Airbnb Host Checklist: How to Become Efficient at Hosting From Day One
Most Airbnb hosts start their business without any training or experience. There’s no guidebook to running a short-term rental: you learn by doing. But wouldn’t it be great to have a checklist of all the things you need to do to become a great host?
Preparing your rental for hosting guests starts with purchasing supplies and amenities. And it continues with tailoring your property management processes so you can become an efficient host and enhance the guest experience.
In this blog post, you’ll find a handy Airbnb host checklist of all the supplies and amenities you need to wow your guest. We’ll also give you tips on automating your Airbnb rental and increasing your efficiencies.Focus on serving your guests where they need you. You can save time by automating messages and managing your channels with Host Tools. Try Host Tools channel manager for free!
Airbnb host checklist: Getting started
When you get into Airbnb hosting for the first time, it’s difficult to know what supplies you need to buy and what tasks you need to check off your to-do list. Let’s go through it step by step so you don’t miss any essential details.
1. Equip your rental with essential supplies and amenities
Let’s start with the non-negotiables. If you want your guests to enjoy their stay and leave positive reviews, you need to make sure your rental has all the basic supplies and amenities that guests expect hosts to provide.
Here’s a list of the must-have equipment for every vacation rental, room by room. Feel free to print this page out and start ticking off the items you’ve purchased.
Once you’ve purchased the essential items, think about adding that little extra something.
You don’t just want your guests to be satisfied with your rental. You want to wow them. So, we suggest picking a couple of extra amenities to show that you’ve gone above and beyond. Below are a few examples.
And here’s a tip: consider not advertising some of these amenities on your listing page. A small gesture combined with the element of surprise is a powerful tool to enhance your guest’s stay. It helps you provide a 5-star experience that, in return, will earn you rave reviews.
3. Write a compelling description and take high-quality photos
Booking sites like Airbnb have millions of vacation rental listings. As a result, it’s important to find what makes your rental stand out, and showcase that in your listings.
Whether your rental is unique because of its location, its style, a luxury amenity like a hot tub, or simply the value for money, make sure it’s clear at a glance.
Here’s what makes a good listing:
- A catchy title that highlights your rental’s biggest strengths
- A compelling description that addresses the specific guest persona you’re trying to attract
- High-quality photos that show your rental in the best light (and lots of them!)
- A summary of your Airbnb house rules
- A complete list of your amenities
Once you’ve put together and uploaded your listing, you’ll be ready to start raking in bookings. If you use this link to create your first listing you will earn $42 after hosting your first stay.
Airbnb host checklist: Becoming an efficient Airbnb host
Providing the essential supplies, throwing a couple of extra amenities into the mix, and creating a compelling listing is just the beginning.
To become a pro at Airbnb hosting, you also need to work on your processes and make sure that everything runs smoothly – even when you’re not available to personally take care of things.
That’s why it’s highly recommendable to start automating some aspects of your business and streamlining your workflows as soon as you can. There is a myriad of tools out there that you can use to help you save time and become an efficient Airbnb host.
Let’s take a look at the processes you should consider automating – and the tools you can use to achieve it.
1. Automate your guest communication
Guest communication is one of the most time-consuming aspects of vacation rental management. However, by using a tool that lets you send Airbnb automated messages, you can free up lots of time. Your fast responses will instantly make your guests feel cared for.
Host Tools lets you automate your messaging by creating message rules and selecting the events that trigger the sending of a message. You can choose one of the tool’s premade message templates and customize it to your needs. Plus, you can add message tags that pull information from the booking to personalize the content of the message.
This way, messages will be automatically sent while you’re sleeping, driving, or simply working on other aspects of your business that can’t be automated.
Here’s how to add a new message rule in Host Tools:
2. Automate your check-ins
Doing in-person check-ins is another task that can drain a host’s energy. So instead of arranging meet-and-greets with your guests, why not automate your check-in using an Airbnb keyless entry solution like smart locks?
Host Tools lets you automate smart locks by generating a unique access code for each of your guests and sending it to them in an automated message. When the guest unlocks the door using their code, you’ll be notified that they’ve checked in. And, you can send them an automated welcome message. It’s that easy!
3. Streamline your cleaning
Unless you clean your rental yourself, it’s likely that you’re the one managing your cleaner’s schedules. It’s your responsibility to make sure that your rental is spotless every time a new guest checks in. But staying on top of check-ins, check-outs and cleaners’ schedules can be challenging. It’s easy to make a mistake and mix up the dates, for example.
But there are tools you can use to automate your Airbnb cleaning too!
Host Tools lets you send automated messages to not just your guests, but also your cleaners. You can set up events such as Booking Confirmation or Check-Out to trigger the sending of the message. This way, you won’t have to constantly monitor your cleaning calendar and manually send messages to your staff. You can relax and let Host Tools do it all for you!
Here’s an example of how simple it is to set up an automated message for your cleaners in Host Tools:
4. Automate your pricing
Figuring out your nightly rate for your Airbnb rental is not a one-time task. Market demand is dynamic. You have to keep adjusting your rates if you want to make sure you’re not under- or overpricing your rental on a given day. Doing that manually would be extremely time-consuming. The solution is to automate your Airbnb pricing.
In Host Tools, you can set up pricing rules that stack on top of each other. This way, you can increase or decrease your rates on holidays, during local events, on certain days of the week, in low and high season, and more. Since you’re the one who knows your local market best, Host Tools gives you a tool that gives you total control over your pricing without ever leaving money on the table.
This is what the Host Tools pricing calendar looks like:
5. Automate your channel distribution
Last but not least, think about automating your channel distribution - especially if you want to get listed on multiple booking sites and get direct bookings via your own website.
Vacation rental software solutions like Host Tools allow you to sync your calendars and availability across all the booking sites you advertise on. It’s the best way to manage all your listings from one place and avoid double bookings – when two guests book your rental for the same time period on two different channels – which are costly and a hassle to deal with.
The Host Tools channel manager unifies your calendars and has a multi-calendar where you can see all your bookings, no matter which channel they were made on. Here’s what it looks like:
Airbnb host checklist: FAQ
Finally, let’s go through the most frequently asked questions that hosts have when starting to rent their homes in Airbnb.
What should I know before hosting Airbnb?
There are a lot of things to consider when listing your home on Airbnb for the first time. Before you jump in, you should:
- Think about how much time you have to spare and whether it will be enough for managing a rental.
- Come up with a budget for renovations, supplies, amenities, and other expenses you may have.
- Do some market research, estimate the revenue potential of your rental, and calculate the base rate for your Airbnb pricing strategy.
- Consider the Airbnb host fees you’ll have to pay and factor them into your pricing strategy.
- Think about what kind of help you’ll need (cleaning, maintenance, check-ins).
- Check your local laws and regulations for short-term rentals.
Of course, these are just the basics. If you want to find out more about Airbnb property management, check out the Host Tools blog where we share fresh content every week.
What should an Airbnb host provide?
Nowadays, Airbnb hosts must live up to high standards. Guests expect an almost hotel-like experience when it comes to cleanliness, amenities, and customer service.
Here’s what all Airbnb hosts need to provide:
- Basic amenities for each room. Think bed linens and pillows for the bedroom; towels and toiletries for the bathroom; tableware and coffee for the kitchen.
- Extra amenities that add a nice touch. For example, consider subscribing to Netflix or installing a smart home device like a smart lock.
- Exceptional cleanliness. Hygiene expectations are at an all-time high: guests want all rentals to be immaculate. And, they expect hosts to provide them with disposable facemasks and hand sanitizer.
- Stellar customer service. If you want to get good reviews and have loyal, returning guests, you must provide great customer service. Look into automating your guest communication so you can be an attentive host while saving time.
What do I need to run an Airbnb?
There are a few essential prerequisites to starting an Airbnb business. Here’s what you need to have:
- A furnished home with all the basics amenities that guests expect to see in a rental.
- A permit from your local government to run a short-term rental (in some markets).
- A well-written listing with high-quality photos that you can upload to booking sites like Airbnb and Vrbo.
- Insurance that protects Airbnb hosts and covers a wide range of damages. Here's a complete guide on vacation rental insurance for hosts.
- Software to automate certain aspects of your Airbnb business like channel management, guest communication, and pricing.
- If you use this link to make your first listing, you will earn $42 after hosting your first stay.
How much should I charge to clean an Airbnb?
If you decide to hire a professional cleaner or cleaning team to keep your rental tidy, you need to make sure your Airbnb cleaning fee covers their fees. Otherwise, you’ll lose money.
The average Airbnb cleaning fee is between $50-$100 per stay, so that’s approximately the amount you should pay your cleaners.
However, this depends on a variety of factors, like the size of your rental and the type of property you have. You may need to pay more for cleaning larger rentals and luxury properties.
Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar, messaging and more for short term rental hosts. Start your free trial today!