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Avoid Hosting Nightmares: 5 Surprising Things Hosts Forget to Do

Data and feedback help product designers improve their customer’s’ experience. The same goes for how you can shape your experience for guests staying in your home.

One helpful exercise is to observe how your guest interacts with your listing for the first time. Where do they look? What links do they click? What do they notice? What questions do they have? We’ve used these discovery principles to think carefully about how the guest experience can be as easy as apple pie.

Next time you prepare to host guests, use this reminder — here are the 5 things that hosts commonly forget about.

1. Personalizing Your Place

Guests love getting a personalized perspective on their destination. After all, they’re choosing to stay in your home over a generic, standardized hotel room. Help them discover the unique personality of your vacation rental as soon as they enter. This can include unique art or objects that show off your neighborhood or family’s character, or even food that is special to your area.

For example, one Hostfully host we chatted with loves hummingbirds. He leaves hummingbird art and objects all around his home. It’s an easy way to share a bit about yourself and also be even more welcoming to guests. If you’re comfortable sharing a photograph of you and/or your family, displaying that can be a nice touch, too.

2. Providing the Essentials

People’s attention span is dwindling. Unfortunately, this means that it will be even harder for you to share the important things that your guests need to know when they stay in your home. However, we discovered that many hosts fail to include the most essential information at the beginning of their guidebook. This free online tool will allow you to share basic information for your listing including check-in, directions to your listing, your contact information, and wi-fi instructions.

Make sure that the first page of your guidebook includes all the important things your guests need to know — period. If it isn’t essential, don’t put it on the first page . You can include it later for those of your guests who are patient and like to read.

When you pay attention to how you share information and you help prioritize that information for your guests, you’ll give them a much better stay. And what’s more, you’ll have to spend less time explaining the information you need your guests to know. So it’s a win-win all around. Just a tip — every guest will need to know how to:

 

 

  • Operate the lights
  • Lock the doors
  • Turn on heating/cooling
  • Use water in the bathroom
  • Use the remote controls

 

 

Guests will also need to know the location of the nearest grocery store, pharmacy, and of course, the closest coffee shop. Make sure you include safety precautions if that is relevant for your listing. Keep this information short and sweet.

3. Offering a Local Experience

Most people don’t like to go to crowded places with overpriced prices when visiting a new place. This is where you, as a host, play a key role. Showing your city with the eyes of a local is an experience guests look forward to. Andrew Ostrowski, an avid host in Nashville, has opened his house to dozens of guests across the country.

His favorite part? Helping guests live like a local and sharing with them the hidden gems that made him fall for his historic city.

 

vacation rental guest book
Andrew’s Ostrowski Favorite Local Recommendations

4. Focusing On the First 24 hours

There’s nothing worse than a communication breakdown in the first 24 hours of your guests’ stay. We’ve seen hosts who rent out 2 different areas of their home — and when one group couldn’t contact him, they got confused entered the other guests’ bedroom at midnight!

While it made for a great laugh around the kitchen table the next day, you want to ensure that your guests can reach you and ask important questions , especially within the first 24 hours.

Make sure your phone and email are turned on and encourage your guests to text you with questions (because it’s typically the most reliable and fastest way to communicate).

5. Sharing Information about Your Neighborhood

About 50% of tourists do detailed planning about their trip before they arrive, but most hosts don’t do as much as they can to share their own local recommendations.

Help your guests discover what you love about your neighborhood by sharing your guidebook before they get there. That way, they can come with better questions and make more informed decisions about what they want to do during their stay.

Make sure your guidebook includes recommendations . Feel free to sprinkle in a few stories about you and your family enjoying your favorite local spots . This makes it more personal.

 

What tips can you share that will help other Airbnb hosts create better experiences for their guests? Make sure you don’t make the 5 biggest Airbnb hosting mistakes. Listening to your guests’ feedback and observing how they interact with you are key to provide the most out of every stay.

 

This article is courtesy by Hostfully—a platform for people to provide better hospitality to their guests. They couple local, personalized recommendations with essential listing information to make a complete guidebook for each listing. Hostfully currently operates all around the world.

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6 Ways to Attract Long-Term Renters (and Why You Should Be Pursuing Them)

attract airbnb long-term guests from MaidThis.com

 

Let’s imagine you own a nice condo in one of the most frequented tourist destinations. Your rental business is going well but you’re beginning to get tired of the “cycle of renting.” Or maybe you’re in a not-so-frequented area and see less traffic year-round. Either way, there’s always something that can be done to boost the number of guests flocking to your place for a long-term stay.

Advertising your vacation rental, screening guests, checking them in, helping them checkout – could there be an easier way of doing this, albeit while making a lucrative profit?

Luckily, yes! Let’s consider long-term renting.

Why Should Long-Term Renters Be on Your List?

Allotting your vacation rental for the purpose of long-term renting can give you peace of mind by saving you from the hassle of checking in new renters on a continuous basis and constantly worrying about where the next one will come from.

Here are 4 reasons you should consider catering specifically to long-term renters.

1. You’ll be getting fixed payments for several weeks or months.

Hosting long-term guests means you’ll have a consistent flow of rent payments as opposed to small bursts of money from short-term renters. Since you have a fixed amount coming in, you can take a breath of relief. Any renovations or pending repairs can easily be taken care of.

2. You can lessen the burden of everyday costs.

When you have long-term renters, it’s easy to accommodate for recurring costs. Long-term rent payments help you keep general necessities under control and ensure you have enough coming in to make up for any surprise expenses that may arise in utility or other recurring bills.

3. You’ll experience less turnover.

Long-term renters stay for longer periods, giving you fewer vacancies to fill and thus, providing less guest turnover. This also means your property will have fewer chances to be exposed to excessive wear and tear as a result of constant short-term turnover.

Moreover, long-term renters who leave happy will be more likely to write positive reviews about your vacation rental listing and may even go as far as to refer friends or loved ones.

4. Consistent rent means high peace of mind.

Perhaps you feel like you’re earning a lot from your short-term renters. But what’s the guarantee of landing consistent guests? With every checkout, you run the risk of experiencing a period of vacancy when you’re earning nothing.

By working with long-term renters, you keep your occupancy rates high and will be more likely to experience fewer extended vacancy periods. Even if you only have one or two long-term rental agreements per year, that’s still several weeks you haven’t spent searching or hoping for new guests to find your vacation rental listing.

How to Attract Long-Term Renters

Just like attracting potential customers who will buy the product or service you’re offering, it’s essential to know how to attract long-term guests to your vacation rental.

1. Make it a “home away from home.”

Long-term guests may be more interested in the amenities and overall coziness of your home than short-term guests. It’s important to do what you can to make them feel as comfortable as possible.

Even little things that might seem petty to you can help make a guest’s experience more homey. Check out this article by Affordanything.com to get some ideas about what other hosts are doing and how you can do something similar.

2. Make it work-friendly.

While you want to make your place comfortable, don’t forget to consider that long-term travelers might also be working while they stay. Some non-negotiable work amenities include providing a stable wifi connection and some kind of work space, such as a desk.

3. Charge lower rent.

Your guests will consider a number of factors including the location of your vacation rental, reviews left by previous guests, the images you share, and of course, your rental rate.

Long-term renters will likely expect to get some kind of rent break or discount for their extended stay. As they will be with you for a longer duration, they might not be willing to shell out as much as short-term renters.

Remember that while it may seem like short-term renting at higher rates yields you more revenue, it’s always temporary and never guaranteed.

4. Ensure the safety of the premises.

While short-term renters will arrive and check out within a period of several days or a week, long-term renters will be there anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Hence, they might be more concerned with the safety around your place and within it. Help them feel secure by installing sturdy locks and consider putting a small safe somewhere in the house.

5. Set rules and leave helpful instructions.

Create an FAQ page that provides all pertinent details from sharing the wifi password to how all the electrical appliances work. This is an excellent way to automate the check-in process and make your guests feel more at home.

6. Focus on the appearance of your vacation rental.

For long-term renters, coming to your place will be a bit of an investment. They’ll be paying more than short-term renters over the course of their longer stay and will want to feel like your place is their home. Show how your property is the best choice for them.

Got a nice office area to flaunt? Have you decked out your living room with extra gadgets to make a Netflix night just like being at the movies? Upload photos of the things that set you apart on your vacation rental listing and let your potential guests see them with their own eyes!

 

 

By catering to long-term renters, you’ll stand to gain a lot more than just consistent occupancy rates. Impressed with the quality of your vacation rental, they’ll be more likely to send other renters they know. No matter how you look at it, it’s a win-win.

 

Need help getting your place ready for your next guests? Interested in providing your long-term guests with complimentary maid service? Schedule an appointment with us!

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  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
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At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
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Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
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Airbnb Host in LA
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Definitely Get a House Cleaner If…

Signs You Need A House Cleaner in San FranciscoPeople are frequently reluctant to get a house cleaner, often because they figure cleaning is no rocket science and they could do it themselves. That misses the point. You could do it yourself, but should you? There are many reasons to hire a house cleaner in San Francisco (or anywhere else in South Cali), and we have already written about them. This post is for those who are still skeptical. So, here are some signs that signal it will make sense to get professional house cleaning services.

You do everything to dodge having to clean

Staying on the ball constantly can be too much for your health and nerves. With the little time you have left as the day is coming to an end, it’s only understandable you want to put your legs up, watch your favorite show, read or just meditate. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make the mess go away. The bathroom will stay dirty and the dust will still sit on the TV, not to mention the dishes and the laundry. If you notice that you minimize your bathroom routine so that you avoid having to clean, or you wear the same clothes for days just so you don’t have to wash them, slow down and consider finally outsourcing some of the home cleaning stuff to a professional.

You have no clean clothes or nothing to eat

OK, every now and then we all find ourselves digging through our closets for something clean to wear. And sometimes we will fix a dinner into something more like an evening snack from the scraps we muster. But if this happens continually and you just feel overwhelmed with not managing everything, get that much needed peace of mind by offloading part of your responsibilities to a house cleaner who will be happy to do that for you.

You can’t remember the last time you had quality time with family

Everyone has a busy schedule these days. Not only do grown-ups have full-time jobs, but we also work on the side and the kids have school, sports and other activities… Seems weekends are the only time we can genuinely spend time together. That’s when time is at a premium. Deep cleaning your kitchen and living room is important, but is it as important as going to the beach with your family and enjoying a relaxed evening with your loved ones?

You can’t remember when you last deep-cleaned your place

Maybe you manage to keep things relatively functional with your cleaning routine and hacks. But do you remember the last time you dived into the nooks and crannies? Wiped the baseboards? Mopped the corners? That’s OK, we’ve all been there. However, do consider hiring someone to do it for you. Things can look much better than barely presentable.

Mess starts to own your place

If you stumble on clothes piled on the floor or you cannot get a glass of water because the sink is nowhere to be seen from all the dishes, it’s time to sort things out. By that we mean decluttering your to-do list and delegating the clean-up to someone who will do it happily and efficiently.

It takes you too long to clean

People have different talents. Some are naturally better at organizing and cleaning. If you are not that person and if you find yourself scrubbing the evening away doing just the bathroom, maybe you should give serious thought to simply giving up. Put the time and effort invested in the perspective. Take the result into account. Is it really worth putting yourself through it?

You can afford the expense

If you go through the figures and realize that you can afford the expense of cleaning, why not do it? The majority of people who hire a housekeeper say that it’s a dollar very well spent. It will buy you time to relax, enjoy and be present in the lives of those who matter to you most.

If we got you thinking and you’d like to see what your life will feel like when a professional takes care of your cleaning chores, call us! We will match you to a highly-professional and reliable house cleaner in San Francisco, Los Angeles or Orange County. Claim your time back and call us today!

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