How to welcome your first Airbnb guests

Create a memorable stay for your guests—every time.
By Airbnb on Nov 20, 2019
3 min read
Updated Jun 11, 2024

You may have questions about how to get ready for your first guests. Here are a few tips to set up a smooth experience.

Provide a simple check-in process

Set up a process that’s simple and reliable. Add directions to your place, a check-in method, and step-by-step check-in instructions in your listing’s arrival guide. Many guests prefer the convenience of self check-in, which allows them to get inside without you being there.

Guests can access your check-in instructions in their trip details 48 hours before they’re scheduled to check in, or 24 hours before if you have a flexible cancellation policy.

Anticipate guest needs

Every guest is different, but most expect to have access to certain items and information. Take these steps to provide a comfortable stay.

  • Stock up on the basics. These include towels, linens, pillows, soap, and toilet paper.

  • Make yourself available. Have a plan for how you’ll resolve issues quickly, and remind guests they can reach out if anything comes up.

  • Add a house manual. Provide important information, like how to access the internet and use appliances. Leave a printed version where guests can easily find it.

  • Add a guidebook. Share your local tips, including places to dine, shop, sightsee, and experience the outdoors.

Communicate early and often

Every interaction you have with guests is an opportunity to set expectations and show you care about their needs.

  • Create a welcoming environment. Prioritize inclusive practices to help every guest feel comfortable in your space. Start by simply asking guests what would help them feel at home.

  • Be understanding. Try to look at every situation from the guest’s perspective.

  • Respond promptly. Having a good response rate helps your listing appear higher in guests’ searches on Airbnb. Use the app to communicate quickly, and set up scheduled messages to provide helpful information at important moments, like check-in.

Here are a few sample messages to consider scheduling at certain times. These examples use shortcodes, placeholders that automatically fill in reservation, listing, and guest details. Insert them from the drop-down menu, because they won’t work if you manually type them.

Keep your place clean and tidy

Guests expect to find a clean space when they arrive. Create a routine that involves cleaning all surfaces, floors, and fabrics.

  • Check for stains, dirt, and hair. Commonly overlooked spots include under the bed, inside drawers, and on window coverings.

  • Choose neutral scents. Strong scents of any kind can be off-putting to guests. Open windows while cleaning and use mild, multipurpose disinfectants. 

  • Remove or store personal items. This can help your place feel more welcoming and less cluttered.

Ask for and give reviews

You and your guests have 14 days after checkout to review each other. Reviews are hidden until both you and the booking guest submit one or the 14-day review period ends. Guests can also give star ratings for their overall experience and in six subcategories: cleanliness, accuracy, check-in, communication, location, and value.

Your first few reviews are especially important. Your overall rating will appear on your listing after you receive three reviews and may impact how it ranks in search results. Consider scheduling a message on the day of checkout asking guests to review their stay.

Be honest and respectful when leaving reviews, and use the same standards to evaluate every guest. The review process helps build trust for guests and Hosts.

Learning Series: First-Time Hosting

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Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

Nov 20, 2019
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