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AIRBNB HOST GUIDE

Airbnb host guide videos by Happyguest contributor Ross Davison

We can all learn from a host with over 2 years of hosting experience and over 100 5-star reviews. Ross believes that sharing stories, tips and guides makes being a host easier and more fun. In this collection of videos, he discussed topics such as interaction with guests, reviews, cleaning, and making money from your spare room. We both hope hosts around the world will find these videos helpful in learning how to get started, or in getting better at hosting.

Airbnb host guide introduction

Hey there, I've been hosting on Airbnb for more than two and a half years and thought I would share some experience. Let me know what topics you would like covered. I'm planning on covering: cleaning, check in, guidebooks, communication and many more topics. I will share tips that make hosting and traveling on Airbnb a better experience for all.

transcript

Hey there, I'm Ross. I've been an Airbnb host for over two years now. I thought I’d create a mini youtube series to share some of my experiences over those two years. So currently, I'm based in a place right here, Scotland and I've been hosting, renting out the spare room within my apartment. So I usually get couples from all over the world coming to explorer Glasgow, which is the city based there, and show them about the place, tell them where to go. They come back in the evening, they tell me their stories, where they’ve been and I usually end up learning a bit more about Glasgow and when I come back as well so it's usually kind of works both ways and so going forward, looking to share some of my experiences on getting good reviews, cleaning, changing over and good communication with guests, having a great guide book and if there's anything else you want to hear about or my experiences on, let me know, type in your comments and we can get this going. So yeah, a wee bit more about my background as to why I started with Airbnb. So initially started, me and my dad, we went over to France and then the South, right along the Mediterranean costs and we had a great time. We stayed in this small holiday home and we had the full place to ourselves. It was right by the beach and the host me us with the keys and we had a great time. We sort of had a chat and we thought oh I'd love to do this and actually meet the people and so it kind of started from there. Hosted my first guest from Singapore and he stayed in a lot of Airbnbs, and got some really good feedback from him, from just me being open about saying this is my first time I've hosted anyone and let me know how stuff goes. So got some really good feedback from him and kept kind of moving on and finding more wee bits and pieces just throughout the years of finding small things that can make a big difference to your guests experience in terms of, if you can help them pick travel or just kinda be a great host to what you sort of expect from a concierge in a hotel almost. So I leave it there for just now and get back in the next video, tune in.

Why choose to stay with a host on Airbnb?

Sharing some of the feedback that makes hosting on Airbnb enjoyable along with some of the personal notes received from guests while hosting. What is your experience of guest feedback?

transcript

Hey there, so today I'm going to talk about why people choose to stay with a host at an Airbnb as opposed to staying say in a hotel or in a full apartment that they are renting out and Airbnb does allow guests to book a full apartment if they want that extra privacy but certainly for me, I really enjoy having the guest stay and learning a bit about where they are from and obviously trying to give them the best experience that they can. In a new country they might feel uncomfortable, they are trying to explore the city and see some stuff around so it's just really about giving them ideas and kinda relating with them on their experiences that they have throughout the day and what really I enjoy is getting feedback from the guests and especially when I've given them a good experience, they will leave…I’ve got a couple of wee examples here of like wee notes that they leave and its really nice to see this is a guest from Taiwan and a couple that stayed for a weekend. It was a great experience learning about Taiwan, the other side of the world from here so and we shared some stories and it was a little bit about culture. Here's another wee card, again a wee sort of personal note thanking and because you're partly there as a host to make these experiences great for people and show them about, tell them what restaurants that maybe they might not see on the path and maybe your favourite restaurant that you can share with them so it kinda makes the experience for them a whole lot better and obviously getting that feedback here, it's pretty good. So I'll leave it there for this one and hopefully watch the next video

Write a great Airbnb listing

This video explains how to write a great Airbnb listing that will entice your guests to book. The key is in showing great photos and accurate description.

transcript

OK so today I'm going to talk about writing a great listing. This is your shop front. This is where guests first see you. This is where they see your place, they see the wonderful photos, they see what their holiday could be like. This is where it's really important to first of all get good photos. After that you've got to make strong text with your listing that really inspires guests as to why would they want to stay at your place, especially if they are staying with the host. And part of that they're gonna have to experience living with you and and it's really important to instantly put them at ease. Tell them what you're like. Tell them what you expect from them and obviously what they can expect by coming to stay at your place. So if you're a crazy person you have parties every night, put this in your listing! Maybe that's what guests want but in my experience the majority of guests don't want that. But you never know! And after you've started your listing, write about your place whether it’s a flat, whether it's an unusual listing, whether you live on a boat, in a campsite, wherever you stay and where guests are going to be staying. So write a little bit of information about what the guests can expect in terms of, is linen provided, is cooking facilities provided and what else you got, pets that sort of stuff just so guests know after reading your listing, guests should be able to kind of know what to expect when they arrive. So this is where it is really important to just be honest if the area is maybe a wee bit dodgy, put some words to that effect. And if the area is full of great transport links, put this in to tell people more about the listing. And so yeah tell people if you've got great views out of your window, that if you provide a bike is significant, just anything that makes the listing great. Obviously when they see the photos, they will get a good feel of the photos obviously, paint a thousand words. And yeah just write all that stuff there. And one of the last things about your listing is to make sure you have really clear directions how to get your place, whether there's a door entry system or whether you leave a key under the letterbox or something like that. Make sure it is very easy, step-by-step. Show a friend, show them what you're about to write in your listing and make sure that friend can work out quite easily how to get to your place and if they have got any problems that's when it's good idea to flag it up and say yeah this is maybe right that's a bit different or something and it makes it for a great guest experience. Don't want to be having a look at the instructions you've given them and going this doesn't match up with the place I'm coming to stay at and from a very starting point that would totally give guests a bad experience. If they can't work out how to get into your place in the first place but obviously you've got to sort out the communication before and guests will find it no problem. Maybe you even coming down to meet them when they arrive. So I will leave that for now and maybe talk about that in the future.

Make a great Airbnb guide book

Short video in the series on how to make a great guide book for your Airbnb listing. Include information about your house rules, WiFi password, how the shower works and transport. Also include emergency information, transport, local shops and restaurant recommendations.

transcript

Hey, so today I'm going to talk about having a great guidebook for guests. When they come to visit, you can hand it to them. They can have a flick through; they can find out a wee bit more about your place, about the local transport, everything that's available to them when they're visiting you and your city. So my guidebook in my flat, I've got a big yellow folder that I keep updated with a lot of different information about the local area. So I'll just run through a couple of things that I've got. Just a quick introduction, I usually go through the flat rules whether it’s no smoking, no parties, no extra guests. Just really, whatever rules you have for your place, then kind of going through looking at the Wi-Fi password is one of the first things that guests usually ask for when they arrive. They want to check into their family, friends. Just make sure they’re ok and as soon as they get the Wi-Fi password, they're connected and they'll be able to have a look and plan their trip when they’re here if they haven’t already planned it. Some guests come with a big list of things that they want to do but just really depends on the type of guests. Usually what else and so any kinda wee quirky things about the flat whether you have to press a button to start the cooker or whether the hot water needs to be set up before guests can get a shower. Have that sort of listed and quite easy to find out. Have lots of headings and so guests can flick through quickly, find the heading they want and find the information quickly. I’ve also got some information about the local supermarkets and where the nearest one is. Maybe some information about how to get there, what the quickest way to walk is or is it quicker to get a bus. If maybe there's a couple of different shops that guests want a bit of a choice. The local transport as well is a really good one and most guests usually when they're booking, they’ll ask what's the best way to get to your place from the airport, from the train station. You'll be able to kinda have that information here so when they are planning they’re trip once they check out with you, they’re able to find the quickest way to get to where they want to be and the cheapest way as well. Sometimes our taxis can be as cheap as getting the public transport if it’s quite a short journey like making to the train station for instance. So having that information down in the guidebook is a great way and straight away you can present the guests this information. Also some recommendations on restaurants, maybe not all the time you'll be in the flat, so if you leave the guidebook out on a coffee table, guests can flick through, have a look and if you're not there to give them a personal recommendation on what they're after, the guidebook is a great way where guests can flick through and have a look and see. So I’ll leave it there for today about a guidebook, but can probably come back to it a bit later on as well. So yeah, until next time cheers.

Setup your Airbnb online guidebook

Setup your Airbnb online guidebooks at hostfully.com. It's a great interactive guidebook that guests can take with them.

transcript

So this episode, I'm going to quickly talk about chatting with your guests when they request to book your place. So some hosts have their instant book on and there might be a quick chat and then they would tend to stay with you. But I'm not so flexible and can't have people all the time staying due to other commitments. So what I do is I usually have a chat with guests before they arrive just kind of figure out if it's going to be a good fit, if we feel like we'll get on and have that conversation to find out what time they will arrive whether it's a late flight or whether it's an early morning flight they’re having and it might not be suitable or maybe I'm at work or something, I can't come out, meet them, let them in. So I think that conversation at the beginning when guests arrive is really important. During that conversation, usually just find out more about them when they’ll arrive and then that's a good chance for them to ask maybe how they’re getting into the place. Are they coming into the airport, do they need assistance booking a taxi or finding out the best public transport from the airport to your place or even on occasion, offer a lift to guests if I'm available and it suits both of us. So if they come at a good time and maybe if I'm going past the airport for instance, and I would be able to pick them up and obviously that saves guests partly time and partly money and they get to meet you and they kinda get to have a chat on the way to the airport and back. So another thing I do is I’ll share guestbook with them. So I’ve created a really fun guest book, it was a friend I met at the Airbnb open last year. So he was creating a product, an online guidebook that you can enter your details and then you can share that with guests before they've even arrived and it gives the guests a good way to see a bit more about the area, the place you live. You can put recommendations for restaurants, tours; all that sort of stuff in the way it's presented is really nice. They’ve put a lot of design into it and that the user interface is really easy to use. So the website is called Hostfully, so I've put the link in the text below but check that out and it's very easy to create a guidebook and usually what I'll do is after we've had a chat, I’ll send the guest a link to the guidebook and then they can find out a bit more about the area and another great thing about the app is they’re able to carry it with them on their mobile so they can download the pages and they're able to flick through that and as they’re coming to your place or maybe they're walking about the city, and they want to find out a bit more information about the transport or any recommendations that you have left for them so it's a really quick, easy and it's just a really nice way to do that. So I would recommend Hostfully, try downloading that and give it a shot and let me know what you think. Put your comments in the text below and I'll see you next time, cheers!

Guest arrival and orientation

Relax your guests and show them the city. Have a chat and give them ideas and tell them some great things about your city.

transcript

Hey there, so today I'm going to talk about what I do with guests once they’ve arrived, once they’ve put their bags away and then maybe you have made them tea or coffee. I usually try to get them around the dinner table and have a quick chat, give them a quick orientation of the city as well as most of the time when the guests have arrived that have made their way from the airport or a train station to your place and they have not really seen, they’ve been kind of focused on just getting there so they have not got time to kinda just look about and see what's there. So yes sitting down at the dinner table, I've usually got as maybe you can see here a folder with a lot of leaflets that partly I've picked up and partly that some other guests have left and sometimes I’ve never seen the place before, I have a wee look at the leaflet and see. So yeah once you’re having a chat with the guests, you can usually get a feel for what they want to see in the city, what they want to do and just having a chat, ask them where they’re from, what are interested in and then after that you can usually get the map and show them the main areas, how to get to and from the apartment anytime there is public transport, kind of rough walking distances as well if the guests want to walk themselves so and it's good to kind of give them a feel for the place. Also with the leaflets and stuff that you pick up, you can maybe recommend some places that say they're interested in architecture, something or a specific type of art. You can maybe give them the leaflets and say oh check out this place or I've been here before and guests always really appreciate personal recommendations as well. If you really like maybe a specific museum, tell them about that museum and yeah that's when the guests can figure out what it's like to be a local, use the phrase and how to get the most out of living in your part of the city so it’s always really interesting and guests have really given us good feedback and that's something they appreciate when they stay.

How to welcome guests to your home

Welcoming guests to your home is important as its the first impression they get. Make sure you make them feel comfortable, offer a tea or coffee, let them have a seat and ask them how their travel went before getting into the house rules.

transcript

Hey guys, so I'm going to talk about why being a host is really important for the guests because as guests have been maybe traveling from the other side of the world have arrived at your apartment and the first thing that they do is they don't want any stress, they just want to relax and this is partly why good communication throughout their journey over to your apartment makes it a lot more simple and stress-free for the guests. So as they come into the apartment, welcome them. Don't be like boom boom boom, here are all the rules. Just be a bit more…I find being a bit more relaxed as kind of puts them at ease obviously. Make them a tea, make them a coffee and then just kinda get a feel for the type of person and change your style of how you approach it. Some people just want…yep here are the rules, give me the keys and I'll see you in a week but when someone is sharing your place, you don't really want them just using it as a hotel. Hopefully, if you’ve had the dialogue before they’ve booked, you can sort of gauge whether they're going to be sort of interacting then. For me, that's where kind of the good experiences come from. It's not when people use it as a hotel, it’s where people interact. You maybe share a meal; go out for beers and certainly I've had some great experiences. There is a tradition in Scotland of having a Burns Supper. So it’s kind of a meal usually to celebrate one of the great Scottish poets, Robert Burns and every year around about the end of January, a lot of places will have these massive burns suppers but I quite find having a personal one in the kitchen, cooking the food, I’ve been reciting poetry and sometimes I have one of my friends, couple of my friends come round and actually play the bagpipes. So the guests get immersed in the Scottish culture, get to hear the bagpipes playing and get to see the poetry recited, then get stuck into some haggis, nips and tatti's, a traditional Scottish dish that you have around that time. So these kinds of experiences for the guests are really like…wow I’ve come to a new country and I’ve really experienced it as a local almost. So, obviously there's a bit of time and you need to make sure the guests are interested in doing that sort of stuff. If they're not, they might be sitting there being like…this is a bit scary but yeah you should get a feel for what the guests are interested in and yeah it's a good experience for the guests and that's when you get these sort of notes and feedback from the guests and yeah you're on the right track and stuff so. That's another wee snippet for now and write in the comments or if you had anything to do. Catch you later, cheers.

How to share local transport tips with your Airbnb guests

Best video shares how to tell guests about the best local transport for getting around your city and the most cost efficient ways through their visit.

transcript

So today, I'm going to talk about local transport. This is where guests can really go explore when they’ve arrived in a new city, see the sights and it’s your job to kind of assist them and showing them what means of transport they've got for getting about the place. So within Glasgow where I'm hosting, there's buses, trains, subways, bikes and it's a great way for people to get about and if you're in a new city, every city is slightly different and how the transport works. So it's up to you to kind of educate the guests about the best way to get on a bike, the best way to go on a subway and if you're going from certain areas to certain areas, sometimes the best way that only usually locals would know or sometimes googlemaps will know about getting directions from different places so it is really ideal if you can give them a map, show them the main areas where the transport links are and even better if you can walk them to the bus station when they're getting the first bus after leaving your place. It always gives a good impression that you're willing to kind of go the extra mile and help them get around the city. So within Glasgow, there are some city bikes so you can jump on those. There's an app you can download and what you do is unlock the bikes and what I found is really helpful is going through the process with the guests while they're at your place and a step-by-step, showing them how to download the app, how to logout a bike and how to use that system. So I’ve got some really good feedback from guests that have really appreciated the time taken to actually show them how the system works in terms of the buses, sometimes there is quite a specific bus or you may have different operators within your city of the buses. So at least point the guests to the websites of those bus operators and from there, they are usually able to find out fares, find out bus times and find out the routes to the specific places. Maybe they want to go to a certain area of the city to explore. It’s always good giving them ideas about the trains as well. Within Glasgow, there is a subway system, so it's one track that goes around in a circle clockwise and anti-clockwise so once you are on it, you can't get lost. But sometimes the subway can be a really great we get in from the west of the city to the east of the city and again as I say, you just hop on and it’s the third oldest subway system in the world, so it's always a nice bit of history if you know a wee bit about the local transport methods, guests always sort of really enjoy hidden fun facts that they can maybe tell their friends when they get back. Oh I was on the third oldest subway system in Glasgow and they’re wow, that's pretty impressive, when was it built and they’ll go oh I need to go look it up. But it's always nice having these wee things and hopefully that you've kind of given the guest an experience that they’ll share with their friends and tell them about it if they’re friends are coming to visit as well. So leave that public transport there for the moment and yep I'll see you in the next one, cheers.

Share local produce with your Airbnb guests

Guests travelling from abroad want to experience the local culture and food, this is a great opportunity to show them local produce and let them see the best restaurants. Have some local cakes, beer and speciality in your apartment so guests can try some of the local delicacy

transcript

Hey there, so when guests come traveling from a far they usually want to check out what's local in the area, what sort of food they can get that maybe can't get at home and quite a lot of people want to explore and see what's out there. So one other thing that I do with my guests is have some produce from the local area. I'm based in Scotland, so lots of kinda different cakes and stuff. There's some local beers, different cereals that you can’t get at home. It’s great kind of sharing those products with the guests, letting them try it and maybe see if they like it and then pointing them to other local shops or restaurants where they can try some of the things. Certainly haggis is quite a big one in Scotland, it’s our national dish. Pointing guests to where they can try really good haggis and maybe a local whiskey. Quite a lot of people come to Scotland for doing the Whiskey trail, so it's always good to point them in the right direction for that. So these sort of tips and if there's any kind of local youtube videos that show the local area in a good light it's always worth sending those either when guests are chatting to you before they arrive or when they arrive. Putting on the TV and letting them see a wee bit more information about the area. That's a good tip to give guests a bit of an insight into what's in the local area