People know their home like the back of their hand. So when staying in a home away from home – your Airbnb-listed home – it’s not surprising that they expect the same level of ease, comfort and knowledge. It’s a tricky thing to achieve: after all, they’ve most likely never seen it before, and they’re probably not native to the country it’s listed in. It’s a harsh reality, but an important one – 5* ratings do not come easily, and having a comprehensive house manual is a key player in the review game.
Luckily for you, we’re know a lot about Airbnb property management, and have helped hoards of hosts achieve house manual glory. We’ve seen it all: the good, the bad, and the lengthy! And while there are some obvious pointers you’re probably aware of – cover the essentials during check-in, leave it in an obvious place – we’ve gathered together 5 lesser-known tips we think will take your house manual to 5* greatness.
1- Don’t scrimp on the home essentials
Obviously, unearthing the wifi code will be top of guests’ agendas. But what will they need next? Every home has its own quirks, so it’s important that anything which isn’t 100% intuitive or by-the-book (like the knack to the heating or that trick to getting the toaster to pop) should be included. You should also make your check-out procedure crystal clear: what time they should leave, how they can lock the door, and where they should leave the keys.
2- Keep it simple
House rules should be concise and clear. It’s that simple. But don’t feel the need to justify every little point: if you don’t want people to wear shoes in your home, say so. Airbnb guests are just like you – people with homes they love – and in our experience they’re happy to follow your lead.
3- Size matters
House manual length is more an art than a science – that is, there’s no hard-and-fast rule on how long to make it. However, we recommend around 2 pages of well-spaced A4 or A5. This should be ample enough room to cover the quirks of your home as well as your local recommendations – we’ve found this is the ‘Goldilocks’ length. Any shorter and your house manual won’t cover the key questions guests will have, leading to confusion, 2am in-stay messages and poor reviews. Any longer, and it’ll likely be so off-putting to guests that it will go unread. If you’re struggling to stick to 2 pages, try using bullet points and clear headings to help your guests find the info they need.
4- Local low-down
The main perk of choosing Airbnb over a hotel is the local colour guests get to experience, so be sure to add your 2 cents and include thorough local recommendations. Assume your guests have heard of the city’s main attractions – where you can help is by offering insight into everyday conveniences like supermarkets, petrol stations, post offices, cinemas etc. Local recommendations are also a great way to stamp your personality on your house manual: where do you like to hang out in your free time? Where are some off-the-beaten-track coffee shops or bars?
5-Take it online
This might seem obvious, but a lot of Airbnb hosts skip this step – don’t make the same mistake! Add your house manual to your Airbnb listing so guests will have access to the information ahead of their trip, or while they’re out and about during the day. We also recommend having more than one physical copy in your home, for ease of access. The laminator, or plastic wallets, are also your friend 🙂
So there you have it: 5 top tips for writing a 5* house manual!. House manuals are our thing and this how we create it for each of the lovely homes we are looking after on our fully managed option. Follow these suggestions and you’re sure to be on the path to 5* reviews after the satisfied, clued-in guests leave.
If you’ve got any questions, get in touch in the comments. We’d love to hear your own tips, too!