The 6 key pieces of information every Airbnb house manual should include

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“What’s the wifi password”? Where can I find extra towels and linens? How do I control the AC?”. These are the questions Airbnb hosts can expect to hear from guests almost every stay. Organizing answers and anticipating needs is a key way that you can avoid: frantic calls, frustrated guests, and unintentional damage to your valuable assets.

Here are the 6 key pieces of information every Airbnb house manual should include.

1- Make settling in as easy as possible

Imagine a family with young kids arriving in the evening. They’ve just arrived after hours of packing, planning and travel. They’re delighted to be arriving at your home, but everyone is tired, kids are crying, and they’ve got at least 45 min of unpacking and settling in ahead of them…if all goes well.

So how can you make this as easy as possible? Start by giving them a quick understanding of how to transition into your home as quickly as possible. If you’re in a complex this could mean outlining where a loading zone is, what doors are close to the elevator, if security needs to be contacted on arrival and any challenges they may encounter when they first enter your rental. Also, if applicable, let them know where they can safely and affordably park their car overnight.

“Settle in” items could also include where the thermostat is, how to get on the WIFI (everyone wants to know the WIFI right away), what remote controls what, and even an overview of how firm beds are, how sleeping arrangements work, and how valuables can be kept safe. Also share where extras are located like blankets, pillows, and any other hospitality features.

Finally, include local knowledge information like if tap-water is drinkable, any great articles or websites for visitors to the area, any noises that can be expected through the night, where the wine glasses and corkscrew are and how to get onto Netflix.

2 — Help guests understand your home

No two homes are alike, and while your home may seem straightforward to you, it likely isn’t to a guest at first glance. Let guests know what is unique about your home, and include anything that could be considered remotely tricky or unusual.

In my home, we have a fantastic on-demand water heater, but it’s important to note that it can take about 3 min to get heat in the shower. Or for food deliveries, it is best to send drivers a pin on google maps or text directions as our address is never displayed in the correct place in Google maps.

Helping guests understand your home isn’t just good for them, it is a great way to make sure your guests have the knowledge they need to best look after your expensive assets, and save you any unnecessary expenses. Outlining how to use appliances is key, as is operating instructions for anything else that could be important to you or them.

Walk a mile in your guest’s shoes and if you have any doubts that something in your home could be confusing.

3 — Reiterate the house rules

House help align guests’ expectations with your hosting style. Your guest will have agreed with your house rules before they booked, but as that could have been months before their actual stay, it’s a great idea to provide an easy reference in your house manual they can see during their stay.

4 — Create easy to share Delivery Instructions

With COVID, Uber Eats, Door Dash and all the other delivery services are increasingly becoming how guests are getting their food. Many places can be confusing for delivery people to find and your delivery instructions could be the difference of food being hot or not!

5 — Outline what to do in an emergency

Emergencies come in all shapes and forms and well organized information, can make the difference between a small incident and a life-changing event.

Create a safety checklist for your home with key information like:

  • A list of emergency information like how the guest can contact the police, fire department, hospital or call for an ambulance,
  • The location of the Closest Medical Clinic, Hospital, and COVID testing facility
  • Where fire extinguishers are located and how to leave your home in case of a fire or emergency,
  • How to turn off the main water and gas supplies in the event of a leak
  • What alarm sounds could be heard and what they mean

6 — Provide a guest guidebook

Focus on the fun! Most Airbnb guests staying with you want to get the most from your local area and you have the knowledge to help.

Coffee is consumed by adults (ages 18–79) more than any other beverage, even tap water (source: coffeebi.com) so its a safe bet that a curated list of the best coffee shops in town will be well appreciated. Also, nearby grocery stores, food delivery options, gyms, running routes and great spots for yoga will help guests make the most of their time in an around your home.

For entertainment, list any events that may be of interest to guests, along with recommendations of great restaurants, bars, and live entertainment. If you know of any deals and discounts for guests, be sure to list them as an added perk.

It’s all in the manual

A house manual is where your guest’s exceptional experience starts and ends. It’s not enough to just have a binder in your home or some text in your Airbnb profile. Guests are hoping for a seamless experience they can easily access from anywhere both on arrival and during their stay.

That’s why we’re launching the new version of our House Manual App. Its build for any host to tag, categorize and post anything they want their guests to know in seconds, right from their phone.

Hosts can curate to just share the posts they want, privately with any recipient. Post can be viewed on any device and will be instantly updated when changes are made. This means that hosts can share information that is always accurate for guests with ease. Hey can also share completely separate information for house cleaners, contractors and more in just a few taps.

This means that you keep all the important information about your property in one place for easy reference for you and anyone else you choose to share it with. It will save countless hours of emails, and back and forth — a major time saver. And since guests can access it right from the app, they can check it out anytime, anywhere.

The latest version of House Manual will be launching soon, stay up to date at https://www.housemanual.app/v1-1

Written by James Copeland who flies planes and designed awesome apps for a living (Founder of www.SwiftHarbour.com and https://www.housemanual.app/)

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House Manual is the app for organizing your house, taking care of your things, & making sure everyone in your household knows what to do if there is a problem.

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