The fact is the Airbnb can be an extremely fun, profitable way to earn money. But it can also be an extremely stressful experience if you don’t take steps to minimize this. Luckily, I’ve found several ways to cut down on the stress and make hosting on Airbnb as streamlined as possible
1. Have a second mobile number!
There is nothing more stress-inducing if you have people constantly phoning up your main mobile to ask questions that are highly likely already to have been answered on the Airbnb (or booking.com etc) website.
This will drive you slowly crazy. Therefore I recommend two options:
- I highly recommend getting a fixed-line number (from Skype for example) and then having this divert to voicemail. The voicemail message should then say something like this: “Welcome to XYZ Apartments. Please note this mailbox is not monitored. For any emergency during or before your stay with us please call XXXXX (probably your mobile number) or for non-urgent enquiries please email [email protected]“
This will cut down dramatically the number of calls your get which simply aren’t necessary.
Or option 2:
- Use a call answering service.
In my view option 2 is really not a necessary expense unless you have an extremly high volume of calls or you take a lot of direct bookings. In which case this is important.
2. Call Guests – when you have to – from a landline.
Why (from a land-line)? the answer is simple. If you call from your mobile with the number blocked, then they may not answer. But, if you call from your mobile, then they have the ability to SMS you at any time of the day or night with questions. And trust me, there are some guests who will.
3. SMS from a name not a number.
It is a good idea to SMS your guests with the key arrival information either on the day of their arrival or the day before. But again, as per point 2, don’t use your mobile number. Use a service like TextLocal (I get no compensation from this) or another similar service that allows you to send a text as a name. In my case, it simply shows “LondonBridge” as the name instead of a number.
Why do this?
- It prevents guests from getting in to a back and forth communication with you.
- It actually looks pretty professional, so why not. The price is tiny.
4. Prevent Questions by providing Superb Arrival Information
We constantly get good feedback about our arrival information. It’s detailed, through, and goes so far as telling guests where to park, where to get the keys, where the rubbish bins are, and when to enter the property. We do this over a series of 3 Youtube videos, with alternative downloadable maps for those not using smartphones.
The arrival information also answers the most obvious question – “What’s the Wifi password” – so the guests have this already.
We then have a further video showing the guests around the apartment, and most importantly where to access the essentials (iron, ironing board, kitchen set-up, heating controls, and where to leave the keys on departure).
Finally, we also have a simple website showing guests where to find local shops with easy to follow maps.
This all takes far less time than you might imagine, and saves you a ton of hassle repeating things to each set of new guests.
Finally, and very importantly, if you can, have this arrival information sent automatically. Many Channel Managers can do this for you, and it just saves you a job every day. You can read my post about Channel Managers here.
Here, I’d just like to pause a moment and say the following: None of what I say here is meant to advocate providing a low level of service to
guests,or to avoid communicating with them. It’s not about that. What I am describing is trying to streamline your guest interactions to make sure you can put your time in towhat counts – ensuring your service remains high,and generating bookings in the first place.
It’s also true to say that I actually don’t always follow this formula. If I’ve managed to strike up a good rapport with guests before they stay, I’ll probably phone them to make sure they have the arrival instructions (they will have, but they will appreciate you checking).
5. Review your diary every 3 days for the next 7 days.
It’s useful – to make sure nothing is forgotten – to have in your mind a clear idea of arrivals and departures for the next 7 days. And if you make sure you have 7 days worth of bookings, you only have to check it every 3 days.
This simply means that you can anticipate things. For example, if there’s a special request, an early or late arrival, or anything else, you’ll feel much more relaxed about it if you have a mental view of at least 7 days bookings, and of course far less with be forgotten.
6. Make sure you cultivate great relationships with your neighbours.
We have rarely had problems with guests, but there have been times where this has happened, mainly though noise.
If you know your neighbours and go out of your way to be considerate, then when there is a problem, they will generally be quite forgiving. However, if you don’t get on with your neighbours, then if you have a problem with a guest, the neighbours could then start causing you problems.
Check out this article which shows you just how important being considerate to neighbours is, as well as being very firm in not allowing parties of any kind.
I hope you find this post useful and interesting. If you have any comments or questions please do comment below. I’d love to hear your views! Likewise, I’d really appreciate if you could share this article on your favorite social network!
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