Consider it as a guide to peace of mind for both you and your guests. An Airbnb house manual is all about giving important information and answering your guest’s questions before they even ask them. This saves both you and them time and effort.
As a host, you know your home like the back of your hand, so you are the perfect person to ease your guest’s minds and provide knowledge about your property. For any guest, it’s a huge plus when the host can help them adapt to not only their accommodation but also the surrounding area, as quickly and stress-free as possible. Since hospitality is all about going the extra mile, we’re not here to recommend your basic ABC version of a house manual… we’re here to get you to the top of your game with a manual that’s worthy of those coveted 5-star ratings.
Getting back to basics
Nailing the basics of an Airbnb house manual will ultimately set the tone for your guest’s entire experience, so this step is very important. When it comes to absorbing information, size matters. A lengthy manual will end up unread, so try keeping your points concise, with a clear structure and a total length of no more than two A4 pages. Keeping your Airbnb house manual “on-brand” is also extremely important so your guests are instantly put at ease, knowing who this information came from. Make sure to write in a friendly and warm tone, giving your guests the feeling of a personalised and more human connection. These small basic points will definitely come into play when it comes time for the reviews.
Do you judge a book by its cover? So do your guests. A house manual is no use if no one feels inclined to pick it up and read it. For example, not many people would pick up and read a plain-white binder with “House Rules” emblazoned across it, however, they may be intrigued by a brightly coloured pack entitled something like “All you need for a relaxing and enjoyable stay in our home!”. Including high-resolution photos is also a must, as your guests expect to see some resemblance between your Airbnb listing and your house manual.
In this tech-savvy time we’re living in, you may also want to consider a digital version of your house manual. You can add a link to this into your current CRM, so your guests automatically receive it just before their stay with you, or you can provide a QR code on your physical manual, so your guests can have access to it at all times from their smartphone. If you do go digital, there are countless mobile web apps that can help you design and even share your Airbnb house manual.
What to Include
Things such as, “the bathroom door handle pulls upwards not downwards” or “the trash is collected on Fridays” may seem small and irrelevant to you, but for your guest, this sets them up for a seamless stay in your Airbnb and reduces the number of late-night question texts you receive.
In your house manual, be sure to include things like;
- The WiFi password (this should be upfront and centre)
- Where to park
- Any appliance quirks
- How to use any smart home devices
- What each remote is used for (you can also clearly label or number each one)
- How to access cable TV or Netflix
- House rules
- Emergency contacts
- Where the spare keys are located
- Health and Safety information
- Things to see and do in the area
- Transfer services to and from the local attractions
- Check-out time
Note: Guest feedback will tell you if anything has been missed, so don’t stress out while making the first version of your Airbnb house manual. You can always go back and adjust these points based on your guests’ feedback and needs.
To make your house manual as reader-friendly as possible, here’s a basic outline of headings that can help you organise your information. It’s also extremely helpful to your guests if you send them a digital copy of your Airbnb house manual before they arrive. This way, they can better plan their excursions, transportation and know exactly what to expect during check-in.
- Welcome Message
- Arriving at the property
- About the Property
- Health & Safety – House Rules
- Handy Area Information
- Things To Do
- Local Must-Sees
- Restaurant Recommendations
- Departure & Transportation
- Stay in Touch (A great opportunity to remind your guests to leave a review)
Going the Extra Mile
One of the main reasons travellers choose to stay in an Airbnb rather than a hotel is so that they can experience a destination like a local. Having set information in your house manual will save you time, but it may not be relevant to every guest you host. Take your added value to another level by switching up sections such as your recommended restaurants or things to do and see depending on who you’re hosting. A group of millennials will want to experience different things from a family of 4 with two young children for example. Take a quick look at your guest’s bio and make a few tweaks to give them a personalised and overall better experience. If this were us reading an Airbnb house manual, we’d be wowed by this level of attention, wouldn’t you?
Another great way to set your manual apart (If you’re a creative mind and feel that your guests would enjoy the unique experience), is to add gamification to parts of your manual. Create a treasure map for the local must-sees or make a point scoring system under the ‘House Rules’ section of your manual, and reward your guests upon completion with a nice gift. Who doesn’t want to win a reward and a stay that qualifies a 5-star rating?
If you take into consideration all of these tried and tested tips and tricks, you’re sure to create an Airbnb house manual that your guests actually want to read. If you keep your manual short, to the point, simple and engaging, it will be a fantastic tool for both you and your guests, that can enhance engagement and make their stay one to remember.