Even if you have a second job or prior engagements, try to be responsive to any calls or texts you receive from your guests. Most guests simply wish to arrive, unpack, and explore the town, but there may be times when they need advice or a solution. You don’t want to put off reading their texts only to find out that the pipes leaked for hours, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to quickly find solutions when necessary.
When answering their calls or texts, always be polite and professional. While it’s fine to be yourself, avoid using any off-color humor that may be offensive. You’ll likely have travelers from all over the world, and it’s better to be safe and professional than to risk offending somebody.
While professionalism is expected, it doesn’t mean you have to accept rude or unruly behavior. If you have a set curfew but your guest consistently breaks it, it’s in your right to contact Airbnb and demand that they leave. If you have a maximum occupancy of two, but they bring over unannounced guests, you should also stand your ground and ask them to leave. Most guests won’t want any confrontation, but you have to be prepared to be firm when necessary.
If a guest ever gets drunk or belligerent, don’t be afraid to call your local authorities if needed. This may be a last resort, but you don’t want a drunk and angry guest to destroy your property or risk harming you. In these situations, it’s completely acceptable to cut the politeness and look out for yourself. This is rare, but it’s worth mentioning in the off-chance that anything like this occurs.
Place Small Signs Throughout Your Property
Many hotels are utilizing small plastic signs that remind guests to turn off any lighting or heating when away, or to use their towels for as long as possible. You can get a professional and customized plastic sign, or you can simply stick lamented paper on the wall. Add a cute picture as well to grab their attention. Some simple sign ideas include:
- Please turn off any lights, electronics, or heating before leaving
- Please remember to lock the door
- To save energy and help the environment, please recycle
- Try to reuse your bath towel to help the environment
Always say, “thank you!” at the end of each sign, and include a picture of a smiley face, a beach, or something that’s universally pleasant. This will help you save on electricity bills, and it will also prevent you from nagging your guests about leaving the lights on all day.
If you have a television that’s difficult to switch on or a confusing thermostat, you can also leave signs with detailed instructions on how to use the item. This will ensure that you don’t get endless calls whenever a new guest arrives, and it will dramatically improve everyone’s experience.
Leaving Your Guests Alone
A friendly introduction is more than enough, and as long as you leave the relevant contact information with your guests, you should strive to avoid them as much as possible. Some hosts are overly friendly, and while this may seem polite, it’s better to let your guests do their own thing while on vacation. Remember that they’re here for your property and local area, and not to chit-chat with you. A few conversations are fine, but it’s important to know when enough is enough.
This goes for both conversations in person and by text or phone. The last thing a guest wants is to receive endless texts from a host who forgot to tell them something. Give them all the information they need in the welcome packet or in signs inside your property. If your truly need to tell them something then you can do so, but keep it to a very strict minimum.
Another major problem is when hosts show up unannounced into a privately rented property or into the guest’s room. Even if your guests are out for the day, don’t go inside to turn off lighting or to clean anything. This is a strong violation of their privacy, and it may even go against local laws in certain districts. The only time you have an ok to go inside is if there’s water leaking or another emergency. Leaving the television on is annoying and wasteful, but it does not constitute as an emergency.
As a host, you’re essentially the manager at a hotel. If you’re staying a major hotel, you wouldn’t appreciate the manager contacting you throughout the day, asking when you’ll be back, and reminding you to turn off the lights. It would be rude and also incredibly strange. It’s easy to get comfortable with Airbnb’s more relaxed interface, but you must resist the urge to nag guests even if they’re occasionally forgetful about simple things.