Hey so, you know all those people who somehow manage to make tons of money on Airbnb, just by being awesome hosts? The type who casually slip in the fact that Airbnb “basically paid for” their vacation?
These people may just be Airbnb superhosts, a term the company gives to “experienced hosts who provide a shining example for other hosts, and extraordinary experiences for their guests.” (Check out the superhost requirements here.)
What Airbnb doesn’t explicitly say on their site is that by being an amazing host, you’re likely to make more money over time — because you’ll probably have a steady stream of users, who will choose your highly-rated place over other options. So basically: You score.
I asked Airbnb’s top superhosts for their best tips on being the greatest host you can possibly be. So here’s how to make more money on Airbnb, sourced directly from the people who’ve done it themselves. (And if you think there’s a tip they missed, sound off in the comments below!)
1. Be honest — people are happiest when you manage their expectations.
“If your place has challenges or weird little eccentricities, put them out there up front so that people can know what they’re getting into. For example, my home has a number of stairs, so we are sure to feature pictures of them.”
2. Be flexible with check-in and check-out time.
“That means they can count on us to have a smooth vacation no matter what flight or car delay they might encounter.”
3. Give new folks a shot.
“I was at first reticent to rent to people who were new to the site and didn’t have any previous reviews. But I still do it; I just make sure to probe a bit on why people are coming to town, what they’re excited about in terms of your listing, and who they’re bringing with them. It leads to some fun relationships, and hopefully some happy new Airbnb users!”
4. Always do a bit more than you promised in the listing.
“Whether you offer fresh coffee every morning, share your gym membership with your guest, or have a glass of wine with them one evening, just make sure to go the extra mile in some way.
For example, a guest asked if I had an iron and ironing board. I only had a steamer, but I went out and bought one for her the next day. It’s a deductible business expense, something I and future guests will have use for, and she was delighted.”
5. Send guests an email a week prior to their arrival.
“We make sure ours is personalized and includes a line or two based on the information the guests have shared about themselves. The first part is just information about the house. In the second part of the email, though, we go through information about the neighborhood, places to eat, cafes, gyms, and activities. Since we often get international visitors who don’t always have access to data on their phones, they find this email very helpful. We’ve received appreciative messages and mentions of this email on our reviews.”
6. Ask them about their food preferences right when they book.
I always email my guests right after they book to ask them how they take their coffee, and if they have any dietary restrictions. This lets them know it’s going to be a special experience.”
“I leave fruit for my guests, so before they arrive, I ask them if they have any preferences, so I can leave them fruit they actually like. And then, I also suggest keeping this information in your files so that if they come back, you already know what their preferences are.”
7. Leave small explainer notes around all of the electronics.
“This way, guests know exactly what they need to do. I also tell them which light switches to use, and ask them to leave one on if necessary.”
8. Leave your guests plenty of information on what to do in the area.
“We offer our guests a complete portable series of travel books, brochures, and menus of local attractions and restaurants. We also are always on the lookout for discount coupons that might save our guests some money during their stay. And we point them to places off the beaten path, too, that might be of interest based on our conversations about their likes and dislikes.”
“I leave them a sheet of information about buses and transportation, museum information, and short local day trips to take. I also leave them all of the local restaurant menus.”
9. Whenever possible, greet guests at the door — and be sensitive to their needs when they first arrive.
“They are often stressed out, so be sensitive to that, and help put them at ease. Some have lots of questions; some just want to be left alone. If you can’t read their body language, ask them if there’s anything they need.
10. And offer to carry their belongings.
“Warm welcomes put people at ease. One time, a guest called from the subway exit and was looking for directions. I knew he had lots of luggage, so I went out and found him, took some of his bags, and escorted him to the apartment.”