Thoughtful Ideas on How to Impress Airbnb Guests

Last Updated: 21 September 2022

Airbnb hosts know that happy guests are the cornerstone of any hosting business. While beautiful, unique spaces help you stand out, positive reviews from satisfied patrons are what attract other customers. For this reason, it’s essential to take excellent care of your guests every step of the way.

If you analyze the most successful hosts, they all have one thing in common: they know how to create a great guest experience by going the extra mile. Superhosts go above and beyond with thoughtful details and a personal touch that creates an experience difficult to replicate in hotels. This fantastic service and personalized treatment are what make an Airbnb listing great.

Whether you’re new to the game or have hosted hundreds of people, it’s always worth asking yourself, “How do I impress guests on Airbnb?” Today, we’re going to discuss some foolproof ways to deliver that wow factor that result in 5-star reviews. Keep reading to learn more.

Understand the guest journey

Guest expectations don’t begin when they enter your Airbnb. The difference between Airbnbs and a hotel is that the level of service is on a more personal level. Right after booking the rental property, the host should send a nice welcome message, instructions how to get to the apartment, and offer any sort of help.

The better this very first impression is, the higher the chance that your satisfied guests will reward you with a positive review. Let’s look a bit more closely at how to make your first impression memorable.

Also readAirbnb Hacks for Hosts: Inspiring Ideas From Vacation Rental Owners

Create a positive first impression for guests

What your guests see when they first walk in creates a lasting impression, so make sure it’s positive. It goes without saying that the accommodations should be spotless, but consider other details as well.

Like lighting. Take some time to perfect the lighting, depending on when your guests arrive. If they arrive during the day, let natural light illuminate the space and turn on a soft lamp as an accent. If they arrive at night, the space should be well-lit. You want to avoid any fumbling for light switches in dark rooms, which will help create a positive first impression.

Additionally, you should air out the space between guests. Let the breeze flow for a few hours to avoid any musty smells. You may also want to light a delicious-smelling candle while cleaning. The fresh scent will put your guests in a good mood and help them relax.

Last but not least, put fresh flowers in a vase and place them visible on a table. Not only do they smell nice, they give your Airbnb a fresh look that is simply a nice, inexpensive touch for your vacation rental.

Offer essential amenities

What exactly is considered to be an essential amenity? There are many options you can check when you list your Airbnb, from essentials such as towels, bed sheets, soap, and toilet paper to a safe to store your belongings.

Offer your guests essential amenities such as toilet paper, masks, and umbrellas
Offer your guests essential amenities such as toilet paper, masks, and umbrellas

In order to create a memorable experience, offer amenities that lessen the burden of your guests before they leave their house. By offering essential amenities, they no longer have to pack their toothbrush, bring soap, towels, and other things that just take up space in their luggage. Practical amenities are often very cheap to offer too. As a host, you can buy them in bulk and save money while elevating your guest experience, and offering them a fun vacation.

Elevate your sleeping arrangements

What do Airbnb guests want? Without fail, everyone wants a comfortable, luxurious place to lay their head and get a good night’s rest. An easy way to wow your guests is by going above and beyond with your sleeping arrangements.

There are plenty of ways to do so. Providing clean white bedding goes without saying, but consider upgrading old mattresses or investing in beautiful new sheets. Additionally, something as simple as adding a mattress topper or a cozy blanket can really elevate a bed. And be sure to provide extra pillows and blankets if the weather calls for them.

Then put yourself in your guest’s shoes and consider what would make their experience better. You may even want to spend a night in the bed yourself to identify any potential gaps.

Offer food & beverage

There’s nothing like setting foot in an Airbnb after a long day of travel and discovering that some tasty treats, such as fresh fruit, await. No one expects you to provide a full meal, but they do appreciate finding some well-chosen snacks when they arrive. Things like chocolate, a fruit bowl, cookies, and chips are easy to provide and they help put your guests in a positive frame of mind.

A fruit bowl is an inexpensive welcome basket that your Airbnb guests will love
A fruit bowl is an inexpensive welcome basket that your Airbnb guests will love

Having a few beverages on hand also shows that you care. If the tap water in your area is good, place a beautiful jug of chilled tap water in the fridge. If it isn’t, leave a few bottles of water in the kitchen. Guests also appreciate having coffee and tea on hand, as well as some breakfast items like muffins.

And if you really want to stand out, leave a bottle of local wine or beer (and make sure the appropriate openers are close by). These details are small and cost very little, but they show that you’ve put thought into making the space comfortable.

Make things personal

What makes Airbnb a more desirable option than a hotel is that guests feel more welcomed in Airbnbs. They feel comfortable and important from the very beginning.

Tap into this need for a more personal experience by leaving a handwritten welcome note on their pillow. It doesn’t need to be long, but doing so creates a positive impression. You may also want to put up chalkboards with a personalized note. If there are multiple quarters in your listing, place the chalkboards outside each room with the guest’s name. This type of personalized message will be appreciated by all of your guests, hopefully resulting in a 5-star review.

Another way to keep it personal is to look out for clues about any preferences or reasons for travel during pre-booking chats. If guests reveal any information, be sure to incorporate it into what they receive upon checking in. For example, if your guests mention they’re on their honeymoon, include some words of congratulations in your note.

Make yourself available

Making your Airbnb guests feel comfortable is one thing, but wow-ing them is something else entirely. As a host it is natural to wonder how to impress Airbnb guests. The answer is to make yourself as helpful as possible.

No matter how much you plan, sometimes situations arise during a guest’s stay. Maybe they don’t know how to work the TV, or perhaps something in the space has broken. Whatever the issue is, make sure you’re available to handle it. If you can’t be available around the clock, you may want to consider hiring someone who can be.

Be available for your guests by installing the Airbnb app and tun on notifications
Be available for your guests by installing the Airbnb app and tun on notifications

Be sure to also have message notifications turned on. You don’t want to leave guest messages sitting unanswered for hours on end, especially if your guests are from overseas. They may only be able to contact you when connected to WiFi, so it’s best to be notified as soon as they send you a message.

3 frequently asked questions on how to impress Airbnb guests

Finally, let’s look at a few frequently asked questions about this topic and give you answers to each of them.

What do Airbnb guests want?

There’s no general answer to what all Airbnb guest wants. However, there are a few things everyone would like to see in your property. Check out this consumer survey Airbnb has commissioned. Here are the highlights:

  1. Travelers value functionality: The principle of form follows style should be applied in any Airbnb. While you can hook guests with pretty pictures, an uncomfortable bed will result in a low rating. When you decide which amenities to offer, think about your target group, and what they might find valuable. For instance, Australians really like coffee machines.
  2. Travelers want comfort: Travelers value air conditioning over internet access. However, keep in mind that someone who’s away for a weekend has different preferences to long-term Airbnb users.
  3. Travelers love perks: What could be more important than free parking in an exorbitant expensive city? Yes, a pool is a cool-to-have amenity, but it might not trump the parking space that costs nothing.

How do I make guests happy on Airbnb?

Happy guest, high rating–it’s that simple. One thing hosts should keep in mind that they should do everything they can to make guests feel welcome, and accommodate their requests as long as they are reasonable. A reasonable request might be to grab a few bottles of water and snacks from the supermarket because the host arrives late at night. Of course, the host will pay for them later.

Make guests happy on Airbnb and receive 5-star ratings
Make guests happy on Airbnb and receive 5-star ratings

An unreasonable request is asking the host to go out of their way and change things in the apartment, or offer new perks that are not part of the listing description. For instance, asking for laundry to be cleaned if it’s not part of the listing description is simply not reasonable. The host could provide guidance where to get the laundry cleaned (at a nearby laundromat), or offer to clean them for a fee though.

Other ideas that might make your guests happy:

  • offer to pick them up at the airport/train station (for a fee)
  • offer streaming services (Netflix, etc.) free of charge
  • bring guests into town with your car
  • provide a coffee maker (with pads or capsules)
  • offer a list with restaurant recommendations
  • use a quality router in your apartment
  • help them during check-in and make them feel at home
  • put on a little ambient or classical music
  • prepare and put cool drinks in the fridge

Some of the ideas listed above are inexpensive and can really improve the first impression your guests have. Others could be offered for a fee. If so, mention it in your Airbnb listing description.

What do you give an Airbnb guest?

Besides offering essentials in your Airbnb property, you can be creative and give your Airbnb guests small items they weren’t expecting. It could be a booklet with personal recommendations on what to see, a handwritten note to welcome your guests, or a small traditional item or accessory. Even better, bundle a few products into a nice welcome basket that your guests will rave about.

If you know that your guests will arrive late at night or early in the morning, surprise them with a few bottles of water, snacks, and fresh fruit. They’ll really appreciate not having to run out after a tiring trip to hunt for food and drinks. Even better, invite them to have breakfast with you, or prepare a handmade late-night snack.

Final thoughts

If you’ve been wondering how to impress Airbnb guests, these tips are your go-to guide. Try one or all of them, and see if you notice any changes in your reviews. It’s critical to listen to feedback, both positive and negative. For example, if guest after guest mentions that your bed is old and uncomfortable, it’s definitely time to invest in a better mattress.

And perhaps the most important thing to remember is that it’s more than just a beautiful space that leaves a lasting impression. Guest interactions with the host count for a lot, as they’re an integral part of why people choose Airbnb. Always be kind, patient, and responsive. Establishing rapport is a surefire way to impress your guests and getting more bookings in the future.

Of course, to make sure that guests book your place to begin with, you should have an optimized Airbnb listing. If you’re not sure about your listing’s quality, we can help with our listing optimization services.

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