How can you make the most out of renting your home on Airbnb? (Photo by iStock. Design by Erik Mace for Yahoo Travel.)
Renting out your home on Airbnb has become an increasingly popular way to make some extra money. But with 1.5 million listings globally on Airbnb alone, you have to be a little better than the next guy to make your listing stand out and make sure you get good reviews.
While there are a few things renters have come to expect as standard from a short-term vacation rental (a bed, clean sheets, towels, WiFi, toilet paper, etc.), there are other things you should have on hand to be considered a “good” host.
Related: How to Pay Your Mortgage With Airbnb
Giving your guests easy, hassle-free access to your property is a sure fire way to get their stay off to a good start. Lockitron is an ingenious gadget that attaches to your existing deadbolt, allowing your visitors to remotely lock and unlock the door using their cell phone — meaning no keys and no cumbersome lockboxes attached to your front door with complicated instructions. You can change the code between each guest and receive alerts each time the door is unlocked for extra piece of mind.
2. Welcome Treats
Once your guests have made it inside, their impression of your home will be made within minutes. So why not make a good impact by leaving them a welcome gift — a bottle of wine, freshly baked cookies, a nice scented candle with matches, or a fresh fruit bowl. Maybe even all of the above. Add a hand-written card welcoming them. It’s the little things that go a long way.
Who doesn’t want to be welcomed with a bottle of wine? (Photo: Thinkstock)
3. Welcome Book
Alongside your welcome treats, leave a binder or laminated cards with information about the property and the neighborhood. Include a list of good restaurants, take-out menus, brochures for local attractions, suggestions of your favorite local hikes or places to work out, a list of emergency numbers, and information on the nearest urgent care, hospital, vet, and pharmacy, as well as any other pertinent, helpful advice. It will make your guests feel right at home.
4. Universal Power Adapter / Tech-Charging Station
There is nothing worse than getting to your travel destination and realizing that you have forgotten your travel adapter or phone charger. So to be a super-duper Airbnb host we suggest having one on hand, just in case. To deter people from stealing or accidentally leaving with your equipment, write the property address or your last name onto each item using a label maker or permanent marker.
5. Bluetooth Speaker
Nowadays, most people carry their entire music collection around with them on their cell phones, so get a bluetooth speaker like the UE Boom for your rental property that will allow every guest to play their own music. Don’t forget to leave a charging cable and instructions on how to connect it to a phone or iPad.
6. Coffee Machine / Tea
While basic kitchen necessities are a must-have for any rental property, good quality coffee- and tea-making facilities, along with a selection of coffee and teas will earn you big brownie points, especially with those of us who are incapable of functioning without an early-morning injection of caffeine. Some fun mugs or a quirky tea pot will also make a lasting impression.
Give your guests a great start to their day with a high-quality cup of coffee. (Photo: Thinkstock)
7. Bathroom Products
When checking into a hotel, one of the first things I do is check out the soaps and stuff in the bathroom. Providing your guests with good-quality branded bath products will give your place a more luxurious feel. If you don’t want to deal with replacing miniature bottles each time you have new guests, invest in some large dispensers and label them appropriately.
8. Outdoor Equipment
Despite a major rise in business travelers using sites like Airbnb, the vast majority of guests are still leisure travelers. Stocking up on fun activity gear for your renters to use and advertising it on your listing ahead of time is sure to get you noticed. If you are near the beach, load a large beach bag like this one from Quilted Koala with beach towels and suntan lotion. Always be sure to check what items are covered under the Airbnb Host Protection insurance and Host Guarantee.
9. A Really Good (Sharp) Knife
Whether you are a gourmet chef or a “Top Chef” aficionado, the one thing that always comes in handy is a good kitchen knife.To keep your guests happy, stock your knife block or utensils drawer with an 8-inch ceramic chef’s knife, like this one from Kyocera. The ultra sharp blade will stay sharp 10 times longer than a steel one, and it is germ resistant.
10. Automatic Wine Opener
Vacation and wine go hand-in-hand and if you are planning on leaving your guests a bottle of welcome wine (or even if you are not), you will need to provide a decent bottle opener to go with it. Make your life easy by supplying guests with an automatic wine opener like this one by Waring Pro, so they can just pop, pour, and enjoy.
11. A Stocked Fridge
If you want to wow your guests and push for that wondrous review, leave the fridge stocked with basics. Milk, eggs, bread, butter, bacon, bottled water, sodas, cookie dough, or fresh fruit are just some examples. But these added extras are sure to make your guests feel right at home and want to actually spend time in your place rather than going out to eat. It might cost you about $30, but it could help bring in a lot of extra revenue.
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