By Rowan Clifford
Author of Airbn’b’ Smart and Smartbnb user
To be fair, Airbnb travelers are a pretty forgiving bunch.
Most of them are not hunting for perfection or the sterile settings of a hotel, instead, they’re looking for a more intimate, unique experience.
That does not mean that Airbnb guests are complacent, and don’t have super high standards.
Sure, running out of tea or coffee might be brushed under the carpet and overlooked. However, if you make one of these major hosting blunders (more on that in a minute), then watch out…
As things can take a turn for the worse.
Get your pen and paper out as you’re about to learn 9 sinful hosting mistakes that’ll drag your Airbnb hosting reputation through the dirt.
1. Toilet paper (or lack thereof)
I mean, really…
2. The stalky host
This is a bit of a controversial one.
As a host, do you have the right to show up unannounced? I mean it’s your property, right? So does that mean you can check up on your guests whenever you like?
If you want to look like a control freak and creep the hell out your guests, by all means, show up at the property unannounced.
However, if you want your guests to feel welcome, safe, secure, and leave you a 5-star review, cut your guests a bit of slack, respect their privacy and NEVER rock up on your guests unannounced!
And showing up isn’t the only stalky blunder hosts make, I’m sure we’ve all seen reports on the media of hosts having surveillance cameras in the living areas… Another big no-no.
3. Zero Towel Game
It’s easy to want to skimp out on things that cost you money. But seriously, things like not providing towels just makes you look like you’re a Scrooge.
4. Lost key dramas
Accidents happen, and your guests aren’t perfect.
5. Last-minute cancellations
Last-minute cancellations suck, and they’ll kill your reputation on Airbnb.
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6. Involuntary insomnia
Your guests are coming to your property to relax, unwind and rejuvenate, and the last thing they want is a terrible night sleep because the mattress is so damn uncomfortable.
So, please don’t skimp when it comes to providing a decent mattress.
If your budget is looking a bit slim around the edges, even a good mattress topper should do the trick (without costing a fortune).
If you can give your guests a good night’s sleep, they’ll be back time and time again.
7. Charging for WiFi (really!)
Seriously? Charging for WiFi! Believe it or not, some hosts are still doing that..
8. Biblical length House rules
Don’t do this, don’t do that… The last thing your guests want is a set of house rules that reads like a textbook of things you can’t do!
Of course, there are a few rules you need to lay down to keep things in line and make sure everything goes smoothly. But don’t get petty about it.
Remember, your guests are paying you a fair rate to stay at your place, so cut them a bit of slack, don’t treat them like kids, keep rules to a bare minimum, and you’ll be just fine.
Consider also there’s a better way to remind guests about important tips, which is to send timely messages before/upon check-in, and before check-out.
Prepare your messages well and drop them into your messaging automation solution (Smartbnb, of course), and you’ll never have to worry about whether the house rules are too long or whether they go unread because you’ll be weaving them in your conversation with guests.
9. False expectations
It’s actually pretty easy to be a little sneaky and misleading with your Airbnb listing.
Overengineered camera angles with perfect lighting, elaborate listing descriptions, etc.
The trouble is, once your guest arrives and realizes your property is up a huge flight of stairs, or above a nightclub, they’re going to be severely disappointed.
I’m not suggesting you downplay your listing by focusing on the negatives, instead, I recommend making your guests aware of them, but packaging any negatives by putting a positive twist on them…
If your property is close to a noisy bar, you could frame it like this:
“Slick modern apartment nestled in the heart of the city, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of city life, with vibrant nightlife right at your doorstep. From the comfort of the apartment, you can soak up the sounds, smells, and ambiance of this eclectic neighborhood“.
There you go…
The definitive guide of how NOT to be a terrible Airbnb host.
As you can see, not being a terrible host really isn’t that hard. If you can avoid these hosting mistakes, everything should be fine and dandy.
However, the goal isn’t to avoid being a terrible host, the goal is to be an incredible host. And for that, you need to go above and beyond expectations, offer huge value, and generally have your guests’ interests at heart.
Pretty simple, really.
You are wondering how to be an Airbnb host? Anyone can list an extra room on the Airbnb website, and signing up to become an Airbnb host is fairly simple. Still, there’s a number of steps to take and pitfalls to avoid. Don’t worry, we’ll guide you.
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If you don’t know where to start, read this article where we discuss the basics. Here you’ll find some must-know tips for vacation rental success.
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