AirBnB is an incredibly popular platform for listing holiday rentals. As it largely runs on reviews, you want to make sure your guests are impressed from the moment they book until after they leave. Even if you don’t list on AirBnB, there are some small steps you can take to stand out from the crowd, ensuring great reviews and return guests.
As suggested by the Porter Blog, it’s important that you send your guests a short email before their arrival. This should include details about how to find your property, the check-in procedure and exchanging contact details. To go that extra mile, you can also include information about the weather and things to do in the immediate area. This will leave guests with a great first impression before they’ve even arrived.
Uplisting have some great templates for first emails to new guests. They also suggest you can send a message as soon as the booking is confirmed. This reassures guests that everything has gone through, and can be a great point to give them your contact information. Just make sure not to go overboard – a booking confirmation and a pre-arrival email should be enough. You can also send a quick message after the first night to check everything is running smoothly.
Follow the AirBnB Five Senses Test
Any estate agent will tell you that people use all five senses when exploring a new place. Baking bread has become a bit of a tired trick, but there are some great modern ways to tantalise your guests senses. BnB Nomad have gone through some of the basics. You want everything in the property to be easily visible and clearly marked; opening a window will keep the space smelling fresh; white noise machines will cancel out city sounds; soft furnishings will keep your guests feeling comfortable and leaving some local snacks will give them an exciting first taste of the location.
There are also some extra mile steps you can take. Mamma Mode have a fantastic rundown of some innovative ways you can please all five senses. Whether it be leaving a candle out, or including some ambient music on a bluetooth speaker, these additional touches will set you apart from other properties. Most importantly, you should work with what you have. If you are by the seaside, simply opening a window will invite welcoming smells and sounds. Apartments next to building sites are trickier, so make sure your guests are aware of what to expect before arrival.
Part of the main draw for AirBnB is the promise that guests will get a more local experience. As a host, you can use your local knowledge to make your property stand out from the large hotel chains. Learn AirBnB have some great suggestions. If possible, grab some tickets for popular events that regularly sell-out and include them. These do not have to be expensive events, but something that will help them experience the area. You can also build personal connections with local entertainment venues to help get your guests exclusive access.
Alternatively, you can take the simpler approach suggested by WinwInnKeeper and leave a local gift. Avoid the tat shops and use your expertise to find something authentic. This is a small touch that shows you’ve gone that extra mile to welcome your guest. You can also include maps and highlight your favourite locations, or local snacks.
Go the extra mile with amenities
This is one of the most cost-effective ways to add extra wow factor to your AirBnB property. Properly suggest a few options in their blog. Beyond luxury toiletries and soft towels – which even the most basic hotels offer these days – you can look at other forms of convenience. International guests will be particularly delighted to find phone chargers with local plugs available. Some other great basics could be yoga mats, hairdryers and coffee makers.
GuestReady have an entire blog post dedicated to what amenities to include with your rental. They suggest considering what kind of guests you usually have before choosing amenities. Business visitors will appreciate chargers and workspaces, whilst leisure travellers might be more impressed by kitchen equipment and kids toys. You can also use this information to design welcome packs with local recommendations.
Ben Squires from Over Sixty, and KozyGuru both drive this point home – you have to be reachable for your guests. Though most guests will be understanding that immediate responses aren’t always possible, you should make sure they have easy ways of contacting you. If you find the app is not a great way of keeping in touch, make sure your contact details are in the welcome pack.
As mentioned above, it is also a good idea to send a quick message after the first night stay checking everything is going well. This makes you seem more approachable in the event anything does happen, and opens your guests up to ask you questions about the property or local area. There’s no need to overdo it – but make sure guests know they can count on you to help them.
These tips are not only good for AirBnB listings but apply to all types of holiday rental. If you own a holiday let or small hotel, chances are your guests are looking for a more local experience than those who opt for the hotel chains. Keeping these tips in mind will help you stand out from the crowd and ensure great reviews.
Need more marketing tips to increase direct bookings? I have created a Free 5 Step email guide to help. To get your copy go towww.boostly.co.uk/free