Getting Your systems in Place for Your Airbnb

Dear hosts, do you have any systems set up within your Airbnb? Or maybe you just put up some photos, a listing name, a description and that’s it. Maybe, because you listened to me, you finally captioned your photos. Well, today we’re talking systems… Getting Your Systems in Place for Your Airbnb.

I get it. You’re thinking, “I’m just renting a bedroom — it’s nothing special.” Or maybe, “I’ve got one apartment… I don’t need to set up anything complicated.” Ohh, but you want an easier life, don’t you? You want your guests to read your house rules, you want them to check-out on time.

Maybe we’re too busy to notice how we could be working our business smarter. Maybe you need to slow down to speed up.  I have no idea who originally said that, but I just heard it from my mentor entrepreneur James Wedmore. And in today’s episode, that’s what I’m talking about.

Slow Down to Speed Up:

I get it. You’re thinking, “I’m just renting a bedroom — it’s nothing special.” Or maybe, “I’ve got one apartment… I don’t need to set up anything complicated.” Ohh, but you want an easier life, don’t you? You want your guests to read your house rules, you want them to check-out on time.

Maybe we’re too busy to notice how we could be working our business smarter. Maybe you need to slow down to speed up.  I have no idea who originally said that, but I just heard it from my mentor entrepreneur James Wedmore. And in today’s episode, that’s what I’m talking about.

I know you’re thinking, “But what kind of systems do I need? Ohh, dear hosts, let me tell you…

  • Do you know what to do when you have an emergency in the house?
  • Or the Airbnb platform breaks down?
  • How do you deal when a guest asks for a discount?

Exactly. Systems.

Instead of getting upset and bent out of shape because nothing ever gets resolved when our mind is in the negative space of ARGH… we have a system. So let’s start with…

Emergencies in the House:

If you have a house or an apartment, you’ll have mishaps. They happen. Roofs will leak…toilets will back up…appliances will stop working. And that’s on a good day. Do you have a plan?

You start with your team. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. Your Airbnb and your business are only as good as your team. This year I’ve been training my brand new cleaning person, and I’m loving her. But there were some growing pains.  Believe me, at one point I was thinking, “Do I need to replace her already?” Instead, we had a conversation, and now she is a rockstar cleaner and much more. I’ll be teaching a class soon about hiring a team because I’m reading some great books about it.

So you want a team that you can call and know they’ll be there for you — even if you have to pay a bit more. Right now, we’re doing construction in Puerto Rico before we start mine & Javier’s new Airbnb, and one of the folks didn’t show up. You heard it right. He was booked and didn’t show up or call… So bye, bye Felicia…

It’s hard to find good people! You should see me talking to strangers at Home Depot. ”Hey… so I see you with tiles. Who is doing your work?” Now we’ve got someone else who was recommended. We’re paying more, but I’m good with that. Fingers crossed that it all works out. In NY, I pay a premium price; but my plumber will show up on a Sunday night. That’s the kind of team member you look for, yes good workers.

A System for your Guest’s Information:

Do you have systems with your platforms? What do I mean? Get your guest’s information out of the Airbnb or VRBO platform. Look, right now in my Facebook Group, The Hosting Journey, there’s a member who is having a huge problem with their platform: reservations…money… It’s bad.

Of course, now they’re going through emails and hoping to have some sort of information about their future guests.

Before anything like this happens to you, set up your system right from the beginning. I have a Google sheet set up with all of my guests’ information since 2010. What kind of information? Names, phone numbers, email addresses — the works. Because I ask for guests’ personal email in my communication strategy sequence. I also record the dates they stayed, the city they came from, and any special note that might jog my memory of who they were.

And most importantly, I make a note to remind myself whether I want them back or not. Because it’s possible you might not want those guests back; and if so, you want to include a note about them.

All of this information is for my own records, I’m still not set up for direct bookings, because I don’t want to handle the money. My preference is to go through Airbnb. That’s just me.

Doing this doesn’t mean that you have to cut off Airbnb or VRBO. It’s just protection should anything happen, because tech fails.

As you know from listening to Episode 75, 5 tips for a great House Manual, I use Google Drive to store everything. But you can also use Excel on your computer. One more important note: Don’t forget to back up your computer. Always be backing up.

Guest Requests:

Having an idea of how you want to handle a guest request is imperative: you do not want to not be reactive. For example, a guest asks for a discount. Do you get upset, or do you have a pricing strategy? Why even get upset? Do you have a script with what to say?

I know that when it’s the high season, I don’t give any discounts; but during the winter months, I do. I also don’t take it personally when a guest requests a discount. Like I talked about in Episode 80,How to Build an Airbnb Lifestyle, don’t take this request personally. Just because a guest asks for a discount, it doesn’t mean you have to say yes. No is a complete statement. And it doesn’t mean you have to feel insulted.

There are websites out there telling people to ask for discounts — telling them that this is a good strategy to save money. People have taken this advice, and now we get the bargain hunters. You don’t have to accept it. Unless you want to.  What about an early check-in? Do you allow it? Have you thought about things you may want to allow or not?

Here are some questions for you to consider and make decisions about:

  • A pricing strategy. When, if at all, do you provide a discount?
  • Early Check-in or Late Check-out. Do you allow it? For a fee? If not, do you have any information about places nearby?
  • Mailing Packages: Will you allow your guests to mail packages to your home before their arrival? If so, then how many?
  • Your Address: Do you want to allow your guests to use your address? (Sometimes they need to do so for visa purposes.)
  • Visitors: Can your guests bring visitors? Overnight? What about to just show off your place, or to pick them up?

You don’t have to write these as house rules, but you need to think in advance about how you want to handle the situation if it comes up.

Miscellaneous Systems:

I’m not going to discuss the obvious ones that you know, like having a 5-star House Manual or Smart Lock for your Airbnb, because I’ve already done solo shows discussing them in detail.

Your Host,

Evelyn

(Visited 193 times, 43 visits today)
Get the Ultimate Room-to-Room Checklist

Get the Ultimate Room-to-Room Checklist

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!