Everyone can rent an apartment at Airbnb but not everyone will make the same amount of money. Even if you are looking for similar apartments in the same area, one could be more expensive and rent out more often.
How’s that possible? That apartment may be offered by the so called “superhost” whom Airbnb describes as an “experienced host who provide a shining example for other hosts, and extraordinary experiences for their guests.”
These superhosts make more money than regular hosts as they are promoted more heavily on the (Airbnb) site. They tend to have a steady stream of users, who choose highly-rated places over other options.
So how do you become a superhost? You get rave reviews.
And how do you get great reviews? Start by embracing the following tips…
1. Be honest but under-promise
And over-deliver. Always. Make sure that photos accurately present your home so if you have stairs in your apartment, show them on photos. This won’t get you families with small children, but you also won’t get lousy reviews afterwards.
2. Flexible check-in and check-out time
Yes, it can be a pain to wait guests at 3am, but they’ll appreciate it. In most cases, it’s not the guests that opt to arrive at your home so early (or so late) — rather, it’s usually the airline they have to “thank” for the privilege. They will love you if you allow them to check in or check out whenever needed.
3. Accept new Airbnb users
Airbnb virgins can be both — the best and the worst. If they are not students, they can be among the best guests you’ll have in your “Airbnb host career.” Bring them on board, coach them a bit, and of course remind them to leave you a great review (more on that later).
4. Send an email before they arrive
This practice alone will show guests how professional you are even before they get to know you. The usual “I can’t wait to meet you” email will do it. Make sure to note that they can call you at any time to ask about anything, and send them a short email with links to the most popular places they should visit while in town. Also inform them what’s interesting in your area. Prepare them for the experience.
5. Start building relationship
And it all starts with the food. In the same “welcome email,” ask for their dietary preferences and potential restrictions, as well as what kind of coffee they prefer. Make sure to learn from that as you prepare for the next steps. You will have to spend a little to get those rave reviews, which will then enable you charge something extra next time.
6. Explain everything
Leave small explainer notes around all of the electronics and other equipment in your apartment. If you have cable, put a note on the remote to let them know how they can access international channels. And then, have all important instructions printed on one sheet of paper. Key phone numbers should be there, as well as local transportation information, and other stuff you think are relevant. Also, leave them a map.
7. Be welcoming
Obviously, you’ll want to greet your guests at the door and be polite. Read their body language to determine how much you should talk. Realize that most people get stressed out from travel. Some folks have a ton of questions, and some would just like to relax upon arrival.
8. Offer them a drink
And leave them a bottle of local wine or heavy spirit to try out. It may cost a dozen dollars, but it will help you with those good reviews. The first thing people will want is water, coffee, tea and/or some juice. Have all of them ready. And note that they are free to drink the rest when you leave.
9. Offer a quick tour
But first, ask for their permission for that. As we have just mentioned, some folks would just like to relax and this is especially true if their flight was delayed or they had to change flights. In any case, they will have to know where necessities like towels are.
If there is some universally recognized local tune, play that. Otherwise, it’s safest to stick to jazz or classical music. The idea is to welcome your guests into a smooth environment they will love as soon as they come.
11. Keep it simple
The truth is that your guests don’t care about you — they care about themselves. And if you have some rules, make them simple like “don’t go into that room.” Period. Don’t make the big list of the things they can’t do — cause if you have such list, perhaps you shouldn’t rent your apartment in the first place.
12. Make it clean
The first thing people will notice is the cleanliness of your apartment. So make it super-clean. This means cleaning the shower, toilet, sink and floors after every guest. No compromises are allowed here.
Some eco-friendly light bulbs are better than others. The super-white ones are good for your doctor’s office, but not for your apartment. If you think otherwise — well, you’re wrong. At least, that’s what your guests — and most people for that matter — think. Get LED lights which are either soft white or yellow.
14. Everyone loves flowers
So leave them all around the place. Get fresh flowers if you can — if you can’t, even the artificial flowers will do. The point is to make your place look nice and flowers can help a lot. Other details like scented sticks will “work” as well.
15. Decorate your space during holidays
This again will make your apartment feel welcoming and will get you extra points if you want to host families. Which BTW are much better than a bunch of students who want nothing but to drink throughout the night.
16. Invite your guests to dinner
This isn’t a must, but if you live on the site, you should do it. If they want to go somewhere else for the night, try with a lunch or breakfast. You may want to establish a relationship so you can have them visit you again, or at very least – give you a better rating. 😉
17. Offer free snacks
And have them placed all around the house. Add to the paper with instructions that your guests are free to take them. You can buy ice cream, granola bars, peanuts, honey, nuts, crackers and offer them for free. Your small investment will pay off tenfold in your reviews.
18. Supplies matter
First and foremost, you must leave them enough toilet paper. If possible, make sure they never have to go to the market to buy extra supplies. Similarly, offer disposable razors, cotton swabs and even a toothpaste. They’ll love you for that.
19. Other stuff they may need
You’ll also want to offer them an umbrella in case of rain, a flashlight in case of a power outage, and a medicine kit. In addition, show them where spare light bulbs are (you will want to stock up on those), extra bath towels, extra pillows, extra blankets, and so on. Plus, leave them some board games to play, books to read and movies to watch if they’re stuck in the house.
When they leave
20. Send a “Thank You” email
Yes, it was your privilege to have them as guests and send them an email with that message. And should they decide to visit your city in the future, note that you are looking forward to see them again.
21. Ask for a review
In the same message, ask them for a review, but don’t explicitly ask for a 5-star rating. Also add that you would appreciate any other feedback on how you could further improve the experience for future guests. Thank them for their effort.
It is not easy to get rave reviews, and you will have to put in some time and money to become a super-host, but at the end of the day — it’s worth the effort. Soon, you’ll be able to charge a little extra for your apartment and be able to actually pick a clientele. Good luck! 😉