Skip to main content

Make Airbnb work for you

Make Airbnb work for you
Click to enlarge
Operations - Store and Insure

Give your peer-to-peer holiday guests a five-star experience

With a few simple steps you can improve your ratings as a host on peer-to-peer accommodation sites like Airbnb, Homestay and HomeAway.

Tell your property’s story to set expectations

Every property has its quirks – a steep staircase or tricky parking, perhaps. Be up-front about these things so that potential guests can make a choice before they hit the ‘book’ button.

Make it personal

Clear out clutter and personal photos so that your guests feel the space has been put together especially for them. This applies whether you are letting your entire property or just a room. Anything you can do to make your guest’s space feel like it belongs to them will improve your ratings. It’s fine to add quirky touches to the décor, but hide away personal items like family photographs.

Keep it clean

It is easier to clean an uncluttered home to the ‘sparkling’ standard, so consider this when you plan the space. It’s best if you can put items like games and books away in cupboards. That way they should stay dust-free, and you won’t have to wipe them. A few knick-knacks is fine, but a grand display will mean you have to spend a lot of time cleaning.

Leave clear instructions

No-one wants to spend half their holiday working out how to use the Wi-Fi, so leave clear instructions for your guests. If you’ve gone for the minimalist look, with items stored away in cupboards, then it’s worth letting guests know where they can find things like spare pillows and blankets.

Make sure your insurance is still a good fit

Airbnb offers hosts protection up to a million US$ – but other accommodation markets have different arrangements. You can’t rely on your normal contents insurance to cover the acts of paying guests.

If there is anything you really don’t want your guests to touch – perhaps a precious artwork, a stereo or a games console – then consider putting it in your storage unit. And, of course, get insurance cover for your stored goods while they are in your unit.

Local touches

Local goodies, such as tea, coffee and biscuits, will show off the best your town has to offer. It can also encourage your guests to support the region’s economy further by shopping locally. It’s worth putting out recent listings magazines and the week’s free paper, too (as long as there is nothing too off-putting on the front page). The Global Book Map might help you find novels set in your town.

Another idea is to display the work of local artists – and let guests know where they can see (and buy) more of it.

Be responsive

Many guests will be on short visits, and if something goes wrong they’ll want to tell you about it quickly so that you can sort it out. But if you don’t answer your phone, they’ll spoil their trip worrying about it. One of the hardest things about hosting is knowing that you may have to drop everything so you can provide a great service.

As you can see, there are easy steps hosts can take to boost ratings on accommodation sites – and if your home is clean and uncluttered, you are halfway there.