It’s no surprise that location is everything for guests who book an Airbnb. But what was surprising for us was the conundrum this topic created in our recent post What guests really want. On one hand there’s travelers: they want to know everything about where they’re going right away—it helps them decide where to book and plan their trip. On the other hand there’s hosts, many of whom naturally want to maintain privacy, especially before a booking is confirmed, and others that want to share every last detail right away.
Is there a way to convey the location details a guest wants without leaving the host feeling over-exposed? We think so. Let this checklist be your guide and everybody wins.
1. Be an ambassador for your neighborhood
Getting a feel for the neighborhood is critical for guests, especially if they haven’t been there before. Travelers get excited when their Airbnb space is close to local attractions—this doesn’t have to be the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wall, but can easily be great neighborhood restaurants, shops, transport, and lesser-known places of local interest. Being remote can also be appealing for travelers seeking a break from urban bustle.
- Talk up your neighborhood. Why do you like where you live? What makes it unique? Don’t try to make it into something it’s not, but you can definitely help make it shine.
- Give guests an idea about how safe and walkable your neighborhood is. Even if you know it’s safe, unfamiliar visitors may feel otherwise.
- Photos of nearby places of interest will dramatically heighten the appeal for any listing, so definitely include a few.
Here’s what guests on Airbnb are saying about neighborhoods they enjoyed:
“Great location…convenient public transport to the city and many bars and restaurants nearby.”
“The place is so near to the U-Bahn and a lot of your everyday shops and restaurants are nearby. We also found that just a short walk will find you in Charlottenburg as everything is so close!”
“Very peaceful serene setting. If you don’t mind travelling about 3kms on a dirt road, this place is worth looking into.”
2. Suggest where to eat, engage, explore
Travelers love a local recommendation. When staying in a residential neighborhood away from the major tourist centers—as many Airbnb guests do—tips from a local are the only reliable way to get info on what to do. Airbnb reviews abound with gratitude for great restaurant and activity tips. It takes very little time, lets you show off your neighborhood and local businesses, and the payback is high.
- Provide recommendations early to allow guests to plan their trip.
- Filling in your Guidebook on Airbnb is a great way to compile your recommendations, and it makes it easy to grow and repurpose for future guests.
- Personality is appreciated—recommend things you actually do yourself and places you like to go. A concierge might provide recommendations based on what they think an average tourist might like, but your tips can be more personalized.
Use the tips above and you’re bound to get great reviews and feedback like this:
“Our host’s tips about cheap food and other things to see nearby were right on. We’ll definitely be back again!”
“I am pretty widely traveled and fairly independent with it, meaning normally I like to figure things out myself, but there is no question: our host added great value to my experience.”
“The cheat sheet guide to the neighborhood our host sent to us in advance of our stay was great and we tried out a few of the recommendations on the list.”
3. Make the outside count, too
There’s more to a home than furniture and walls. Guests want a clean, comfortable place to call it a night but they also seek scenery they can feast their eyes on and a setting that appeals to their tastes.
- Got a great garden? Then by all means feature a few shots of it in your listing. Killer views? Those, too!
- Outside spaces can make smaller homes feel a lot more spacious and can add usable space. Use the space you have to make sure you and your guest don’t feel cramped.
- A good set of outside photos can help a guest find your place more easily. Shy about posting them on Airbnb? Share them after a booking or while discussing a stay with a guest.
Here’s some actual feedback from guests about the outside world of their Airbnb accommodations:
“The garden was also absolutely lovely and we were able to make a great salad from it.”
“The beauty of the surrounding area was also highly Instagrammable… the landscape constantly shifting as snow fell and the light changed throughout the day.”
“We would have loved to see pictures of the surrounding area. Once we stayed there, it actually made us love the house way more than we thought we would.”
4. Communicate to put guests at ease.
As a trip approaches, anxiety increases for guests. Where do I need to go? How do I get there? How will I get a key for the space? How do I plan what to do on my trip? Put your guest at ease by giving them all of the info they’ll need up front instead of making them wait until the last minute. This establishes trust right away and will most likely garner you a great review, and great reviews lead to bookings.
- Be responsive to inquiries and issues and you will move mountains.
- Give your guests the full details on getting there, getting around, and parking.
- Minimize anxiety about key exchanges by letting guests know how it will work on the day they arrive. And consider a lockbox—it saves stress on both sides.
Travelers rave about hosts that are great communicators:
“Weeks in advance of our stay our host sent us an email with lots of information on the flat included. This was really useful when we arrived.”
“Our host was quick to respond and everything was exactly as he said it would be.”
“She was in touch well before we arrived, made us feel perfectly welcome, and has lots of good advice about what to do in the city. We’d be delighted to stay here again.”