One of the basic principles of the hospitality industry is knowing your guest. This includes knowing their desires and expectations. If you’re welcoming someone into your home, you’re actually letting them into your own little world. At the same time, they’re entering an unknown land where they need to feel safe and sound in order to have a good experience worth of a great review. For a great experience, you need to know your guest, make your home their safe haven and do it by instilling trust in them. So, how exactly do you come off as a trustworthy host?
First, let’s get back to trust. Trust is important. They’re trusting you with their safety and health for a certain number of days. And not just that, there’s the stress of the unpredictable, losing things, getting locked out, getting lost or arguing due to miscommunication. No guest or host wants those situations to happen; therefore establishing trust right from the very first correspondence is crucial. The emphasis on a smooth check-in along with and cleanliness and fancy decor isn’t the most important factor anymore. Establishing trust with each unique individual that comes through your door is. But, how do you do that? How do you literally SHOW that you’re to be trusted?
Make Leaving Reviews a Must
As an Airbnb host, you’re able to both receive and leave reviews. That means, if your guest has a chance to either praise your Airbnb or to show dissatisfaction, you also have a chance to tell your side of the story. And make sure you’re objective, and always tell your story. You never know who’s reading, and at the end of the day, your opinion counts. It’s a way for potential guests to see who you are, through your communication with previous guests.
Calmly Handle Negative Reviews
Another important factor that will either drive guests away from you or draw them in, is the way you handle criticism. If, for example, you get a bad review and you start cursing, lying or exaggerating in your guest’s review, you’re most likely not to gain any trust. Not only are you going to be labeled as a bad host, you’re going to be considered rude, disrespectful and above all double-faced. No guest would want to stay at an Airbnb, after a review like that.
Be Open and Honest, At All Times
This includes the description in your listing. Make sure to be open and honest about the state your Airbnb room or house. If your wiring is not properly set up, make sure to let your guests know. If the water pressure is low, don’t ’conveniently’ leave it out of the listing. We know, it might not sound like the listing of your dreams, but you don’t necessarily have to be negative all throughout the description. Use the magic of words to portray your Airbnb unit in the best way possible, but also include faults. Your guest will surely appreciate it, especially if it’s not a big fault in question. They will see that you’re honest, and therefore can be trusted.
Safety and Health Above All
You don’t want your guests to get sick from eating the food you’ve stalked the fridge with, or getting robbed because you didn’t install an alarm. If you’re already in the Airbnb renting game, and want to become the best Airbnb host there is, cover all your points. Don’t just get caught up in pretty decor and fancy design. Make sure that your place is tight and secure. Install a fire escape plan, smoke detectors, burglar alarms, and even a first-aid kit. Make sure you have emergency numbers at hand at all times, in case an accident happens. In other words, be prepared.
Be Open for Communication, Even Before a Reservation
Pre-reservation communication is an opportunity for the guest to get to know more about you and your Airbnb, but at the same time tell you more about their expectations. Use this chance to instill trust in your guest right from the start. Be open to questions, be polite and don’t be afraid to ask questions as well. At both ends of the communication road are humans, so be one, but a very charming, trustworthy one. This is your chance to let your guests see that you care about their needs, and a chance to let them know what you can offer and what you can’t.
Set the House Rules
If you don’t come off as a host that has everything under control and knows what he/she is doing, you’re probably not going to be the epically trustworthy Airbnb host after all. The truth is, guests want a warm welcome and a pleasant and open host; however, they also want someone who is going to establish the rules, so that they will know in advance what is acceptable and what’s not. It’s best to set the house rules, or even print them out and hang them in your Airbnb unit, so that all of your guests know what they need to respect and stick to. If you show them that you have your own principles and values that need to be respected, then you’ll get the kind of respect you want. Oh, and the trust is just a bonus.
From the first time someone stayed at an Airbnb to this very day, trust and safety is a major aspect that keeps being thrown back and forth in debates and discussions. The truth is, Airbnb is a chance to create a wonderful, intertwined community of versatile cultures and nations, and however, safety and trust have to be the backdrop of the entire story. How do you show your guests that you’re trustworthy?
Let us know in the comments below!