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    Airbnb Hosts Shared 19 Of Their Best Tips For Getting A Five-Star Rating

    "At our rental, we updated all our mattresses, even the sofabed mattress, because we know that a renter who doesn't get a good night's sleep is an unhappy renter."

    Listing a property on Airbnb can be pretty lucrative over time. But being a host comes with its own set of ups and downs. In fact, going above and beyond for five-star reviews isn't enough. Hosts also try to actively avoid getting ratings lower than that.

    A-line cabin
    Mint Images / Getty Images

    So we recently asked Airbnb hosts of the BuzzFeed Community to share their tips for being the best host possible, and we got a few extra tips from some Reddit threads and Airbnb users, too. Here's what Airbnb hosts had to say:

    1. Consider guests who are new to Airbnb.

    "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 so; I just make sure to probe a bit on why people are coming to town, what they're excited about in terms of the listing, and who they're bringing with them. It leads to some fun relationships and hopefully some happy new Airbnb users!"

    Claire Rice, Chicago

    2. Make sure you communicate effectively with your guests. This means answering all their questions, making sure they know what they're getting, and being responsive if any issues arise.

    Nickelodeon / Via

    "I own two short-term cabin rentals on a lake in Texas. Top of the list for being a good host is good communication with guests. Be responsive to guests' questions and provide detailed information about what is included in the rental and what guests should bring with them. When things go wrong (and they do!) take care of the issue as soon as possible, and stay in contact with guests so they know you are working to resolve the issue. Our rentals are in a remote location so we provide detailed driving directions/maps.

    We also provide a welcome bag with koozies, sunscreen, bug spray, and Advil because those are easy to forget at home. And for the dog owners, we provide poop bags and treats.

    Make all your communications with guests personal in some way. Use their names, make a point of mentioning the reason for their stay: birthday, fishing, family reunion, etc. Our guests pay a lot of money to stay and they deserve to feel special!"


    3. Don't try to hide any "minor" issues that you think guests won't notice.

    Cabin living room
    Solstock / Getty Images

    "Be completely up-front with photos of the room/place. I found that people just expected there to be certain amenities or they did not read through every aspect of the ad. Because of this, I started off with some subpar reviews. Once I highlighted and mentioned things several times in my ad that I hadn’t before (like steep stairs and no coffee maker), I started getting five-star reviews consistently.

    Don’t try and 'hide' flaws. People just want to know what to expect. If you deliver exactly what was promised, people are happy to give a five-star review."


    4. Make the guest check-in time as flexible possible. One way to do this is by using an electric lock to store the keys so your guests won't have to arrive only when you're available.

    "If you have a private front door, get an electronic lock and send the guest a personal code. It is also good if this lock will automatically lock after a period of time. This will prevent issues with guests losing/taking keys or leaving your home unlocked. It will also make it easier to have a flexible check in time, as you don't need to be there for a key exchange."


    5. Whenever possible, greet guests once they arrive and be sensitive to their needs when you meet them.

    "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

    6. Leave some small refreshments in the kitchen for your guests' arrival. These little touches are sooo appreciated after a tiring drive or flight.

    The CW / Via

    "Leave a few snacks and bottles of water out for guests. It costs practically nothing but makes the whole place feel homey and intentional. Oh, and DON’T ask for 'tips' to cover the cost of said snacks! I stayed in a pricey Airbnb once and was floored to see a sign asking for tips to cover the cost of store-brand granola bars. Super tacky. Much side eye."


    "A guest, not a host here. I recall flying all day from Western Canada to New York City. We arrived very late at night to a beautiful brownstone. However, I think about how the host could have made it more perfect by leaving some coffee creamer in the fridge, maybe a few bananas or muffins... That would have been the extra touch that goes a long way. It was rough getting up in the morning to a strange neighborhood and having to find coffee and food right away."


    7. Leave some basic appliances and items for your guests to use (it helps to think of some things that might be easily forgotten at home, like hair dryers or umbrellas).

    8. Leave sticky notes explaining how to use all of the electronics and appliances.

    "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

    9. Make sure previous guests don't leave their half-used stuff around the space, especially when it comes to the bathroom.

    "Don’t leave crap in the showers. Yeah, it’s just soap/shampoo/whatever, but taking a shower with every previous guest’s forgotten shampoo bottle makes the whole place feel grimy. Bathrooms make or break the Airbnb. Clean the absolute hell out of them."


    10. Replace uncomfortable mattresses and update the rooms to make sure your guests can sleep as comfortably as possible.

    Nickelodeon / Via

    "At our rental, we updated all our mattresses, even the sofabed mattress, because we know that a renter who doesn't get a good night's sleep is an unhappy renter. We also put up blackout curtains in the bedrooms with the most sun exposure in the morning. We also hired some fantastic cleaners between stays. We may be paying a bit more but there is never any garbage, unwashed linens, or food left in our refrigerator."


    11. Don't forget to make your rental feel ~festive~ when the holidays roll around.

    "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

    12. Keep the space ~PG~. Some guests may have children tagging along.

    ABC / Via

    "Have a completely family-friendly house. Once, my family (with two 9-year-olds and a 12-year-old) stayed in a house with artwork depicting naked women. The master bed revealed someone had done the deed on it and not cleaned up after themselves. Worst stay ever. And make sure you get a good housekeeper."


    13. Just ask your guests for constructive feedback. Then, use it to improve the experience for your next guest.

    14. Provide detailed info on local eateries and attractions so your guests can get a better understanding of what's available to them.

    NBC / Via

    "I'm not a host, but a guest. One of the best things that a host had ever done was leave a binder on the area. It listed their favorite restaurants, bars, and things to do, and why. They also left a couple of free passes for local attractions. It was a great way to get to know a new neighborhood the way a local would."


    15. Lighting can actually make a difference when it comes to making your space feel welcoming.

    "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

    16. Get creative with your space and make it look comfortable and inviting.

    Person looking at paint swatches
    Aleksandarnakic / Getty Images

    "Not a host but someone who has stayed at a lot of Airbnbs. Sprucing up the place with some cool decor and nice furniture always makes the stay more interesting (doesn’t have to be expensive, just something to liven up the space!). Also having some basic food and drink items, like some tea/coffee and bread and butter, is always great. Some hosts have left us a bottle of wine before, which was wonderful!"


    17. Make some improvements but don't make too many changes that end up feeling out of place.

    Freeform / Via

    "Invest in the space, but don't over-improve for the area. My cousins and I inherited my grandfather's fishing cabin/retirement home. It's in the mountains so going up every weekend wasn't happening. We made some mistakes but have slowly improved. Fresh paint, deep cleaning, and adding amenities a few times a year certainly helps. We were able to put in a firepit, a rope swing, and a spa, which have exponentially improved how much we make. We also try to add a personal touch: Every guest is greeted with a gift basket when they arrive. It costs $25 to put together, but every one of our reviews mentions how awesome and thoughtful the gift basket is."


    18. But keeping it simple can also be pretty effective.

    "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

    19. Lastly, remind your guests to consider leaving a positive review if they've enjoyed their stay in your space.

    Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    If this sounds like music to your ears (and bank account), check out more of our personal finance posts.

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