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9 Tips to Host Short-Term Rental Guests like a Pro

By Nathan Guss |9 min|June 2023

Become a pro at hosting short-term rental guests. Read on for 9 tips for indelible guest experiences, glowing reviews and a thriving rental business.

Are you ready to take your short-term rental hosting to the next level? You’re not just providing a place to stay—you’re creating meaningful experiences for your guests. Here are 9 tips to elevate your hosting game and earn those coveted five-star ratings.

Place an accurate advertisement.

An honest advertisement is crucial for successful short-term rentals. Start by ensuring that photos accurately depict the space. (That said, photos should show your unit in the best possible light.)

Transparency is key when it comes to amenities. Be sure to list all available features and any limitations. Regularly update your advertisement to reflect any changes. Truthful advertising prevents disappointment.

Stock up on supplies.

Running out of essentials can be an annoying hiccup in your guest’s stay. Avoid this by stocking up on basic items, such as toilet paper, linens, and towels. Make sure your visitors know where to find them.

Take it up a notch by providing extras, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and basic kitchen essentials, such as coffee, tea and cooking oil. These thoughtful touches will make your guests feel more at home.

Strive for spotless perfection.

Cleanliness is paramount in short-term rentals. It’s one of the first aspects guests notice. Any shortcomings here can lead to negative reviews. But an immaculate unit always makes a good impression. Impeccable cleanliness contributes to your guests’ overall comfort and well-being. It creates a pleasant, inviting environment, allowing them to fully relax and enjoy their stay.

Offer detailed directions and check-in procedures.

Make arrivals a breeze with detailed directions and specific check-in procedures. Provide crystal-clear directions to your rental unit, including landmarks, nearby transportation options and contact information. If the home can be difficult to find, include a map.

If you won’t be present for check-in, ensure guests know how to access the unit. Leave no doubts about retrieving keys or operating entry systems. Clear instructions and step-by-step explanations save time and prevent frustration. If the unit is part of a larger home, be sure to clearly identify which door to use and where to park. Send pictures with arrows if needed.

Make sure your guests can get in.

Having trouble getting into a unit when you arrive can be an unpleasant way to start a vacation. Having been locked out of a rental during a frigid snowstorm, I can definitely confirm this. Conversely, a hassle-free check-in process lays the foundation for a positive experience.

Many hosts opt for automated check-in systems, such as key lock boxes or electronic keypads, which offer convenience and flexibility. These systems allow guests to access the property independently, eliminating the need to coordinate your schedules. Provide clear check-in instructions including the access code or key location in advance.

But let’s face it: technology can occasionally have glitches, or guests may require additional assistance. As a responsible host, always provide a backup plan by sharing your contact information. If you have any doubts about your availability, make sure someone else can be reached.

Create comprehensive guides.

Put together a user manual. It should give concise directions on how to use various amenities in the lodging. Provide step-by-step instructions for everything—from operating the television and stove to adjusting the heating and cooling systems. You don’t want your guests needlessly wasting time puzzling over a TV controller. And not having to constantly answer questions will be a big plus for you.

Go the extra mile by putting together a comprehensive guide with valuable information about the area. Curate a list of local attractions. Highlight nearby points of interest, recommended restaurants, popular shopping areas and entertainment venues. Share insider tips and recommendations that give guests a taste of the local flavour and help them make the most of their stay.

Be proactive and responsive in communications.

Response time to guest inquiries is one of the key metrics used by most temporary rental platforms to determine super host status. Apps such as Operto or iGMS allow you to immediately answer your guests thanks to automated messages and templates. Quick responses make you a reliable host and promptly gives guests needed assistance.

Once guests have settled in, check in with them after two or three days to ensure everything is going smoothly. This gesture shows your commitment to their comfort, will allow you to address any concerns or issues, and nip any potential negative reviews in the bud.

And don’t forget to follow up with them after the visit. Ask for feedback and suggestions for improvement. By actively seeking input, you demonstrate your dedication to providing an exceptional experience. Constructive criticism and suggestions allow you to fine-tune your service.

Cater to your clientele.

Do you tend to have a certain kind of visitor? Understanding your clientele can set your rental apart. By identifying their specific needs and preferences, you can tailor your unit to meet their needs. Here are a few examples:

  • Family-friendly features

If your clientele often includes families with children, consider childproofing measures, such as safety gates, outlet covers and corner guards. Offering kid-friendly amenities, such as a highchair, baby crib, or a selection of toys and games can enhance their stay. Learn more about making your accommodation family-friendly.

  • Business traveller essentials

If your rental attracts business travellers, consider equipping the unit with a functional workspace, including a desk, ergonomic chair and reliable Wi-Fi. Additional amenities such as a printer, office supplies, and charging stations help ensure a productive stay.

  • Perks for outdoor enthusiasts

If your area draws outdoor enthusiasts, consider providing resources, such as maps, trail guides, or information on local outdoor activities. You could also give them access to a secure storage shed for their gear. If you regularly host mountain bikers, set up a rack and hose so they can clean their bikes.

Make them feel welcome.

Put guests at ease with your gracious hospitality. Throughout all interactions, whether remote or in-person, be polite and friendly. Address concerns with care and express appreciation for their choice to stay at your rental. Small gestures—a friendly smile, a warm greeting, or a kind farewell—can go a long way towards creating a welcoming atmosphere.

And why not leave a gift basket filled with local goodies and a handwritten card wishing them an enjoyable stay? Many guests will appreciate this personal touch.

Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll host short-term rental visitors like a pro. Happy guests lead to positive reviews, repeat bookings and a booming rental business. Get ready to become a host of choice with a sought-after rental property!

Are you interested in offering temporary housing to people displaced by home disasters? Consider listing your unit with SiniSTAR. As a trusted partner working directly with insurance companies, SiniSTAR enables hosts to offer their properties as temporary accommodations for displaced policyholders. Join SiniSTAR’s host community to tap into new business and make a difference in the lives of people who need a home.

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