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10 tips to be the best host

As short-term rental hosts, we all aim to deliver a positive and memorable experience for our guests. Here are 10 tips to help you excel in the increasingly competitive short-term rental market.

1. Create a welcoming atmosphere

Ensure your rental is clean, well-maintained, and inviting. Pay attention to details like fresh linens, comfortable furnishings, and thoughtful decor. A welcoming atmosphere sets the tone for a positive guest experience.

2. Communicate brilliantly

Respond promptly to guest inquiries and messages. Clear and timely communication helps build trust and ensures a smooth experience for your guests. Provide essential information about check-in procedures, house rules, and local recommendations. When guests leave, invite them to book directly in future and – if they booked through an online travel agency – make sure you get their contact details.

3. Personalise the guest experience

Consider personal touches. Welcome guests with a handwritten note, provide local treats or a welcome basket, and offer information about the area. Be an ambassador for your city, town, or village – offer recommendations and let people know about events that might not be well advertised. Personalisation goes a long way in making guests feel valued.

4. Anticipate guest needs

Anticipate the needs of your guests by providing essential amenities and conveniences. Stock the kitchen with basic cooking essentials, offer toiletries, and include items like coffee, tea, and snacks. Consider the needs of different types of travellers. Families might appreciate toys for children, while a business traveller would like super-fast Wi-Fi, desk space, and a comfortable chair.

5. Implement a smooth check-in process

Make the check-in process seamless and straightforward. Provide detailed instructions, including key or lockbox access information. Consider a self-check-in option for flexibility, especially for guests arriving at varying times.

6. Maintain clear house rules

Establish clear and reasonable house rules to manage guest expectations. Communicate rules regarding check-in/out times, noise levels, and any specific guidelines for your property. Clarity helps prevent misunderstandings.

7. Offer local insights and recommendations

Provide a guidebook or information on local attractions, restaurants, and activities. Sharing insider tips helps guests make the most of their stay and adds a personal touch to their experience. Consider using a digital guidebook to supercharge the guest experience like Orana Stay (HCH sponsor).

8. Fix any snags promptly

If issues arise during a guest's stay, address them promptly and efficiently. Have a plan in place for handling common issues, and be responsive to guest concerns. A quick resolution can turn a potential negative experience into a positive one.

9. Prioritise safety and security

Prioritise the safety and security of your guests. Ensure that your property is equipped with essentials like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits. Communicate emergency procedures, including contact information for local services.

10. Encourage and respond to reviews

Encourage guests to leave reviews, and respond to reviews graciously. Positive reviews build credibility and attract more bookings, while constructive feedback provides valuable insights for improvement.

Remember, the little things can make a big difference in the overall guest experience. By consistently providing a high level of service, personalisation, and attention to detail, you can become a standout host in the world of short-term rentals.

What else would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments.


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