Why a Clean Airbnb Isn’t Enough — 8 Necessities to Get a Perfect Review

Want to become an Airbnb Superhost? Getting five-star reviews from each guest takes enormous effort. Being in constant communication and offering a detailed, accurate listing is just a first step. But sometimes, it’s the smaller, thoughtful touches that can really make a lasting impression.

These days, a sparkling clean Airbnb simply isn’t enough. So here are eight necessities to get a perfect review, from a handwritten welcome note to board games to keep the whole family content on a rainy day.

#1 Make the Place Smell Amazing

Smells can evoke memories like no other sense, so make your guests’ stay at your Airbnb memorable with a signature fragrance borrowed from candles or a DIY room spray you spritz on curtains, linens and more. Candles, especially Homesick’s New Home candle, make a nice touch. Not only do candles put out a lovely fragrance, but they offer a soothing glow to a room. Offering a candle for guests to light? Just make sure to leave a reminder for them to extinguish the flame when not attended. Write a note and place it next to the container, along with a box of matches, a lighter and a candle snuffer.

Want the place to smell wonderful the moment your guests walk in the door? Or maybe your Airbnb is pet-friendly and you want to eliminate the chance of wax spills or other accidents? Instead of candles, set up a reed diffuser. Reed diffusers emit a constant fragrance. So even if your Airbnb rental sits empty for a few days, the reed diffusers will keep doing their magic.

#2 Leave a Treat or Two

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Just like a hotel might place chocolates on pillows, adding a treat or two to your Airbnb rental is a nice touch. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be chocolates. Instead, consider treats that introduce your guests to the local flavors. For example, offer a bag of freshly roasted beans from a local roaster or maybe a cheese spread from a local dairy along with crackers. Even something as simple as a fruit bowl with apples, bananas and oranges provides a healthy treat for guests on the run.

#3 Offer Treats for Kids and Pets, Too

Are your guests bringing a baby or fur baby? Make sure to offer them treats and goodies, too. If you know they are bringing a baby, offer a basket with some extra essentials like baby bibs, books, bottles and toys to keep them entertained. Also, reach out ahead of time to let them know you will have a crib prepared, saving them the trouble of packing up their own.

If pets are part of the equation, offer a pet bed. Not only will this deter them from jumping on the sofa or duvet cover, but a pet bed provides a comfortable place for your guests’ furry family members. Along with a pet bed, offer some treats and a couple of clean bowls for water and food.

#4 Write a Welcome Note

One thoughtful touch you can do to impress your guests is to write a handwritten welcome note. Make it personal and address them by their names, so that they know the message was made just for them, not reused for each guest. Thank them for choosing your rental, whether it’s a cottage, treehouse or swanky condo retreat, and let them know how they can reach you if they need anything at all.

A welcome note is an inexpensive and effortless way to make a great first impression. Not only does it personalize their stay, but it makes your guests feel important and well taken care of knowing you are only a phone call or text away. At the very least, go out and buy a chalkboard that you can write “Welcome” on along with the guests’ names. If your guests are traveling from overseas, be sure to write welcome in French, German, Mandarin or whatever their native language might be. This is a small, easy detail that adds a nice touch.

#5 Offer a Visitor’s Manual or Guide

In addition to a welcome note, create a visitor’s manual or guide. Just like you might have a concierge at a hotel, a guide can help guests find the perfect spot for dinner or offer a breakdown of all the fun activities to do in the area. You can even offer coupons to local attractions or restaurants. Don’t forget to add important details like the nearest hospital, veterinarian (if you allow pets) and other transportation details they might need to know.

Create a house manual, too. This is a great way to introduce yourself and connect with your guests by telling them a little about you and why you enjoy hosting your Airbnb.

#6 Bring Breakfast

If you offer private rooms in your Airbnb, be sure to offer a breakfast of some sort. This can be in the form of a bread basket with jams, yogurt, granola and a carafe of coffee they can serve themselves or freshly made bacon and eggs for a sit-down breakfast in the main dining room. Consider how you might accommodate guests with breakfast each morning so they can enjoy their space and not have to scramble in search of food.

If you have the facilities like a full kitchen and enjoy cooking for others, then great! If not, consider self-serve options, leaving fresh coffee and easy-to-clean up breakfast foods.

#7 Offer a Bottle of Wine or Champagne

Offer your guests a bottle of wine or champagne upon their arrival. From hectic flights to traffic, you never know how long it took them to reach your destination and a bottle of vino to help them unwind might be just the ticket to a perfect review. If they arrive late with no bottle shop open, they will be more than grateful.

Of course, don’t assume that they drink. Before they arrive, ask if they prefer red, white or sparkling. It allows them to choose or simply decline. Of course, if they do decline, be sure to offer something else in its place.

#8 Provide Fun Games and Activities

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When guests are on vacation or getting away for a weekend, they choose to unplug and disconnect. So while having reliable Wi-Fi at your rental is vital, don’t leave them hanging if they prefer to cut down on their screen time. Instead, offer some board games to keep everyone occupied.

This is especially true for multi-room rentals made to accommodate large families. Board games are an excellent way for the family to come together, instead of everyone being glued to their personal handheld devices. So, create a game board shelf or let them know in the house manual where your collection can be found.

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