These days, Airbnb is rising sky high, as more and more Brits seek accommodation away from the traditional hotel sector. From 2015 to 2019, Airbnb listings in London quadrupled, and listings in Edinburgh doubled. With the ongoing complexities associated with international travel, the demand for a 'home away from home' here in Britain has possibly never been higher.
Airbnb is a great way to find a cheap place to stay, and Airbnb hosting is a great way to earn money. But you can't just sign up on the website and expect guests to come streaming in! If you really want to be successful, you will need to confront certain challenges.
How can you draw guests to your listing? What is the most effective form of communication with your guests? What are the best practices for increasing security and responding to emergencies?
Follow these steps and you can become a great Airbnb host in no time. Here are the most common Airbnb hosting problems and their solutions.
1. Creating a Good Listing
Some listings are too short, providing few details. Others are too long and include too many irrelevant details.
Consider your property's greatest selling points. Amenities, access to public transportation, and the qualities of your bedrooms and bathrooms are most important.
Focus your property description on those traits. Write in clear and complete sentences without excessive detail.
Corroborate your description with high-quality photographs. Turn on the lights, open the curtains, and take photos of your amenities and key spaces.
You can use your smartphone, but you can also hire an Airbnb agency or holiday let management company. A holiday let agency like Pass the Keys will provide you with a professional photographer then effectively market your listing on Airbnb and the other largest short letting platforms.
2. Welcoming Your Guests
It is important for guests to feel at home when they walk into a property. They should also feel comfortable around you.
A great way to accomplish both is to welcome your guests. Yet you don't want to be too aggressive.
Start by communicating with your guests in advance. Send an email or give them a phone call greeting them. Consider giving them a gift basket with shampoo and other important supplies.
Get a good sense of when they will arrive. Delays can happen, so have some patience and flexibility. Greet them through remote means if necessary.
3. Talking to Them
You should be able to contact your guests at any given moment. Give them your phone number and email address. Use the Airbnb app to communicate with your guests if needed.
If they send you a message, respond to it as soon as possible. Answer their questions clearly and honestly. If they run into a problem, fix it as soon as possible.
Some guests like to be left alone, while others want to talk with you. Get a good sense of what your guests are like and adjust your communication strategy accordingly.
4. Cleaning and Maintaining Your Home
Cleaning is the single most important aspect of hosting. It is perhaps the biggest challenge that hosts face because it can be quite a task!
Your property needs to be deep cleaned before your guests arrive. You should tidy up every room, including closets and hallways. If you have a big property, it is highly recommended that you hire Airbnb cleaners.
Clean up the floor so guests can walk without fear of tripping—dust off tables, countertops, and common surfaces.
Make sure remote controls and other devices are easy to access. One way to make it easy is to put them in a basket. Include instructions on how to use them.
Check to see that your electronics are in working order. Lighting is especially important. If a lightbulb is dim or dead, you need to replace it.
If your guest makes a mess, you should clean it up. You should also give them the resources they need to clean something up. Leave cleaning supplies in the kitchen or other storage space.
If you find a significant problem like black mould, you should fix it right away. Do not invite guests over until you have resolved the issue.
5. Securing Your Property
Safety can be another complex issue. All hosts on Airbnb must get screened and complete background checks. You should submit to all security policies on the platform. If you are not comfortable giving your information, you should not be a host.
Airbnb offers safety workshops on several issues. Complete a few of them to get a basic understanding of the type of security required when short-letting your property.
Follow some basic steps for avoiding unpleasant guests. If you have any concerns about a potential guest, trust your gut and don't accept the booking.
Make sure the doors and windows in your house have firm locks that your guests can secure. If you have a security system, give your guests access to it. You can change the codes once they leave.
Tell your guests where the nearest police and fire stations are. Install fire and carbon monoxide detectors and give your guests batteries so they can replace them if required.
For more advice, why not consult with a serviced accommodation management company on your security. They can give you advice on how to make your house safer.
6. Confronting Emergencies
An emergency can occur at any moment so it's essential that your guests can contact you during all hours of the day. You should respond as soon as possible. If you are concerned that you will not be able to provide this level of support, a property management company can handle all guest support for you e.g. Pass the Keys offers a 24/7 guest support system so that hosts can relax knowing their guests are cared for, no matter the time of day.
If your house is broken into, get in touch with your guests. Make sure they are safe, then call the police. Do not go into your house until the police inform you that everything is safe.
If a fire breaks out, evacuate the house. Do not go back into it to retrieve belongings under any circumstances.
If your house loses power, contact the utility company. Advise your guests to avoid using the fridge and other appliances.
7. Dealing With Bad Reviews
You can be the best host in the world and still get a bad review. Do not get angry or panic. Read the review, and understand what the guest did not like.
Adjust your hosting strategy accordingly. You may need to be more communicative, or you may need to improve your amenities. Try and focus on what you can do differently instead of feeling angry or disappointed.
If you get a series of bad reviews, talk to an Airbnb management company. They can give you advice on how to improve your hosting.
The Golden Rules of Airbnb Hosting:
Airbnb hosting is rewarding yet challenging. Create a clear and detailed listing to draw guests to your house.
Welcome them before they arrive. Give them your contact information so you can reach them in case of an emergency.
Clean your house from top to bottom. Have plenty of cleaning supplies on hand.
Prioritise security by responding to emergencies right away. If you get a negative review, don't overreact. Instead, adjust your hosting strategy accordingly.
Or, get the resources you need to be a great host with Pass the Keys! We are proud to serve Airbnb hosts throughout the UK and are immensely proud of our Professional Airbnb co-host status. To find out more about us, head to https://www.passthekeys.co.uk/ today.