The Worst Airbnb Rookie Mistakes You Should Always Avoid
According to the old adage, everyone makes mistakes, including Airbnb hosts. Unfortunately, these mistakes can be costly and can lead to problems. However, there are some errors that can make you look like a total newbie.
In any industry, you need to showcase your experience in order to gain loyal customers. Some rookie mistakes in Airbnb hosting can cost you your customers. You can lose profits because of the negative reviews you would get.
It is important to show that you are a reputable homeowner who is passionate about being an Airbnb host. In this case, you should be aware of these mistakes that many amateur hosts make:
1. Not knowing the guests
If you have the time to sit down and familiarise your guests with the area, it is certainly worth the effort. Being personable always has many advantages and can be vital toward becoming a successful Airbnb host.
Even though booking is done online, it does not mean you should not know who your guests are. You may want to talk to the potential renters and ask where they are from. Be sure to end the discussion with a reassurance that they can contact you anytime they need help.
Unfortunately, many hosts see their relationship with the guests as purely a means of making business. Even though they will not stay in your property for a long time, it always pays to be nice and courteous. Being friendly will help you get good ratings not only for your home but also as being an approachable host.
2. Not communicating with the guests
Before arrival, thorough communication with the guests is important. It does not have to take several hours but be sure to have everything discussed. You can also provide information about the attractions in the area. At this point, it is crucial to be well-versed about the attractions that your guests may want to see.
During the entire conversation, it is always essential to be warm and friendly. Put yourself in their situation and determine what you would expect from a host. Just like you, your guests have expectations and they would certainly appreciate it if you meet them.
3. Not knowing the fine line between being too personal and impersonal
While it is mentioned that talking to your guests is crucial, you should know that you do not have to get too personal with them. At the same time, you should also make them feel comfortable. This skill comes naturally for some people but many others find it difficult to discern the difference.
Travellers often opt for Airbnb properties because they want to stay in a place that feels like a home rather than a hotel. The warmth of the host is one of the reasons why guests go back to a certain house. They wish to get to know the person running the business, along with the passion for the area.
However, it does not mean you should keep knocking on their doors to provide tips and maps of your hometown. You want to be friendly but at the same time, you do not want to go overboard with it. Over time, you will be able to read their body language, whether they like more interaction or less.
4. Using unappealing pictures
Some hosts do not put much thought in their Airbnb listing. Instead of uploading quality pictures that best represent their homes, they would simply use their smartphones for their ads. Your photos may look great on social media when you use your phone. However, it is not the same when you want to make a living out of these photos.
You will use them to entice people to rent your property. Having outstanding photography is the best way to convince the readers of your listing to book.
Unfortunately, a common mistake of newbies is to start running their business as soon as they can. They do not go the extra mile to achieve the best. As a result, bad pictures with poor lighting and angles make the property look undesirable.
It is also necessary to think about the photos that you are taking. Sometimes, owners do not realise there are extras that potential guests do not want to see, such as unsightly towels or dirty linens hanging. It is no surprise that no one books a room.
If you are new in the Airbnb world, it can be tempting to exaggerate a few things about your property. You want people to imagine your home and be enticed to book right away. However, you are setting up yourself for failure with these wrong expectations.
It is not a good practice to overstate your Airbnb for the sake of making it sound better than it actually is. While it may lead to quick bookings at first, it can give you bad reviews in the end. An excessively colourful painting of your property description can be detrimental to your business.
Unfortunately, many beginners make this mistake. They simply wish to gain bookings but they end up losing more in the long run. For instance, they state that they are in a central location. However, the guests later find out that they are at least an hour away from the city.
You can be creative with your descriptions but always be honest so your guests will have a realistic expectation.
6. Implementing fixed pricing
Most beginners in Airbnb hosting believe that it is a good idea to have a fixed nightly rate. This common mistake is often due to them checking out the rates of their competitors. They believe they are providing the best pricing available. However, the truth is many hosts now utilise flexible pricing, which is a great option, especially during the low season.
Guests are much happier with this arrangement because they can take advantage of better pricing. This method also works during Christmas and summer. You can increase your rates when travellers are all over your city.
7. Having a themed space
As you start out, you will find properties with specific themes, such as futuristic or historical designs. However, it can be difficult to pull off unless you are sure with how everything is decorated. If not, it is best to avoid a certain theme.
This tactic may bring in a few guests and will also set you apart from your competitors. There is a good chance though that you can alienate more travellers. A small percentage of your guests would appreciate your themed apartment but most people would prefer a traditional space. Since you are just starting out, it is always best to stick with the basics.
8. Not listening to requests
Being a host can make you a very busy individual, especially during the travel season. However, you should always make sure you give your guests attention. Some of them may have requests, which you should attend to as soon as possible. It is not right to ignore them or delay your response for a long time.
Perhaps you have received an email from your guest asking about the fastest way to get to a particular mall. Another may be to have a broken item fixed in your home. You may have already stated the information a guest needs about the hotspots in your city. Despite that, you should still communicate with the renters. The same goes for repairs, even when it is a Sunday and no one can take care of the problem.
Mistakes That Guests Often Make
The Airbnb hosts are not the only ones who make mistakes that can cost a lot of money and stress. Even the guests can find themselves in a tricky situation if they are not careful. Some of the errors that the renters often make are:
1. Failing to check the cancellation policy
Hosts have six options for the cancellation policy. They can choose whichever they feel applies to their circumstances. If you are a guest, you should first read the conditions regarding the cancellation of bookings. It can be flexible but it can also have extremely strict rules. You have to know about them first you check in.
Guests benefit from flexible cancellation policies. However, strict ones can also fit your situation. The important thing is that you have read and understood the rules so you do not get shocked by the consequences when you cancel the booking.
2. Neglecting verification
When you verify your account, you put the host at ease. It is one of the quickest methods for convincing hosts to rent out to you. You will be required to upload your photo and a copy of a government-issued ID for verification. You will also have to provide your phone number, email address, and Facebook profile.
Hosts are worried about renting out their property despite being in this business. There is always a chance of their possessions being destroyed and vandalised. When you confirm your identity, the wariness lessens significantly.
3. Ignoring house rules
You should always be respectful and polite. An excellent way to show these traits is to follow the rules that the host has set. The listing often specifies all the house rules and regulations that you should willingly obey. Some are about parties and noise levels while others are about pets. Reading the house rules will let you gauge the level of strictness enforced within the Airbnb property.
Getting It Right
To get the help you need in managing your relationship with your guests, BnB Hosts is here for you. Our pros will handle the challenges that new Airbnb hosts often face – even experienced ones. This way, you will not suffer from the consequences of the most common mistakes in Airbnb hosting.