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Turning your property into a short-term rental on Airbnb or other platforms is a great way to generate passive income.  To make it an easy experience for you as a host, you want to automate as much of the work as possible while still providing your guests with top-notch service.  One excellent tool to do this is a tiny icon that packs a big punch – the QR Code!

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What is a QR code?

QR codes are square icons that efficiently contain chunks of information.  You've probably seen them before – they look like this:

QR Code Sample

When you scan a QR code with your smartphone camera, it gets translated into a location on the web – which can point to a website, a PDF file, or something else.  QR codes are great because no one wants to type in all the letters in a website and file name.  With these codes, all the typing happens automatically!

How can QR codes help manage my short-term rental?

QR Codes put information at your guests' fingertips.  Here are a few ways to make the guest experience better, and the hosting experience easier, by using QR codes in your short-term rental properties.

Make WiFi connection a breeze

The first thing many guests do when they arrive at a new rental is sign into the WiFi.  Nobody wants to text back and forth for a password, and nobody wants to type a string of 20 strange characters into their phone (is that an O or a 0?  Capital S or lowercase s?). 

This is most guests’ first interaction with your hospitality, and it needs to be really, really easy. It would also be great if you, as a host, didn’t have to do anything. QR to the rescue!   

WiFi QR Code Generator

By using a tool like qifi.org, you can create a code that will instantly connect your guest to your WiFi, with no typing needed.  Create the code, print it out, and post it somewhere they are sure to look - like the coffee table or next to the TV.  They point their camera, click, and boom!  Your guest is online, and you didn't have to answer any questions about passwords.

Digital guidebooks

Having a guidebook – a binder filled with information about your rental property and the surrounding area – is a staple of good Airbnb hosts. They are a great place to put recommendations for restaurants, favorite local attractions, and tips for getting the most out of your rental. 

Unfortunately for property managers, guidebooks are also a pain to keep updated – especially if you manage multiple rentals.  If rules change, a nearby favorite restaurant closes, or if the book is damaged by spills or tears, that means a trip to the property to fix the guidebook.  

Isn't there some way this could be done digitally?  After all, wasn't the point of signing up with Airbnb, Vrbo, and other services that you could manage your property remotely?  Well of course there's a way! Enter QR codes.

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Here's how you do it:

  1. Scan your guidebook and save it as a PDF

  2. Put the PDF on any web site

  3. Make a QR Code that links to that PDF

  4. Post the QR Code in your properties

Now your guests can easily access your guidebook with your phone – and even take it with them when they go out on the town.  But best of all, if you need to make any changes, just make a new PDF and upload it to the same place.  The QR code stays the same – no need to visit the property.

Instruction guides for appliances

If guests can’t figure out how to use appliances in your rental, it could frustrate them (and force you to respond) or damage the appliance.  With QR codes, you can put instant links to instruction guides right where you need them.

Washing machines, dishwashers, and cappuccino machines are all great spots for using QR codes for your Airbnb rental.

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Making guests feel safe

Since COVID-19 hit, many Airbnb guests are worried about staying safe from the virus. As a property host, you can make them more comfortable by replacing in-person experiences and physical objects with digital ones.

These clever Airbnb hosts had the idea to pre-record a video greeting for their guests, and using a QR code in their rental property to link to it.  By recording the message, they get to give a personal “hello” and make the guests feel more welcome, without exposing anyone to viruses.  

Get more and better reviews

Star ratings are crucial to getting guests into your Airbnb.  You need a 4.8 average to reach Superhost status, and competition is tough if your rating drops lower.  To protect your rating, you want to solve problems before that complaint goes on your permanent record.

By using a site like Pageloot, you can create a QR code for feedback and post it in places where guests might have complaints, like a kitchen where your cleaning crew didn’t do a great job.  The link can send an email or text to you, so you can address the problem right away.  Then, when the guests write a review, it won’t be about the sticky mess in the sink - it will be about how you fixed the problem promptly and professionally.  Five stars for service!

More ratings can help your listing, too.  If you’re having trouble getting guests to leave reviews, try using a QR code that links to the review page on Airbnb.com.  Post it on the inside of your front door with a cheery label like “Loved your stay?  Tell us about it!”  You’ll see more guests taking the time to sing your praises.

Improve your Airbnb Listing with QR Codes

A higher occupancy rate on your short-term rental means more money in your pocket.  Enhancing your Airbnb listing with video content, like a video tour of the property, could help potential guests fall in love with the charm and uniqueness of your property.  Wouldn’t that be great for keeping it full?

Unfortunately, Airbnb doesn’t allow this - either with embedded video or with links to sites like YouTube.  Have you guessed how you might be able to get around those rules?

Airbnb QR Code

When you create a video tour of your property and post it to a video hosting site like YouTube, it gets a unique URL.  That URL can be turned into a QR code, saved as an image, and uploaded into your image gallery on Airbnb.  

If you go this route, remember these important tips:

1. DON’T make this the first image in your gallery.  QR codes are a great way to convey information, but you don’t want this as your property’s profile image.  Make it the 2nd or 3rd image instead.

2. Make sure to explain that the QR code links to a video tour.  You could do this in your property description, or you could edit the QR image to include some text underneath the square that says “Video Tour”.

3. Jazz up your QR code!  We made this one on a site called QRcode-monkey.com, which lets you choose your color scheme and insert an image (like this Airbnb logo) in the middle.

A video tour will really make your property stand out as guests browse listings.  More engagement means more bookings - and a better rate of return.

How can my guest read the QR codes?

Many of your guests will already know how to use QR codes - they’ve become a common tool in restaurants, gyms, and many other places.  Still, some might need a hint, so all your hard work doesn’t go to waste. Don’t worry, it’s easy!  It will depend on their phone, though.

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For iPhones, QR reading is built into the camera.  Just point your camera at the code and boom!  The link loads.

For Android phones, you’ll need an app.  Install the app, open it, and then it’s point-and-click.  There are plenty of free apps on the Google Play store, just search for “QR code reader”.  We like one called “QR Code & Barcode Scanner (no ads)” from QREasy, which is both free and ad-free.

Your life made easier

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Hosting an Airbnb or other short-term rental is a business.  Success is measured by how much money you can make compared to how much time you need to spend.

QR codes are a free tool that, used well, improve every aspect of your business.  Whether you’re getting more guests with a video tour, making them happier with a welcome video, or avoiding interruptions with a seamless WiFi connection, you’re saving time and increasing your return.

Of course, the best way to save time and increase your return is by using HostTools, our suite of messaging, pricing, and availability tools for vacation rental management.  Host Tools is a better way to make your guests feel cared for while also saving you time.  Try it free for 30 days!

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