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Airbnb first-timer cheat sheet should be the mandatory part of Airbnb terms and conditions but unfortunately, it’s more of a trial by fire rule. You need to realize being a successful Airbnb host isn’t just about landing a booking; it’s about what happens after the guests arrive. So here’s a few key things to keep in mind should you decide to use Airbnb for extra cash or primary income stream.

Anticipate what will guests do and you’ll stay in the “I’m not surprised zone” to keep renting your space out. For example, overflowed bathtubs, broken appliances, furniture, windows and the very least broken plates. So if you are not the handy person keeping your rental in tip-top-shape I highly recommend you have a handy person, plumber and electrician on speed dial.

People who have chosen to go this route are not just looking for an alternative hotel room. They are looking to engage their imaginations and you presented the right elements for them to choose you. So while it may be fun to focus on the glassware, linens or blackout curtains you find you need to quickly look beyond this point.

Just look and you’ll see a host of competition on Airbnb site in any major and not so major city. How do you stand out?

People choose Airbnb for the homey experience. 80 percent of guests want to engage with hosts, even if that means having a cup of coffee while you are still setting up their space. It’s all part of the charm and fosters a sense of belonging.

You don’t have to be a four-star tour guide, but it helps to point guests in the right direction when they have questions. Most guests typically want to know about activities like parks, good bars, restaurants or local unique experiences that’s nearby or they should try. Consider greeting every guest when they first arrive and take your cues from there since people really want to make the most of their time.

Furnish your Airbnb space with things you would want if you were to come stay at your place. For example, if you like to drink out of nice glasses and cutlery then the guest who comes to stay with you will too.

Your rental should immediately grab people’s attention in a good way. Look for that special feature people remember like a painting, room with a view, a period nostalgic decor, super-soft linens. Whatever it is, play it up.

I recommend giving the guest a genuine experience for the area you live in and what it’s known for. Tuning into the positive aspects of your neighborhood, region or state tends to make the experience the most memorable. Consider what you’d do in your town if you were a visitor, and try to give your guests that experience.

Things to remember are no amount of atmosphere in the world will smooth over a dirty bathroom, overflowing trash cans or another guest forgotten odds and ends. I highly recommend hiring a cleaning person armed with a checklist of overlooked tasks such as scrubbing the oven, dumping out coffee, and emptying the refrigerator and cupboards.

Many guests leave their stuff all over the place, so the more you can remove your personal things, the better it is or if that’s not possible designating a dresser strictly for them versus you. Guests don’t want to open a drawer and see your things it takes away from their experience. Be sure to empty the closets and anywhere else guests may stash their belongings but if you can’t again at the very least make proper room for them to feel, well, at home in your home.


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