Hospitality. It’s what you choose to do, but it comes from who you are. And with all this talk about becoming a better Airbnb host, we’ve lost track of what the hospitality industry is all about. Yes, we do our best to make our Airbnbs top-notch, from the moment guests make a reservation, to the moment when we put our listing online and furnish our Airbnb. However, what really counts is raw, radical hospitality. It’s what makes this industry special and it’s why it keeps on thriving. So to get you back on track, we’ve decided to remind about certain principles of hospitality.
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
You don’t have to put additional pressure to always be the host that’s going to welcome guests with a basket full of goodies or a small token of appreciation for staying at your Airbnb. In fact, hospitality is usually not about things. It’s about a feeling. And what kind of feelings do you want your guests to associate with your Airbnb? Pressure, boredome, fear, insecurity? We’re sure that these are not your answers.
But, one thing you absolutely must do is provide a proper welcome, and only with the help of your ATTITUDE. If you’re not really in the mood and you give your guests a lukewarm reception, it will automatically suggest a mediocre Airbnb experience. And it is what actually happens most of the time. But don’t let that happen. Remember; always repeat your welcoming and kind words. Always show the same appreciation and respect no matter how many times you’ve already welcome a particular guest into your Airbnb.
Don’t be afraid to say:
’’Is there anything else…’’
’’We are happy to…’’
’’We look forward to hosting…’’
- Become Selfless
This is something all who want to become an Airbnb host must have as their mantra. Repeat it to yourself every day. The essence of the idea is to think about your guests. Their needs, wants, likes, not your own. In fact, it’s not about you at all. You have to stop and think. Ask yourself:
How can I help my guest out today?
Can I make their day and stay better?
What does the guest need/want?
How can I communicate better with the guest?
Can I make their day?
In the end, it’s all about them. When they feel good, you will feel good. Invest in their well-being and it will pay off. The idea of hospitality is to be kind and helpful to others, so always remember that. You can be kind and selfless without material things, and hospitality is definitely something that comes from within, and not from material goods.
- You Make a Home
What we mean by this is, you don’t have to stress yourself out if your Airbnb decor isn’t up to your liking. Especially, if it’s not ’perfect’. Genuine hospitality isn’t opening up your doors to a perfect unit, equipped with the latest gadgets and high-class furniture. Even if your home is far from that, it can still be a cozy place for guests to stay, and feel comfortable and satisfied.
All you need to do is know that you make a home, and not the furniture. If you welcome your guests, pay attention, show interest in their experience and story, you’ll create a loving and warm atmosphere where guests will feel relaxed. If you have a plasma TV than that’s definitely a plus for you, but you can’t rely on interior design to instill a good, warm memory in our guest’s mind.
- Gourmet Food or Not…
We can’t deny that walking into an Airbnb and finding a lovely meal on the table, just waiting for you to dive in, isn’t appealing. We would be lying. We love home-cooked meals, especially if hosts pick out local dishes for us to try out. But that’s just called being pampered.
Yet as host, we can’t help but think. Are we less good hosts if we don’t put gourmet food on the table? The answer is no, we’re not. Once again, hospitality is a feeling you create not through things, but through actions motivated by your good will. So, if you welcome your guests with a pack of snacks yet show true hospitality, willingness to help, sit down and have an open chat, you’re scoring more points than you would with a home-made pasta dish.
- Commit Yourself
Even before a potential guest books a stay with you, you have to commit yourself to them. Before you accept the reservation, make sure that you fully dedicate your effort and time into each guest. That means, if you need to cancel for a certain reason, you can’t abandon them. Your hospitality doesn’t begin when they walk in the door, it begins the moment they are interested in your home. You need to be willing to help them find another accommodation, no matter how little time you may have on your hands.
- Be Available
This means be on time, precise, and available to serve their needs or solve their problems if necessary. If you as a host, can make their stay easier, than why not. They are after all, a guest in your own home. But then again, it’s not only about being supportive of your guests and jumping to their every request.
Sometimes it’s about being available as a person, if they someone to talk to or rely on. It’s good to remain professional and be at their disposal whenever you can, but what distinguishes an Airbnb from a hotel is exactly this kind of hospitality, that you can only find in an Airbnb. The kind of hospitality that will make your guests fall in love with you and trust you from the very beginning to the very end. It’s all about being open and listening.
In the hospitality industry, you have to give your entire self in order to please others. And not expect anything in return. For some, such a sacrifice seems huge, yet hospitality brings a lot of fulfillment and joy, if it comes from the heart. That’s why you, as an Airbnb host, have to start thinking about others. Start today. Don’t wait for tomorrow.