With people becoming property managers all the time, the competition your listing will face is fierce. In order to compete with the hotel-like accommodations many cities now have to offer, you must make sure you are meeting the bare-minimum requirements for a successful listing.
This is a basic run-down of what all listings should offer guests.
1. Great Photos
The most important thing for any listing to have is a great set of photographs. Most guests look through the photos of a listing before ever even reading the descriptions. Your photos mean everything.
Make sure to include photos of all the rooms in a home the guest will have access to. Photograph any amenities that will be included in their stay. For example, if you have parking available, take a picture of your driveway with the caption, parking included. Think of things that guests might need to know, like you have a dog, in case of allergies. Or things that make your listing different, such as a hot tub or washer and dryer.
For a while, Airbnb was providing a professional photographer free of charge to new hosts and listings in some areas. While this is no longer the case, Airbnb will still provide you with a photographer they have approved to shoot your space at a great price. You can sign-up for that here.
Photos are so important that we did a full write-up on them. Check it out here,
2. Instant Book
Allowing guests to instantly book your listing is one of the best things you can do to improve the listing’s search ranking. The easier it is to book your place, the more likely it is to appear first in someone’s search.
So think about whether you want to allow up to the minute bookings, or bookings with a week’s notice. There are lots of ways to control the options you give guests when they are using Instant Book for your listing, making it super safe to use.
To learn more about how instant book works and why you should be using it visit our article here.
3. Hair Dryer and Other Basic Hotel Amenities
It may seem silly but a hair dryer is actually the most important amenity a listing has. Most female searchers won’t stay at a listing without one, and travelers are willing to pay anywhere from $5 to $10 more per night for a listing with a blow dryer. You can literally buy one and increase your price today.
Plus think about the amenities you are given in a hotel room – a hair dryer is pretty much always there. Hotels also almost always include soap, shampoo, and conditioner, so having those as well is important.
The last item we’ll touch on here is toilet paper. Toilet paper is a necessity. If your listing doesn’t include plenty of toilet paper, I can guarantee you it is reflected in your reviews and rating. Go pick up some TP. Your guests will love you for it.
4. 24-Hour Check-In
People that are traveling are coming from all over the world, by means of all different types of transportation. Delays are going to happen and plans are going to change. Flexibility is key.
Hotels often offer a 24-hour check-in desk, so if you want to deliver hotel-level quality, you need to compete with their check-in service. Giving your guests the flexibility to check in whenever they want is important.
But don’t worry, you don’t physically have to stay awake until 3 AM to let your guests in. The top ways to provide 24-hour check-in are:
- A keyless entry door lock where the guest can enter a code to enter the listing.
- A lockbox that contains a physical key, where the guest enters a code to gain access to it.
- A key hidden in some super, super secret place no one else would ever consider; like a flower pot or under a rug.
Just make sure that no matter what option you go with, the guest is given clear instructions from the beginning on how they will check in.
5. Real Beds
The importance of real beds can’t be stressed enough. If you are going to have a successful Airbnb, one that is able to compete with the listings run by property managers, you’re going to need to have the basic set of amenities that they provide, and a real bed is one of them.
While Airbnb got its name from the concept of renting out an air mattress laid out in the middle of a living room, the company has come a long way from those basic beginnings. With the extensive availability of luxury listings, air mattresses and sofa beds just aren’t a viable option anymore.
Guests will complain about a non-traditional bed, and you’ll definitely lose booking because of it. Make sure to invest in a real bed for every guest/room. Tuft & Needle and Casper Mattresses are very popular with Airbnb hosts and they deliver the mattresses to your door. It might make sense to pick one up.
6. Solid WiFi
Most travelers don’t purchase sim cards or travel plans when they go abroad. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a strong wifi signal is one of the most important things guests are looking for.
Many guests are traveling out of their own cellphone area, and are using wifi as their only means of communication. Beyond that, guests what to stream Netflix, Spotify, Youtube, and other services without interruptions. How else are they going to catch up on Stranger Things or Game of Thrones.
Whether wifi is common in every home in your country or not, your guests will expect it.
A good way for you to figure out whether your wifi will be great for your guests is to spend a night in your listing as if you were a guest. If the wifi sucks during your stay, it will probably suck for them too.
7. Heat/Air Conditioning
This is a tough one. It is somewhat acceptable to only have one of these amenities, depending on the location of your listing. You may never need heat in a listing in Rio, or air-conditioning in a listing in Iceland.
But, understand that most guests will expect to feel comfortable in a home they are paying to live in. Keeping a moderate temperature at all times is necessary.
If you don’t have air-conditioning and you know it can get hot in your listing, make sure you invest in cooling fans for each room. The same for if you know it might get cold and you do not have central heating or radiators. If you truly want to provide awesome service, you can buy space heaters and space air conditioners online.
8. Smart TV / Entertainment
All travelers will want the comforts of home when they are away. Having a television for guests, or at least a supply of movies is imperative. The best Airbnbs today have Smart TVs where the guests can watch all the Netflix they want to.
But “entertainment” is very broad. Record players, board-games, and home sports equipment, such as ping pong tables, darts, and pool tables, are also incredibly popular.
Worst-case scenario, your guest encounters some terrible weather and are trapped inside your home all day during their trip. Make sure there is there is plenty for them to do.
9. Low Cleaning Fees
A guest is already having to pay Airbnb service fees, and maybe even a security deposit. Adding on more fees on top of that can really start to add up and deter a guest from booking.
Think about ways to keep the cleaning fees of your listing low. For example, clean the space yourself instead of hiring an outside person. Many people eliminate cleaning fees altogether and instead just price the rooms with the necessary adjustments for cleaning. Know your market, and what the hosts around you are charging, then charge less.
For tips on cleaning fees, check out how you should go about pricing your listing.
10. Basic Kitchen Supplies
A lot of people choose to stay at Airbnbs instead of hotels because they have kitchens. Travelers on a tight budget or a very long journey might want the option to cook their own meals rather than going out.
Make sure you have basic supplies for guests to make the most simple of meals and morning drinks. This includes having a pot, a pan, a coffee maker or electric kettle, a spatula and wooden spoon, forks, knives and spoons, mugs, bowls, plates, and cups.
Those are the Top 10. If you can get these right, you can charge more for your listing and you’ll have much better reviews.