Perhaps the most tedious aspect of hosting is preparing your rental property. A variety of thoughts occur as to things that can go wrong – guests locking themselves out, keys getting misplaced, persistent phone calls and text messages, or the scariest thought: not having your Airbnb ready on time. By following some simple steps and creating an organized approach to cleaning, you can dramatically reduce the time you spend attending to your listing, improve guest experience, and more importantly, maintain your Superhost status with positive feedback. Consider this as a short guide that can make your life much easier as a host.
1. Keep multiple copies of your keys accessible and secure. If you provide a listing that offers accommodations for two or more guests, it's imperative to keep multiple key sets accessible to them at all times. This is especially important if you're offering services for business travelers who may be on different schedules. Besides providing flexibility for your guests, you also prevent having to go out of your way in the event of misplaced or lost keys. Instead of relying on one set of keys for the guests, provide a second and third set, one that can be kept inside the home if needed, and another in a lockbox outside of your home. This will also simplify the key exchange process, preventing the need to meet your guest in-person and inviting them to check-in at their own convenience. Consider using a mounted combination lockbox or one you can place on your doorknob or stair rail.
2. Have extra sets of clean towels, linens, and blankets available. Laundry is already a chore, and it makes it even more challenging when you're trying to accommodate back-to-back guests. While having a washer and dryer on-site to run while you perform your cleaning duties is helpful, it's not always possible due to your apartment size or budget. Additionally, it can conflict with the arrival times of your guests if you are waiting for items to come out of the dryer. With cheap flights landing in the early morning, you may find yourself in a situation where incoming guests will request an earlier check-in time. In this case, having clean linens, blankets, and towels available in your listing ensures you never have to worry about laundry duties. It’s also important to keep extra's available in case of accidental spills or damage from any existing guest. The best strategy would be to keep one or two extra sets accessible, and another in a secure, locked cabinet, if possible.
3. Get creative with communication. While it's great to be in touch with your guests, it can also be time-consuming. Not all guests are interested in asking simple questions to their hosts, and for those with busy schedules, may avoid contacting you altogether. Instead of developing an over-reliance on you for questions and answers, considering putting together a binder with subject dividers and sticky notes to organize information. The content can include general information for long-term guests, such as garbage disposal or advice for using appliances in your listing. It can also include restaurant recommendations, helpful numbers, local transportation, and more. For guests that may not be interested in looking through a binder, you can also keep notes on your refrigerator and type a "welcome letter” that can be pasted on Airbnb messenger and their email.
4. Organize your schedule for efficiency. To many, proper etiquette is for guests to clean up their dishes or place things in their original location. More often than not, these steps are forgotten or ignored. You can’t blame your guest if they’re trying to catch a flight or in a hurry to pack their things to make the check-out time. The best way to prepare is to create a check-list of things to complete for your cleaning routing, starting with running the dishwasher while you do other manual cleaning work, whether it be cleaning the counter tops, bathrooms, or dusting the furniture. If you don’t own a dishwasher, consider a top-bottom approach: clean all items, including dishes, following by counter tops, and finally the ground. This way, you’re unlikely to forget anything and you won’t be a risk for a lower cleanliness rating.