6 Must Have Tools For Your AirBnb
Updated: Jan 7, 2021
by Leilani Powell
Honestly this list can go way beyond just 6 items. A successful AirBnb requires a great deal of resources that ensure it's profitable... everything from extra towels to an old fashion planner book. And no two properties are alike either, each require their own set of necessities. For example, in a coastal home- you'll find beach towels. In a mountain cabin get away, you may find a shoe mud-tray/rug. As you operate your rental you'll finds things to add to your list. These are my top 6 tools you should have to get you started and off on the right foot. This list refers to the both the business side of things and operations!
When we started our Mt. Hood Chalet back in late March of 2020, we did not have half these tools. Within 4 months, we did. I discovered they were instruments for our business that could not be compromised on or left out because there was a need for them. In some instances, we had a request pop up from an active that made us go "huh, yeah duh we need that, it makes perfect sense." Other times, we were upset with ourselves that we had not problem solved before hand to realize what was needed sooner when a guest left a suggestion on a review- It would have made life much easier for guests and guaranteed a 5 star review for convenience and use of the property from their perspective.
1- Smart doorlock
I cannot stress the convenience of a smart lock enough. No handing out keys to risk getting loss. No midnight calls asking for assistance during a lock out. No guests fumbling to find keys in pockets late at night. No keeping track of number of key copies. Even if you meet and greet your guests for check-in, having a smart lock is a stress free convenience that will aid you in sooo00o many ways, beyond the boundaries of the pride land. *Haha, any time I can use that phrase, I will. Even if it makes no sense but the word beyond sets it in motion.* We use the YALE smart lock, I highly recommend this lock because automated or custom key codes can be assigned to guests or groups from virtually anywhere. You can also set time restraints and the set up is a breeze. Guest do NOT need to download an app to operate nor do you need to set up a bridge or whatever the tech gods call it. It's a simple app download and set up for you, connect to wifi, and boom. You're ready to go.
This. Is. A. No. Brainer. Your rental should have flashlights. Emergencies pop up. Power goes out and never in the middle of the day, so inconvenient. Better yet, having a full on emergency kit would be best. Your kit should include flashlights, matches, extra batteries, a lantern, warming blankets, a fire extinguisher... whatever you think is fitted for your area, you should have ready for guests use. Make sure to label as "emergency" and secure it properly, but still accessible, so no one uses it regular and available for daily use- batteries can get expensive!
3- A First Aid Kid
Guest safety is a top priority. A first-aid kit fully loaded with bandages, gauze, cleaner, etc should be included in your must have inventory. Plus it gives you a nice little boost on the AirBnb platform.
4- Channel Manager / Syncing Calendar
This is only really helpful if you use multiple platforms like I do. A channel manager is essentially a virtual log of your calendar that automatically updates your dates between all your channels, *ehemm, calendars.* No need for fancy talk, now. There are tons of free or paid options to use so you can guarantee that guests do not get double booked and/or you don't stretch yourself too thin. A huge bonus to this is you can also sync your co-host, your cleaners, place handy man orders for repairs, and add maintenance timelines for tracking all to one place. The right calendar can be vital to your business. I recommend SyncBnb as a great resource for new beginners to the business. It costs about $20/month, but it's a business expense you can deduct. It's a great reporting tool as well- you can keep track of your expenses, how your booking are keeping up, and comparing your listing to others.
5- Outdoor Lighting
This is one of those "oh duh, why didn't we think of that" suggestions. If you've got some great outdoor lighting so guests can see right up to their entrance or access point from the driveway, you're already winning. We however, did not have this capability and we grossly underestimated how dark it gets in the middle of the woods - in the middle of the night. To be honest, we just didn't think anyone would be out in the woods in the pitch black. But of course, to each their own, they just live their best lives and choose to do so in the dead of night. Really though, they all had valid reasons I'm sure (or not, whatever, they're paying to be there and I learned to not wonder why people do what they do). Mostly, it was to let their pups out or to have a smoke break (totally appreciate they do this outside). On our nearly half acre property surrounded by pines, during winter months the sun would set at about 4 pm and it would get dark, quick! Our driveway is rather long too and lined with giant boulders. We added lighting to not only help those on foot, but also so that cars wouldn't back out into the rocks. Plus, it makes the yard pretty.
6- Guest Book
This little book makes such a huge impact on our guest experience. It is branded to our cabin and has a pen readily available strapped to the front, begging to be written in. We leave the guest book in a non-conspicuous place for guests to read about past visits and I feel like it really helps them share in the experience of it all. The guests always leave beaming praises about their adventures on Mt. Hood and positive comments about our cabin. I think guests pull ideas from this book and also compare their stays, which in the long makes our job of persuading them that our vacation rental is awesome, much easier. Plus they leave their mark and that makes it personal. We love readying about the adventures that are had and the cute remarks about your home! You will too.
A couple honorable mentions would be a notepad and pen, some tape, extra cleaning rags, a wifi board, a water jug, and clocks! Thank me later.