Whether you’re looking to make some extra income or you’re constantly out of town, it’s time to jump on the Airbnb bandwagon. This popular housing service has grown massively over the past few years and more people than ever are searching for homes over hotel rooms.
While it seems like a great idea, and it probably is, hosting your home can take a lot of work. Besides all of the work on the back-end of things, you’ll need to make sure that you properly prepare your home for guests. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on getting your home ready for Airbnb hosting. Take a look below.
The first thing you need to consider when getting your home ready for Airbnb hosting is accessibility. If you don’t plan on personally meeting and greeting every guest for check in and check out, you’ll need to provide a secure way for them to access your home. Consider installing a lock box or keyless entrance pad. You can easily change the code with each guest and reduce the amount of lost keys.
Remove Your Personal Items
This step can be tricky. Your home is filled to the brim with personal items and valuables that need to be removed when you start hosting. While you don’t want to completely empty your place, it’s best to get rid of things that won’t directly benefit your guests.
Go around each room with a few boxes and start by packing up any and all personal hygiene items. Everything from shampoo and perfume should be removed unless you plan on offering them to your guests for use. Additionally, you’ll want to remove the following:
Clothes and Shoes
Have you ever checked into a hotel room and opened the closet to find a full wardrobe staring back at you? Probably not. This idea extends for Airbnb hosting. People don’t want to feel like they’re invading someone’s personal space so make sure that you remove all of your clothes and shoes. Store seasonal clothes and footwear in a storage unit and keep the rest with you or in a locked closet.
This should be a no brainer. While we hope that the people you’re hosting wouldn’t steal anything, never leave it up to chance. Remove all of your laptops, cameras, expensive jewelry and anything high in value. Either lock them in a secure safe or put them in your storage unit. The same goes for items that hold a lot of meaning to you, but aren’t necessarily expensive.
Remove any financial documents, passports, birth certificates and anything that contains sensitive information. There have been reported cases of theft on Airbnb, so again, don’t take the risk. When you remove the opportunity you remove the chances of winding up in a bad situation.
People probably don’t want to be staring at pictures of your family while they’re staying in your home. It makes things personal and can be a bit uncomfortable. If you have photos hanging on the wall, replace them with some inexpensive artwork and store all of your personal photos away. Fill your bookshelves and side tables with small knick-knacks or pictures of scenery to keep up décor.
The easiest way to avoid having to continually empty your home and re-fill it is by renting a storage unit. It’s the perfect solution for storing furniture, documents or memorabilia that you won’t want your guests to have access too. Plus, it’s a bit more secure than a simple lock box in your home. You can find a plethora of affordable options at The Lock Up Self Storage that will give you the peace of mind you need.
Clean, Clean, Clean
After you’ve stored away all of your personal items, memorabilia and valuables, it’s time to start cleaning. Nobody in the world wants to stay somewhere that’s dirty. In order to guarantee that everything is spotless, consider hiring a professional cleaning service. The best ones won’t miss a spec of dirt. If you prefer to do it on your own, just remember to hit the often-overlooked places (i.e., your ceiling fan). There are some great checklists you can use to ensure you haven’t missed anything.
While you’re cleaning, or after you’ve had a professional cleaning, make sure that nothing is broken and there aren’t any safety hazards. You don’t want there to be any unnecessary accidents or complaints, especially for insurance purposes.
Once you’ve removed your personal items and made everything nice and clean, think about ways you can increase hospitality for your guests. The better the reviews are, the more people will want to stay at your home. As your hosting value increases you can start to increase pricing. Check out a few basic hospitality gestures that will go a long way.
Please do not remove all the kitchen appliances you own. When people rent an Airbnb rather than a hotel, it’s usually because they want access to a kitchen. It is so frustrating to open up an empty cabinet when you’re trying to cook a meal. Keep a coffee maker, microwave, toaster, a few pots and pans, dishes, silverware and basic cooking essentials available for your guests. It will go a long way. Put the rest in your storage unit so you can easily access them when you need to. It’s also customary to supply:
- Cleaning supplies
- Hand soap
- A first-aid kit
- Basic toiletries
- Remote controls
- An air mattress
- Air fresheners
- Salt and pepper, sugar, cooking oil
- Coffee and tea
- Filtered or bottled water
This is especially important if you’re hosting long-term guests. At the bare minimum, make sure that you have extra blankets, extra linens and extra towels. Additionally, consider having extra of the following:
- Toilet paper
- Light bulbs
- Paper towels
High Quality Sheets
Sometimes people just want to hangout and relax. Make it easy for them by providing in-house entertainment. Have some of your favorite movies or video games out so that they can watch a movie and consider keeping a small library accessible. If you have a Netflix or Hulu account, keep yourself signed in on your TV so guests can use it.
Go Above and Beyond
While it’s not absolutely necessary to supply your home with these amenities, it does go a long way. People respond extremely well when they notice their host has gone above and beyond to increase the comfort of their stay.
While a lot of people go on vacations prepared with everything they need, sometimes things are forgotten. It’s an amazing feeling walking into an Airbnb that has been stocked with these types of items – you’d be amazed how excited people get over toothpaste. Head to the store and buy a few of travel-sized versions of these for your guests to use.
- Disposable razors
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Shaving cream
- Hair dryer
- Ear plugs and/or eye masks (especially if you’re in a city)
Another thoughtful idea is providing a welcome package for your guests. Fill it with things that are unique to your area, spa items and some nice snacks for guests to enjoy.
If you don’t want to provide a package, at least consider putting together a welcome book. You can include menus for nearby restaurants, suggestions on things to do and maps to help people find their way around. Provide phone numbers for emergencies and any rules or directions you might want to communicate. This is especially helpful when people own complicated appliances that need explaining. Also consider putting out a local guidebook for guests to browse through.
If you live in a bike-friendly city and you own a few bikes, make them available. If you live near a beach or a lake and have kayaks or beach accessories, tell your guests. Local conveniences are a great way to make your guests feel at home and give them a ton of options to keep busy.
Leave a Guest Gift
Finally, consider leaving a little guest gift to thank them for choosing you. Whether it’s a 6-pack of beer or your favorite local chocolate, people will appreciate the gesture.
If you are getting ready to host your home on Airbnb, taking these steps will help improve your listing and keep guests coming back for more. If you find yourself in need of some extra space to store the things that you plan on removing from your home, head on over to The Lock Up Self Storage. All of the units at The Lock Up Self Storage are climate controlled, affordable and secure. You can access your unit at any time, day or night, which makes it a perfect compliment to your Airbnb hosting. Visit us at www.thelockup.com today to browse the available units in your area today.