Do you want to get great reviews from your Airbnb guests? Do you aspire to be a Superhost?
Since 2014, I’ve been a guest in more than 30 Airbnbs—some as short as one night, others as long as over a month! Some private rooms, some entire homes. Last year, I even co-hosted with an Airbnb host for a brief time.
After spending so much time in Airbnbs, I’d like to share my best Airbnb hosting tips to help you get RAVING reviews, become a Superhost, and make more money.
*Some of the links below are referral or affiliate links, which means I may get credits or commissions if you decide to purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you!
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12 Airbnb Tips and Tricks for Hosts Who Want to Have Happy Guests
#1 Protect your mattress with a mattress cover encasement.
This is probably my number one Airbnb host tip, simply because not a lot of hosts follow it. Not to get too gross, but think about the fact that a hundred people may sleep in the same bed in your Airbnb over the course of a year.
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You need to invest in a good mattress cover—one that completely encases the mattress—to keep the mattress clean for each guest. In fact, when I check into an Airbnb and it doesn’t have mattress covers, I feel grossed out.
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I’ve now started buying my own mattress covers for my Airbnb stays (because I often stay long-term).
Your clients may not ask about it, but trust me…it’s the first thing they are thinking about!
#2 Make check-in easy with a keypad doorknob.
Want to make check-in hassle-free? You NEED to get a keypad doorknob! This makes it effortless because you don’t even have to be there when your guest checks in—you just send them the code, and they can unlock the door to their Airbnb!
These are growing in popularity. Most Airbnbs I rent now have them. So instead of having your guest fumble with lockboxes (SUCH a hassle) or having to coordinate meeting up with them at just the right time (also a hassle), just install a keypad doorknob.
You can even change the code with each new guest for added security.
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#3 Create a guidebook/manual and leave it in your Airbnb
While yes, you can create an online guidebook on Airbnb’s website, it’s great to have a printed guidebook/house manual inside your Airbnb for each guest to peruse.
At the Airbnb I’m staying at right now, my host left a folder filled with the following information:
- Nearest restaurants, grocery stores, and attractions
- Manual on how to use the A/C and heating unit
- Details on where to find the extra sheets, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and cooking supplies
- Contact information for the host and their spouse – in case of emergency
This little guidebook came in handy and saved time because I didn’t have to message my host to ask her these common questions.
#4 Manage expectations by being upfront in your Airbnb description.
Anyone in customer service knows that the key to a happy customer is managing expectations. It’s okay if your Airbnb isn’t perfect—just be upfront about its little quirks!
If you don’t want someone using the kitchen to cook while they’re in your apartment, tell them. If the upstairs toilet tends to clog easily, let them know and leave a plunger! If your Wi-Fi can get spotty because you live in the woods, disclose that.
Real estate agents are masters at turning negatives into positives.
Example: Your apartment is old and the wood floor creaks.
Airbnb description: “Please note my apartment was built in the 19th century so it has some creaky floorboards. It’s all part of its old-world charm!”
Example: You have cats and dogs—allergens.
Airbnb description: “I have a loving cat and a friendly dog, and they’d love to meet you! However, if you are allergic to cats or dogs, my Airbnb is not the right fit for you.”
Example: Your house is downtown near bars and restaurants and it gets really noisy on weekend nights.
Airbnb description: “If you want to sample all the hopping nightlife, you’re in for a treat: My house is downtown within walking distance to bars and restaurants.
Please note, however, that this means it can be noisy on Friday and Saturday nights. If you’re noise sensitive, bring earplugs.”
#5 Respond to every message, even if it’s a “no”
If you fail to respond to messages, your response rate goes down and that hurts your chances of becoming a Superhost. Even if it’s a “no,” simply message them something like, “Thanks for your inquiry. Unfortunately, I’m unable to host you at this time.”
#6 Add little touches like handwritten notes and local treats
At my most recent Airbnb, my host left me local candies, a blank postcard, and a handwritten note. This went a long way in making me feel welcomed!
Also, remember that your guests likely are checking in after a long day of travel. Some light refreshments, especially water, are always appreciated.
#7 Leave labels around the Airbnb
My current host left helpful labels on appliances and light switches so I wouldn’t get confused. I liked this added touch! Plus, it prevents me from having to bother her with unnecessary questions.
#8 Give them space when they need it
While you want them to feel welcomed, you don’t want to smother your guests. They’re on vacation, and they need some time to explore and do their own plans. Unless they ask you to accompany them or give them sightseeing advice, give them their space.
#9 You can get a “co-host” to help you manage Airbnb guests
Overwhelmed by all the duties of being a host? Or maybe you’re out of town and trying to rent out your apartment on Airbnb? Get a co-host via Airbnb and they can take care of those matters for you!
By having an official co-host, you will have to share some of the revenue with them though. Learn more about Airbnb co-hosts here.
#10 Personally welcome guests to your Airbnb
This is definitely not necessary, but you if can, try to welcome your guest in person when they arrive. That way, they can feel more at home, and you can give them a quick tour of the Airbnb.
#11 Share a meal or a cup of coffee!
Some of my most fond Airbnb memories come from hosts who went the extra mile. In Cusco, Peru, my Airbnb host, Manuel, had a welcome lunch prepared for me, which I ate with him and his family.
In Paris, my Airbnb host sat down with me with a cup of coffee and homemade apple crumble as soon as I walked in the door. This, to me, is what Airbnb is all about: connecting with fellow travelers and making them feel at home.
This type of experience is most suited to guests who are booking a private or shared room in your home. If they booked the entire home, then this definitely isn’t expected – and might even get weird :))
#12 Send a “Special Offer” to entice guests to book
Did you know you can send discounted prices to potential guests? These are known as “Special Offers.”
Here’s how to send your guest a Special Offer to entice them to book ASAP:
- Have them send you an Inquiry. This is important: The person MUST send you a message with the dates they’re inquiring about in order for you to even see the feature that says “Send Special Offer.”
- Click “Send Special Offer.”
- Put the nightly rate you want to offer them.
- Send it to them.
Airbnb Hosting Tips on What to Do Before, During and After Their Stay
Automate your Airbnb messages to ensure speedy replies to guests, and save yourself a bunch of time! Read this helpful post on how to automate your Airbnb messages.
Recently, I stayed at an Airbnb with a host who was amazingly responsive. It was clear he had automated messages set up to be sent at certain times, and it made my stay as a guest so much smoother.
Below, I’ll share how you can automate your Airbnb message, what you should say, and examples from one of my previous hosts.
When your guests book
Immediately send a thank-you message and let them know you’ll send them all the information they need as it gets closer to their arrival date.
Before your guests arrive
Three days before arrival: Send them a reminder of their stay and any instructions you may have.
The day before they arrive: Send them a reminder of your address, how to access the Airbnb, any keypad codes they need, and a way to reach you (phone number is good).
After your guests check in
Within a couple of hours, send them a welcome message and ask if there’s anything you can do to make their stay better. Ask if they have any questions. Remind them of where they can find your Airbnb manual/guidebook, tooth paste, extra toilet paper or whatever it else you are providing for them.
During their stay
During their stay, you don’t typically need to worry about messaging them unless something comes up. For example, during my stay at this Airbnb, my host had to get a new Wi-Fi router. She messaged me to let me know about the new Wi-Fi name and password.
After they leave
To make things easier for your cleaning crew, you can ask your guests to please message or text you once they have officially checked out. That way, you can coordinate when you or your cleaners can come into the Airbnb.
Other than that, within a couple of hours, send your guests a message thanking them for their stay and asking them to leave a review if they were satisfied.
Airbnb Hosting Tips on How to Become a Superhost
Yearning to get that coveted Superhost badge by your profile picture? Being an Airbnb Superhost comes with some great perks, including:
- Priority placement: You’re more likely to show up higher in search, meaning more likely to get that booking.
- Profile badge: Not only does this make you look better, but come on, bragging rights!
- Bonuses: After one year of keeping up your Superhost status, you’ll get a $100 travel coupon or professional photos (in some markets).
- Priority support: You’ll move to the front of the line when you need to contact Airbnb Support.
So how do you become an Airbnb Superhost?
Well, according to Airbnb, you must:
- Achieve a 4.8+ overall rating
- Respond within 24 hours at least 90% of the time
- Host at least 10 stays per year
- Never cancel a reservation, unless you have an extenuating circumstance.
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If you want to be a good host, you need to know what it’s like to be a guest! Click here to book on Airbnb.
If you are not yet a host, but are thinking you would like to make upwards of $500/week renting out rooms in your home, (or your home), you can sign up here to be an Airbnb host – and see their special offers.
I hope these Airbnb hosting tips help you snag that Superhost badge in no time! Thanks for reading!
Airbnb Host Shopping List
What to look for in an Airbnb before booking – from an Airbnb superuser!