How to Prepare Your House for Airbnb Listing and Guests?
Your home is your most valuable possession, and so, it’s obvious that you must have invested a considerable amount of money in building or buying it. We know that it is difficult for most people to even trust their relatives and neighbours when it comes to handing over the keys to their house.
In simple words, when people go out of town or leave their house for some days due to any reason, they face a huge difficulty. This difficulty is not being able to assign the responsibility of ensuring maintenance and safety of their house to anyone. In such circumstances, even the thought of giving your home on rent can stress you out.
But what if you have a spare room, floor, or residential property? Wouldn’t you like to generate a secondary source of income by renting out your house? Spaces that are lying idle despite being in a condition to be given on rent are a burden. You must already have paid the price, taxes, and other expenses related to them. You might also be incurring regular maintenance costs.
So, why not utilise the spare areas of your property to earn some money? Airbnb offers you the opportunity to increase your cash inflow through your house. You can list your residential spaces on Airbnb, a platform that provides listings of various accommodation options available throughout the world.
What is Airbnb?, What Airbnb Does? And How Airbnb Works?
We are sure that you must be aware of the operations of Airbnb. But just like many other things that you have never tried before, you might be having some confusion or doubts regarding it. Your worries are completely understandable as you cannot be confident or sure about something until you have tried it at least once.
Therefore, if you have never used Airbnb, you might not have a clear idea of the process. Worry not as we have covered it in brief here. You need to create an account on Airbnb for listing your property. A wide range of properties is listed on the platform as options for rented accommodations. These properties include but are not limited to independent houses, flats, condos, mansions, studio apartments, lofts, villas, penthouses, vacation homes, bed & breakfast, lifestyle hotels, boutique hotels, and hostels.
Airbnb Australia also includes unique accommodation options, such as houseboats, recreational vehicles, buses, gypsy cars, huts, treehouses, castles, and islands. All the places listed on Airbnb can be divided into four major categories – 1) Shared Rooms, 2) Private Rooms, 3) Hotel Rooms, and 4) Entire Place.
Once you add details regarding the place that you want to rent out, it will become visible to the people checking the website or mobile application of Airbnb. Interested people can book your place and make the payment to Airbnb. Then, Airbnb will deduct their commission and pay the remaining amount to you.
What Airbnb Guests Want: Know from the Tips Given Below
Your guests might range from a group of friends and a couple to a business executive and a family. The exact requirements that need to be fulfilled might vary from one guest to another. Every guest has different expectations, preferences, and tastes.
So, you might have to make some special arrangements before the arrival of every guest. But there are some basic arrangements that you can make every time your property gets booked. We have mentioned them in the form of a list below. This list has been curated after giving proper thought to the general expectations of all types of guests. Fulfilling these expectations will help you to get more bookings and good reviews.
- Capture Stellar Pictures of Your Place
Before you can start hoping for enquiries and bookings to come, you need to show your place in the best possible light to the prospective guests. While registering on Airbnb, you should upload some great pictures of different areas of your property. These pictures serve as testimony to the description you write.
Now, you might be an amazing photographer, but when it comes to clicking the images of your place, you might want to call the experts. Professionals who have proficiency in real estate photography can meet your needs. They can guide you in arranging the furniture and decorating the place to achieve the desired results.
However, in case, you can’t afford to hire an expert, you should make some preparations. You need to use the equipment that professionals use. A high-quality camera and tripod are a few examples of such equipment. You should ensure that the lighting is appropriate while taking the photographs.
You can capture pictures in both daytime and nighttime. Daytime pictures enable guests to visualise having lunches, doing work, and spending fun time at your property. On the other hand, nighttime pictures enable guests to visualise having candle night dinners, partying, and relaxing in the bed at your property.
Take photographs from various angles to show floor, ceiling, walls, furniture, décor items, and more properly. You can highlight features like chandeliers, ceiling lights, carpets, and wall paintings through these photographs.
If your house has outdoor spaces, you should click pictures of those areas without fail. These pictures should depict the functionalities and visual appeal of all your outdoor spaces. You must be able to show that your outdoor areas are safe even at night.
Clean your place thoroughly before starting to work with the camera. Give your premises a deep clean. If your budget allows you, hire the services of a cleaning company. Their cleaners will bring premium quality cleaning products and tools with them.
In order to make your property suitable for hosting Airbnb guests, you need to take care of certain prerequisites. You should take into account all the aspects that can affect the stay of your guests. For example, privacy, safety, hygiene, and peace of mind.
You don’t need to do much for ascertaining that the essential points are taken care of. Just create a list of the factors that matter most to you when you think about staying somewhere. Then, check where does your place rank from one to ten in terms of those factors.
Whenever a guest books your place for a stay, even if it’s just one night, make sure that it looks neat. You need to clean every nook and cranny of all the areas of your property. Depending on the size of your property and the duration of the stay, you can decide whether to handle cleanliness on your own or rely on professionals.
You should clean all the surfaces and objects in both indoor spaces and outdoor spaces of your home. Countertops, baseboards, doors, windows, lighting products & fixtures, plumbing appliances & fixtures, electronic devices, electrical appliances, switchboards, curtains, blinds, furniture pieces, décor pieces, doorknobs, carpets, rugs, and doormats should be included in your cleaning list.
Those properties that have outdoor spaces, whether such spaces are small or large, need special attention with regards to cleaning. You might have to get the patio, deck, and other areas cleaned through pressure washing. If you have a swimming pool, get it cleaned too.
Get a proper locking system for your house. The locking system you use should ensure the safety of both property and guests. If you use conventional locks, you might want to replace them every time your house gets vacated. You can invest in buying wall mounted locks or digital locks so that both you and your guests can feel relieved.
The perfect answer to “Why Airbnb is Good?” is that hosts get their basics cleared. In simple words, you need to equip your house with items that are a must for everyday life. It’s not necessary that the items you possess should be extremely costly but they should be decent.
Your place must have the key pieces of furniture, such as bed, sofa, coffee table, dining table, kitchen cabinets, and chairs. If you wish to host guests who are on a business trip, you should keep a table and a chair that can be used as a workstation. In addition, you should also have blankets, bedsheets, cushions, cushion covers, throws, pillows, and pillow covers.
On asking the question “Why Airbnb Is Better than Hotels?”, the most common reply obtained is “That Airbnb properties have a kitchen!”. If your place has a kitchen, whether it will be used by guests alone or shared between you and guests, it should be stocked with necessary items.
You need to have cookware like frying pans, grill pans, saucepans, saute pans, woks, soup pots, stockpots, steamers, sauce ladles, soup ladles, stirring spoons, slotted spoons, spatulas, whisks, sieves, strainers, tongs, chopping boards, and knives. You should also have utensils or cutlery that can be used for serving and storing food.
The reason behind trying to keep so many cookware items is to be able to fulfil the needs of varied guests. You never know what might be the favourite cuisine of your guests or what they might want to cook while staying at your place.
Talking about the ingredients used for cooking, your kitchen should have basic spices and condiments. Salt, pepper, chilli flakes, oregano, curry powder, cloves, and cinnamon are some of the ingredients that you can keep. You can also keep oil, garlic, basil, and chillies.
While it’s an important appliance to keep in the kitchen, a few people just forget about it. If you don’t want to be one of them, make sure to have a tea and coffee machine in your kitchen. Keep some coffee beans, tea bags, coffee bags, and coffee filters as well.
You should ensure that your bathroom has all the toiletries including but not limited to hand wash, soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shower gel, hair oil, paper soap sheets, toilet paper rolls, and facial tissues. You can also keep toothpaste, comb, and body lotion. If your guests include one or more women, don’t forget to have female hygiene products.
After the toiletries, another concern regarding the bathroom is linens. Bath towels, hand towels, and bathrobes are some of the items that you can keep in your bathroom. You can keep bathroom linens in different sizes to accommodate the needs of guests of all age groups.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of some items that are useful at home. You can keep those items at your place for your guests. Mirrors, clocks, scissors, adhesive tape, measuring tape, rubber bands, batteries, cotton, rope, clothes pegs, can opener, bottle opener, kitchen weighing scale, sewing kit, cleaning clothes, tissue papers, trash cans, dustbins, trash bags, notepad, and pen are such items.
Just like you would want to live within the safe premises, your guests would also want to stay under safe conditions. You must be aware that certain preparations are required for ensuring safety at a home. You need to make your property safe for your guests.
The fact that ‘Is Airbnb secure and safe?” is a widely searched question on the Internet proves that safety is one of the biggest concerns while booking Airbnb properties. Here, the word ‘safety’ implies not only the prevention of theft but also protection from weather and other uncertainties.
You should have a fire extinguisher, fire alarm, smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, emergency light, flashlights, candles, matchbox, lighter, and other items that can help your guests feel safe all the time during their stay.
A first-aid kit is a must for all places, irrespective of their size or location, as accidents can never be forecasted. The first-aid kit that you keep should have all the essential items. You can also include over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for health issues like headache, abdominal pain, etc.
Inspect your property in a detailed manner to identify the safety hazards. Faulty wires, a leaking roof, and a broken fence are some of these hazards. Implement the right solutions for removing these hazards. You can even get the night lights, sensor lights, and window safety glazing installed.
Some special preparations are needed for unexpected circumstances like power off. You can keep some ready-to-eat snacks and disposable cutlery in your kitchen. You can also keep a one-step stool, safety goggles, and a toolkit if you want.
The simple answer that most people give to the question “What is Airbnb?” is that “Airbnb is a way to find a homely place to stay while being on a vacation or a work trip”. In order to make a place look and feel like home, it should be equipped with amenities mostly found at a residential place.
Make a list of all the amenities that you would prefer having at a place booked for a stay while being away from home. Make another list of all the amenities that you can afford to offer to your guests. Now, compare both the lists and arrive at a decision.
A few amenities that guests would usually look for are a television set, air conditioner, heater, dehumidifier, thermostat, storage cabinets, suitcase racks, drawers, shelves, night lamps, pedestal fans, tower fans, closets, garments racks, clothes drying rack, and ironing board amongst others.
Some amenities that would increase the functionality of your kitchen are microwave oven, toaster, grinder, juicer, blender, dishwasher, electric kettle, pizza cutter, meat thermostat, ice trays, coasters, countertop covers, and bags for storing food. You can even include a whole baking set-up that has trays, brushes, butter papers, whipped cream dispensers and piping bags, measuring cups and spoons and more.
You should make your guests aware of how the machines in your laundry room work. If you don’t have a laundry within your premises, no need to worry. Just inform your guests about the communal laundry room or the laundromat situated in close proximity to your place.
Hosts willing to have guests, who are on a professional trip, should add some specific items to their list of amenities. These items are desk fans, portable fans, and table lamps. Above all, you must have a Wi-Fi connection. Guests should feel comfortable and productive while working at your home.
Ensure that you keep adequate supplies of items that are important for performing day-to-day tasks. For example, detergents, laundry soaps, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, dishwashing liquids, all-purpose cleaners, disinfectant wipes, sanitiser, aluminium foil, and so on.
You need to keep dish scrub, broom, dustpan, hand duster, mop, bucket, tumbler, toilet brush, plunger, rubber gloves, bathmats and other items necessary to live hygienically and safely. If your budget permits, you can also keep a vacuum cleaner.
Phrases like “Airbnb where you can have a party” and “Airbnb where you can get married” are searched by many people on the Internet. It serves as proof that people book Airbnb properties for numerous reasons, including weddings, parties, get-togethers, and celebrations.
So, a large number of Airbnb hosts must be going the extra mile to make their place suitable for different activities and occasions. If you feel that your place is ideal for hosting special events for guests, you should pay attention to some points.
Apart from having furniture pieces and other objects that are usually found in every home, you should have some extra items. For example, island seating in kitchen, TV entertainment unit, bedside tables, end tables, ottomans, hammocks, dressing table, wine fridge, and popcorn maker.
If your house has one or more outdoor spaces, you need to decide, whether those outdoor spaces should be open, partially enclosed, or fully enclosed. Some weather conditions and situations call for enclosure and privacy screens.
Determine whether you require curtains, blinds, window shutters, window privacy films, shower curtains, retractable fly screens, water filter systems, and other products. With the help of these products, you can make your guests spend their days and nights comfortably at your home.
Keep decent quality linens for every area of your home. Bedsheets, blankets, comforter, duvet, duvet covers, table covers, table napkins, placemats, bath towels, washcloths, tea towels, apron, oven mitts, and handkerchiefs are some linens that should be present.
All kinds and sizes of properties require periodic maintenance. While some maintenance tasks need to be performed daily, others can be carried out on a monthly or yearly basis. Through maintenance, you can keep your property in the topmost condition.
When guests enter your premises, they should get impressed. Only a place that is spotless and perfectly fine can compel them to leave positive reviews on the Airbnb platform. If you want to earn great reviews, you should make it a point to keep your place looking new and flawless.
If your house has been vacant for a long time or if its age is too old, you should get it inspected for the existence of pests. Infestation by pests is a common problem faced all over Australia. Approach a reputable pest inspection and control company to identify and remove pests.
Check whether doors and windows are working properly or not. If your property is infested with termites, then doors, windows, and wooden furniture pieces might have become badly affected. You need to get the necessary repairs and replacements done once the pest treatment is completed.
Book an appointment with experienced technicians for the examination of the HVAC system, electronic devices, electrical appliances & fixtures, and plumbing appliances & fixtures. If repairs or replacements are required, get them done. Use only high-quality replacement parts.
Check the electrical fittings for the signs of damage. Check the plumbing fittings, pipes, taps, and roof for the signs of leakage. Check the sinks and drains for the signs of blockage. Check the walls and ceilings for the signs of chipping, cracking, and other types of damage. Check wooden items for the signs of rotting and splintering.
Some appliances, fixtures, fittings, objects, and surfaces might have reduced functionality or a less-than-perfect look. This list includes surfaces like deck, patio, and porch as well. You can get them replaced by installing the new ones. While buying new items, always keep in mind the aesthetics of your house.
Whether it’s Airbnb Sydney, Airbnb Melbourne, Airbnb Perth, Airbnb Gold Coast, Airbnb Adelaide or Airbnb Brisbane, any guest would love to experience convenience during their stay. By giving a little thought and time, you can find out how to make your guests feel the convenience.
You need to look around your place meticulously to recognise things that can make your guests face inconvenience. Then, you need to note down ways by which you can correct those things. In the end, you need to brainstorm over how you can make your guests feel at ease.
Check whether all the rooms in your home get sufficient natural light or not. Some guests prefer having sunlight through glass doors and windows. Not everyone likes to rely on artificial lighting during the daytime. You can make the necessary changes to serve varied types of guests.
Most people like to sleep till late when they are on a vacation. In such a case, if the glass doors or windows in bedrooms bring in the sunlight, it can disrupt the sleep of guests. You should hang the curtains for avoiding such a situation.
Adding small features at the right spots in your home can bring convenience to your guests. These features include but are not limited to wall hooks, magnetic key holders, coat hangers, napkin holders, floating shelves, magnetic shelves, storage buckets, nesting baskets, mason jars, alarm clocks, calendars, scented candles, candle stands, room fresheners, home fragrance diffuser, raincoats, desk organiser, and fruit bowl.
One of the reasons why Airbnb is successful is that a lot of hosts go out of their way to make guests feel special. They get rewarded for making extra efforts in the form of reviews and ratings. You can be a part of the category of such hosts by making the stay of your guests incredibly pleasant.
Items like a bed and a refrigerator can make your home a normal Airbnb property, thereby getting you bookings every now and then. But with unique arrangements, you can make your place stand out from the rest. You can get the bookings more often by pleasing your guests.
Pay heed to the functionality and appearance of your entrance. Remember that your home is not a hotel room. So, its entrance, unlike the entrance of a hotel room, should not be plain or boring. You can make the entrance feel inviting by keeping items, such as shoe racks, plant racks, decorative doormats, welcome signboards, and wind chimes.
Make your guests feel welcomed at their Airbnb rental by giving personal touches to your home. You can create a customised welcome kit that contains some food items, flowers, and a welcome note. Arrange some foods and beverages like canned foods, packaged snacks, ready to eat meals, tea bags, coffee beans, cold drinks, sodas, milk, eggs, bread, butter, cheese, and water bottles. For guests with children, you can also keep breakfast cereal, chocolates, and candies.
Create a living room that oozes off the vibes of relaxation, entertainment, and excitement. Include various seating options for guests of different ages and interests. Keep colourful cushions as well as enough throws and lap quilts on sofas, couches, and other pieces of furniture. You can opt to get a fireplace and storage ottoman in the living room.
Furnish and decorate the bedroom in such a way that it appears both spacious and cosy. Invest in a high-quality mattress, latest bed, fancy nightstands, decorative night lamps, and gorgeous closets. If possible, you can keep television and a radio in the bedroom. If your house is big, you can think about getting a walk-in closet built.
The sky is the limit when you think about making your place luxurious. You can have accent walls, elegant wallpapers, wall art, flower pots, vases, wine rack, bar cart, food trolley, bookcase, speakers, accent lights, trivets, aquariums, paintings, planters, and more.
Properties with outdoor spaces have a larger scope of providing the chance of rejuvenation to the guests. If your home has an outdoor space, make sure to adorn it with features that can help guests to take a break from their routine life. Hot tubs, fountains, wall-mounted sconces, up down lights, ornamental plants, swings, bean bags, fireplace, lanterns, and outdoor kitchen are some of these features.
Every guest has specific needs and expectations when it comes to staying at an Airbnb rental accommodation. For example, guests having kids would love to see some baby products. Similarly, female guests would love to have items like a hairdryer, hair styling kit, tweezers, eyelash curler, and makeup remover kept in the house. For male guests, you can keep a shaving kit and face wash.
By keeping personal hygiene and beauty products like sunscreen lotion, cotton swabs, wet wipes, lip balm, skin moisturizers, perfumes, and deodorants at your place, you can win the hearts of every guest. You can even keep a pack of toothbrushes.
While they are highly useful in everyday life, some items get neglected by people when they pack for going on a vacation or a business trip. You can keep these items ready for your guests. Charging cables, extension boards, universal charging stations, wireless headphones, massager machines, and eye masks are some of these items.
Help guests make the most out of every moment that they spend at your Airbnb home. Keep interesting books and magazines, inexpensive musical instruments, and other items that can add fun to the stay of your guests. You can also keep books that have recipes of foods belonging to local cuisine.
Make your place ideal for all types of guests by making some adjustments. You can make your house kids-friendly by keeping furniture pieces that are used for kids, for example, baby feeding table, cradle, and children dining table. To make your place disabled-friendly, you can make arrangements, such as ramps, grab bars, wide doorways, and step-in showers.
Some guests book Airbnb rental accommodations for a long stay to serve purposes, including but not limited to learning a new language, skill, or culture, working on a business idea, joining an overseas office, doing voluntary work, taking a long vacation or sabbatical, writing a book, enjoying the retirement, and undergoing medical treatments. You can make your place suitable for such long stays by keeping extra cleaning supplies, toiletries, personal hygiene and beauty products, linens, and more.
Whenever you visit any new place, you might have observed certain instructions being given through oral and written means of communication. For example, a sticker on the wall that says ‘throw garbage in trash can’ or a sign showing the maximum number of people allowed in an elevator. The purpose behind giving such instructions is to make visitors aware of various aspects of that place.
So, when you rent out your property to guests through Airbnb, you should follow the same practice. Inform your guests about everything that they should know to enjoy a hassle-free stay. The best way to do this is to create a ‘Welcome Book’. In this book, you should include all the points that you want your guests to know. You don’t need to make a separate book for every guest. Just make one book and ensure that it’s a comprehensive guide.
Keep your Airbnb guest welcome book at a place where it can get easily noticed like the centre table, entryway table, or console table. You can tell your guests before they visit your premises that you have prepared a welcome book for them. Let them know that the book contains useful information so that they don’t ignore it.
In order to prepare a welcome book, first, create a list of details that you want to share with your guests. Then, write down all the details in well-structured sentences. Categorise the information so that guests don’t get confused while reading. You can create categories like ‘Bedroom’, ‘Kitchen’, ‘Living Room’, and so on.
Divide the information into different sections, each of which can have one or more paragraphs. Give a proper heading to each section. ‘How to Dispose of Garbage?’, ‘How to Use Washing Machine?’, and ‘How to Control Lighting through a Remote?’ are examples of such sections. Use bullet points for drawing the attention of your guests towards some vital information.
Once the book is prepared, get it printed by using decent quality papers and cover. On the outer side of the book, mention that it is a guest welcome book via printing. You can use terms like ‘Guest Welcome Book’, ‘Welcome Handbook’, and ‘Guide for Guests’. Use appropriate layout, font size, font type, colours, and images for both pages and cover. Make the book interesting to read.
Your Airbnb welcome book can contain numerous points depending on what you want to share with your guests. You can include information about policies for smoking, pets, and camera usage, instructions on how to use cooktop, electronic devices, electrical appliances, plumbing appliances, lights, and bulbs, details about operating HVAC system, home automation system, and home security system, and steps to take in case of weather emergencies, fire hazards, and other situations.
Other details that you might want to mention in your guest welcome book are rules for parking, partying, wedding, filling trash cans, disposing of the trash from trash cans, accessing the internet connection or Wi-Fi, and locking and unlocking the house. You must let your guests know about the location of the meter box as well as when and how to water the plants.
Handbook can become an easy medium of making your guests aware of the neighbourhood, town, and nation (in case your guests turn out to be foreigners). Mention the information about nearby grocery stores, eateries (restaurants, cafes, steakhouses, etc.), bakeries, clubs, bars, gyms, bowling centres, salons & spas, shopping centres, clinics, hospitals & pharmacies, gas stations, pet stores & salons, police stations, regional train stations and more in your guest welcome book.
Guests might find certain details helpful, such as local transportation modes, timings, & fares, emergency numbers for theft, fire, and ambulance, historic sites, and tourist attractions. Include your contact details in case your guests might want to approach you during emergencies.
While preparing your Airbnb guest welcome book, you should use a polite, conversational, and friendly tone. You can even include a bit of humour in the material. Avoid using an authoritative or condescending tone at all costs. The book should be prepared in such a way that your guests can easily find all the information that they need.
Just like you might have noticed people cutting corners in many aspects of life, some Airbnb hosts cut corners too. They present their property in a widely different manner than what it actually is. If you want to earn the trust of guests and score good reviews on the Airbnb platform, you should never do this.
Ensuring honesty and transparency in the whole process of listing the property, accepting bookings, and preparing your property for guests is a key to earn both respect and profits. Just like you care about your guests, you should care about yourself too. Remove precious items (like jewellery, gems, etc.), cash, and ammunition from your property before opening its doors for guests.
While your place is being occupied by Airbnb guests, you should make arrangements to stop your mail from coming there. If that’s not possible, keep a mailbox outside your property. The letters will be dropped in the mailbox, and you can check them later on. If the property that you have listed on Airbnb is often used for welcoming your personal guests, you should keep them informed whenever your property gets booked so that they don’t show up unannounced.
Well, it’s really impossible to summarise the whole blog post in a few sentences. But to give you a gist, we would just like to say that you should make your guests feel at home. In order to do so, you would have to take into account several points, some of which are mentioned in this blog post.
The arrangements or preparations that you make depend largely on the type and size of property that you are using for inviting Airbnb guests. If you are renting out an entire place, you would have to put in a lot more effort than you would in case of renting out some areas of the property that you are currently living in.
We hope that you would have loved this blog post! If you have some more tips to share, please use the comments section below without any hesitation.
Priya Bhagtani is a passionate content writer with an experience of more than five years in this field.