If you’re in the business of renting out a room on airbnb, you have to be prepared for situations where you won’t have everything under control. Plans change, whether you want them to or not, and you might just encounter a few problems along the way that you’ll need to handle calmly and professionally, making sure that your guests don’t feel the slightest discomfort or frustration because of the new situation that has come up. This is inevitable. Your client may have changed the plans in the last minute, you might have miscommunicated something through your correspondence, but whatever it might be, when that client walks in through the door, you have to work through the problem like a pro.
Usually, check-ins go smooth. You take in your guest’s information, give them the keys, introduce them to their room, and you’re all set. From a client’s point of view, the check-in needs to be fast and flawless. But, when they don’t, you’re going to need a few pointers on how to handle the entire situation, in order to keep your guest happy, and your reviews high. Keep on reading, as we’re about to help you and your guest have and excellent start to a wonderful and problem-free stay at your airbnb place.
- Set Up Your Main Channel of Communication
Nowadays you can talk through various mediums, but in order to avoid unnecessary confusion and delay in your correspondence, make sure to recommend one method of communication to your client, that will work for them. Why do we think this is important?
If you’re communicating with your client through several platforms, some elements of your correspondence are bound to get lost along the way because it’s hard to keep track of all the information and it’s double the work to gather it all in the same place. We suggest you stick to a method that can be used on the go, in other words mobile-friendly.
- Collect Necessary Pre-Arrival Information
Although you’re trying to keep your client happy and undisturbed, in order to provide them a smooth check-in, you need to collect certain information before they arrive and book your airbnb. What you can do is ask your client the following:
What specific time are you arriving?
What means of transport are you using? (Simply for the purpose of being aware of any possible late arrivals, due to transportation lags)
Is there a possibility of a last-minute change in time frames?
- Be Clear on How Your Rental Works
Everyone who chooses to rent out your space needs to know the House Rules in advance. If not the entire house rulebook, then at least emphasize the importance of sticking to certain guidelines that they might not have ever before. Staying in an airbnb is much different from staying at a hotel, and if you have a first-timer on your hands, be very upfront about the differences. After all, you’re renting out your own personal space, and there will be difference with the rules and check-in as well.
- Personal Exchange of Keys
Because renting out personal space is quite different than when you book a room in a hotel, there’s the advantage of a less complicated check-in. In fact, you can arrange with your client to get all of the necessary information pre-arrival, and just set up a welcoming, hand-to-hand exchange of keys once they arrive. Some hosts like to do this, because they like to meet their client in person and once again let their guests know some of the house rules, and show their hospitality by being there.
- Point Your Guests to the Neighbors
This might not be an ideal solution, but in some cases, it is necessary. You as a host might not be able to meet with your client, but you don’t want your client to go back and forth trying to get the keys to their room. That’s why if you have a reliable neighbor, you can arrange them to hand over the keys to your guest.
- Mail it Forward
If you don’t want to have a mediator for handing over keys to your personal space, you can always mail out the keys in advance. This is a convenient option, because your guests will arrive carefree at their rented out space, knowing that they already have the keys and there will be no delays. If you opt for this, make sure you have a spare set of keys because accidents do happen and the key can get lost along the way. Maybe the postal service lost the package along the way, or your guest misplaced the key. Never underestimate the power of a back-up plan.
- Use a Mobile App
Yup, these days you can even use a mobile app in order to unlock a door, but you probably already knew this. Just make sure your guest has the app and that it’s compatible with your lock. That way there are no keys, and you avoid the potential situation of losing the key. You can always be the judge of the situation, and if you see that your client is an elderly couple who doesn’t want to utilize technology, or doesn’t know how to do it, skip the e-lock altogether. This shows that you’ve thought about your guests and care about the experience of their stay at your place.
- Utilize a Lockbox
These lockboxes are very convenient and they are available at affordable prices at pretty much every hardware store. While you’re doing your pre-arrival communication, make sure to emphasize the existence of a lockbox and where exactly it’s located, to avoid any confusion when your guest finally arrives.
So, there you go. These are our pointers that will hopefully, avoid every confusion possible, and ensure a smooth check-in for your guest. Don’t forget, check-ins also say something about you as the host and can mean a difference between a 2 star review and a 5 star review.