It’s no surprise that location is everything for guests who book an WP Rentals. But what was surprising for us was the conundrum this topic created in our recent post What guests really want. On one hand there’s travelers: they want to know everything about where they’re going right away—it helps them decide where to book and plan their trip. On the other hand there’s hosts, many of whom naturally want to maintain privacy, especially before a booking is confirmed, and others that want to share every last detail right away.
Is there a way to convey the location details a guest wants without leaving the host feeling over-exposed? We think so. Let this checklist be your guide and everybody wins.
Provide recommendations early to allow guests to plan their trip.
Filling in your Guidebook on WP Rentals is a great way to compile your recommendations, and it makes it easy to grow and repurpose for future guests.
Personality is appreciated—recommend things you actually do yourself and places you like to go. A concierge might provide recommendations based on what they think an average tourist might like, but your tips can be more personalized.
Use the tips above and you’re bound to get great reviews and feedback like this:
“Our host’s tips about cheap food and other things to see nearby were right on. We’ll definitely be back again!”
“I am pretty widely traveled and fairly independent with it, meaning normally I like to figure things out myself, but there is no question: our host added great value to my experience.”
“The cheat sheet guide to the neighborhood our host sent to us in advance of our stay was great and we tried out a few of the recommendations on the list.”
As a trip approaches, anxiety increases for guests. Where do I need to go? How do I get there? How will I get a key for the space? How do I plan what to do on my trip? Put your guest at ease by giving them all of the info they’ll need up front instead of making them wait until the last minute. This establishes trust right away and will most likely garner you a great review, and great reviews lead to bookings.
Elle put together some easy steps every host can follow to prevent hosting from becoming more of a chore than a reward.
“Some of our most enthusiastic hosts are so dedicated to their guests having an exceptional stay that they’re challenged to find their own time and resources for themselves,” says Elle. “They’re givers and sometimes givers swing too far into that giving activity.”
Determine your goals
Are you hosting primarily to earn money? For companionship? To create more art or share the meals you enjoy preparing? Then it’s important to recognize and feel good about how hosting aligns with and supports these goals. For Elle, Airbnb hosting started as a means to keeping her apartment. She says that initial goal has evolved into being able to provide a great, affordable place to stay in the highly coveted West Village and give guests the opportunity to live like a New Yorker. “I’m proud to be able to share that.”
Surround yourself with resources
And by resources, Elle means those you can “call in a pinch” when, for instance, “you need to get keys to someone at 2 p.m. when you’re working in an office across town.” This includes a community of friends, like-minded neighbors, a cleaning service, or a few people who are willing to work part time or per diem, barter or take payment for cleaning, key hand-off and greeting when you are unable to do it yourself.
Exceptional hospitality can come through in a lot of ways, but it most definitely starts with a clean space. And while cleaning might not be the most fun part of hosting, it doesn’t have to be difficult! Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get swept up in an effective and easy cleaning routine.
Focus on the trouble spots
First things first: Give extra attention to the most important areas of cleanliness. Those would be the kitchen and the bathrooms. If you offer your guests space in the refrigerator, give it a thorough cleaning. And if you make a point to keep all of the condiments and other items nicely organized, your guest will be encouraged do the same.
Make room for your guests’ things
We certainly love our tchotchkes, but too much of a good thing may look like clutter to a visitor. In addition to keeping your space clean, it’s important to keep it tidy. Your guests may not want to live out of their suitcase for their whole stay, so you can offer them space to put out their toiletries and personal items on a shelf or nightstand. You can also offer your guests room for their clothes and larger items in a closet or dresser.
Pay attention to details
Once you’ve gotten your space clean and ready for your next guest, check the details:
- Look for stray hairs on the couch
- Clean off dust on the edges of shelves, picture frames, and doorways
- Wipe down all the surfaces of fixtures and appliances
- Check the kitchen counter for crumbs
- Sweep or vacuum under the furniture
The 27+ shortcodes WP Rentals features are accessible from the Admin Editor and you can add them to any page or post. The structure of each shortocode is simple and intuitive so you can edit its content easily.
Column shortcodes have a unique feature: border. There are 4 different borders available to play with and create a unique design. Each border has a different color which you can change from Theme Options.
Other interesting shortcodes are: featured article, featured property, featured agent, slider, lists, tagline, recent items, icon content box, tabs, toggle and accordion, buttons, testimonials, video, Google Maps and tables.
Widgets give you freedom to design unlimited sidebars. Besides the standard WordPress widgets, we added 7+ custom versions: Mortgage Calculator, Featured Listing, Contact, Facebook Box, Twitter Widget, Social Links & Flickr Widget.
In spring 2013, ahead of her parents’ two-week visit, Dawn decided that a makeover was in order. She incorporated color and pattern, yielding an interior more in line with what one might expect in a beach town in Southern California: sun-kissed yellow walls; a swath of Kelly green in the kitchen; a long table, topped with a vibrant print, that functions for reading, dining, or doing work; a lime-hued bathroom; and cheery polka-dotted bedding. But it’s easy to see why guests are often charmed before ever setting foot inside: Just beyond the blue-and-white cottage-like structure’s Dutch door is a deck with a view of a pond and a garden that includes a Meyer lemon tree.
After her parents’ stay, Dawn thought to herself: “Well, I’ve got this room that’s completely remodeled. What should I do with it?” She approached her husband about putting it on WP Rentals. He was hesitant at first; in part because in order to get to the guesthouse, you have to walk right by the couple’s own residence. So they started out with just single (one-person) bookings before allowing pairs. “Now he’s a bigger social person with my guests than me,” laughs Dawn.