Airbnb offers a lot of great opportunities for guests to explore new ways to travel and experience things that might not be discoverable if you only stay in hotels. However, homes aren't just "ready" and the best hosts know that they need to prepare properly to make the guest experience fabulous as well as to ensure that their own experience is a positive one.
Consider Home Security
One of the biggest fears I have about allowing my home to be used for Airbnb guests is security. There's a fear that by giving someone your key or gate code they can make copies and come back later. That's why I really like the fact that August Home is is part of the Airbnb Host Assist program . Home owners with the August Smart Lock, Smart Keypad, and Doorbell Cam can ensure that guests are only able to enter the home while they are authorized.
One of the things I really like about the the August Doorbell Cam is that it is really easy to set up and allows me to reduce stress while traveling. Think about it -- I don't have to worry if someone is bringing some crazy entourage back to the place for a party since I was able to see that it was just the guest and his wife entering the home. Likewise, one of my fears about renting is that people will copy the keys. The August Smart Lock and Smart Keypad eliminate that as well since I am only giving guests virtual keys rather than physical ones.
Protect Your Valuables and Breakables
Most Airbnb guests are good people, but you should make sure to protect any valuable items, especially those that might be damaged by being easily knocked over. For instance, if you happen to collect glass figurines and they are normally on the top of a shaky shelf ... you might want to move those to a less precarious position. Similarly, you may love looking at your collection of Soviet-era Russian coins but money is money and it could provide a temptation to the wrong person.
Stock The Kitchen and Fridge With Essentials
I don't advise that you keep ready-to-cook meals available for guests, but it's important to consider kitchen essentials. This includes making sure that you have coffee creamer, butter, honey, sugar, cocoa, salt, pepper etc. stocked. I was recently at a bed and breakfast and they had a bread maker. That’s a nice thing to leave for your guests as well, so that when they arrive there's some fresh bread waiting for them to enjoy after traveling.
You might also consider leaving some packaged snacks and drinks such as cans of soda and juice.
Ensure There are Plenty of Linens
There is nothing worse than taking a shower and not having a towel ready. Make sure that you have face and body towels as well as extra sheets and pillow cases for the bed too.
Emergency Contacts and First Aid Supplies
While we all hope that everything will go without incident, it's better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to include a list of emergency contacts ranging from your building manager to a neighbor and of course your cell phone number as well. Additionally, make sure to have a well stocked first-aid kit with multiple types of bandages, antibacterial cream, sunburn lotion etc.
Toiletries and Grooming Supplies
Most guests will have their own toiletries, but I find that it's nice to have a bowl of travel-sized items in case they forget. This would include basic items like shampoo and conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, and body wash, feminine products, condoms, as well as a disposable razor and shaving cream.
No matter how nice someone is, there's always going to be an accident here and there. Make sure to have a cleanup kit available that includes plenty of paper towels, extra trash bags, extra hand soap, bleach, dish washer detergent, spray cleaner for the kitchen, a broom and dustpan.
Provide a List of Special Instructions For Guests
Make sure to provide a list of any special instructions for guests such as watering plants as well as how to operate the TV / DVD player and any special items such as automatic blinds, patio door locks, and appliances. Clearly Disclose Any Monitoring Technology While technology can be a great advantage when it comes to securing your house and protecting your property, it's important to make sure you follow all state and local laws that might be applicable. At very least, it is good practice to make sure to disclose any audio or video monitoring technology that you might have installed. This includes the video cameras as well as "nanny cams."
If you follow these tips for preparing your home for Airbnb guests, you'll help make it a great experience for yourself, as well as for your guests.
Personally, I'm really impressed by the August Smart Home Access Solution. There are a bunch of manufacturers that have "pieces" but August Home has the whole thing. I also feel like guests will appreciate the smart technology since it feels more luxurious and almost like a hotel vs. someone's home. As more and more people start using smart home technology, it will be a selling point as well.