We know there are jumbo jetloads of travelers out there about to embark on their maiden voyage as an Airbnb guest. Naturally, as arrival day approaches, the excitement is escalating—but just as naturally, so is the anxiety.
Even before your guest arrives, keep in mind they might not be fully acquainted with the Airbnb app or website. So throughout your initial interactions, help guide them through the experience of booking and set clear expectations of what your place will be like.
To help put new Airbnb guests further at ease and get them even more revved, we asked several experienced Airbnb hosts what they do to make a first-timer feel right at home. They cordially responded with pearls of hospitality wisdom to inspire every host to make their guests’ visit more comfortable, most memorable, and well worth a return visit.
Let these serve as your guide to successful hosting, but of course feel free to add your own personal touch—after all, the personal touch is what makes Airbnb so special.
“Focus on a warm reception. A smile at the door when you hand them the keys is the best way to make sure guests have a good start to their stay. Transiting can be stressful, and not knowing for sure if your place is open and friendly can add to that. So, a smile plus a hug plus a cup of coffee is my recommendation.”
“Fill out your guidebook, leave a personal touch (e.g. wine, note…), and make check-in seamless.” — Brent
“Show where stuff is—rooms, towels, soap, the closest supermarket.”
“Greet your guests personally. Welcome them. Show the house. Have plenty of towels, soap, water, coffee/tea. Have a list of your favorites. Give them a local experience. Communicate!” — Cathy
“At my first guest experience, I walked in and saw a bottle of wine, two glasses, and a personalized card. I was so touched!”
Communication and Support
“Communicate, communicate, communicate! First-time guests are usually nervous about how Airbnb works. Good, thorough communication is key.”
“Quickly respond to guests’ questions! The longer you wait, the more anxious they become prior to their first-ever reservation.”
“Find out what food they like, why they are visiting your city, and what they want to do while there.”
“Be available but not too invasive. As guests get to understand how Airbnb works, they expect a stronger and stronger relationship with their hosts. But the first time can be overwhelming.”
“Make sure power is available and visible near the bed and sofa (and or desk/table if applicable). A power strip is best since guests have lots of gadgets!”
“Clean the bathroom a second time. You have no idea how high people’s standards are.” — Jennifer
“I would recommend a host to have at the listing, for a first time guest, an introduction video (YouTube, etc.) or video tour of the listing. Also include some kind of treat that is unique to that neighborhood or city.”
“Always provide soap, shower gel, and shampoo. Most people travel without it but everyone uses it.” — Marco
“Stock your fridge with local beer.”
“Put together a guest welcome box—adapters, toothpaste, a good hair dryer, restaurant guide, nail polish remover, bobby pins, snacks, etc.” — Caroline
“Print maps to local preferred restaurants and shops.”
Do you have tips of your own? What have you found that helped first-timers feel welcome? Share your tips in the comments below.