Easy Ways to Make Your Airbnb Guest Love Your Home - Part Two
This piece is a continuation of my blog piece of a few weeks ago.
TV & Internet
This subtitle should probably have read "Internet & TV", or perhaps the first title of Part 1 of this post should have just read “Internet", such is the non-negotiable absolutely critical requirement that is providing your London vacation home or Airbnb rental with internet. I honestly feel that many guests, if they had to choose, would opt for internet access over hot water or heating in their holiday rental. When I used to do check ins myself, I was always amazed at how quickly guests would ask for the wifi code, barely having entered the home and put their bags down! But let’s face it, modern living relies on having constant access to the internet at all times, and this is especially when you’re abroad and wanting to book tickets, plan your day, get tips and recommendations and read reviews.
So, our advice here is: provide unlimited data, wireless internet access and make sure it is accessible throughout your rental home. Nowadays there is no need / excuse to get capped data packages - they will be breached almost instantly when your guests download the latest HD version of Game of Thrones and it’s impossible / an incredible waste of time trying to police which guest used what data. Another tip is to make sure your guests can log on to the network when they check in (in addition to obviously clearly providing the network name and password for the guests). We do this as a matter of course now after a long history of having to go to properties to address internet issues only to find that the guests were trying to log on to the wrong network. Also show the guests where the modem is in case they need to reboot it.
As for TV, these too are essential and the vast majority of homes have these anyway, but if you have spurned the tube in favour of more cultural in-home diversions then expect this to hit the appeal of your Airbnb rental (unless of course its very absence is a point of interest of your property). You don’t have to have Sky/cable (but this can help) and most modern TVs will have access to the range of Freeview channels, which in our book is enough. For extra points though, ensure your TV is connected to the internet so guests can log in to their Netflix accounts, and/or provide an Apple TV / Amazon Fire TV Stick. Again, it’s quite useful to show guests how to work the TV when they check in to save you and them the hassle of a subsequent visit.
By no means essential, but this is a favourite of mine (no doubt in part because of my South African roots) and if you have a garden then some grilling option can increase the appeal of your home. Safety is key though so be sure to provide clear instructions on how to use and tell guests they use them at their own risk etc. Also make sure the guests know where to get more charcoal or gas, and remember to ensure the grill is cleaned between bookings.
Fans & Air Conditioning
Some kind of cooling for the weeks in the year that London gets warm is essential. Obviously most London homes - because of their age and our climate - don’t have AC, and that’s fine, but there’s no excuse not to provide a fans. At Ivy we require these for all our homes, one for each bedroom. They are cheap, easy to store and a bad night’s sleep makes for a grumpy guest. Think ahead and cool your Airbnb down.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to what to provide guests when they arrive. Tea, coffee, pastries, bread, milk, chocolates… It’s entirely up to you and largely depends on what you’re prepared to offer. Some pleasant sustenance after a long flight can go a long way to setting your Airbnb guests up for a lovely stay though. I rented a home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in November 2015 and the rental company greeted me with two boxes of freshly baked cookies, which were absolutely delicious. It was an easy gesture which made a lasting impression.
At an absolute minimum however, you should provide guests with at least “starter” amounts of dishwasher and laundry detergent, loo paper, salt, pepper, oil etc. It’s annoying for guests to have to purchase full amounts of these basic items which they most likely won’t finish during their stays, and can get their holiday rental off on the wrong foot.