AirBnB 101: 5 simple tips to be a great host!

Ever since I moved into my new apartment, I have been able to host Airbnb guests since I now have a lot more room to accommodate people. I put my guests up in the loft bed, while I sleep in the adjoining room behind a closed door which gives everyone sufficient privacy during the night. Since July, I’ve hosted about 10 different guests (from Europe, North America, Central America) and I thought I would share some ideas to make your place super Airbnb-friendly.



1. Photos

Don’t make the rookie mistake of uploading random poor quality pictures of your apartment/house. The very reason why Airbnb offers to have photographers come to your place to take professional pictures is because they really do matter. Appealing photos are one of the first things noticed by Airbnb guests when they are browsing through the available options. At this link to my listing, you can see how professional photos make a significant difference.

2. Respond with details

Whenever guests indicate any interest in booking your apartment, respond promptly and provide helpful details. Put yourself in the shoes of the prospective guest – imagine if you are travelling from out of town and it will be your very first time in this new city, what are some of your top concerns? Be proactive and help address them in your communication to your guest.

3. Provide a welcome basket

This is a nice gesture I always do for my guests. I put their fresh towels, toiletries and some snacks in a nice basket which I place on the chair – the first thing they notice as they enter the apartment. Trust me, it changes the entire experience. In our previous Airbnb stay in Albuquerque, our host even provided toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash!

4. Suggest places to eat/things to do

Always offer suggestions to your guests regarding activities they should do around your city. Tell them about places off-the-beaten-track, bespoke bars and hidden dining establishments. I provide my guests with a list of my favorite food trucks around Austin, and a map of places and amenities in my immediate neighborhood. Guests will always appreciate good advice from the locals. In fact, if you have time, go the extra mile to show your guests around town!

5. Cook a meal

For guests that are staying for more than 1-2 nights, it is a wonderful thing to share a meal together. On multiple occasions, I have cooked simple dinners for my guests and we have had great conversations. This allows both the host and guest to really get to know each other, rather than to treat the stay as just an economic exchange.

At the end of the day, hopefully you will have guests leaving behind a lot more than just some extra cash you can use!

Charlie and Elyse from Chicago!

Charlie and Elyse from Chicago!

Here’s a link to get free US$25 credit to use for your next Airbnb reservation!

One Comment

  1. Wonderful suggestions! We’ve stayed almost 350 nights at AirBnBs and have met a huge range of hosts – almost all quite good. Those who viewed their guests as cash cows were definitely at the bottom of our list. Those who graciously hosted us – and truly wanted our visit in their home and community to be a good visit – were the best hosts. You pointed out hosts should put themselves in the guests’ place and that is right on. Do we guests have a place to put our suitcase? Do we guests have a light to read at night? Is there a place to hang a towel in the bathroom? Little things matter! Thanks for the post.


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