In our last post we discussed how Airbnb has helped foster a level of trust between strangers that has returned us to a bygone era. Crucial to that trust is the behaviour of guests – both in how they treat a home and how they interact with their hosts. Here are five tips for how to become the Airbnb guest from heaven.
Give or take the occasional over-exuberant rock star, most people tend to treat hotels with reasonable respect. How much this has to do with the presence of hotel workers is open to debate, but one thing we can say is that on-site staff are certainly a key difference between staying in a hotel and, for example, an Airbnb property.
Indeed, unlike in a hotel, there can be a temptation when staying in an Airbnb to forget that you’re actually in someone else’s home. Snug sofas, a kitchen at your disposal, and no prying eyes make it very easy to ‘make yourself at home’ in a way that your hosts might not always appreciate.
The problem is that the entire Airbnb and home sharing community relies heavily on trust. Just as we’d trust a friend to look after something they’d borrowed from us, we’d trust them to look after our home if they’d ‘borrowed’ it for a few days, too. Of course, Airbnb arrangements are usually between strangers, not friends, meaning trust is an even more sensitive issue, giving us added responsibility to treat homes with maximum care and respect.
So in this spirit, and to help encourage good practice among guests, we’ve come up with five tips for ensuring your Airbnb host returns home with a smile on their face.
Follow the rules
In fact, before you follow the rules, you’d be doing a good deed to read them. After all, a host who’s gone to the effort of creating a list of ‘do’s and don’t’s’ won’t want to repeat themselves. So, if it says “no guests”, there’s no need to ask if you can have friends over – you can take it as read. And more importantly, if it says no guests…don’t have guests. Obediently following house rules might make you feel like you’re 15 again, but your hosts have probably got a good reason for laying them down. Unlike your mum and dad, of course, who were probably just trying to annoy you.
Tell the host if something’s broken or not working
This is particularly important when it comes to major appliances that a host will need to fix or replace quickly, such as boilers, ovens or showers. But the same also applies to ‘smaller’ things too, such as a dropped ornament, or one of your kids drawing on the walls. Quite simply, it’s common courtesy to let your host know about any mishaps – especially as they may have a short turn-over before their next guests arrive.
Not many people enjoy cleaning at the best of times – and especially when they’re on holiday. But stacked up dishes can soon get out of control, and carpet stains get worse the longer you leave them too. So even if it’s not your ideal way to unwind, your host will always appreciate it if you don’t let their home become an absolute mess. And even if they don’t see the carnage for themselves, there’s always the chance they’ll hear about if from the cleaner. So why not make sure they give you a report that’s squeaky clean?
Use their smart tech – even if you’re not convinced!
Smart home technology is still a novelty for most of us – Airbnb hosts included. In fact many hosts consider their smart tech as part of the appeal of their property and, in the case of a smart access product like Klevio, have had it installed to help make a guest’s stay simpler and more enjoyable. So, if a host asks you to use a smart product during your stay, whether it’s for opening doors, controlling heating, or playing music, even if you’re a bit of a technophobe, give it a go – you never know, you might just end up getting it for your own home.
Leave a review – they’re worth their weight in gold
The Airbnb check-out path is paved with good intentions. We all promise ourselves we’ll leave a gushing review after a great guest experience, but inevitably we all return to our daily lives and it can soon be forgotten about. But if there’s one way you can repay your host, it’s by leaving them positive feedback and, in doing so, helping them secure more guests in the future. In short, it’s a small gesture with a big impact and will leave your host chuffed to bits.
Are you an Airbnb host with your own ideas about what makes the perfect guest? Or perhaps you’re a guest who has some tips on how to be on your best behaviour during your stay. Let us know by dropping us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org