How to prepare your home for Airbnb guests

August 3, 2020

Learn how to prepare your home for Airbnb guests and make your listing stand out


A woman making a bed, preparing her home for Airbnb guests

Airbnb can be anything from a fun hobby to a fully-fledged business. Perhaps you have a home with an extra room — or maybe you have an entire vacation home that you aren't using. But Airbnb listings are everywhere these days, so how can you distinguish yourself from the others? Among other things, it requires that you make sure it's clean, attractive, and a little creative. There's a lot to consider, so read on as we show you how to prepare your home for Airbnb guests!

The entryway and keys


Your Airbnb guests should ideally have an easy way to get into your property without having to connect with you. Usually, this is through a lock box that contains the keys. You can give them the PIN before they show up and direct them to place the keys back when they leave. You can even install an electronic smart lock — with the advantage of being able to check to make sure the lock is locked when you're not there and no one is booked. Always change the PIN between guests so you don't have to worry about someone coming in again much later.

Focus on presentation


Open the door to your home. What do you see? People will form their opinion of a space based on its cleanliness, the amenities, the availability of necessities, safety precautions, and overall presentation. That's why it's essential to make sure that your space is properly reflected in the pictures that you upload to the app. Before your guests arrive, have everything dusted and deep cleaned. You may even consider adding pops of color and unique decor. However, unless you're going for a specific aesthetic, your best bet is to keep it simple and clean with a modern, minimalist look.

Introductions and local guides


Many Airbnb guests are new to the area and might need some guidance. Some of the best Airbnb hosts provide basic information, such as:
  • A map of the local area.
  • Menus for local restaurants.
  • WiFi password information.
  • Nearby entertainment venues.
  • What's close to your home? There may be zoos, movie theaters, and other fun activities. Take some time to type out the information that you would want if you were being given guidance.

Organizing the clutter


Most people's homes gradually have an increase in "stuff" over time. But if you're going to be an Airbnb host, you want to remove as much of the clutter as possible. Go through your home and either throw out or store everything that you don't particularly need. If you haven't used something for the past six months (and it isn't seasonal) you probably aren't likely to use it in the next six months either. Lastly, make sure to lock away and store personal or private items. As an Airbnb host, having a closet or room where you can lock such items away is a must.

Providing consumable supplies


Consumable supplies include: paper towels, sanitizer, soap, and bathroom tissue. Consumable supplies should always be set out before guests arrive, but you may want to keep the extras in a locked pantry when you aren't there. That's because Airbnb has fairly loose policies regarding what can be "used" by the guest; if you leave 20 rolls of paper towels out, you may not have any recourse if they use them all.

But you still want your guests to have everything they could foreseeably need. That's why it's often ideal to add things like tissues, sauce packets, and even sunscreen packets. To go the extra mile, you might consider leaving various phone chargers (just in case your guest forgets their own). Finally, having an easily-accessible first aid kit with the basics is always a great idea.

Necessary appliances


If Airbnb guests are going to be cooking, they're going to need the basics like pots, pans, and utensils. Think about what you usually find in a hotel or extended stay motel. A toaster, microwave, or coffee maker is often handy. If you're just renting out a single room, consider adding things like a television to that room: That way, they don't need to go out into common areas to watch television and relax.

If you're pet friendly, don't forget to provide the related necessities. Consider placing things like pet bowls, leash hooks, or even a large crate if guests prefer to crate their pets.

Get creative with the decor


Don't shy away from being creative with your decor! As mentioned, keeping it minimalist is usually easier, but you can add things like seasonal or holiday-related decor when appropriate. Color coordinating different rooms is an easy way to make them more interesting, too. 

Many Airbnbs have decor that's travel-related, such as large maps where people put pins in from where they're from. Consider integrating this type of interactive art into your Airbnb property; it feels meaningful and makes your guests feel part of the story. After you've decorated, don't forget to take pictures and upload them to the app.

Put on the finishing touches


To ensure that your Airbnb looks (and smells) fresh, everything should be thoroughly cleaned between each guest. Some Airbnb owners hire professional services, and some prefer to clean on their own. Whichever method you prefer, it's important that it's cleaned frequently to keep it sparkling for your guests. Afterwards, consider putting out oil diffusers, or air fresheners; you can even leave several scents out to give your guests a few options. 

Owning an Airbnb can be a challenge. But if you take things step by step, you should be able to get great reviews and provide a good experience overall. Take the time to look at competing listings to see what other Airbnb owners are doing, and make sure you're always cleaning and improving upon your property.

Taking a photo of a room after preparing it for Airbnb guests

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Read more: Are you considering whether or not to get that new smart thermostat? Before you do, check out our blog to find out if they're worth the investment!

by Geoff Ullrich

About the Author

Geoff Ullrich is a writer and Content Marketing Specialist at Germania Insurance.