You want to step up your Airbnb game and be a better host, but after a while all of the tips you read start sounding the same. It’s time to think outside the box and do something different to set your listing apart!
Here are some truly unique and tested techniques guaranteed to up your rating as an Airbnb host.
Personal Interactions and recommendations
When interacting with guests, take the time to make it extremely personalized. If they are coming for a concert, mention your favorite song by that artist (we did this once and our guests actually gave us their extra tickets!). If they are coming for a bachelorette party, suggest fun places for them to party. If they are coming for a family vacation, find kid-friendly restaurants. If they are coming over a holiday, research what places are open.
Handwritten Note and Welcome Gift
You don’t need to do a thank you note or gift for every guest. I conducted my own experiment where I spent three months hand writing personalized thank you notes for each guest who stayed at our place. To be honest, the amount of effort/time I put into them was NOT worth it.
However, there were two types of guests where it did make a difference: people celebrating something (bachelorette parties, birthdays, graduations, New Year’s Eve), and mom’s night out. They were extremely grateful for the note and bottle of wine in the fridge, and it showed in their positive reviews!
Make a trip out to your local party supply store and stock up on some generic decorations like a “last fling before the ring”, “congratulations graduate”, or “Happy birthday” banners and signs. Hang these up when you know your guests are coming into town for a specific celebration.
Have a stash of holiday and seasonal decorations to change out during the year. Hit up the sales right after the holidays and score some great deals! Splurge on something cheesy and fun, like New Year’s Eve glasses or Kiss Me I’m Irish-ish buttons for guests to wear and take with them.
Have a “selfie-worthy” decoration or feature in your house
By “selfie-worthy”, I mean something fun/crazy that guests would want to take a picture in front of and send to their friends. The sky’s the limit here, people – get creative!
Think of something unexpected, but that goes with your overall theme. If you’re a zen/yoga retreat, how about a life sized sand garden? If you’re going for a local vibe – giant cardboard cutouts of famous people from your city! Travel themed? Paint/hang a map that covers a whole wall and acts as a giant guest book for guests to write on! If you are artsy/boho themed, picture a unique backyard sculpture garden with stone walking path.
We hired a local artist to paint a mural on each of our bedroom walls. If you go this route, the mural should 1. be something to do with your city (skyline, something your city is famous for, famous people from your city, a scene from a well-known movie or book that takes place in your city, etc). or 2. something to do with your theme.
Boost Your Search Rankings
Bug your friends and family to log onto their Airbnb and click the little red heart on the top of your listing’s first picture. By adding you to their wishlist, this bumps you up in the mysterious Airbnb search algorithm and will increase the likelihood that other guests will find you.
Have a kickass guidebook
Your guidebook makes a HUGE difference to guest satisfaction. I took a deep dive into this subject in a previous blog post: write a kickass Airbnb guidebook
Respond Publicly to Every Guest Review
When a guest leaves you a review, respond publicly. A quick and personalized “Nice to meet you! So happy you enjoyed the parade!” will do the trick. This helps potential guests see more of your personality, and gives you some credibility when you have to respond publicly to a negative review.
Do you need to know how to respond to a negative review? Check out my previous blog post: how to respond to a negative review.
Give Exclusive Discounts to your Guests
We went to local businesses, and just asked for coupons or deals in exchange for advertising their company on our social media and in our guidebook. Guests save money and local businesses get customers. Win-win all around!
Upgrade your amenities to local or high end brands. Instead of Walmart brand coffee, buy some roasted beans from a local coffee shop. Ditch the dollar tree toiletries and pick up some salon grade shampoo/conditioner during a sale. Even better, supply coffee and shower consumables in posh containers. You are free to purchase whatever brand you want! And since you are constantly topping off the containers, guests won’t run out halfway through their stay.
Provide additional toiletries. Things like hairspray, tampons, disposable razors, makeup remover, shaving cream, mouthwash…whatever you use at home, a guest might have forgotten to bring. And they will be thankful when they don’t have to run to Walgreens, because you have thought of everything!
Look around for what makes sense to add in other areas of your house. If you have a designated laptop work area, throw in some basic office supplies like pens, paper clips, notebooks, etc. If you really want to wow them, provide a wireless printer.
Local, Local, Local!
Guests book Airbnb for authentic experiences. Anytime you can incorporate something from your city/state, do it! Local authors, coffee roasters, soap makers, artists – make sure to include these details in your house manual.
Print out pictures of famous people from your area and create a display.
Buy postcards from your local tourist shop, write your website on the bottom, and have them available for guests to take home.
Thanks for visiting my Airbnb hosting blog! Hosting is a huge passion in my life. I love showing others how to build their own hosting business and reach financially independence. If you are enjoying the content on this blog, it would mean a lot to me if you would consider purchasing my new book,Financially Free with Airbnb. It’s available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Interested in receiving 1:1 coaching? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!