before your guest even checks-in.
So what information should you include?
Part 1: Personal/contact info
Introduce yourself and tell your guest a little about you, especially if you live at the same place you are hosting at. Your guests are booking an Airbnb partly because they want a personalized experience and not some anonymous robot at the other end just collecting their money. The more your guest feels like they know you and like you, the more likely you will get a better review at the end of their stay.
Provide up to date and current contact information. I include my phone number, an email and I also include my husband’s contact info as well in case they are unable to reach me for any reason. I have had many guests that end up contacting my husband because they couldn’t reach me so I would always advise that you have at least 2 contact emails and numbers.
Part 2: Check-in information
I would include check-in and check-out times here so that your guests are aware and can plan their schedule accordingly. Any check-in instructions should be shared here so your guests know exactly how they can get the keys and how they can enter your listing.
Part 3: Transportation Information
Help your guests figure out how to get to your listing easily. What differentiates a great host from an average one are all the small details that you help your guests figure out their visit without having to be asked. If you’re close to public transit, let your guests know how to get to your listing using public transportation from the airport. If you’re not close to public transportation, provide driving directions from the airport and even include a link to a Google map showing directions from the airport to your location. Provide the name of a cab company and an estimate of how much it will cost to take a cab from the airport to your location. The less that your guests need to research and find out information on their own, the happier they will be with their experience.
Part 4: Information about your listing
This is where you want to let your guest know all about your lovely and unique space. Are there any quirky things that you want your guests to know? Perhaps your bathroom door requires a special way of turning the knob to open. Or your neighbors have chickens next door that cluck at 7AM. These are the kinds of things you want to share with your guests so there are no surprises. Better to have a guest realize that your space may not be the right fit for them rather than have them check in and be unpleasantly surprised.
You should list the address of your Airbnb listing, Wifi network and password, Netflix, and any parking information. If you have any special instructions about garbage, recycling, etc, this should all be listed here.
Part 5: House Rules
Any house rules that you want your guests to know should be listed here. I always recommend that you let guests know no parties, no extra guests that aren’t paid for and no smoking inside the suite. That way, it’s clear that you’ve notified your guests and they can’t claim they weren’t aware of what wasn’t allowed.
Part 6: Points of Interest Nearby
You know your neighborhood best. This is your chance to highlight all the cool spots in your area. Is there a coffee shop with the best salted caramel latte 1 block away? Or perhaps there’s a bakery that people flock from all over the city to come visit because of their pastries. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes and share the spots that you would want to know about. Some suggestions that I use in my own welcome email include restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, nail salons and gyms.
Part 7: Things to do in your city
No one is as much an advocate for their city as its citizens. Share the cool spots that your city is known for but also share some lesser known hidden gems that you love. These are the things that set Airbnb hosts apart from hotels and helps to make a guests’ experience different than all the other tourists visiting. They get a chance to brag to their friends about the cool live music lounge you told them about and you get a great review – win win!
Part 8: Restaurant Recommendations
As a major foodie, one of the things I look forward the most when travelling is to stuff my face with all the unique delectables that await me in each new place I visit. I absolutely love when someone shares their favorite restaurant recommendation with me, especially if it’s one I haven’t heard about in my research about that city. Share your favorite restaurant recommendations and include a variety of hole in the wall, mid and high end choices. Don’t forget dessert either – that’s the most important meal I always look forward to!
I would recommend also leaving a hard copy in the suite/room for your guests to peruse and refer to again when they have time or have questions.
If you’ve read through this long and verbose post, I salute you in your efforts to be a great host. Hopefully these tips will help you become an even better host and for your guests to rave about their experience with you.