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25 Insanely Useful Airbnb Tips That Will Make You A Better Host

It's all in the little details.

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Zoë Burnett / Buzzfeed

Hey so, you know all those people who somehow manage to make tons of money on Airbnb, just by being awesome hosts? The type who casually slip in the fact that Airbnb "basically paid for" their vacation?

These people may just be Airbnb superhosts, a term the company gives to "experienced hosts who provide a shining example for other hosts, and extraordinary experiences for their guests." (Check out the superhost requirements here.) What Airbnb doesn't explicitly say on their site is that by being an amazing host, you're likely to make more money over time — because you'll probably have a steady stream of users, who will choose your highly-rated place over other options. So basically: You score. I asked Airbnb's top superhosts for their best tips on being the greatest host you can possibly be. So here's how to make more money on Airbnb, sourced directly from the people who've done it themselves. (And if you think there's a tip they missed, sound off in the comments below!)
Annie Daly

These people may just be Airbnb superhosts, a term the company gives to "experienced hosts who provide a shining example for other hosts, and extraordinary experiences for their guests." (Check out the superhost requirements here.)

What Airbnb doesn't explicitly say on their site is that by being an amazing host, you're likely to make more money over time — because you'll probably have a steady stream of users, who will choose your highly-rated place over other options. So basically: You score.

I asked Airbnb's top superhosts for their best tips on being the greatest host you can possibly be. So here's how to make more money on Airbnb, sourced directly from the people who've done it themselves. (And if you think there's a tip they missed, sound off in the comments below!)

1. Be honest — people are happiest when you manage their expectations.

"If your place has challenges or weird little eccentricities, put them out there up front so that people can know what they're getting into. For example, my home has a number of stairs, so we are sure to feature pictures of them."—Claire Rice, Chicago
airbnb.com

"If your place has challenges or weird little eccentricities, put them out there up front so that people can know what they're getting into. For example, my home has a number of stairs, so we are sure to feature pictures of them."

Claire Rice, Chicago

2. Be flexible with check-in and check-out time.

"That means they can count on us to have a smooth vacation no matter what flight or car delay they might encounter."

Ken & Mario, San Diego

3. Give new folks a shot.

"I was at first reticent to rent to people who were new to the site and didn't have any previous reviews. But I still do it; I just make sure to probe a bit on why people are coming to town, what they're excited about in terms of your listing, and who they're bringing with them. It leads to some fun relationships, and hopefully some happy new Airbnb users!"

Claire Rice, Chicago

4. Always do a bit more than you promised in the listing.

"Whether you offer fresh coffee every morning, share your gym membership with your guest, or have a glass of wine with them one evening, just make sure to go the extra mile in some way. For example, a guest asked if I had an iron and ironing board. I only had a steamer, but I went out and bought one for her the next day. It's a deductible business expense, something I and future guests will have use for, and she was delighted."—Yoni, NYC
Flickr: smcclan

"Whether you offer fresh coffee every morning, share your gym membership with your guest, or have a glass of wine with them one evening, just make sure to go the extra mile in some way.

For example, a guest asked if I had an iron and ironing board. I only had a steamer, but I went out and bought one for her the next day. It's a deductible business expense, something I and future guests will have use for, and she was delighted."

Yoni, NYC

5. Send guests an email a week prior to their arrival.

"We make sure ours is personalized and includes a line or two based on the information the guests have shared about themselves. The first part is just information about the house. In the second part of the email, though, we go through information about the neighborhood, places to eat, cafes, gyms, and activities. Since we often get international visitors who don't always have access to data on their phones, they find this email very helpful. We've received appreciative messages and mentions of this email on our reviews."

Krishna, Boston

"And ask them if they will be driving to your home. If they are, tell them about parking in your area and the parking restrictions, if any."

Douglas, San Francisco

6. Ask them about their food preferences right when they book.

Ryan Mcvay / Getty Images

"I always email my guests right after they book to ask them how they take their coffee, and if they have any dietary restrictions. This lets them know it's going to be a special experience."

Susan Pham, Tacoma

"I leave fruit for my guests, so before they arrive, I ask them if they have any preferences, so I can leave them fruit they actually like. And then, I also suggest keeping this information in your files so that if they come back, you already know what their preferences are."

Douglas, San Francisco

7. Leave small explainer notes around all of the electronics.

"This way, guests know exactly what they need to do. I also tell them which light switches to use, and ask them to leave one on if necessary."

Susan Pham, Tacoma

8. Leave your guests plenty of information on what to do in the area.

"We offer our guests a complete portable series of travel books, brochures, and menus of local attractions and restaurants. We also are always on the lookout for discount coupons that might save our guests some money during their stay. And we point them to places off the beaten path, too, that might be of interest based on our conversations about their likes and dislikes."—Ken & Mario, San Diego"I leave them a sheet of information about buses and transportation, museum information, and short local day trips to take. I also leave them all of the local restaurant menus."—Susan Pham, Tacoma
Flickr: apapp

"We offer our guests a complete portable series of travel books, brochures, and menus of local attractions and restaurants. We also are always on the lookout for discount coupons that might save our guests some money during their stay. And we point them to places off the beaten path, too, that might be of interest based on our conversations about their likes and dislikes."

Ken & Mario, San Diego

"I leave them a sheet of information about buses and transportation, museum information, and short local day trips to take. I also leave them all of the local restaurant menus."

Susan Pham, Tacoma

9. Whenever possible, greet guests at the door — and be sensitive to their needs when they first arrive.

"They are often stressed out, so be sensitive to that, and help put them at ease. Some have lots of questions; some just want to be left alone. If you can't read their body language, ask them if there's anything they need."

Dave & Rebecca, Los Angeles

10. And offer to carry their belongings.

"Warm welcomes put people at ease. One time, a guest called from the subway exit and was looking for directions. I knew he had lots of luggage, so I went out and found him, took some of his bags, and escorted him to the apartment."—Yoni, NYC
Flickr: jpstjohn

"Warm welcomes put people at ease. One time, a guest called from the subway exit and was looking for directions. I knew he had lots of luggage, so I went out and found him, took some of his bags, and escorted him to the apartment."

Yoni, NYC

11. And then offer them a drink — or leave them a bottle of wine in their room for when they arrive.

"Depending on the time of day, I right away offer guests water, coffee, tea, beer, or a glass of wine. I usually have a bottle of red wine open."

Dave & Rebecca, Los Angeles

"The moment our guests walk through the door, they are greeted with a bottle of wine and a handwritten note welcoming them to the home."

Leslie May, NYC

12. Give them a quick tour.

"Or, if you're not there, leave them notes that explain where all the essential items are: towels, cleaning supplies, paper products, etc."

Susan Pham, Tacoma

13. Have soft music playing when your guests arrive.

"It's a nice way to set the personality of your space. Personally, I turn on classical music for a relaxing atmosphere."—Susan Pham, Tacoma
Flickr: smileitsshan

"It's a nice way to set the personality of your space. Personally, I turn on classical music for a relaxing atmosphere."

Susan Pham, Tacoma

14. Use a key-less lock if you won't be there to greet them.

"We use a keypad that we set to a code that will be personal to the guest, which makes it easy for the guest to remember — and offers them the security knowing the guests before them do not have access. As a bonus, it allows for check-ins when you are not home, and no worries about lost keys!"

Mick & Patrick, Denver

15. Keep it simple.

"You don't have to offer your guests elaborate gifts or have an elaborate home to be successful. A clean, cozy space that's free of clutter will make your guests feel most welcome."

Claire Rice, Chicago

16. Decorate your space with interesting art, furniture, and bedding.

"If the guests wanted to stay at a boring hotel, they would. We go to antique stores and unique furniture stores to give our house a memorable homey feel."

Mick & Patrick, Denver

17. Invest in good ambient lighting.

"One of the best ways to set the mood and atmosphere of your space is with ambient lighting. This light makes the space warm and welcoming even if you are not there. By ambient lighting, I mean no overhead or harsh lights that cause shadows. Lighting should be soft white, not bright blue or fluorescent."

Susan Pham, Tacoma

18. Clean! Clean! Clean!

"There is no better way to make a good impression than by giving each guest a meticulously cleaned accommodation. This means cleaning the shower, toilet, sink and floors after every guest."

Mick & Patrick, Denver

19. Leave fresh flowers all around.

Alga38 / Getty Images

"We always pick flowers from our garden and leave them in the bedroom and bathroom. Small and pleasant details, plus an element of surprise, go a long way."

Ken & Mario, San Diego

"In the summer, I place flowers from the local Farmer's Market around the space to add color."

Susan Pham, Tacoma

20. Decorate your space for the holidays.

"During the holidays, we outfit the home with holiday decor so our guests feel more at home when traveling. We also leave all our guests a gift!"

Leslie May, NYC

21. Make sure there are blankets by the couch, books to read, and fun games to play.

—Susan Pham, Tacoma

22. If you live on site, invite your guests to join you for dinner if the vibe is right.

"As we see it, every guest is a potential new friend, and some have become just such. When the vibe is good, we have invited several Airbnb guests to join us for dinner at our table, sharing good food, wine and great stories."

Ken & Mario, San Diego

23. Stock your house with snacks — the investment will pay off tenfold in your reviews.

"My community has some great local products, and I include them as part of the continental breakfast I leave for each guest. I stock freezer jam, homemade granola, honey, ice cream, and pastries all from local businesses, along with a few fresh local organic eggs."—Susan Pham, Tacoma"We always stock the Carriage house with snacks, such as individual bags of Boulder Chips, cookies, nuts, and crackers. We also leave a couple cans of Izzy Juice, a small bottle of Prosecco, a small bottle of OJ, a couple waters and a few local beers for every guest. It's an easy and cheap way to make the place just a bit more special."—Mick & Patrick, Denver
Flickr: notahipster

"My community has some great local products, and I include them as part of the continental breakfast I leave for each guest. I stock freezer jam, homemade granola, honey, ice cream, and pastries all from local businesses, along with a few fresh local organic eggs."

Susan Pham, Tacoma

"We always stock the Carriage house with snacks, such as individual bags of Boulder Chips, cookies, nuts, and crackers. We also leave a couple cans of Izzy Juice, a small bottle of Prosecco, a small bottle of OJ, a couple waters and a few local beers for every guest. It's an easy and cheap way to make the place just a bit more special."

Mick & Patrick, Denver

24. Leave your guests with all of the supplies they need.

"I leave them an emergency kit: an umbrella in case of rain, a flashlight in case of a power outage, a medicine kit, and Band-Aids."

Douglas, San Francisco

"We always have extra toothpaste, toothbrushes, disposable razors and cotton swabs. Most guests won't use them, but for the guest who gets in at 10 p.m. only to figure out they forgot a toothbrush, it will make their stay."

Mick & Patrick, Denver

25. And be sure to leave extras of everything, too.

Bernard Radvaner / Getty Images

Because sometimes, one set of towels is not enough. "Extra amounts of items like light bulbs, extra bath towels, extra pillows, extra blankets, extra toilet paper, extra boxes of tissue so they don't run out during their stay."

Douglas, San Francisco

Got all that? Now go give your Airbnb listing some TLC so the money can start rolling in for you, too!

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