So you want to use Airbnb? Maybe you’re looking for an affordable place to stay, or interested in making a little money as a host. Here’s a few things we’ve learned over the past 18 months and 100 + guests since we signed up to be hosts. Today: Tips for the guest. Check back tomorrow for tips for new hosts.
6 easy ways to be a rockstar Airbnb guest
- Fill out your Airbnb profile. Use your real name, include a photo, share a few words about yourself or your family, complete the Airbnb external verifications. Airbnb is a system built on trust, and knowing more about you helps me be comfortable inviting you into my home.
- Use the Contact Host function. Have questions about a property? Not sure of your trip dates? Want to make sure there’s a private bathroom or no pets or need to check in early? Submit an inquiry through the Contact Host link on the listing page before submitting an actual reservation. If you submit an actual reservation request but we’re not a good fit for each other, I have to decline your reservation, and that can affect my ranking. So, do us both a favor and shoot the host a quick message before actually reserving the room.
- Keep me updated on your travel plans. If you say you plan to arrive at 4 PM, please don’t suddenly show up at 2 PM without advance notice. Conversely, don’t be super duper late without keeping me posted on your travels. Road construction happens. Plane delays happen. Last minute dinner plans happen. We get it, and it’s totally okay, as long as you let us know.
- Don’t be afraid to take a chance on a new host. Really! (Except in Omaha, when you should stay with us, obvs). Use the Contact Host link, and ask a few questions. Does the host communicate well and respond in a timely manner? Do they seem friendly? Look for fully completed profiles with lots of information about the house & hosts, plus plenty of photos. You could even ask for a small first-guest discount, especially if you’re willing to write a review for them afterwards. It’s understandable if you don’t want to be a host’s very first guest, but everyone starts somewhere, and it can be hard to break into a saturated market. I’d personally rather stay with a new host than a host with reviews worse than 4-stars.
- Leave a review. Whether it be a full detailed description of your stay, or a simple summary sentence, please leave a review. They have a direct correlation to how a host ranks in search listings. The process takes just a few minutes, and it’s SO appreciated. Also appreciated? Private feedback. Does my bathroom door squeak? Does a clock need a new battery? Please let your host know. Since I don’t stay in my own guest rooms, I rely on guest feedback to help me catch those details.
- Be respectful guests. We have had totally awesome guests. Really. We’ve had over 100 people stay with us, and they have almost all been great. What makes them great? They leave their trash in the trash can. They hang up their towels in the bathroom. They let me know if something spills or breaks. They don’t steal my hangers (actually, many do – I’ve lost a surprising number of hangers). They put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, or wash & dry them and put them away. In short, they behave like guests in our home, not like entitled teenagers.
- TOTAL BONUS: Strip your sheets & pillow cases before you leave. I LOVE it when guests surprise me with this (it’s such a small thing but it makes cleaning go so much quicker), but it’s totally not expected or required. The same goes for hostess gifts.
Note: These tips aren’t endorsed by Aibnb – they’re just what we’ve learned. You be you.