It takes a lot of effort to make your home into a great Airbnb listing. From check-in to cleanup, hosting guests will require effort and forethought. But if you’re willing, some elbow grease, small fixes, and trial and error will help you turn your home into a traveler’s dream destination.

Clean and Declutter

clean, modern bedroom with bed, nightstand, and antlers on wallWhile an Airbnb is supposed to offer the experience of living like a local, some of the cardinal rules of hosting remain. Remove all personal effects from any spaces where your guests will be spending time. Whether you’re renting out a room or your entire home, everything in the guest space should be considered fair game. Anything that you don’t want guests to touch, use, or see should be removed before they arrive. Minimizing clutter will also help with cleaning and turning your space over between rentals.

In the hospitality business, cleanliness is next to godliness. You should conduct a thorough cleaning between every rental. Many hosts hire a cleaning service and include the cost in rental fees. You can also do the cleaning yourself, but make sure to hold yourself to a high standard. Be on the lookout for dust, hair, strange odors, and any unsightly issues that might upset guests and lower your rating.   

Protect Your Guests and Yourself

The most important spaces your guests will see are their bedroom and bathroom. Make sure that those spaces are not only clean but also in the best condition possible. You don’t have to do a full renovation to make your home ready for guests, but make sure to address any major issues. Small upgrades like a new showerhead or updated light fixtures will not only improve your space’s appeal but will also save you from any liability issues with your guests.

You should also try to get verified by the website in every way you can. A great option is the verified photo service—Airbnb will dispatch a photographer to take photos of your space for the listing. This helps guests get a feel for your space and become comfortable with the listing. What’s more, it protects you from claims about false advertising—not to mention, it’s free.

Go Beyond the Hotel Basics

Keep your home stocked with wholesale supplies of the same basics provided by hotels and hostels. Guests should always have access to soap, toilet paper, sheets, and towels. These things should be clean and presentable. Guests don’t need brand-new sheets, but it’s important their supplies are obviously sanitary and well cared for. This helps guests feel welcome, which will be reflected in your rating. You should also consider other basic amenities like Wi-Fi, television, and light snacks.

When it comes to providing a great guest experience, the devil is in the details. Make guests think that you’ve thought of everything. Try to provide any basics they may have forgotten, lost, or broken during their travels. Some of the best-rated hosts provide things like hair dryers, phone chargers, hair products, first-aid kits, and umbrellas.

Make it Easy

Even though Airbnb is supposed to provide a more “authentic” guest experience, do your best to make your guests’ stay as easy as possible. When setting up your listing, make sure you have an easy-to-understand check-in and check-out plan. Travelers’ schedules are rarely set in stone, so make sure your system is as flexible as possible.

List every rule and quirk of your home in a comprehensive guest guide. Your guest guide should repeat all of the house rules from your listing, and you should edit it as you get more experience as a host. Use it to break down all of the specifics of your home. Make sure you cover where to park, how to use appliances, how to work any electronics, what to do with trash, your smoking policy, and any other necessary information. In addition, your guests should always be able to contact you. Give them multiple means of reaching you, and do your best to answer quickly.

Your guide should be as fun as it is useful. Don’t just list house rules and amenities. Provide directions to major roadways, transportation advice, lists of tourist attractions, events, and places to eat.

Make It Personal

shoes and welcome mat on wooden deckMake an effort to get to know your guests, and have them get to know you and your home. Highlight the best part of your location in your listing, and provide some details about yourself. Even listing your basic interests will help endear you to guests and make them more comfortable. As for your home, you should try to point out its best quality—whether it’s quiet comfort, proximity to tourist attractions, or just a good bargain. Be honest, but put your best foot forward.

As an Airbnb host, some of the best advice is to make the guests’ visit feel personal. Whether it’s inviting them to dinner or simply offering a handwritten note as a welcome, make sure your guests feel like you want them there, and they’ll feel like they’re in paradise.

Renting your home on Airbnb could be a great way to make extra money and meet new people, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be a breeze. Creating the best Airbnb listing takes careful preparation and some trial and error. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can make money and help guests make memories.

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