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For your Airbnb guests, first impressions count

Have you ever noticed that successful people always give the best handshakes?  The next time you shake an admirable person’s hand, pay attention to how they pull it off.  It usually starts with a flashed smile, followed by an elegant extension of the arm – energetic but not overly eager – a grip perfectly calculated to be firm but not imposing, two easy shakes, and then finished with a flourish of the wrist.  The true masters will even throw in an eye twinkle or two, as if the both of you are sharing some clever inside joke.

Why so much theater?  Because successful people know that first impressions are forever.  For better or for worse, the human mind is really good at making snap judgments.  Often it only takes seconds before we’ve decided if we like something or not.  Once that decision has been made in the back of our heads, it takes a world of charm to change it.

But just because first impressions are important doesn’t mean they should frighten an aspiring Airbnb host.  It doesn’t have to be a complicated or intimidating exercise.  Think of it like this: The goal of a first impression is to do just that – impress.  As an Airbnb host, you want to show guests that you’re professional and interesting, and that their stay at your listing will be not only easy, but refreshingly pleasant.

Communicating something like that starts with the basics.  A warm profile picture, an inviting listing description (advice on sprucing up your Airbnb descriptions coming soon), and, of course, a response time so fast, it puts Usain Bolt riding a cheetah sporting tiny jet-propelled sneakers to shame. Really fast, is what we’re trying to say.

Once you’ve impressed a guest into booking, the real heavy duty impression work starts.  The first thing to do is to send a stellar welcome email.  This should be a standard document that you have saved on your computer to update and use whenever you receive a new guest.  Five things make a good welcome email:

  1. A trim, concise layout, divided into sections for ease.
  2. A thoughtful greeting and “welcome to the neighborhood”.
  3. Practical details about the house (WiFi passwords, where to find extra toilet paper, and the like).
  4. All necessary contact info.
  5. House Rules.

Keep it short and to-the-point.  It will make them feel more comfortable and secure about staying in your home. Remember, everything else can be put in the Airbnb Guidebook you leave them.  Once that’s been sent, then it’s all about maintaining good communication.  Nobody’s impressed by a slow text-responder. Keep your phone close at hand.  Answering questions about the listing efficiently before a guest arrives will let them know just how responsible and organized you are.

If you’re going to be in town during your guest’s stay, you’ll also have to pull off an in-person first impression. Help your guest(s) with the bags, give them a tour of the house, maybe a welcoming gift of wine or some local food favorite.  If you’ve already nailed your first impression online, the in-person shouldn’t be very hard.  You will have already convinced them of your hosting prowess, and be well on your way to landing a stellar review.  A review which will serve as an excellent first impression for your next potential guest!  It’s a positive feedback loop, once one good impression is made, it can reward you over and over again.  You’ll start to build a reputation, and, before you know it, you’ll have a perfect handshake of your own.

With professional support to respond to booking inquiries and answer your guests’ questions around the clock, Guesty won’t just be your handshake, it will ensure you impress your guests at every step throughout their entire stay. Warning: Don’t be surprised if amazing reviews and less stress come as a consequence.

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