Tips for First Time Airbnb Hosts

Hilton Head Vacation Rental Company

After researching and evaluating the possibility of leaping into the short-term rental industry, you feel great about becoming a host on Airbnb. After all, you have prepared the proper instructions for the guest’s arrival, set up a lockbox for keyless entry, and spent time enhancing your listing.

Now you just have to publish your listing and the bookings will begin pouring in?


Achieving success as a host on Airbnb depends on many factors, and building a strong listing is just one. Standing out from your competition is another, especially because there are 660,000 Airbnb listings in the usa. Have you ever thought about how to stand out from the crowd?

One of the best ways to succeed on Airbnb is go above and beyond the bare minimum and provide a superior guest experience.

Guest reviews are an essential part of listing on Airbnb. If you go above and beyond a guest’s expectations, they’ll be inspired to share their expertise and recommend your property with a glowing review.

As you probably are aware, reviews will get your listing rated higher in searches and may also be the deciding factor for other travelers.

Below are some practical Airbnb host tips about how to create an exceptional guest experience that will help you stand out from the competition, and keep your guests coming back year-after-year.

Guest-centered details

To provide a great guest experience, you’ll want to make it memorable. Think about your most memorable hospitality experience. Was it if an Airbnb host fulfilled the minimal prerequisites, like reacting quickly? Or accepting your reservation? Or maybe it was because they did not cancel?

Or was it memorable because the host provided a personalized welcome note along with a locally sourced bottle of wine waiting for you when you walked in? Or maybe it was the plush dog bed and food bowls they supplied because you mentioned you were traveling with your best (furry) friend?

The most memorable experiences are similar to the last two examples. The host clearly went out of their way to provide something thoughtful to make their guests feel genuinely welcomed in their home.

This can begin before your first booking with a Welcome Book. You will want to make sure it’s a useful tool your guests can reference every time they have questions about your home.

This can include information about how to work the A/C and heat, which remote operates which apparatus, the wifi log-in, etc..

Travelers like to”live like a local” when renting a vacation home, so go the extra mile and give the best recommendations in your Welcome Book. For example, highlight a few of your favorite dinner spots, advise your visitors on overcrowded places to avoid, and mention some places to find the best music.

If you’re not able to greet your guests when they arrive, we suggest you leave a welcome gift in the foyer or the kitchen. Some of our owners say”the welcome gift is a very straightforward and inexpensive thing we do that has attracted great returns…[and] overwhelmingly positive feedback.”

For bonus points, give something your guests can use throughout their stay, like a bag of local freshly ground coffee, to freshly-baked goods from the new bakery down the street (and maybe a coupon to use later).

Adding small seasonal touches to your decor is another thoughtful way to welcome guests into your home. Buy fresh flowers from the local farmer’s market, or pick some wildflowers from your yard or garden to impress them.

Decorating for the holidays is also a nice touch, especially if your home is purposefully booked over the holidays. Tasteful autumn decor around Thanksgiving, and winter decorations during the colder months are always a amazing touch that can make your property feel like their home away from home.

Limiting clutter and family pictures around the house will make sure your guests don’t feel like they are intruding on your space. If you do have clutter, make sure it serves a purpose, such as magazines and/or books about the area, or a DVD collection guests can use. In addition, try to keep family pictures to a minimum since they make it difiicult for guests to forget they’re staying in a stranger’s house.

The last small guest-centered touch we recommend is currently going above and beyond the basic amenity. Guests rely on you to provide the essentials (soap, toilet paper, towels, etc.), but they appreciate the little extras that make their stay more comfortable.

Providing hotel-sized toiletry items like shampoo, conditioner, cream, Q-tips, etc. is a thoughtful touch. Try buying those items in bulk since they are so regularly used and can be refilled when running low.

The same applies to kitchen necessities such as dishwasher detergent, dish soap, sponges, surface wipes, etc. that can be purchased in bulk too. Don’t forget to maintain a fully stocked kitchen that allows your guests to easily make a home cooked meal.

Ask for help if needed.

You might have began renting your home planning to do everything yourself. However, after a few months you are getting more bookings than expected, and providing an exceptional guest experience, cleaning, and maintaining your property is starting to feel really overwhelming.

Try not to let those feelings get the best of you — especially since having a full calendar means that you’re doing very well. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone, so make sure to ask for help when you need it. There are a great deal of resources available that can help manage your home.

The most useful may be a professional vacation rental clean team who will make sure that your place is spotless before any check-ins.

Cleanliness is the primary cause of guest complaints, so make sure you consider the ones that have experience cleaning short-term rentals, because it is slightly different than your typical house cleaning.

They’ll need to supply a higher level of service to make sure your home is guest-ready, and accommodate any scheduled quick turns (ie. When a guest checks-out at 10 am, and another 1 checks-in at 3 pm).

In addition to keeping your home clean, it also needs to be fully functional prior to guest arriving. The last thing you want to experience is a broken A/C unit or a bathtub that doesn’t drain right before a check-in.

Another fantastic resource to have at your disposal is a local handyman or someone who can help maintain your home. Staying proactive with home maintenance is essential since fixing something may take a few days and you don’t want to bother your guests. This contact can save you a lot of time, energy, and anxiety by performing routine maintenance every six months.

Cleaning and maintaining your vacation rental is a seamless way to cut down on management costs and increase your income. But it just makes sense if you live locally and can afford to treat hosting on Airbnb as your full-time occupation. Can you guarantee you will have sufficient time to conduct your rental and get impressive reviews?

Guest reviews are a crucial part of Airbnb and each other online listing site. The best tip we can give to first time Airbnb hosts is to go above and beyond the minimum requirements of any listing website, and focus on providing the best guest experience you can. Aiming to create a memorable experience is an amazing way to bring in 5-star reviews.