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Your house is looking clean and tidy. The doorbell rings. It’s your first Airbnb guest. What happens next? Should you launch into the house rules? Make them a cup of tea?

If you’ve read our 5 things to do before your guests arrive article you will know all the steps you need to take to ensure your home is ready for visitors (like securing valuables and stocking up on toilet paper) but what happens once they walk through the front door? Here’s our step-by-step guide to the check-in process.

A warm welcome

No matter what kind of day you’re having, always greet your guests with a smile when you welcome them to your Airbnb. Often they will have travelled far and be weary, so they’ll appreciate a friendly face at the end of their journey. Consider offering them a cup of tea or cool drink. Many hosts put together welcome packages for guests that contain some snacks, handmade local gifts or souvenirs. This is another wonderful way to start things off on the right foot. Here are some more ideas for creating an inspiring welcome package.

No matter what kind of day you’re having, always greet your guests with a smile when you welcome them to your Airbnb. Click To Tweet

House tour

Depending on how big the space is that you are renting to guests, you will most likely need to give them a house tour when they arrive. Even if they are staying in a single room inside your home – be sure to show them the shared bathroom and kitchen space (including where they can store their food in your fridge and what pantry space may be available to them).

Don’t forget to explain how door locks and alarms work as part of the tour – as well as talking your guests through any specific safety features in your home. If they will be using an open fire or heating system during their stay, it’s important they understand exactly how to use them and what to do in case of an emergency. Read more about keeping your guests safe.

Make sure the tour includes outdoor areas such as shared gardens or rooftop terraces and that you show guests how to use the barbeque or where the folding chairs are kept so they can enjoy the space during their stay.

If guests are travelling with young children, don’t forget to show them where the cot and high chair is – or any other baby friendly features of your home.

Discussing house rules

We can’t stress enough the importance of writing a list of comprehensive and clear house rules. These rules should cover whether guests are allowed visitors, whether they are expected to empty bins, and what kind of conduct is acceptable/unacceptable in the building. When guests check-in, we advise hosts to talk through these rules and ensure they are understood. Remember that if English is not their first language it might be difficult for them to comprehend your written list of rules so it’s helpful to verbally communicate the rules as well.

Sharing local insights

Apart from all the serious stuff that you need to talk through with guests when they arrive, make sure you don’t forget to share some fun facts about your lovely neighbourhood. Offer them tips for the best place to buy a coffee or meal. If they have kids, point out the nearest park on a map. Recommend some local dishes to try during their stay. Most travellers use Airbnb because they want to feel like a local and this is your chance to give them an orientation that will allow them to get the most out of their visit. It will also increase your chances of getting a great review!

Keeping things clear

Check-in is also the best time to confirm the check-out time for guests. Make sure you are very clear about when you’d like them to vacate the premises and, if you’re not going to be home, where you’d like them to leave the key or who might be there to handle their check-out in your absence.

Contact details

Even if you’ve provided comprehensive contact information to guests via email prior to their arrival, always remind them of the best telephone numbers to contact you in case of an emergency. Some hosts will leave a printed document on the fridge or at the front door with these details…remind guests where they can find this information.

Ensuring check-ins go smoothly

Welcoming guests to your Airbnb is a really important part of being a host. If you are getting new guests every few days, it can also be very tiring which is why many hosts now use Airbnb management services like GuestReady to assist with the process. If you’d like someone from our experienced team to help you create the best kind of first impression, drop us a line.

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