2nd August 2018
14 Things Airbnb Hosts Should Never Do
If you’re just starting out hosting on Airbnb or even if you have been hosting for a while, you’ll have certain expectations around your guest’s behaviour and treatment of your property. Staying in somebody’s home requires people to follow some sort of etiquette to assure a smooth experience for everyone. However, this goes both ways. There are also expectations for how hosts should behave and these are equally important.
Hosting etiquette is something you should take seriously if you’re looking at getting into Airbnb. A positive experience for your guests is essential for your success on the platform and how you treat people can be the difference between a profitable venture and a disappointing investment.
1. Leave Out Completing the Host Profile
In most cases, before a guest will request to book a stay at your property, they will check out your host profile. Here is where they can learn about you, read your past reviews and decide if you’re the kind of person they’d like to stay with. It’s really crucial that all Airbnb hosts take time to introduce themselves, fill out their personal details and get verified by the platform. Neglecting profiles is a huge mistake that many Airbnb hosts make and can end up costing income down the track.
2. Put a Listing Up Without a Clear Photo
How are people supposed to know if they want to stay with you if they can’t see what the room looks like properly? Listings without outstanding photos will always struggle to stand out on Airbnb and listings without at least one clear photo will not attract anyone. Hosts should always put effort into how they advertise their Airbnb listing. The photos you use make a huge difference to the results you’ll get from hosting.
You can find out more about taking appealing Airbnb photos here.
3. Lie or Exaggerate on Your Listing
If you lie or exaggerate on your listing just to draw guests into booking to stay with you, you’re not going to last long as an Airbnb host. If (and this is a big if) the guests even stay with you once they’ve realised that you’ve lied, you’ll be hit with a bad review once the stay is over.
Negative reviews will sink your Airbnb opportunities faster than anything else. This is a platform run on trust and community engagement. Lying, misleading or betraying guests while they’re staying with you will always lead to consequences.
Always remember to be honest on your listing, even if it’s about the smallest thing. Don’t tell your guests you’ve got a California King Bed if you’ve only got a double – this may be what enticed them to book. Honesty is always the best policy.
Airbnb is a unique platform, there’s accommodation for everyone out there. If you are offering a budget place to stay, you need to own that. Be straight-up with whatever you have available and you’ll do well as a host.
4. Accept a Guest Without Reading their Reviews
As mentioned, reviews are so important for everyone on Airbnb. While guests use host reviews to decide whether they want to stay at a certain place, hosts should use reviews to vet their potential guests. Negative experiences as an Airbnb host can almost always be avoided by assessing guests before accepting them to stay with you.
Hosts leave guests reviews after every stay. To ensure you don’t end up with somebody that doesn’t respect your property, you should be quick to check these out with each request you get.
5. Allow Guests to Pay or Book Outside of Airbnb
Airbnb has protocol in place to protect all users of the platform. By taking the transaction out of the service, you’re invalidating the booking. Airbnb can’t help you in situations where you have accepted payment outside of their platform. So, if anything goes wrong you will be solely responsible.
If guests ever request for you to accept payment via a third-party, you should take it as a warning sign. There’s really no reason to complete the transaction outside of Airbnb unless they have ulterior motives. Always stick to the security of Airbnb.
6. Leave Guests Waiting
Once a guest requests to book a stay at your property, you should aim to respond as soon as possible. Leaving guests waiting for a response, even if you’re going to decline them, will have a negative impact on your listing. Airbnb ranks every listing in search results pages, they use key metrics to decide whether they will show your listing high on the page or not. Your response time is one of these metrics. If you’re slow to respond to guests you may find yourself getting less and less attention over time.
7. Behave Unprofessionally
Hosts should always treat their guests respectfully at all times. Your interactions with those staying with you will massively impact your success on Airbnb. Remember, just as you have expectations for your guests, they have expectations of you. Always act professionally and keep your host etiquette to the highest standards. Your attitude will reflect the type of reviews you receive and in turn, your entire career as an Airbnb host.
8. Neglect Your Guests
As a host, you do have certain responsibilities of care. While this doesn’t mean that you should pester your guests throughout their stay, it’s important to stay on top of things and to make sure that they know you’re easily reachable if they need you.
Communication is a crucial aspect of Airbnb hosting. From the initial request to stay, right through to the final review, you should maintain clear and open channels of conversation.
9. Forget the Details
Succeeding as an Airbnb host rests on your ability to provide a fantastic experience for your guests. This means that you need to put yourself in the guest’s shoes, imagining what you would need if you were them, thinking about what would exceed your expectations and make you leave a five-star review.
In this sense, hosts should always remember the importance of details. Paying close attention to the little things in your home that will put the ribbon on the entire experience will be key to your success. The last thing you want to do is to forget a detail that could make your guests stay exceptional.
Charm your guests with thoughtful details that let them know you’ve thought of their experience. Make sure your kitchen facilities are above board, sharpen your knives, buy quality toilet paper and splurge a little on shampoos and soaps. Investing a little in the details will have a big impact on your Airbnb host experience in the long run.
10. Let Guests Stay in a Messy Place…Ever
There are few unforgivable things in the world. Actions that are so careless and pointless, even your own mother couldn’t excuse you from. Letting paying Airbnb guests stay in a dirty or messy place is one of them.
As a host, it’s your primary responsibility to make sure your property is clean and tidy when guests arrive. Regardless of whether your home is a luxury abode or a budget one bedroom, it needs to be spotless. You can’t expect anyone to accept low cleanliness standards when they are booking on Airbnb,
If you aren’t confident with your cleaning abilities, consider employing the help of a professional cleaner or Airbnb property manager. This will help you provide the best experience possible and secure great reviews for your profile.
11. Go Overboard with Decor
Tasteless decor and finishings can really impact your guests’ experience. If you’re a host decorating your property with Airbnb success in mind, consider consulting an interior designer or even just checking out some other listings on the platform. Try to keep your personal style out of the equation as much as you can. While it is appealing to add some special touches, to be on the safe side, stick to neutral tones, decoration and furniture.
12. Invade Guest’s Privacy
There are some real horror stories out there from guests that have had hosts who have totally crossed all lines when it comes to privacy. While they may be staying in your property, you have agreed to it and they are paying for it. If you know you’re somebody that gets nervous about people being in your space, this is something you should really think about before trying out Airbnb.
It goes without saying that making guests feel uncomfortable during their stay will result in a bad review for the host. This should be avoided at all costs, which means you need to give guests the necessary space to enjoy themselves while staying with you.
As an Airbnb host, one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your guests is to make sure you are comfortable with the situation. In cases of Airbnb guests’ privacy being invaded by the host, this happens when people aren’t actually at ease with hosting but they go ahead with it anyway.
All hosts need to make sure they are ready to have people stay at their property. Whether this means you need to hide away any special items, buy a safe or outline your rules clearly on your host profile, do whatever is necessary to achieve peace of mind. This is the only way to have a positive experience on the platform.
13. Forget to Leave a Review
Reviews are so important on Airbnb! For everyone that uses the platform, whether they are hosting or staying with people, reviews are the first thing people look at. As a host, leaving a review should be one of your main priorities after the experience. Use this opportunity to express your thoughts on your guests, whether you’d like to recommend them to other hosts on Airbnb or whether you’d like to warn people about them.
It’s also essential to get a good review from your guests, each and every time. The more reviews you get, the more success you’ll have on Airbnb. Encourage guests to leave their reviews in your final interactions and let them know that you will be too.
14. Host on Airbnb if you Don’t Own the Property
While this one may seem obvious to many, tenants hosting on Airbnb happens all too often. If you are hosting on Airbnb and you don’t own the property or have express consent from your landlord, you are likely breaking the law or at least your tenancy agreement. Unlawful Airbnb hosting is a huge issue for everyone involved. First, you’re abusing your landlord’s trust by operating an Airbnb from a rental property. Second, you’re unprotected in the worst-case scenario. And third, if you’re found out, you’ll most likely be evicted.
If you’re a tenant that doesn’t have permission to sublet the property, it’s a bad idea to get into this mess.
Avoiding these 14 things while hosting on Airbnb will help you find success on the platform. Airbnb hosting is an extremely rewarding experience when it’s done right, financially, socially and even recreationally. It is a process, but the results of achieving an outstanding host status (and all the perks that come with it) will be worth the time and energy you put in.