The House Manual is an essential tool that every host should offer to their guests. Whether they’re renting a bedroom, a private apartment, or a boat, your Airbnb guests should have ALL the information they need in order to comfortably navigate their way around their vacation space. A well done House Manual is a time saver for both guests and host. It is crucial in avoiding having to answer the same Frequently Asked Questions time after time. With the House Manual, guests will have ALL that pertinent information at their fingertips, 24/7!
Guests will have access to TV remote instructions, kitchen/appliance information, information like where to find extra blankets, towels, etc. They will also have crucial information that only you as a native knows about YOUR neighborhood and city. A house manual can be an invaluable asset to your listing.
Do you have a House Manual? Do you have one that is functional and works for you? As a host, you spend time fluffing pillows, worrying about towels, deciding whether to provide breakfast, etc., but do you offer that crucial amenity that will reflect your hard work and effort?
That was the reason for my recent January webinar: “The House Manual: Your live-in Assistant.” This webinar shows you how to properly construct a House Manual that will set your listing apart. You will be able to anticipate answers to your vacation rental guests before they even ask the questions. Also, one of the biggest issues a host faces is how to make sure their House Manual is actually read. Well, in the January class I answered that, and oh, so many more questions, in this month’s class.
I want to thank all the hosts that joined my Webinar, “House Manual: Your Live-in Assistant,” for sharing your time with me. A special shout OUT to those hosts that made a special effort to join in from different time zones. We had hosts from many places around the world:
- My lovely Puerto Rico
- All over the United States
- And even Cuba (which I’m visiting at the end of the month)
I do hope you ALL found it informative, as well as entertaining. If you weren’t able to attend, no worries. You know me, I got YOU!
Also, make sure to grab my cheat sheet for setting up The House Manual! It includes all the sections and categories you will need.
The House Manual is divided into three parts:
The information your guest MUST have about your home and how you’ve organized it. This section is ALL about YOUR castle and how to make your guests feel like it’s THEIR castle, too. It’s simple and works wonders!
- A welcome message
- Your address – Don’t make them dig through their phone or computer for that information. They might need to order a car service or might order take out and don’t remember it.
- Emergency information – Hospital, police, etc. I had a guest who needed to go to a hospital and another who needed to call an ambulance. Emergencies happen.
- Contact information – Whether it’s your information or a manager, what is the best and easiest way to reach you?
- Appliance information – Do they need any specific way to work the remote control, air conditioner, etc. You know, for some remote controls you need a NASA degree.
- House Rules – You need house rules that extend beyond “treat my house like yours.”
- Check out information – What do they need to do, if anything.
If you have any additional important information that guests need to know about your home, this is a good place to include it.
Example, I have an amazing but complicated shower. I created a page all about the shower. When I'm welcoming my guests, I tell them how to use it; however, I know it’s complicated and I will be called again and again to explain it to them. To avoid this, I have a “shower cheat sheet.” This cheat sheet is in my House Manual. Actually, it’s so complicated, I also have it displayed in a pretty frame in the bathroom. When a guest arrives from a trip, they’re tired, hungry, and barely functioning.
I know I can barely remember all the information someone is giving me when I arrive at a foreign destination. This is the reason why we as hosts need a House Manual.
The crucial information YOU have about YOUR neighborhood. Yes, you can provide the basic information, transportation, supermarket, restaurants, etc., but it’s more than that. The House Manual allows you to share the gems of your neighborhood with your guests. This customized info of YOUR ‘hood makes YOUR listing different and makes YOU a 5-star host!
- Coffee Shop
- Specialty Stores
- Liquor Stores
- Bakeries (someone might be having a birthday or graduation and might need a cake)
- Gyms/Yoga Studios (Hey, I did a bit of Bikram while at the Airbnb Open in Paris)
When it comes to “out of towners” visiting, no one knows your city better than YOU. Even those who visit as “natives“ of your city may not know the latest and greatest happenings. In your House Manua,l you give them ALL the “traditional” tourist information. Plus, since YOU know your city like the back of your hand, you can also share the best times and days to go to certain museums, “local” attractions, entertainment or shows; the venues to see local artists and plays; the restaurants that will fit their budgets. The info you provide can be as endless as YOU want it to be, and YOU will be creating countless great memories for your guests to enjoy for years to come.
Information to include:
- Tourist Attractions:
- Some quiet spots
- Fun spots for families
- Beyond your Neighborhood
- Seasonal Events
- Special Events
- Hidden Gems
TIP: I have created sections on interesting local neighborhoods in my city of New York. For example, Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). It’s a neighborhood people have seen in plenty of movies, it has amazing views of Manhattan, and you can walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s a must-do attraction and a must- neighborhood visitors might not know about. So, I created a section about it with restaurants, things to do, how to get there, etc. Here are just a couple of pages of it.
Yes, my House Manual is a big binder.
My first personal House Manual didn't always look like this. It took a long time to create it and make it a fun and functional part of my listing. It doesn’t have to be like this for you. You’re more than welcome to download my cheat sheet and design and create your own amazing House Manual. Too much work? No problem.
BUY my templates and just “fill in the blanks” with your information.
Easy as pie!
I have created a set of templates that you can download, fill out with your own information, print, and place in your own binder.
If any information needs to be updated, no problem. These templates are yours to update, do, and redo! They’re yours.
If you have more than one listing? Don't worry. Use them in one listing or three or ten.
So, hit that “click here” button to get all the information you need about “The House Manual.” If you have any other questions, you can contact me.
Whether you get my customizable, easy-to-use templates for your listing, or create your own, I want to make sure you have a “Live-in Assistant” that will make you proud and make your life easier.