Reviews from guests are among the biggest reasons why some short-term rentals get more bookings than others. If your occupancy rate is low, it could be that your guests were unhappy with their stay. With a lacklustre performance, the guests may not be willing to leave reviews.
The secret to obtaining reviews is to make sure the guests are content during their stay. These people often have expectations, and you can meet them by providing great amenities, a joyful welcome, and friendly service.
It does not matter whether your guests are backpackers or serious business people. Make their stay more memorable with the following tips:
A Warm Welcome
Provide a personalised welcome note.
If you start right, you end right, as they say. Grand gestures are always impressive, but you do not have to spend to make a lasting impression. The little things, such as a personalised or handwritten welcome note can make a huge difference.
Make sure you have the guests’ names written correctly. You can also add a welcome basket with fruits and other goodies that you know the guests will enjoy.
Writing the note should not intimidate you. It does not have to be a lengthy letter – unless you feel like writing one. You can try the following to help you accomplish this task:
- The note should demonstrate that you are sincerely invested in their holiday.
- Sound excited and let them know you are ready to provide the guests with their best experience.
- Include a phone number or any source of information they may need in case they have questions.
- Avoid a cookie-cutter note, so make sure you have it tailored according to the guest. You can always follow a template, but leave room for other sentences that show you are speaking to the guest directly.
It also helps to add a few other essentials, including the WiFi password, the nearest stores, and contact information of local food delivery services.
Give a welcome gift.
Along with the welcome note, you may want to add a personalised gift as well. A welcome basket is a great addition that will make your guests feel warm towards you. It does not have to be full and cumbersome or even costly. The important thing is that the guests feel your genuine appreciation. Some of the gifts that you can try are:
- Seasonal gifts, such as candy canes during the Christmas season and chocolates with some flowers for Valentine’s Day
- Practical presents, such as soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, and body lotion
- Treats like gourmet cookies, roasted nuts, and organic chocolate
If you give some delectable goodies, you may want to include a handful of tea selections or just a few bottles of water.
Offer a guided tour.
This method applies to those who take care of the hosting responsibilities themselves. Of course, you can also have a property manager do it for you if you plan to host remotely.
The idea is quite straightforward: you meet the guests and even drive them around the area. As a local in the area, you should already know where to take the guests. Show them around and let them see how wonderful the neighbourhood or the city is.
Bring them to parks, restaurants, and even shopping malls. At this point, it helps if you already know a few facts about the guests, such as their hobbies, likes, and dislikes. This way, you can have a plan in place regarding the hotspots that will interest them.
Being a local guide is not easy, so you have to exert the effort and allocate time to do the job well. The payoff is huge though since your guests are happy.
Leave detailed directions.
Provide a street address, along with a link to a Google map so that the guests can find your home easily. If many people complain about your location, give more details, especially if they have to navigate new terrain. Some guests may not speak English, so you may want to provide complete information in their language.
Before your guests arrive, ask them how they will get to the city, such as through the airport, highway, or a bus station. From there, you can provide crystal-clear instructions from their point of origin. Additionally, if there should be any difficulty, such as weak cell phone coverage or broken street signs, you may want to warn them about these things as well.
Once they get to your Airbnb property, the next step is to make sure they can find the guidelines and other necessary information without a problem. If you are hosting in person, you will greet the guests yourself. It is an excellent opportunity for you to deliver the instructions personally.
On the other hand, make sure the house rules, for example, are clearly written on everything, especially if you will not be around. Here are some samples:
- Instructions on how to operate the stove, heating and air conditioning system, and dishwasher
- List of nearby grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations
- Rules, such as no smoking, parties, and pets
Smile and be friendly.
If you will host on your own, be ready to greet the guests with a smile. Be warm and welcoming, ensuring that the guests will be happy throughout their stay. Do not forget to reiterate that you are just one call away.
Of course, you can make everything more manageable with the help of a property manager. Instead of doing all the tasks alone, the professional will handle everything for you.
Finally, be sure that you have your contact information written down for your guests, so they can get in touch with you when needed.
The keyword for the BnB kitchen is “fully equipped.” Guests want to do their day-to-day tasks in your BnB property without a hitch. Preparing food is one of them. When they see that the kitchen is fully stocked, they do not have to dine out. It is also one of the reasons why people prefer BnB over hotel rooms.
When you offer them access to your kitchen that has cookware, appliances, and ingredients, your short-term rental will surely be a success.
Some guests love to be couch potatoes. They are on holiday, and they can indulge in a lazy activity without feeling guilty. Make sure you have a cable TV, so they do not miss their favourite shows. You can also provide them with a Netflix account, which is a huge plus.
If you survey Airbnb guests, they will tell you that WiFi is one of the necessities they will not go without. It is not surprising since they want to connect with their loved ones. They also want to update their social media accounts or even post about your short term stay. Make sure that you change the password often. The WiFi network should also be exclusive to the guests.
Air conditioning and heating
Hot or cold – both matter. People want to stay in a place where they are comfortable. Have your AC and heater ready for all your guests. You can also add a fireplace if you wish.
Free parking is a must in Australia, especially those areas where parking is expensive and far. It helps if you can provide a parking spot where guests see their vehicles from their room.
Washing machines and dryers are essential as well. Many Airbnb hosts do not add these pieces of equipment. After all, the guests are on holiday. It does not make sense that they will focus on completing a chore rather than going shopping, right? Wrong!
Some guests travel light, so they only have a few clothes with them. Also, they like going home with a backpack full of clean clothes. Therefore, they wash them first before heading back. Your Airbnb is more convenient than other options if you have these amenities. Add a washing line or drying rack as well.
An Iron and ironing board are also helpful, especially if your clients are mostly business travellers. They want to keep their clothes wrinkle-free, so provide these necessities for them.
Other essentials include:
- Extra blanket
- Cleaning supplies, such as dishwashing liquid and hand soap
- First aid kit
- Smoke detectors
- Fire extinguisher
- Extra light bulbs
- Toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels
Some items, such as playing cards, board games, and DVDs, are not absolutely necessary. However, guests will surely love that they are around.
Relaxation and Comfort
Most guests are tired after a long drive. They want to go straight to the bedroom, making this part of your Airbnb property the most important. To make sure you have the perfect bedroom for your Airbnb clients, here is a checklist to follow:
- Have comfy beds that do not squeak and smell funky. A foam mattress on a wooden bed frame should be part of your investment for any BnB.
- Have adequate lighting but not one that is too bright. Your guests cannot sleep when the lights are blinding them, especially if it comes from the cable box in the room.
- Use waterproof mattress covers. You do not want the guests to be bothered by suspicious stains, so keep your mattress protected with a good quality cover. The good news is that these covers are often inexpensive and offer great comfort. Cleaning is easy since you can simply throw them in the wash along with the sheets.
- Provide hotel-like experience with fresh, clean sheets.
- Have at least four pillows. Some people will sleep on two pillows. If you advertised that the bedroom sleeps four, but you only have two pillows, some guests could get a little grumpy. Go the extra mile by offering two pillows for each person.
You may also want to have thick, dark curtains for increased privacy, a bookshelf, a closet with hangers, and a smoke alarm for peace of mind. Some things are great additions, although not of immediate importance, such as a nightstand, alarm clock, candles, lamps, and safe. You should, however, provide an extra blanket, iron, and ironing board, and a chair.
A laundry basket, full-length mirror, and outlets near the bed are highly appreciated. You can also have earplugs ready, especially if you are in an area that is often noisy at night.
Short term rentals should have a living room. If the property is a studio apartment, you can at least provide a seating area. Guests love spaces that do not make them feel they are in a hotel. With this arrangement, you offer them a place that resembles their own home. Make sure you have a comfortable sofa, an accent chair, or a love seat. Add some throw pillows and blankets as well.
For the kitchen, ensure it is fully stocked with essential utensils. The dining area should be well-lit and with enough space. This way, the guests can move around without difficulty.
Your bathroom should feel, look, and smell clean. No one wants to use a bathroom that is untidy and appears to be brimming with germs. Disinfect and clean the bathroom regularly. You can also provide towels here, which should be soft and absorbent.
Finally, you should not forget about your outdoor space. Your BnB does not start and stop at the entrance. Therefore, you should also place importance on your outdoor area. Make it more comfortable so that guests will view it as extra space for relaxation.
Stay in Touch
When guests contact you for additional information, for instance, be ready to pick up the phone or answer their enquiries. After they leave, you can leave them a thank you note or send them a message. This message should contain your appreciation for their stay and for taking good care of your home as well. Also mention that you would be more than pleased to have them as your guests again.
Follow these simple tasks, and you will surely have a winning strategy towards gaining more positive reviews and bookings. If you feel like it’s best to let the experts manage your property, talk to Your SuperHost about how we can work together.