Updated: September 3, 2018
This is Chapter 13: Airbnb Superhost Checklist from Optimize YOUR Airbnb: The Definitive Guide to Ranking #1 in Airbnb Search.
Providing a wide array of non-standard Airbnb amenities to your guests is one of the easiest ways to improve your OFFLINE hosting and obtain five-star Airbnb reviews. Most guests expect basic amenities they would commonly find in a hotel, but there are many ways to exceed their expectations.
In October 2018, I will be releasing my second product in development now. This product will be more relevant to earning consistent 5-star reviews. It will address your messaging strategy, your provided amenities, pricing strategy, check-in process, guidebook creation, and anything that differentiates your hosting style from your compeition. Comment on this article to receive an initial promotion offer.
Think of it this way – what items do you commonly forget to pack on your travels? What ‘extras’ would make your stay more comfortable or convenient? Turn your answers into amenities you can offer your guests.
What items do you commonly forget or would find useful during your travels? Provide those to your Airbnb guest. Click To Tweet
Less than 3% of Airbnb hosts are considered Superhosts. To be an Airbnb Superhost, you must:
- Complete a minimum of 10 check-outs in 12 months
- Respond to 90% of inquiries within 24 hours
- Receive a minimum of 80% five-star reviews from prior guests (updated in July 2018 from an average rating of 4.8 stars)
- Be reviewed by at least 50% of prior guests
- Have zero cancellations within the past 365
This Airbnb superhost checklist will tell you what you need to do with your physical property to get there. It will tell you how to never hear from your guest while they are staying in your home because you have thought of everything. Almost like you have been a guest in a hundred Airbnbs around the world and have thought of everything. Lucky for you, I have and am going to share my experience with you.
I do a live walkthrough at the end of my stay in different Airbnbs from 1-day to 2-months and they can be found on my YouTube channel (Search ‘OptimizeMyAirbnb’ on YouTube). I go over both the pro’s and con’s of each listing and highlight different topics every time.
This guide will be broken down by area of the home, except for the…
Airbnb Welcome Gift
A welcome gift is anything given to the guest upon check-in. I recommend you do not advertise this item. A guest is not going to choose your listing because you offer a free bottle of wine or something else. As Chip Conley says, your hosting style should have a ‘surprise and delight’ aspect. Leave some things for discovery upon arrival.
Your Airbnb welcome gift is a surprise-and-delight feature. Click to find out what that is and how to do it. Click To Tweet
Tangent: A sunset is a great ‘surprise and delight’ feature. Rarely does a sunset show up nice on the photos, but every host who thinks they have a nice sunset includes the photo in their listing. Let the guest discover this upon arrival. It’s unlikely they will book your listing because of a low-quality photo of a nice sunset.
This is your chance to get creative and foster a positive first impression (along with the check-in process you’ve simplified for your guest), below are some examples and what I provide:
- Pre-loaded public transit cards
- City memorabilia
- If a guest needs to buy souvenirs for friends/family back home, this could save them some time
- Something local and unique (brainstorm!)
- Airbnb created a local guidebook for San Francisco. I give this to my guests upon arrival
- Fruit bowl
- Airport pickup or discounted airport pickup from a local company
- This is important! Any way you can smooth the process from the airport to front door will bode very well for your review
- Local or freshly baked goods
- Map of the city
- Put some thought into this! You can do better than a generic tourist map that hotels give out. In Helsinki, my host ran into a hotel and grabbed their map. It was a nice gesture but seemed like an afterthought. The map wasn’t all that useful, either.
- Honortab (honortab.com) provides an app that allows the host to charge the guest for convenience items in the Airbnb like wine, gum, etc. Think the mini-bar in hotels, but for
- A handwritten welcome note
- This is so rare, it undoubtedly will leave a positive first impression
Note: A house manual or guidebook is not considered a welcome gift as it’s a standard item.How about providing your Airbnb guest with pre-loaded public transit cards? Click To Tweet
Your guest will spend 50%+ time in this room so make it as comfortable as possible.
- Firm + soft pillow options to satisfy back, side, and stomach sleepers’
- Luggage stand with shoe rack
- Very useful for short-term stays when the guest does not unpack their suitcase
- At least one dozen hangers for a longer-term guest reservation
- Hotels notoriously never have enough
- Full-length mirror
- Small garbage can (with extra garbage bags)
- Individually wrapped earplugs
- Eye mask
- As a last resort if you cannot provide black-out shades
- Small lighting option on both sides of the bed
- End table on both sides of the bed
- Hypoallergenic + waterproof mattress cover
- This is your last barrier to any unwanted liquids and has saved me countless times from having to replace the entire mattress.
Do you provide both a firm and soft pillow for your Airbnb guest. If not, read this Superhost checklist for improvements. Click To Tweet
PRO TIP: Stockpile a bunch of individually wrapped chocolates or candies and have your cleaner put one on every bed pillow in the house.
This is going to be the second most used room by your guests. Some extra items will save your guest a trip to the store or give them a sigh of relief if they forgot a basic item:
- Hair dryer
- Face + hand towels
- Toilet seat adjustability
- Ensure it will stay up, for the gentlemen. Otherwise, we have to hold the seat up with one hand.
- Small garbage can
- Where am I supposed to put the tissues, Qtips, razors, ?
- Ledge to put toiletries
- Don’t make your guest balance items on the sink or use the closed toilet seat
- How to work shower faucet for hot water
- Add to the electronic guidebook
- Shelf in shower to place shampoo,
- Shower dispenser (shampoo, conditioner, soap)
- Sufficient water pressure in shower and sink faucet
- Lint rollers
Most guests staying less than a week (average booking on Airbnb is 3.5 days) do not use the kitchen more than the fridge, but if you advertise a fully stocked kitchen, ensure it is. Recently, I stayed in a five-star hotel in Russia (I was not allowed to use Airbnb with the visa) with an entire kitchen and a full refrigerator, but not one thing in any of the drawers. I had to call room service to bring me an item I wanted (including basics like utensils) and they charged me $8 just to open my bottle of wine. Don’t be like this hotel.
- Recyclable market bags
- For grocery trips
- Ice trays or ice maker
- Refrigerator magnets
- These inexpensive items can really make the guest feel right at home rather than in a stranger’s house
- Drying disk rack if no dishwasher
- Paper towels or dish rag
- Basic cooking supplies
- Salt + pepper, oil, wooden spatula, strainer,
- Plastic bags (small, medium, + large)
- Ceramic cooking utensil holder for stovetop while cooking
- You don’t realize how handy until you don’t have them; don’t allow your guests to open packages with knives and risk injuring themselves.
- Wine glasses + opener
- Quality coffee + coffee maker
- Keurig has become the go to standard
- Large cutting board
- Frying pan cover
- At a minimum, one that will cover all sizes of your frying pans.
- If you have a small fridge, ensure the top freezer is accessible without layers of frost built up
- Access to purified water
- Especially important in countries where drinking from the tap is not ok. You should be providing a source to clean drinking water either via a Brita or a filtration system on your faucet or in your refridgerator.
- Cleaning Supplies
- Believe it or not, some guests clean on vacation, especially during longer
- Can opener
- Bottle opener
After a long day of exploring or networking at a conference, this is where the guest will likely first stop upon entering the home in the evening so make it welcoming, comfortable, and relaxing! Make it feel like they’re walking into their own home. Better yet, like they’re walking into their ideal home. In the above photo, it looks absolutely fantastic in photos and in person. Because the furniture isn’t comfortable and there’s no couch to lounge in, it’s not functional.
- Add potpourri near the front entrance (Alternatives: Essential oil, reed diffusers, Glade plug-ins, Febreeze Noticeables, or scented candles)
- Welcome the guest to a natural fragrance
- Multiple types of chairs
- One type may not be comfy to a guest who may be working from your home. If you are interested in long-term bookings (7+ days), this is a necessity.
- Screen door
- Especially if you live in a warm climate where a guest may want to keep the door open, but prevent flies, mosquitos, and insects from getting inside.
- Smart TV
- At a minimum size of 30”. Make it smart so the guest can access their Netflix account.
- For $10/month, this is a sellable feature guests want and you can advertise.
- If your TV is not ‘smart’ then purchase a Roku device.
- How to work television with remotes
- A must if you have more than one remote.
- On/off plus how to access music or games, if applicable. Using photos here are best. Also, indicate which channels are in English (or your guests’ language) or how to get to the TV guide.
The physical guestbook (with a pen) is a lost art form. Provide one in your Airbnb for a personal touch. Click To Tweet
PRO TIP: The physical guestbook (with a pen) is a lost art form. Provide a high-quality guestbook for your guests to sign or doodle in. It’s a great way to add a personal touch with very little maintenance.
If you have outdoor space (backyard, front patio, or balcony) ensure it isn’t forgotten about. Have your cleaners wipe down the surfaces and arrange the furniture. Have your gardener regularly manicure the grass and flowers. This is a first impression you do not want to miss.
- Bluetooth speakers
- These went missing from my Airbnb and numerous guests asked about where they were because I still had it advertised on my listing. This is a highly desired, underrated rated item.
- Maybe this is obvious, but I have been in Airbnb’s with outdoor space, but zero seating
- Mountain bike or beach cruiser
- Especially useful if you’re in a tourist area or beach town. Check your Bike Score to find out.
- Manicured yard
- Dead leaves, spider webs, and overgrown bushes are an eye sore.
- Green grass
- If you have photos with green grass, it should be green upon guest arrival.
- BBQ with available gas or coals
- Proper grilling equipment
- Picnic umbrella
Don't forget about your outdoor space! Bluetooth speakers, comfortable seating, it all separates you from your competition. Click To Tweet
Some items only certain guests will use and only in certain situations, but these are the things that transform you from host to Superhost when the guest thinks ‘Oh, perfect! I’m so glad that’s here.’:
- Extra-wide ironing board with iron and clothes rack
- Never ever provide a mini ironing board
- International power adapter
- To limit theft on this item, you might only provide when the guest asks or specifically tell them where to locate it
- Don’t make your guest buy an umbrella because they’ll only think about this item after it starts raining.
- Local newspaper
- Good water pressure throughout (shower and sinks)
- Coat hangers
- Also used to hang backpacks that guests have usually for a day of exploration
- Ensure it is both long and wide enough for a comfortable position. Specifically, wide enough to be able to set up a laptop stand and keyboard, or about 24”.
- Double-paned windows or some kind of noise canceling insolation
- Silence bothers no one, but noise can drive some people crazy.
Check out the most definitive guide to your amenities created by OptimizeMyAirbnb.com Click To Tweet
What crucial items do you provide that are not on this Airbnb superhost checklist?
Also published on Medium.